When you're signed into Zendesk Chat, you can configure a number of settings related to your availability to assist customers. The information in this article applies to both Chat Standalone and Chat + Support account agents.
This article includes the following sections:
Understanding availability status options
You can set your status to any of the following:
- Online: Indicates you're available to answer chats.
- Away: Indicates internally to other agents that you're away from your computer. You can still serve chat requests when your status is Away.
- Invisible: Allows you to sign in to the Chat dashboard but not be visible as Online. If incoming chats are broadcast to all agents, invisible agents can still see and accept chat requests. If incoming chats are assigned to agents, invisible agents cannot receive or accept chat requests. If all chat agents are invisible, the widget will not appear online to visitors and chat triggers will not fire. For information on broadcast and assigned chat routing, see Setting up chat routing.
Manually changing your availability status
You can change your status from the Chat dashboard.
- To change your status once you're already signed in, click the dropdown menu in the upper-left corner of the dashboard.
Setting your idle timeout preferences
You can set your status to automatically change from Online to Invisible or Away when you're away from your computer for set length of time. When your status changes, a window appears letting you know:
These settings affect only your status, not other agents' in your organization.
To set up idle timeout
- In the dashboard, select Settings > Personal.
- Select the Idle timeout tab.
- Click On to toggle on idle timeout.
- If you don't want your status to change when you have open chats, select the Ignore if chatting check box.
- Next to Idle status, select whether you want your status to change to Away or Offline when you're idle.
- Next to Inactivity period, enter how many minutes you should be idle before your status changes. The default value is 15 minutes.
- Click Save changes.
Viewing other agents' online statuses
You can see which other agents are currently signed in to your dashboard and online.
To view other agents' online statuses
- In the left pane, click Team.
- Click View all.
The Agents signed in window opens, which shows you a list of the agents currently logged in by department, as well as whether they have admin privileges and how many chats they currently have.
+1 for admins to change agents chat status!
There is no "idle timeout" tab in my chat dashboard settings > personal area. How do I change the idle timeout in the absence of that tab?
Hi there agree with what Kristin said 👆🏻
We can not change that as there is no option to set the idle time, what workaround would you suggest in this case?
This feature is available for chat team plans and up. Have you checked your account to verify if the same is part of your plan? If not yet, you may check your subscription by clicking the Zendesk Products icon () in the top bar, then select Admin Center. Click the Billing icon () in the left sidebar, then click Subscription to see a summary of your current plan.
Idle timeout is part of the personal settings of your chat account. As of the moment, there is no other option to set idle timeout besides from the chat dashboard
+1 for having admins be able to change agents' statuses.
This seems like a no-brainer and has been asked for a few years now.
I'd recommend upvoting and adding a comment to this product feedback thread: Feature Request: Give Admins Ability to Change Agent Status. It's true that this has been something customers have been requesting for a long time, and while it's not on the roadmap yet, some necessary foundational work is being done (see the official comment and the links to further comments from Ramin and Amy there).
Idle timeout (one of the suggested workarounds) is not available in agent workspace (see Limitations in the Zendesk Agent Workspace), so setting Operating Hours as suggested by Ramin in the product feedback thread above is probably be best workaround at this time.
I had a question about away versus invisible when it comes to routing. As I understand it, when an agent sets him/herself to invisible, they get out of the "virtual line" and are no longer considered the "longest agent without a chat". What if they are away? Does the same logic occur?
Thank you for messaging us.
Only agents with the status "online" are applied with the "longest agent without a chat". Invisible and away does not apply to this.
Hi, I've set my Idle Timeout to OFF but I just disappear from the list of available agents. This is being experienced by others in the team also. I wonder why? Is there a workaround for this?
Hello - I don't see these Settings > Personal and then Idle Timeout. Please advise.
Is there a way to customize this statues? For instance instead of Away I would like our agents to mark "lunch break" or "Meeting", or "training" etc.
My status is turning to Invisible even though my "Idle timeout" settings are set to "Off".
Any ideas on what the problem could be here?
Unfortunately those status settings are not customizable at this time within Zendesk Chat. They would need to use Offline or Away in that situation. I will definitely mark that as feedback on your behalf however.
I tried following this article and there are no settings to change availability on this page. It's on the Support page.
What if there are no agents available? Like there literally aren't any and its within business hours? What happens then?
If there are no agents available then they will be waiting in the queue. You can setup a trigger that will send a message to your customers if they have been waiting for certain amount of time.
You can check our article, Send messages to your customers waiting in the queue for more information about this.
No answer to the whole issue of "I've set my Idle Timeout to OFF but I just disappear from the list of available agents".
I have this issue too. I log in every morning I keep the tab open then my manager wonders why I'm not picking up chats. It must be a bug of some sort.
Hello fellow Zendeskians
I agree with Andrew Stuart and Andrew Lo's comments. Something isn't right with Idle Timeout.
I'm working with a Zendesk customer on the Agent Workspace (they recently migrated over from Chat standalone) and they report that when an agent has logged in to Support and set themselves as Online in Chat, after approx 10mins of inactivity (the agents do other stuff in other browsers or tabs etc) when they navigate back to the Zendesk (Support) tab, their Chat status is set to Invisible and they have to manually set themselves to Online again. They have sent a 15 min video to me to verify, and from this video I can confirm this behaviour.
I've checked their Operating Hours and this is happening within operating hours so this theory doesn't make sense.
The only thing I can think of is when they weren't on the Agent Workspace they had Automatic Timeout Enabled. They didn't change this BEFORE migrating to the Agent Workspace and somehow the settings have remained even though this article indicates Idle Timeout isn't available in the Agent Workspace (wonder if this also means it isn't functional). This is the only thing I can think of.
I wonder if Andrew and Andrew also migrated their instances to the Agent Workspace?
Hoping Dave Dyson might share his Jedi wisdom - help us Obi-wan Davenobi, you're our only hope ;) (I have an existing ticket but under a different email address)
What happened in my case was being logged in on two separate devices.
One would be "idle" and cause the status to change to invisible on both devices.
It is possible having it open in another window may also reproduce the problem.
I've not migrated anything. Also I ensure that I keep a tab open all the time. No one who is busy can keep flicking back and forth to ensure it doesn't mark you as 'Idle' or 'Invisible'. My manager questions whether I am logged in as part of my role so this is becoming a bit more than just a bug.
Many of our agents have the same issue, it looks to them that they are Online, but when they refresh the browser they are Invisible.
We have recently migrated to the Agent workspace too.
I wonder, Chad Susa did you manage to find more insights on what could be causing this?
If you are using Agent Workspace, your agents only need to set their Chat Status online in Support, so regardless of what they do, they should still be online. Idle Timeout is expected to not work when you are using Agent Workspace this is mentioned as a limitation here: Agent Workspace Limitations.
I'd like this discuss this further over a ticket. I've created a ticket on your behalf so we can investigate this issue together. Kindly check your email for more information. Speak soon!
Thanks Hiedi Kysther!
Yes, this is what they do, just set themselves Online, but they notice that their status changes for no reason. Even when working in tickets. It may be due to the VPN they are using, we are still investigating.
Appreciate the update. I hope you got my email regarding this issue. Feel free to reply to the email if you will need further assistance on this. We'll be happy to help!
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