How to set department-level business hours

Department-level business hours allow you to control the times, days, dates, and circumstances under which chat with a department is available.

Department-level business hours and exceptions override website-level business hours and exceptions respectively. Departments without unique business hours and/or exceptions use the same settings as associated websites.

A department cannot receive new chats outside of business hours; neither when agents are available nor when a rollover department has been selected. You may change this default behavior as described below.

  1. Create or edit a department, as follows:
    1. In the Web Admin Center, go to Organization > Departments. The Department Management page is displayed.
    2. Select an existing department or click Create New.

    Result: The New/Edit Department page is displayed.

  2. On the Department Information tab under Department Hours, select Enable business hours for chats.
  3. Optionally, to make chat buttons available within business hours even when no agents are available, select Ignore Agent Status.


    Important: This may result in unanswered chats. Chats may continue to be queued even when no agents are available.
  4. Select the Timezone used by the business hours settings.
  5. Set your Business Hours, which are periods of time (day/time combinations) that reflect your regular hours of operation.
    1. Select the hours between which you want chat to be potentially available.

      Outside of this time period, your chat buttons display as unavailable even when agents are available. For example, if business hours are set for 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, the Chat button associated with this website reference will become available at 9:00 AM (if agents are available) and will be disabled at 5:00 PM.

    2. Select the Days to which the From/To setting is applied.
    3. To set unique hours for the weekend (or any day of the week), click Add business hours and set the days and time as described above.

    Result: Outside of these time periods, chat is unavailable unless you set exceptions.

  6. To alter your Business Hours (opening hours) on specific dates throughout the year, such as holidays or for special events, you can add exceptions under Exceptions by date. See What are exceptions to business hours? below.
    • Same as website exceptions. The department uses the same exceptions as associated websites.
    • Override website exceptions on specific dates. On the dates specified here, department exceptions override website exceptions. Otherwise, the department uses the same exceptions as associated websites.
    • Override all website exceptions. The department uses unique exceptions and ignores all website exceptions.


    Tip: When adding exceptions, you may find it useful to copy previously used exceptions (when available). To see these exceptions, select the Show previously expired exceptions from option.
  7. Save your changes.

What are exceptions to business hours?

An exception is valid for one day only. By defining an exception, you override normal business hours. In other words, an exception defines the time when your agents are available to chat on a specific day.

Think of a business hours exception as an exception in your daily routine: You may provide support from 9 AM to 5 PM, but on an exceptional day, like Black Friday, you may want to provide chat support for longer hours. In this case, you can define an exception for that single day by defining your availability, say, from 9 AM to 9 PM.

Similarly, if you have a meeting on November 20, from 2 PM to 3.30 PM and you are not available to support your customers, you have to change your standard business hours by setting two exceptions for the day:

  • One exception for November 20 from 9 AM to 2 PM
  • Another one for November 20 from 3.30 PM to 5 PM

This way, you can let Digital DX- and your customers - know that this is an exceptional day when you are available from 9 AM to 2 PM and from 3.30 PM to 5 PM only.