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  • Writer's pictureAna Gomez

Quick Tips on Effective Scheduling for Chat Support

After finalizing your strategy for implementing live chat, the next step is to schedule your team to provide chat support coverage. Scheduling a team for live chat is more challenging than scheduling for email support because chat needs to be kept online. Here are some tips to keep in mind when scheduling your team for live chat, along with advice from people who have successfully done it:

  • Coordinate shifts for your agents to ensure chat is always online.

  • Consider the times when chat volume is highest and schedule more agents during those times.

  • Allow for breaks and schedule enough agents to cover them.

  • Get advice from other businesses that have successfully implemented live chat support.

Coverage, coverage, coverage

  • Forecasting the volume of incoming messages is essential to create an effective chat support schedule that covers busy times.

  • Historical volume data can be examined to determine when customers typically contact the support team and the time zones in which they are located.

  • The availability of existing team members can be considered to have them sign up for desired shifts and understand if more staff is needed or if existing team members need to pick up additional shifts.

  • Gathered data can be used to determine the maximum number of simultaneous chats at any given hour to ensure effective forecasting and planning.


  • Agents can typically handle between 3 and 5 chats at once, so it's important to ensure they are not under or over-utilized.

  • Automattic aims to have about two-thirds of necessary coverage in place with each agent handling 3 simultaneous chats.

  • The remaining one-third of the team acts as a reserve, stepping in to provide additional support as needed.

  • Maintaining a consistent chat support schedule from week to week can reduce scheduling time and mental overhead for agents.

  • Provide flexibility to team members to choose their preferred work hours, with schedules reflecting their individual preferences.

  • Finalized schedules should be shared with the team in a transparent manner to facilitate coordination of lunch and break times.

Avoiding Agent Burnout

  • Long, demanding shifts on chat without flexibility can lead to burnout and decreased productivity among agents

  • Regular breaks and a certain level of flexibility in schedules can help keep agents fresh and prevent burnout

  • Guidelines can be set up for how early agents can turn off their availability before the end of their shift, preventing them from getting stuck in a never-ending queue of chats

  • Encouraging agents to warmly transfer chats to other available team members can prevent burnout and ensure customers receive the support they need.


  • Collect feedback from agents to assess their level of satisfaction and identify potential issues

  • Adjust the schedule to address issues and improve employee satisfaction

  • Monitor chat wait times and the number of unanswered chats

  • Expand customer support availability if necessary

  • Regularly review and adjust the chat support schedule to balance coverage and agent happiness

  • Improve customer satisfaction through a well-balanced chat support schedule.

As you consider implementing live chat support for your organization, it's essential to keep in mind that scheduling your team for live chat requires careful planning and coordination to ensure that coverage is always available. At Smoothen, we specialize in helping organizations implement chat support with standard operating procedures that allow for a smooth transition. Our expert team can work with you to develop a customized chat support strategy that fits your unique needs and helps to ensure high levels of customer satisfaction. With our help, you can optimize your chat support schedule to reduce agent burnout and increase productivity, resulting in a more efficient and effective customer support operation overall. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your organization achieve success with live chat support.


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