ACD & Average Time To Answer

Best Practices - ACD & Average Time To Answer


A visitor comes to your site and clicks on your chat button to initiate a chat. They are presented with your pre-chat survey, they fill it out, and they finally click on the ‘Start Chat’ button. They are then presented with this screen:




After a few seconds they finally see that they have been connected to an agent, and they can then begin their conversation. However, this is not always the case. In some cases, customers can end up waiting for a few minutes. As more time passes, the chances that the customer will abandon the chat and leave the site will go up.


Many customers ask us how we can lower their average time to answer and lower their abandonment rate as well. One of the answers that we usually recommend is that we turn on ACD, which will lower the average time to answer, and help decrease their abandonment rate.


What is ACD?


Automatic Chat Distribution, or ACD, is a tool that can be used to route chats to your available agents automatically. Normally, the visitor will enter a queue that is for all eligible agents, and then sit there in limbo until an agent clicks on the accept button. By enabling ACD, all incoming chats will be routed efficiently, and the workload will be balanced evenly across all eligible agents.


How Does This Affect Our Agents?


When we recommend that the ACD should be enabled, one of the most asked questions we get is: “How does this affect our agents?” The short answer: It depends on what options you choose.


When you go to enable ACD, you will be presented with a few different options.




The first option is manual mode, the default mode. Manual mode will route the chat to all agents that are eligible to receive that chat. So, if you have a chat that goes to any skill group, then all available agents would get a notification that there is a chat they can accept.


The second option is auto-accept mode, which will route the the chat to an eligible agent that has the most availability, and the chat will automatically start. For example, if you have two agents available, and one of them is in chat, but the other one is not, then the chat will route to the agent that has no chats.


The last option is advanced mode, which is a hybrid of the two options. Advanced mode is when a chat will be automatically distributed to the most available agent, but the agent still needs to click the accept button, and if they do not click the accept button within a specified time frame, the chat will route to the next available agent.


By enabling the Auto-accept mode, your visitors will not have to wait for your agents to click the ‘Accept’ chat button, which will then lower your average wait time. This will provide your visitors a better experience, and will help reduce your abandonment rate.


This best practice, based on feedback from LiveEngage users, is meant to offer you guidance and to help drive value for your brand.


More Resources


You can read more about ACD here: Balance Your Agent Workload