Estimated Wait Time Messages


Quiq’s Estimated Wait Time (EWT) feature can be used to give customers an idea of how long they’ll have to wait before receiving a response from an agent. Estimated wait times are available whenever a conversation begins waiting in a new queue and can therefore be shared at multiple stages in the conversation lifecycle, such as after an upfront interaction with one or more bots.


Contact Quiq Support to enable the Estimate Wait Time (EWT) feature for your organization.

How it Works

Quiq has a robust set of queueing and routing features including multiple queues, many-to-many mappings between agents and queues, conversation weights and more. Because of this rich feature set, EWT is calculated by running a brief simulation of expected future events to produce a rate at which conversations will be assigned from a given queue. The estimated queue assignment rate is then used to produce estimates for individual conversations based on their position in the queue.

The simulation works as follows:

  • Using historical data from similar conversations (same contact point and platform), each conversation has an estimate of how long it will need to be assigned to an agent before it is closed.

  • Using the above estimates, the simulation mock closes the conversation at the expected (future) time, making room for another conversation to be routed.

  • Quiq’s normal routing features are then run in the simulated environment.

  • The above process is repeated until the simulated queues are empty or until the simulation has run long enough to produce good estimates.

Simulations run periodically (typically once per minute) and the results are used until the next simulation.

Because the EWT simulation runs Quiq’s normal routing engine, EWT is very dependent on agent availability status. This is because the system will only route conversations to agents who are Available. Therefore, in order for good estimates to be produced it's important that agents do a good job of managing their availability. If conversations in a queue cannot be routed because there are no available agents in the queue (and thus the simulation was unable to move the conversations), the EWT will be “unknown”. If you wish to avoid sending messages that say the estimated wait time is unknown, you may wish to put a decision around the Send A Message action that ensures agents are available in that queue.

The simulation-based approach means that the system reacts quickly to changes in staffing, role assignments, etc. when updating EWT values.

Including EWT in an Auto-Response Message

Estimated wait time can be shared with customers by including the {{estimatedWaitTime}} variable in auto-response messages configured within Conversation Rules. Specifically, you can include {{estimatedWaitTime}} in messages sent by rules that fire on the following events:

  • When the conversation begins waiting in a queue
  • When the conversation lands in queue when it starts

If your business does not provide 24/7 support, we suggest including your business hours in addition to the EWT as Quiq’s EWT does not account for your business hours. An example message used after an initial bot interaction is as follows:

“You’ve been placed in line to speak with a live representative. Your expected wait is {{estimatedWaitTime}}. Our normal business hours are 8am - 6pm Pacific.”

With the default configuration, this message might be rendered as follows:

“You’ve been placed in line to speak with a live representative. Your expected wait is 25 minutes. Our normal business hours are 8am - 6pm Pacific.”