Service Level Agreements (SLAs) define the level of service a customer can expect from a seller or marketplace. One of the most important service clauses in an SLA is an assurance that the seller will respond to a customer query within a given time period. This is called the SLA response target.

This help file will explain in great detail what the SLA timers feature is in your eDesk account.

Before you start

  • You’ll need an Admin login to eDesk. If you don’t have an Admin login, you can request one from an Admin user within your business.
  • You’ll need to be on the eDesk Team, Professional or Enterprise plan to access this feature. To find out more information about this, click here.

01 Finding SLA timers in eDesk

You can set up SLA timers to help Agents meet SLA response targets. An SLA timer represents the time period in which agents should respond to a customer message. The SLA timer is displayed in the Time Left column for a To Do ticket in the Mailbox.

02 How do SLA timers work?

In eDesk, you can set the response target for an SLA timer to be a number of hours. For example, where the SLA response target is set to 48 hours, then the SLA timer will start at 2 days and - unless an Agent responds - countdown to zero.  

  • An SLA timer starts counting down as soon as eDesk receives the message from the customer.  

  • The timer stops when an Agent sends a response to the customer from eDesk.  

  • If the timer reaches zero before an Agent has responded, the timer reads Overdue + [the minutes/hours/days since the SLA target was reached]. For example, Overdue + 4 minutes.

  • If the customer sends another message via eDesk, a new SLA timer starts for the ticket.  

  • SLA timers are displayed only for To Do tickets in the Mailbox. If an Agent has a conversation with a customer via chat, the SLA timer will not begin until the chat has ended and an autogenerated To Do message for the chat arrives in the Mailbox.  

  • By default, messages in the Mailbox are listed in order of priority. At the top of the list is the message with the least time left in its SLA timer. At the bottom of the list is the message with the most time left in its SLA timer.

Note: SLA timers are designed to help Agents respond to messages in good time within eDesk. If the Agent answers a customer’s message outside eDesk, for example, via a non-eDesk email, the SLA timer will continue to count down, as eDesk will not be aware that the Agent has responded to the message.

Similarly, if an agent sets the status of a ticket to Resolved in eDesk but continues to interact with the customer outside eDesk, eDesk will not be aware that a conversation is ongoing; as far as eDesk knows, the ticket is Resolved.

03 Types of SLA timers

There are two types of SLA timers in eDesk:

  • Company SLA timer The Company SLA timer is designed for customer messages that are answered during business hours only. You can set up your business hours in eDesk, and specify the SLA response target for the timer. The timer counts down during business hours only and pauses outside of office hours.  

  • Marketplace SLA timer. The Marketplace SLA timer is designed for customer messages originating from a marketplace with an SLA that does not factor in-office hours. By default, the timer is set to the SLA response target for that marketplace. Amazon, for example, expects sellers to respond to customers within 24 hours of receiving the message. You can overwrite the default value for the SLA timer. The timer counts down irrespective of your business hours. You can set a Marketplace SLA timer for each marketplace that your business uses.

Note: At the moment, it's not possible to set a 'Company SLA' for your eBay channel(s). Also the SLA can't be based off your working hours for eBay.

04 Setting SLA timers in eDesk

It takes just a few minutes to set up SLA timers. These instructions tell you what to do.

Step 1:  Set your business hours
If you are setting up a Company SLA timer, you must first set your business hours in eDesk. To find out more instructions about Business Hoursclick here.

Step 2:  Access the Mailbox Settings page

  1. Go to Settings → Mailbox Settings → Channels.
  2. Click on the channel you wish to set up an SLA timer for and select Mailbox. 

Step 3:  Set a Marketplace timer
The SLA response time (hours) field is displayed, showing the current SLA response target for the timer. The Marketplace SLA timer is set to 24 hours by default.

  1. In the SLA Mode field, select Marketplace specific SLA.
  2. To set a new SLA response target, enter the number of hours into the SLA response time (hours) field.  
  3. Click Save changes to save.
Note: Changing the SLA response target in an SLA timer in eDesk affects the timers displayed in the eDesk Mailbox only. This does not change the real SLA response targets in the marketplace. For example, Amazon’s SLA response target is 24 hours.

If you set the Marketplace SLA timer in eDesk for the Amazon channel to 48 hours, the SLA timer for Amazon queries in eDesk will count down from 48 hours, but the real SLA response target for Amazon will continue to be 24 hours.

Step 4:  Set a Company SLA timer

  1. In the SLA Mode field, select Company SLA.
  2. To set a new SLA response target for the timer, enter the number of hours into the SLA Response Time (hours) field.
  3. Click Save changes to save.
As long as your business hours have been set (see Step 1), the timer will only countdown during these times and will pause outside business hours.

Note: When you update the SLA response targets for your SLA timers, it affects only the timers for new messages that arrive in eDesk after the change has been saved. The new SLA response targets are not applied to old messages that had already arrived in eDesk before the change was saved. These old messages will continue to count down from the previously saved SLA response targets. 

Further Readings


If you would like to find out more about Enterprise Reporting in eDesk, click here.

If you would be interested in learning more about connecting channels with eDesk, click here.