TABLE OF CONTENTS
- General information
- Ring strategy
Queues allow receiving more calls in PBXware than staff agents can answer simultaneously. They will enable dealing with calls more efficiently. Customers will be held in a queue, listening to music on hold, and receiving information messages about the approximate wait time or their position in a Queue.
Queues consist of:
Incoming calls being placed in the queue
Agents that answer the queue
A strategy for how to handle the queue and divide calls between agents
Music played while waiting in the queue
Announcements for agents and callers
NOTE: Queues are deprecated on Multi Tenant systems since version 6.5, instead of them Enhanced Ring Groups should be used on Multi Tenant systems.
When users call a contact center, in order to get support, they will be sent to the first available support representative. Sometimes the number of incoming calls is larger than the number of available representatives. For example, if there are 20 agents in the Support Department, that would mean there could be 20 active lines, one line per agent. So, what if the number of calls exceeds the number of agents? The 21st call in line would be dropped.
By using queues dropping calls will be avoided by placing calls 'in the waiting queue’, so in our example, the 21st call and other newly generated calls would be in the queue waiting to be answered when one of the agents becomes available. Without queues, call centers would need to hire additional agents during periods of heavy call volume. By using queues, call centers are able to handle a larger number of calls with the same number of agents by placing calls in the waiting queue.
The purpose of the queue is to decrease the hold time, reduce the number of call transfers, and the time needed to resolve specific problems if properly optimized, queues can reduce the number of callers that have to wait on hold, decrease the number of hung up calls and in general improve customers' experience.
Max waiting callers
This option defines the maximum number of callers allowed to wait in a Queue at the same time. This number should be set in accordance with the number of agents answering the Queue calls and proportional to the number of calls that the Queue has on average.
E.g. If this field is set to 4, only 4 callers will be allowed to wait in the Queue. If caller number 5 tries to enter the Queue he will be transferred to the 'Redirect Destination' number. In order to increase Queue performance and decrease wait time for callers, which will improve the caller’s experience, set this number according to the number of agents.
For example, if there are two Queues, Support Queue, and Accounting Queue. First Queue has 12 agents and has 300 calls per day, while Accounting has 3 agents and has 20 per day, the administrator can put Max wait Callers for Support Queue to 8 for example, while for Accounting set it to 1, this way more resources will be allocated to Queue which is more burdened and considering that first Queue has more agents, one of the agents will be available sooner than in the second Queue where there are only 3 agents.
This option replaces the Caller ID with the custom data provided here. This is used when there is a need to have some specific value displayed for Caller ID for all incoming calls coming to the extension from that Queue. For example, if the extension is part of two Queues, in order to show on the agent’s phone display from which Queue that call is coming, under Queue settings administrator can add titles such as SALES. In this case when a call comes from some number, let’s say 1202123456, the Queue agent should see on his phone display SALES 1202123456. This way Queue agent knows from which Queue the call is coming and can prepare himself for the call, but will also know the original phone number, so in case there is a need to call that caller later on, in order to provide some additional information, he will know the number which should be called.
Max wait seconds is the maximum time a caller can wait in a Queue, once this time is exceeded the caller will be redirected to Max Wait Destination.
For example let’s say there is a Queue named Sales_travel with 8 agents in it and all of them are on the call. When the next call comes to that Queue, the caller will be waiting in the queue until one of the Queue agents is available to take the call. If Max wait seconds is set to 300 and during that time none of the agents are available to take the call, the caller will be sent to Max Wait Destination, which can be for example Secretary which will take information from the caller and take the caller’s contact number or e-mail, so Queue agent can later get in the contact with that caller, or Max wait destination can be Voicemail where the caller will leave a voicemail.
Max wait seconds option should be set in accordance with the number of agents and their occupancy to improve customer experience and to avoid waiting too long for the call to be answered.
For instance if one company has a main office in London in which the Sales team has 20 agents and has recently opened a new office in Manchester with 3 new Sales team agents, the administrator will make two Sales Queues for different locations and considering that London office has much more calls but also more agents than Manchester office, to optimize the workflow, the administrator can set maximum waiting time to be 60s in London’s office and 300s for Manchester office.
Moreover, as a max wait destination the London office can set the Manchester office (if statistics show that there are not many calls in this office during the day) and this way the administrator can ensure the call will be answered by the salesperson.
Also, it is possible to activate a callback when Max Wait Seconds is reached instead of sending the caller to Max Wait Destination.
This gives the option to define a redirect destination where calls will be redirected when the queue is already full.
If queue 2000 accepts a maximum of 4 users waiting at the same time, any new user that enters queue 2000 will be redirected to the extension number provided here.
For example, let’s say the Support Department is divided into 2 support queues, the main queue, and the backup queue. In the main queue there are 8 agents which are usually only working phone support, there is also a backup queue with 3 agents in it, which handle e-mails and provide phone calls only in peak periods of the day. The backup queue is set as a Redirect destination in the Main queue settings. When the call comes to the Main queue at the moment when all of the agents from the main queue are busy and the queue is full with 3 callers already waiting in the queue, the 4th caller will be immediately forwarded to the support backup queue, which is set in Redirect Destination. This way the call will be sent to another queue which probably has some of the agents available to answer the call. This is useful for departments where the number of calls is changing during the day/week.
For example on Monday mornings the number of calls is larger as support is not working over the weekend, this way, the number of available agents is increasing, and hold time is decreasing at the same time. On the other hand in non-peak periods 3 agents from the backup queue will not be burdened with phone calls and can focus on their main job which is handling e-mails.
Join empty - This option will give the ability to administrator to set whether a caller can join a queue if no agent is logged in or unavailable.
NOTE: Setting this option to 'No' is recommended. Do not allow users to enter the queue if no one answers the call.
NOTE: If 'Join empty' is set to No, callers will not enter the queue only if all agents are not logged in or unavailable. If they are paused, they are considered available and the call will be waiting in the queue until one of the agents becomes available
Leave when empty - This option controls whether the caller can remain in the queue he has already joined.
Depending on the settings, callers will leave it when there are no agents inside a queue.
Empty Destination - When the queue has no agents logged in, redirect callers to the following destination.
Activate Callback - Choose whether a callback should be activated when no agents are inside a queue.
If the Join empty option is enabled, then callers will be able to join the queue if there are no agents logged in and available and will be waiting in the queue until one of the agents becomes available. This is in the case when an Empty destination is not populated, in the case when this option is populated with some destination, a call will be sent to that destination.
When the Join empty option is set to No, the call will be hung up without any indication why the call finished, this is in case when the Empty destination is not set. When an Empty destination is set, for example to the General voicemail box, in that case when the queue is empty, the caller will reach the voicemail box (where an Unavailable message can be uploaded) and then the caller will be able to leave a voicemail, of course, some other destination can be set as Leave when empty destination.
The queue is set up to dial 4 phones for 15 seconds, then go to an external number that handles calls if nobody onsite is answering them. Those 4 phones are not always plugged in and there is a need to send the calls immediately to an external number if they are either offline or not logged in.
In this case, an Empty destination can be used, where an extension with unconditional call forwarding to the external number will be set.
There are two types of position announcements: 'Hold Time' (Tells the queue position) and 'Periodic Announcements' (Plays custom message).
What is important to mention here is that position announcements will be played only if all of the queue agents are busy and there are multiple callers waiting for their call to be answered. So in order for these announcements to be played all agents must be busy, as long as the phones are ringing, the call is ready to be accepted and these announcements will not be played.
Why these announcements should be used?
Considering nobody wants to wait too long for its call to be accepted and just listen to Music on Hold because waiting too long gives some kind of feeling like the company does not care about your call and you start to feel like you are just wasting your time, hearing announcement about the position and estimated hold time will give the customer some kind of information so he can decide whether to wait a bit more or to hang up the call. On a busy workday, customers might hang up and call back at a later time. Also, this can provide information to the caller when during the day the load on the queue is the lowest and when is the best time to call, to avoid peak periods.
Announce hold time option gives the administrator an option to enable callers waiting in a queue to hear the hold-time announcements.
Setting this option to 'Yes' will enable the hold-time announcements. A single caller waiting in a queue would hear 'The estimated hold time is currently N minutes. Thank you for your patience' message.
Announce Position option enables callers waiting in a queue to hear the position announcements.
E.g. Setting this option to 'Yes' will enable the position announcements. A single caller waiting in a queue would hear 'Your call is now first in line and will be answered by the next available representative. Thank you for your patience' message.
A potential disadvantage here would be if there are many callers waiting for their call to be answered and the caller hears that his call is the 15th in the line, that could lead the caller to hang up the call as from the caller’s perspective that is too much to wait, he does not have information how many agents that queue has and what is the average duration of the calls.
-Depending on the service level performance and average handle time, the administrator should decide whether to use the Announce position option and Announce hold time option in the queue, both of them or none. For example, if the department’s calls are usually short calls and service level performance is the same or similar during the day, meaning there is the same number of queue agents during the day, agents have similar knowledge and can finish the calls with same average time, in that case, it would be preferable to use Announce hold time, as hearing ‘3 minutes’ would sound shorter than for example ‘you are the 6th in the line’.
On the other hand, if the department is usually dealing with longer calls, for example, the Support Department, where the average duration of the call is 10 minutes, it would be better to use the Position announcement as ‘You are the 6th in the line’ would sound shorter than hearing that you need to wait 30 minutes for the call to be answered.
Sometimes the best option would be to avoid playing any of the announcements; if the duration of the call is long as from the caller's perspective he would find it irritating and frustrating hearing the same message over and over again, and he would get an impression that he is just standing at the same place.
Hence, playing any of the announcements should be considered based on the type of customers the queue is dealing with, the type of calls, the average duration of the calls, etc.
Announce Frequency gives the option to define how often to play the hold-time announcement message.
NOTE: If you set this option to '0', the announce message will not be played.
Example: If this field is set to 30, a single caller waiting in a queue will hear 'Your call is now the first in line and will be answered by the next available representative. Thank you for your patience.' message every 30 seconds.
Min. Announce Frequency Specifies the minimum amount of time that must pass before we announce the caller’s position in a queue again. This is used when the caller’s position changes frequently, to prevent the caller from hearing multiple updates in a short period of time. The default value is 15 seconds.
Announce Round Seconds Rounding level for hold-time announcements. If this is set to 0, only minutes, not seconds, are announced; other possible values are 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, and 30.
Example: When set to 30, a wait time of 2:34 will be rounded to 2:30.
Periodic Announce gives the option to the administrator to select the sound file that is played periodically to callers waiting in a queue. For example, advertisements can be uploaded here, or for some busy queues, there can be an announcement uploaded, for example ‘Due to the increased workloads within our department hold times may be increased. Thank you for your patience. If you want to leave a voicemail please press digit 9.’
NOTE: File name has to be in the following format 'periodic-announce-$NAME.gsm'
Periodic Announce Frequency defines the time interval in seconds at which the periodic message is to be played. E.g. If this field is set to 30, all callers waiting in a queue will hear the 'Periodic Announce' message every 30 seconds, as long as they stay in the queue).
First Periodic Announce Delay is the minimum number of seconds between position announcements. The default value is 15 seconds.
Agent Announce gives the option to select the pre-recorded message that will be played to the agent before the call is connected.
NOTE: To be displayed in the drop-down list, the sound file must have an 'agent-announce-' prefix.
Report Holdtime Set this option to yes to inform the agent how long the caller was in the queue before the call was connected.
Example: Let’s say John works in the Support department and he is a member of two queues, Premium Support and General Support. The Premium support queue is only for VIP customers. In that queue the Administrator has uploaded a sound file: “This is VIP customer” and has enabled option Report holdtime, so when an agent gets a call from that queue, when he answers the call he will hear at first message “This is VIP customer” and will hear how long the customer was waiting in the queue. As per these information agent can prepare himself immediately for the call in order to provide the best support to the customer, he can apologize for the long wait time in the queue and open a document in which he has information about VIP customers before he is actually connected to the client.
Also for example if the agent is a member of two queues which provide support in different languages (English and French), this message can be used in order to inform the agent if the caller is an English speaker or French speaker.
Queue rules are basically a set of predefined norms which can be used on queues to manage agents that can answer the call in a specific period of time. Different agents in the queue can have different penalties. Skill-based routing allows one to create Sets of Rules to change the value of the Min Penalty and Max Penalty in mid-call. This means that it is possible to open a call to more agents or potentially a different set of agents. Agents with different penalties can answer a call at different periods of time, depending on the Rule.
Caller Hold Time (sec) - the time when values of max/mix penalties will be changed, calculated from the moment when the call enters the queue
Min Penalty - agents with penalties smaller than this value can’t answer the call.
Max Penalty - agents with penalties larger than this value can’t answer the call.
Default values for Min and Max Penalties are 0, which means that when a call comes in the queue only agents with penalties 0 can answer a call.
Caller Hold time>=50 Min penalty:0 Max penalty:5
Caller Hold time>=300 Min penalty:2 Max penalty:10
Caller Hold time>=600 MIn penalty:4 Max penalty:10
When Caller hold time in the queue is equal to or greater than 60 seconds, the value for Max penalties will be changed to 5 which means that after 60 seconds a call can be answered by agents with penalties 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
When Caller hold time in the queue is equal to or greater than 300 seconds, the new value for Min penalty is 2 and the new value for Max penalty is 10 which means that now the call can be answered by agents with penalties 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10.
When Caller hold time in the queue is equal to or greater than 600 seconds, the new value for Min penalty is 4 which means that now a call can be answered by agents with penalties 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10.
This option is useful when an administrator wants to route calls based on the agent's skills, for example, if the caller is waiting in the queue for more than 300s, send him to the agent with penalty 0, which is one of the most experienced agents and he will be able to provide the best support to the client. This way we will find some balance between waiting in the queue and sorting the problem in the shortest possible time.
Ring all strategy is used, agents in the queue are Agent1 (penalty 0), Agent2 (penalty 1), and Agent3 (penalty 1).
Queue rule is set like this:
Caller Hold time>=10 Min penalty:0 Max penalty:0
Caller Hold time>=20 Min penalty:1 Max penalty:1
When the first call comes to the queue, Agent1 will ring and if he answers the call, when the next call comes to the queue considering that there are no available agents with penalty 0, that call will be waiting in the queue for more than 20 seconds, when agents with penalty 1 will start to ring.
So basically queue rules can be used if there is a need to ring a group of agents from one queue for let’s say 10s, after that ring another group of agents after 20s, after that ring another group of agents after 40s, and so on.
Linear strategy is used, agents are added in the queue in the following order: Agent1 (penalty 0), Agent2 (penalty 1) and Agent3 (penalty 1).
Queue rule is set like this:
Caller Hold time>=10 Min penalty:0 Max penalty:0
Caller Hold time>=20 Min penalty:1 Max penalty:1
When the first call comes to the queue, Agent1 will ring and if he answers the call, when the next call comes to the queue considering that there are no available agents with penalty 0, that call will be waiting in the queue for more than 20 seconds, when Agent2 (the first one on the list with penalty 1) will start to ring, if the call is rejected by that agent call will be sent to Agent3 or if that call is answered by Agent2, when the next call comes to the queue, the caller will wait again for 20s and after 20s Agent3 will start to ring.
In case when Agent1 which has penalty 0 hangs up the call, while agents with penalty 1 are busy, and there is a caller in the queue who is waiting more than 20s, he will need to wait until one of the Agents with penalty 1 becomes available.
So if the next call comes to the queue, that call will be served to Agent1 and that call will be answered sooner than the one which is waiting in the queue for a longer period.
The feedback forms allow users to create forms, dispositions, or requests to capture additional information and have that information presented whenever users dial records using a dialer through the Campaign or receive calls using inbound queues.
Feedback forms are used for Queues and Campaigns. They are displayed whenever there is a new call into the Queue or there is a new call from the Campaign. In order to show the Feedback form, it has to be loaded on PBXware and the option Send Feedback Forms must be set to Yes. Otherwise, a Feedback form is not available.
Feedback forms are available in Agent edition of Communicator/gloCOM.
With feedback form an agent will be able to enter information about the client, like for example in the picture below, Name and Lastname, e-mail, Mobile number and add some information about the customer in Text Area.
Submitted feedback forms administrator can check from backend, on path:
Where he will find feedback forms by unique ID of the call.
Setting this option to Yes will give an opportunity to users to exit the queue by dialing a single digit and be automatically redirected to a preset PBXware destination.
For example the greeting message explains that the user may quit the queue by pressing the digit defined here (e.g. 9) to be transferred directly to the operator or some other destination (set under the 'Destination' option).
If a caller calls a queue in which none of the agents are currently available and he is already waiting for 5 minutes for the call to be answered but needs to hang up the call as he needs to go to a meeting, he can hang up the call by pressing the exit digit and leave voicemail, for which he got instructions in greeting or periodic announcement. This way he can leave voicemail where he will provide his question and maybe e-mail address or the number on which the agent can contact him later on.
Queue Callback saves customers from long, frustrating waits and provides convenient phone support. With the Queue Callback feature, callers entering a phone queue can request a callback and then just hang up. No more long hold times, no more fighting other callers to get through - customers simply put in a call and then continue going about their work while waiting for the callback.
This feature is highly customizable and can be catered to meet your needs. Things such as the maximum wait time, number of callback retries, and the amount of time to wait in between retries can be customized. The menu has several options for clients to submit their information for a callback.
The callback option can be activated for:
When the queue is full
When the queue is empty
When the exit digit is used
For abandoned calls
NOTE: Queue callback is a license-enabled feature, so if it is not available in your queue settings but you would like to have it, please contact your account manager for more information.
Queue callback is an efficient way to reduce the number of abandoned calls, increase customer’s satisfaction and optimize staffing.
For example, the caller is calling the Sales queue but all of the agents are busy, the caller hears the approximate wait time is 10 minutes and he does not want to wait for that long and hangs up the call. This call will be marked as abandoned and if option Activate for abandoned calls is enabled, Callback will be activated. When one of the agents becomes available, callback will be activated and the caller will be called. This way the customer avoids waiting too long in the queue if he has some other jobs to do and if his call is not an urgent matter.
It is good practice to offer a callback option in periods of high number of the calls, in periods of holidays when the number of available agents is reduced. Providing an option to request a callback call can improve customer satisfaction and reduce frustration. Also it is possible to let customers schedule a callback even if the call center has no available agents to answer the call (activate callback when the queue is empty).
Also it could happen that the customer misses a callback call when a support agent becomes available. The customer could be busy or on a break, in that case it is also possible to try again after some time (Callback Retries option), this will improve the caller’s experience as customer will get the feeling call center is taking care of his needs, and his call is important to them.
One of the possible disadvantages when using callback is when customers place the initial call to the queue, they are generally ready to speak with an agent. When they receive the callback, there is a greater likelihood they are not immediately ready, as they have moved on with their day. Depending on the implementation, queue callbacks may result in lower call quality or reliability. For example, if the callback system fails to connect with the customer, or if there are issues with call routing or connectivity, it could result in a poor customer experience as customer would think agents did not call him at all.
Ring all strategy
This ring strategy connects and rings all of the available agents and call will be connected to the agent who answers the call first. Thi ring strategy can be used in case all of the agents within a department have the same knowledge and when the call comes to this queue all of the agents are able to provide the same or similar level of support to the caller, considering that it is not a large department.
Generally speaking, it is not desirable to use one queue with Ring all strategy in departments that have a large number of agents as that will increase the system's load. With ring all strategy all extensions would ring at the same time.
For example let’s say there are 30 agents in one queue , when a call comes to that queue 30 simultaneous INVITEs will be sent for a single call (considering that all queue agents are online), and if there are some kind of call forwardings on extensions, that is more INVITEs for just one call. Now let’s imagine what will happen if all of the extensions have BLFs on their phones with department agents. That would be 29 NOTIFY packets sent only for one extension, and if that is multiplied by 30, imagine the load on the system caused by one queue call. If you add to this calls to agents who are already on call (if option Ring agents in use is set to Yes), also if option Disable member enhanced services is set to No and agents have some call forwardings, and add to that outgoing calls, incoming calls which do not come to queue, imagine the load on the system which will be caused by one call to the queue.
Besides this technical disadvantage also in queues with a large number of agents, considering that all of the agents will get the call, it could happen that most of them will ‘ignore’ the call thinking the other agent will answer. This way answer time (which is the greatest benefit of using this strategy) can be increased.
To increase system’s stability and performance using Ring all strategy should be avoided in cases when some other ring strategy would be fine too or to create cascading queues, meaning dividing department in small groups of people.
If department has large number of agents what can be done here is to divide people in couple of groups, so for example put 6 agents in group Support1, put 10 agents in group Support2 and put 14 agents in group Support3 and in queueSupport1 set Support2 to be Max Wait Destination, in this case when all of the agents are busy call will be forwarded to Support 2, in Support 2 set Support 3 to be Max Wait Destination.
At first sight this would maybe look unfair for those agents who are in the first queue and that they will get most of the calls, but considering that generally Ring all strategy is ringing all agents and the agent which is available will pick up the call so it is not based on ‘fair’ principle. However, if all agents from the first queue are not available the call will be forwarded to the second one which is set as Max wait destination, and so on.
In case when in the department there are agents who have some other responsibilities besides phone support, what can be done here is also creating cascading queues where administrator will put agents who are only in charge for phone calls in the first queue. Then in the second queue, which will be Max Wait Destination for the first queue, administrator will put agents who have some other responsibilities besides phone calls. This way all calls will be forwarded at first to queue 1 to agents which are in charge only for phone support and then if all of them are busy, call will be forwarded to second one -> to agents which usually have some other things to do but can also provide support to the caller.
Also if there is a department where agents have different levels of knowledge, cascading queues can be used. What can be done is to create small groups -> Level1Support, Level2Support, Level3Support, where administrator will put agents with the best knowledge to be in Level1, those which are less experienced will be in Level2 and new hires will be in Level3. This way callers will get at first the most experienced agents on the phone and they will get the most of the calls, this way other team agents can hear how to resolve specific problems and increase their knowledge level. Level2support will be set as the Last destination in Level1 group and Level3support will be set as the Last destination for Level2 group. Also, if Level1 agent answers the call and sees that the problem can be handled by someone who is ‘lower level’ call can be forwarded to another person.
Linear Ring Strategy
When this ring strategy is used in a queue, the agents will be rung in the order in which they are set in GUI in the agents section. If the 'Static Member Login' option is set to 'Yes', they will ring in the order in which they were logged in.
1st case scenario:
agents in queue added like this Agent1, Agent2, and Agent3
Call comes to queue-> Agent1 is ringing and answers the call
Second call comes to queue-> Agent1 is ringing
2nd case scenario:
agents in queue added like this Agent1, Agent2, and Agent3
Call comes to queue-> Agent1 is ringing and rejects the call
Second call comes to queue-> Agent2 is ringing and rejects the all
Third call comes to queue-> Agent3 is ringing and answers the call
Next call which comes to queue will ring again at first Agent1
In this ring strategy agents will be rung in order in which they are added to the queue. If the call is not answered by the first member, the second one will be rung, if the second one does not answer, the call will be forwarded to the next one. Agents will be rung for a number of seconds set under the option Agent Ring Timeout.
This ring strategy should be used when there are agents in the department who have different levels of knowledge, so in positions 1 and 2, the administrator can put the most experienced agents, in positions 3 and 4 put less experienced agents, and in 5 and 6 trainees.
Therefore, this ring strategy should be used when the equality of call distribution is not the most important thing, then user experience would be better as top agents will solve the customer’s problem quickly, without the need to forward the call to some other agent.
The potential disadvantage here can be that agents in first positions will be those who will get most of the calls and other agents will get less opportunity to resolve issues, but on the other hand, the less experienced agents can listen to senior colleagues and increase their knowledge that way.
Another potential disadvantage here is again wait time, as if the first agent is not near the phone, the caller will need to wait until the call is forwarded to the next available agent in the queue, so the wait time can be increased.
Moreover, when the support department provides support on multiple languages, e.g. English and French, the administrator can put English and French speaking agents to the first positions and those which speak English only to the last positions. This way calls will be routed first to agents who are speaking both languages and no matter which language the caller is speaking they can provide support, in case they are all unavailable, those agents which are English only speakers can answer the call and provide support if the caller is English speaker, if the caller is French speaker, agent can ask caller to wait a bit and then forward the call to another agent when he is available.
If there is an agent in the department, let’s say team lead, who has other responsibilities and phone support is not the main job that person is working, the administrator can put that agent in the last position, so that agent does not need to worry about being the first one to answer the call. Call will be forwarded to that agent only in case when all other agents are busy or unavailable.
Leastrecent Ring Strategy
This strategy will ring extension with least answered calls, meaning the call will be routed to the least recent agent, the one who did not answer any call for the longest period.
This ring strategy rings agents one by one for a number of seconds set in the Agent Ring Timeout option.
Queue has 3 agents: Agent1, Agent2 and Agent3 and Agent1 was the one with the longest waiting time
Max wait seconds on queue is set to 30s
Max wait destination is IVR 400
Agent Ring Timeout is set to 15s
When call comes to queue, Agent1 will be called and will be rung for 15s, then the call will be routed to another least recent agent (Agent2) and it will be rung for 15s, after that it will be routed to Agent3 which will ring for 15s and if the call is not answered for a number of seconds set under Max Wait Seconds it will be sent to Max wait destination. If Ext1 rejects the call, it will be sent to Ext2, and so on.
This strategy distributes the call volume equally among all the agents and keeps all the agents active, so this strategy is desirable to be used when it is important to distribute calls equally between department agents, all of the department agents have a similar level of knowledge and it is not important which agent will get the call as they can provide similar or equal support.
What can be considered a disadvantage here is that holding time can be increased; if the first couple of agents are not near the phone, the caller will have to wait until the call is answered by another agent but this strategy does not put a load on the system as the Ring all strategy does.
In a queue with many calls of roughly the same duration, this can work well. It does not work as well if an agent has been on a call for an hour, and their colleagues all got their last calls 30 minutes ago because the agent who just finished the 60-minute call will get the next one.
Random ring strategy
This ring strategy rings agents randomly and each agent has the same probability to get the call. Considering that, this strategy can work very well and end up distributing the calls fairly among the agents. If an agent who has been rung first does not answer the call, the call will be routed to another agent.
Therefore, in departments where all of the agents have similar knowledge and can provide the same level of service to the customer while the key thing is to keep all of the agents engaged and distribute calls pretty equally between the agents, this could be a good ring strategy to use. Also considering that there is not some predefined order in which calls will be served to agents, all of the agents can expect the next call and agents will need to ‘learn’ to handle different types of problems.
A potential disadvantage with this strategy is the same as others which is ringing agents one by one, waiting time can be increased in the case when the first agent who is ringing is not near the phone, caller will need to wait for the next agent to ring and answer the call.
Queue agents: Agent1, Agent2 and Agent3
First call comes to the queue and is answered by Agent1
Next call comes to queue and Agent2 is ringing but does not answer the call, call is answered by Agent3
Next call will ring Agent2, it does not answer the call again and meantime Agent2 finished the call, and answers this call
Agent1 hangs up the call and Agent2 hanged up the call, next call will ring Agent1
Next call will ring Agent3, it answers the call
Next call will ring Agent3
We can see from this example that there is no rule in order how Agents will be rung.
Rrmemory ring strategy
This ring strategy will ring agents one by one, but should pick up at the last interface where it was when the previous call came into the queue.
There are 3 agents in the queue:Agent1, Agent2, Agent3
First call comes to queue and call is answered by Agent1
Next call comes to queue Agent2 is ringing but does not answer the call, call is answered by Agent3
Agent3 hangs up the call, Agent1 is still on the call, next call will come to Agent2
Agent1 and 2 hang up the call, next call will go to Agent3
Rrmemory ring strategy should be used when agents in the queue have the same level of experience or knowledge and can provide the same level of service to the caller. There is a need to distribute calls between agents equally and fairly, to avoid overload on particular agents, agent burnout, and to give all of the agents the opportunity to handle different types of calls.
However, it is important to note that the rrmemory strategy may not always be the best choice for every situation. For example, if there are certain high-priority items in the queue that need to be processed as quickly as possible, it may be better to use a different strategy that prioritizes these items over others.
Wrandom ring strategy
This ring strategy rings a random interface but uses the Agent's penalty as a weight when calculating their metric. Therefore, an Agent with a penalty of 0 will have a metric somewhere between 0 and 1000, an Agent with a penalty of 1 will have a metric between 0 and 2000, and an Agent with a penalty of 2 will have a metric between 0 and 3000. Please note, if using this strategy, the Agents penalty is not the same as when using other queue strategies. It is ONLY used as a weight for calculating metrics.
In other words, this ring strategy will ring agents randomly, but those agents with lower penalties will have a higher chance to get the call.
Queue has three agents: Agent1(penalty 0), Agent2 (penatly 0) and Agent3 (penatly 1).
This would mean following, most of the calls will be distributed to Agents 1 and 2, after a couple of calls to these agents, the call will be sent to Agent 3, the one with penalty 1. Calls are distributed randomly but there is still a chance to prioritize which agents will get calls mostly.
Based on this information, this ring strategy could be used for example when in Support department are agents with different levels of knowledge and experience. For example there are 8 support agents, 5 of them are senior support agents and 3 of them are junior. There is a need to send most of the calls to senior agents and to serve calls to agents randomly, in order to provide better and faster issue resolution to customers. Administrator should set penalty to 0 for these agents and for junior support agents set penalty to 1. This way, when all of the senior agents are busy, calls from the queue will be sent to junior agents. When all of them are available, senior agents will have priority in calls distribution, but that does not mean junior agents will not get the calls at all. That means senior agents can get, for example, 10 calls, while junior 2 calls for the same period of time.
Real estate sales department has 10 agents. There is a need to ring all of the agents in predefined order but make sure agents are getting the same number of calls. Administrator should create queue so it meets following requirements:
Ring only agents who are working in that shift
Ring agents in order how they are logged in and do not ring agent who is already on the call
When queue is full send the calls to Secretary
When a caller is waiting for more than 10 minutes for the call to be answered, send the call to general voicemail
John is department lead and he is also part of Management queue, give him ability to login only to this queue when there is need for his help, in peak hours
When there are no agents logged in, send calls to General voicemail box
To accomplish this, the administrator should set the queue like this:
Add all of the agents in the queue, agents will be able to login/logout when they come to work/finish with work by dialing access code *203 (by default)
Set ring strategy to Rrordered and set option Ring agents in use to No, so when the next agent in line is on the call, skip him and ring next available
Set Redirect destination to Secretary extension so when Max wait callers is exceeded, next call will be sent to Secretary
Set max wait seconds to 600 and as Max wait destination set general voicemail extension
In order to login to one queue, agent should dial *203 followed by a queue number. To logout dial *203 followed by queue number
Set option Join empty to No and as Empty destination set General voicemail box, in that case when queue is empty, caller will reach voicemail box (where Unavailable message can be uploaded) and then caller will be able to leave voicemail
Support department has 20 agents who are working the first shift (08:00-16:00). There is a need to send calls in off-hours to voicemail, inform the caller about working hours and ask them to leave a voicemail with their contact number so queue agents can contact them.
It is important that callers do not wait too long in queue, and to be provided with the best support so we need to ring the most experienced agents first for one minute two times, if they are not available then send the call to less experienced agents which will be ringed for 20s one by one in order how they are added to the queue. The first one is the most experienced agent from this group, and the last one is new colleague. If they are not available send the call to agents who are dealing e-mails.
When the call is answered by an agent, do not show missed calls notification on other agents' phone displays.
Provide an option to the caller to press exit digit whenever during the call and send the caller to General voicemail box
Send e-mail to the support supervisor when the caller hangs up the call before it is answered by the queue agent and activate callback
In order to accomplish this, the administrator should create a queue like this:
Define operation times rules in the queue in question, upload greeting, and set Default destination to be General voicemail extension where calls will be forwarded in off hours. Set open hours from Mon-Fri (08:00-16:00).
To avoid ringing 20 agents at the same time, in order to avoid decreasing the system's performance and on the other hand, provide the best support to callers, the administrator will create cascading queues. The first main queue, on which Operation times rules will be set will be Level1 support in which the most experienced agents will be. Level2 support will be the second queue in which less experienced agents will be. Level 3 support will be queue with 3 agents in it, who are working on e-mails. Usually, calls do not come to these agents at all, but in peak hours, their help is needed.
So in Level1 support set 120s to be Max wait seconds and set Max wait destination to be Level 2 support queue. In Level 2 support queue set 140s to be Max wait seconds and set Max wait destination to be Level 3 support queue.
In Level 1 support there are 10 most experienced agents and there is a need to ring them all at the same time, so Ring strategy which will be used is Ringall and the agent ring timeout will be 60s.
In Level 2 support, there are 7 agents, set ring strategy to Linear and set agent ring timeout to 20s. Set option Max wait seconds to 140s and set Level 3 support as Max wait destination.
In Level 3 support there are 3 agents who are usually providing support only via e-mails, set ring strategy to ringall, as the client was already waiting in the queue for 5 minutes, so it is important that it is answered asap.
In Level1 and Level 3 queues set in Incoming options letter ‘c’ which will avoid missed calls in ringall strategy
In each of these queues set the option Use Exit digit to yes and set Destination for exit digit to General voicemail box extension, in Music on hold field upload needed MOH where the caller will hear information about exit digit
In each of these queues enable option Abandoned calls notification and set supervisor’s email to be the one to which notifications will be sent, in Callback section set option Activate for abandoned to Yes
Support department has 20 agents and the average duration of one call is 15 minutes. There is a need to send calls to agents in a predefined order, like below:
When Caller Hold time>=50 ring level1 agents who are the most experienced agents
When Caller Hold time>=300 ring level2 support agents who are less experienced
Caller Hold time>=600 ring level1 agents, so the issue is resolved in the shortest time, considering that the caller already has waited in the queue for 10 minutes for the call to be answered
Inform the agent about the waiting time of the caller in the queue before the call is connected to an agent
Play periodic announcements to the callers, where they will hear apologize for waiting in the queue and inform customer that they can activate callback if they dial number 5 on the dialpad
In order to accomplish this, administrator should create queue like below:
Add agents into the queue, for the most experienced members set Penalty 0, for less experienced members set penalty 1.
Create queue rule like this:
Caller Hold time>=50 Min penalty:0 Max penalty:0
Caller Hold time>=300 Min penalty:1 Max penalty:1
Caller Hold time>=600 MIn penalty:0 Max penalty:0
In Agents Announcements section set option Report holdtime to Yes
Upload periodic announcement and set option Use exit digit to Yes, set it to 5 and enable option Activate callback