Call queues allow call centers, sales groups, and others who need a queue of inbound calls to answer calls in the order they were received. You can create queues, add agents, and customize queue behavior.
Navigate to EXTENSIONS > Inbound Call Queues and select Add New Queue. Give the queue a name, choose a music-on-hold (MOH) scheme to use, and select an extension number. Once the queue has been created it appears in the list of queues.
Basic Queue Operation
Inbound call queues are a first-in, first-out (FIFO) mechanism that routes incoming calls to agents as efficiently as possible. For a newly-created queue that has not been modified:
- The first call received by the inbound call queue is the first call sent to an agent.
- The agent who has been available the longest receives the next call.
- A queued caller stays in the queue until an agent becomes available or the caller hangs up.
- A queued caller hears Music on Hold (MOH) until an agent picks up.
In many cases, the default queue behavior is sufficient. Some scenarios, however, require customizing the queue behavior. The following section describes how elements of a call queue can be tailored to meet your needs.
You can configure the queue features by selecting the queue. Using the following queue feature configuration options, you can:
- Queue Name – Rename the queue
- Change Primary Extension – Change the extension number for the queue.
- Delete – Delete the queue from the system.
- Queue Agents – Add or remove agents who will answer calls in this queue.
- Music On Hold – Change the MOH scheme for this queue. Callers in the queue will hear the music selected (or silence)
- Break-in Announcements – Specify how often to interrupt the MOH and play one or more sound files to the callers on hold. Add as many sound files as you like and the system will continuously loop through them. The interval frequency is the number of seconds from the start of one prompt until the start of the next prompt, so if you have a 30 second frequency and a 10 second sound file then the caller will hear 20 seconds of MOH between the end of one announcement and the beginning of the next. Announcements must first be uploaded on the CONFIGURATION tab before they can be selected on this page.
- Maximum Wait Time – Set the maximum time beyond which a caller will not remain in the queue. Callers are transferred to the destination specified after this interval. For example, you could transfer the caller to a voicemail box that lets the caller leave a voice message. See Configuring Advanced Call Routers for more information.
- Agents Per Call – Specify how many agents are dialed when a single call enters the queue. For example, if you want two agents called when a caller enters the queue then set this value to 2.
- Agent Wrap-up Time Between Calls – Specify the number of seconds an agent has when a call ends, to perform necessary wrap-up tasks (for example, updating a CRM entry), before receiving another call.
- Individual Agent Ring Time – Number of seconds to ring before assuming the agent is not available. The system will then try to reach another agent.
- Queue Monitor Capacity/Wait Time Warnings – Customize how queues are displayed on the queue monitor screen. The queue display will turn yellow for warning threshold, red for critical threshold. The thresholds are defined by a minimum number of calls in the queue or by a single call being in the queue for a minimum amount of time, or both. See Monitoring Caller Activity for more information on monitoring the system.
- Queue Name on Phone Display – Prepend this name on agent phones when they receive a call from this queue. This is useful when agents service multiple call queues.
- Web Application Popup URL – Specify the URL that pops up when a call is received. This only applies with an open logged into the Communication Command Center’.
- Call Recording Policy – Specify a call recording policy for this queue. If no policy is set for the queue, the call recording policy for the individual agent or any group he or she belongs to applies.
- Secondary Extensions – Add a secondary extension number or external number (i.e., a DID number) to this queue.
- Agent Access Extensions – Specify one or more agent access extensions for this queue. An agent access extension allows a non-agent to pop a call off of a queue (retrieve the call). For example, a supervisor for a group of agents may notice a spike in call volume, so he or she can dial the agent access extension to answer queue calls to help service the queue.