Configuring Call Queues

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What you need to know:

This section describes the operations you can perform to make and manage calls.

Introduction to Call Queues

Call queues temporarily hold calls in the cloud when all users (agents) assigned to receive calls from the queue are unavailable. Queued calls are routed to an available agent when he/she is no longer on an active call. Each call queue is assigned a Lead Number, which is a telephone number outside callers can dial to reach users assigned to the call queue. Call queues are also assigned an internal extension, which can be dialed internally to reach users assigned to the call queue.

This article covers how to modify Call Queue settings from the My Account portal:

  • Activating and deactivating Call Queues.
  • Modifying Call Queue Profile information and settings.
  • Assigning users (agents) to a Call Queue.
  • Viewing call queue reports.
  • Modifying greetings and announcement settings.
  • Configuring overflow call routing.

Call Queue Feature Notes

  • Users assigned to receive calls from the Call Queue are referred to as Agents.
  • Multiple call queues can be configured on your account, settings described in this article apply to each unique call queue.

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  • Auto Attendants often include an option to route callers to a particular Call Queue, however each Call Queue is configured with a Lead Number for callers to dial directly to the queue.

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  • Toll free numbers are often used to route callers to Call Queues. These numbers will not be available to assign from the My Account portal; they will instead be pointing to a specific site. 
  • User features, such as Call Forwarding, are not invoked on calls to Users from the Call Queue.
  • Agents (Users) can “sign out” of the queue by activating Do Not Disturb.
  • All greetings must be formatted as CCIT U-Law, 8.000kHz, 8-bit Mono attributes as a .wav file.

 


Getting Started

A Call Queue is Site Service and managed from the My Account portal. 

To get started managing call queues:

  1. Login to the My Account.
  2. Click the My Site.
  3. Select a site from the list on the left.
  4. Click the Site Services tab at the top of the screen.

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  1. Click Call Queues on the menu on the left. Call Queues that have been assigned to your account will be listed.  Note: To deactivate a Call Queue, uncheck the Active box.  This will disable calls from being routed to this Call Queue.
  2. Select the queue to modify, then click Edit.

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Call Queue Settings

The Settings tab includes critical settings such as:

  • Call Queue Profile information
  • Distinctive Ring
  • Ring Patterns
  • Queue size
  • Agent settings
  • Treatment of bounced calls

 

 

Call Queue Profile Information

  1. Click the Settings tab.

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  1. Enter a Call Queue Name.
  2. Enter the Caller ID Name. This name, along with the actual caller’s ID, is displayed on the user’s phone when a new call from the queue is presented.
  3. Enter the Extension of the queue. By default, this is the last four digits of the lead number that has been assigned.
  4. Click Save.

Distinctive Ringing

The distinctive ringing setting allows Admins to designate a different ring tone to play when they receive incoming calls from the Call Queue.  This allows them to audibly differentiate inbound queued calls from non-queued calls.

To configure, from the Settings Tab:

  1. Click Distinctive ringing to expand the setting.

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  1. Click Enable distinctive ringing, to activate the feature.
  2. Select the unique ringtone from the ring pattern menu.
  3. Click Save.

Ring pattern

The How do you want your phones to ring setting determines the order in which calls are delivered to users assigned to the call queue. 

To configure, from the Settings Tab:

  1. Expand How do you want your phones to ring.

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  1. Make a selection. Choose from:
  • All at the Same Time – When incoming calls from the queue are received, all phones ring simultaneously.

-OR-

  • One at a Time – Click on the drop-down menu to view options:
    • Phones ring in the order of the selected number – rings the phone in the order the users are listed in the Agent Assignment.
    • Phones ring in a circular sequence – rings phones in the order the users are listed in the Agent Assignment settings, but begins with the user following the last user to receive a queued call.
    • Distribute calls evenly amongst phones – rings the user that is idle the longest.
    • Weighted Distribution of calls among phones – rings the user based on pre-configured weight assignments.
      • For example, if User A should receive 20% of the calls and User B should receive 80% of the calls, the weight assignments would be configured accordingly. Users with a 0% weight assignment only receive calls when all other users are on a call that was delivered to them from the queue.
      • Weight assignments must total 100% and can be configured by clicking click here to set weight percentages.
      • Use the slider to assign the required weights, then click
  1. Click Save.

 

Calls queue size

The queue size represents the number of calls that can be held in queue before the overflow policy is triggered.

While calls are held in queue, users hear the configured Announcement Settings.

To configure, from the Settings Tab:

  1. Expand Calls Queue Size.
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  3. Enter the number of calls to queue before overflow settings are triggered.

For example, if the queue size is set to 20, the 21st caller will be sent to the configured Overflow Settings.

  1. Check Play ringing when offering a call for callers to hear ringing when their call is being delivered to an available user. If disabled, callers hear the Music on Hold greeting until the call is answered by a user.
  2. Click Save.

Agent settings

These settings apply to the users (agents) that have been assigned to the call queue.

To view options, from the Settings tab:

  1. Expand Agent Settings.

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  • Allow multiple calls per agent (call waiting on) – Check this box to present agents with multiple queued calls even when on an active call received from the queue. By default, this feature is disabled and calls are queued until the agent disconnects with the current call.
  • Enable calls to agents in wrap-up state – The wrap-up state allows agents to perform post-call work prior to receiving the next queued call. This feature only applies when the Call Center Service is active.

 

  1. Click Save.

Bounced calls

Bounced calls are those that were sent to an available user but the user does not answer.  These calls are then placed back into the queue at the top of all the queued calls.

 

To configure, from the Settings Tab:

  1. Expand Bounced Calls.

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  • Check After ( x Number) rings to configure the number of rings a caller hears before the call is bounced. Then select the number of rings from the drop-down menu.
  • Check If agent becomes unavailable while routing to bounce a call being sent to a user if they transition to an unavailable state while the call is en route.
  • Check Alert if call on hold for longer than x seconds to notify a user if a call they received from the queue was put on hold for longer than the configured time. Enter the time in seconds.
  • Check After being on hold by agent for longer than x seconds to bounce the call from the user if the caller was placed on hold by the user for longer than the configured time. Enter the time in seconds.
  1. Click Save.

 


Agent Assignments

Users that will receive calls from the queue are defined as agents and must be assigned to the queue.  Note, agents can be assigned to multiple queues. 

  1. Click the Agent Assignments.

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  1. A list of users available to be assigned to the call queue is displayed in the Available Users/Agent
  2. Check the box in the Agent column to assign the user to the queue.
  3. Drag and drop the user from the Available Agents section on the left to the Assigned Agents section on the right. The user/agent appears in the call queue.

NOTE:  If the certain options in the one at a time Ring Policy are used, the order of the Assigned Agents listed here will determine the order in which the calls will be routed to agents.  To reorder, remove all assigned agents and then drag/drop back in the correct order. 


Announcements

Call queue announcements are messages and music that callers hear while waiting in queue. There are four types of call queue announcements:

  • Entrance – played when callers first reach the queue. For example, “Thank you for calling ABC Company. An agent will be with you shortly.” It can be set as mandatory. If the mandatory option is not selected and a caller reaches the call queue while there is an available agent, the caller will not hear this announcement and is transferred to an agent.
  • Wait – notifies the caller with either their estimated wait time or position in the queue. If this option is enabled, it plays after the entrance greeting and before the comfort greeting. This greeting is only played once while the caller is waiting in queue.
  • Comfort – played after the entrance message and before music on hold. This is typically a custom announcement that plays information, such as current promotions or information about products and services.
  • Hold – played after the comfort message in a repetitive loop. This announcement is typically a music file.

Entrance Message

To configure the Entrance Message, from the Announcements Tab:

  1. Click Entrance on the menu on the left.

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  1. Click Play entrance message. This enables the entrance message. Uncheck this option to disable it.
  2. Click Entrance message is mandatory when played (optional). This plays the entrance message to all callers regardless of agent availability.
  3. Assign a message to the queue. Entrance messages can be configured with the default system message or customized.
  • Click Default to select the default message option.

-OR-

  • Click Custom to select the custom message option and upload a .wav file. Up to four entrance messages can be stored.  If multiple messages are stored, they are played in the order listed.
    • Click (1) in the File # column.
    • Enter the description of the message, e.g., Welcome Message. There are not any character limitations.
    • Click the Upload
    • Browse for the file on your computer. All greetings must be formatted as CCIT U-Law, 8.000kHz, 8-bit Mono attributes as a .wav file.
    • Click Open.
      • If necessary, repeat these steps to add additional messages.
  1. Click Upload.

Wait Message

To configure the Wait Message, from the Announcements Tab:

  1. Click Wait on the menu on the left.
  2. Check Enable estimated wait message for queued calls. This enables the Estimated Wait Message. Uncheck to disable.

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  1. Select the type of wait message to be played.
  • Select the Announce queue position option to notify the caller of their position in queue. Enter a maximum number. For example, if this was set to 20 or lower, callers 20 and lower hear their position in queue. The 21st caller and higher would not hear the message.
    • Select Play High volume message (optional). A high volume message is played to callers with a position in queue higher than the configured maximum.

-OR-

  • Select Announce wait time and enter the maximum wait time. For example, if this was set to two minutes or lower, callers with an estimated wait time of two minutes or less hear their wait time.
    • Select Play High volume message (optional). A high volume message is played to callers with an estimated wait time greater than the configured maximum. The estimated wait time is calculated by: Estimated Wait Time = Caller’s position in queue (average call handling time) / Number of agents available. If the system cannot calculate the handling time, default handling time is used to calculate the estimated wait time.
    • Enter the default handling time.

Comfort Message

To configure the Comfort Message, from the Announcements Tab:

  1. Click Comfort on the menu on the left.

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  1. Check Play comfort message.
  2. Enter the time between messages (in seconds) to configure the frequency in which the comfort message is played. Once the comfort message has played to completion, the caller hears hold music (if enabled).
  3. Configure the message to be assigned to the queue. Comfort messages can be configured with the default system message or customized.
  • Click Default to select the default message option.

-OR-

  • Click Custom to select the custom message option and upload a .wav file. Up to four comfort messages can be stored. If multiple messages are stored, they are played in the order listed. Note: These messages will not alternate; they each play to completion.
    • Click (1) in the File # column.
    • Enter the description of the message, e.g., Website Message. There are no character limitations.
    • Click the Upload
    • Browse for the file on your computer. Note: All greetings must be formatted as CCIT U-Law, 8.000kHz, 8-bit Mono attributes as a .wav.file.
    • Click Open.
    • Click Upload.

Music on Hold

To configure Music on Hold to be played to callers while waiting in queue, from the Announcements Tab:

 

  1. Click Hold on the menu on the left.

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  1. Check Enable music on hold.
  2. Configure the music on hold to be assigned to the queue. Music on hold can be configured with the default system message or customized.
  • Click Default to select the default music on hold option.

-OR-

  • Click Custom to select the custom music on hold option and upload a .wav file. Up to four music on hold messages can be stored. If multiple files are stored, they are played in the order listed. Note: These files will not alternate; they each play to completion.
    • Click (1) in the File #
    • Enter the description of the message, e.g., Standard Message. There are no character limitations.
    • Click the Upload
    • Browse for the file on your computer. All greetings must be formatted as CCIT U-Law, 8.000kHz, 8-bit Mono attributes as a .wav file.
    • Click Open.
    • Click Upload.
  1. Click Save.


Overflow Settings

Overflow treatment is applied to calls when the queue reaches its size limit or when callers have been in queue for a specified amount of time. For example, if the queue size limit is set to 20, the twenty-first caller will be routed to the overflow destination. Likewise, if the overflow timer is set to two minutes, after two minutes, callers will be routed to the overflow destination.

To configure Overflow Settings, from the Announcements Tab:

  1. Click Overflow on the menu on the left.
  2. Select the destination to which overflow calls should be routed. From the What Action to take drop-down menu, choose one of the following:

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  • Perform busy treatment – The caller hears a fast-busy tone.
  • Transfer to phone number – Enter the number to which you want to transfer overflow calls. This can be an extension within any site or an external number.
  • Play ringing until caller hangs up – The caller hears ringing until they disconnect.
    • Check Enable overflow after call wait (x number) of seconds (optional) to apply overflow treatment to queued calls after a certain amount of time. If enabled, enter the amount of time in seconds. If the maximum number of queued calls is met, the next call to be presented to the queue is treated with the overflow settings.
    • Check Play announcement before overflow processing (optional). If selected, assign an announcement file to play before the call is sent to the overflow treatment.
  1. Click Save.


Queue Reports

  1. Click the Queue Reports.

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  1. Enter the start and end date (mm/dd/yyyy) or click the calendar to select the dates.
  2. Click Queue/Agent Stats. Queue statistics are displayed on the top of the report with Agent statistics displayed at the bottom.

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  1. Click Refresh to update the report.
  2. Click the Print icon to print the reports.