This is a tutorial on how to set up a queue from scratch with the most basic settings needed to have a correctly functioning queue. You can find queues in PBX manager -> Queues.


---1--- Queue Name

First we will start off by naming the Queue. Please do not name it anything like your PBX name as this will cause the Queue not to work. We use something like "Inbound" or "Reception" to describe the function of the queue. 




---2--- Entry Conditions

Here we will specify how many callers can be on hold and waiting for an operator at any one time. For a small business 20 should be fine. If you have a large Inbound call centre you might consider 300. You can also set how the callers can enter the queue, by default we allow callers to enter the queue regardless of agents presence or availability. This means if all the members in the queue are paused or their phones are off, clients will still enter the queue as normal. They will sit in the queue until the timeout is reached. The timeout is controlled by the hunt list, this is where you will normally sent the call to an over flow queue or to a set of extensions. 




---3---Periodic Announcement and hold time

These settings are quite self explanatory, announce position to caller, this will tell them which number they are in the queue. Announce hold time will tell a caller their Estimated hold time left before their call is answered. Unless you have a very active queue we suggest not using this as it might give incorrect stats if there isn't enough information available. Rounding of announced hold time, this will round off the time in which the caller has left to hold. Again without an active queue it is not very useful.

Announce frequency, this is how often a client is given updates on what number they are in the queue an how long to expect to wait. We caution against setting it too often as while caller is being played this message they are unavailable to be pushed to an agent. every 30 to 45 seconds should suffice.



---4---Periodic Announcement

This is a message that can be played as a set announce frequency. This would normally be something like "Thank you for holding, should you want to leave a message please press 1" You would have to set a queue context with button number 1 on the IVR going to a mail box so that it is possible for them to leave a message at this point. But we will cover Queue contexts in a few steps. Once again we caution against having this announcement too long and announced too frequently as it will remove the caller from the queue while it plays the announcement and they could be re added to the queue at a higher position. This means the clients will end up holding longer. You can select the clip from your media manager (as long as you have uploaded or recorded it already)



---5---Connections and Ring Strategy

Weight/Importance, this will determine the importance of this queue compared to other queues (if the agents in this queue are also included in multiple other queues)

Ring Strategy, this determines the fashion in which the callers are put through to the agents, this ranges from ringing all the phones at once and the first person to pick up gets the call, to ringing a random phone. We generally suggest Round robin ringing as it distributes the call load in the fairest fashion.

Ring busy agents, this will determine if the queue is allowed to send a call to an agent who is busy on a call. this is useful in the case where the agents could be on an internal call but the queue is still fielding calls. It can become annoying to an agent as the calls will retry their phones and depending on how the phone is set up could beep in their ear alerting them there is a call waiting. Agent ring timeout, this will be the time the call is rung at an agent before it looks for another agent to answer or it retries the same agent if no one on the same penalty is available. Agent ring retry, this is the period of time the system waits before ringing an agent again if they did not answer the first time.



---6---Agent Settings

In these settings we can have a notification pushed to your agent manager which in turn can be set to do specific actions when this push notification is received.

Report hold time to agent, once the caller is connected to an agent, in the brief time before the call is actually connected, the agent is given the time the client has been on hold for from the system. We can also have an Announcement to agent play when the caller is connected, this could be to tell the agent which queue the caller is calling from etc.  Wrap up time, this is a useful feature in any call centre, this is the time that the agent has to gather notes or make comments on the previous call before the next call is connected to the agent.



---7---Recording

If you have call recording enabled on your PBX this is where you would select either yes or no to have the calls from the queue recorded. Please note that even if all your extensions are set to record, it will not record calls the extension received from the queue UNLESS this is enabled.



---8---Miscellaneous and Static agents

MOH, this is where you will specify Music on hold for the queue, maybe you have an advert that you would like to loop or information that you would like clients to hear while they wait in the queue, this is where you will specify it.

Queue Context, this is where you would set an IVR which you can use as an "opt out" if the client would like to leave a message, in your periodic announcement you would say "please hold while we connect you to an agent, should you like to leave a message for us to get back to you, you can do this at any time by pressing 1". In the opt out IVR you will set one to go to a voice mailbox and when they press 1 in the queue they will be prompted to leave a message.


Add Extension, this is where you will add agents or extensions to the queue. You can set the penalty or weight here too. This will mean an agent on penalty 1 will receive a call with preference over penalty 2, however if penalty 1 is busy on the phone then penalty 2 will receive the call and so it goes on.