Call queues coordinate incoming calls. Employees who are members of a queue will receive calls in a specific order, depending on that queue’s settings. Queues are useful when there are many callers and few agents and for statistical purposes, such as understanding how long a client waited before they spoke to an agent or which agents are fielding more calls.


The main overview shows the queue name, incoming or outgoing, and when a queue is chosen, the Basic Details, Members and Webhook tabs to assist admins in managing queues. The queues list shows queue names and descriptions. A PBX admin can edit a queue or delete it if it is not currently in use. Queues can be set up to play announcements and music when callers are waiting. 

  

When creating a queue, give the queue a name, a description and choose whether it is an inbound or outbound queue. Each queue type has very different features. 


“Basic” Tab


Outbound Queue Features

  • Outgoing queues are virtual constructs and not actual queues. These merely use the queue events to create statistics and reporting functionality on outbound calls. 

  • In contrast to how Inbound queues uses Service Level Agreements (SLAs), in Outbound this defines how long agents should wait, whilst ringing, before hanging up a call. 

  • Dispositions can be enabled or disabled, disposition tags can be added as outlined in the campaign manager section.

  • Admins can add members to the queue. 


Inbound Queue Features

  • Entry Conditions: 

    • Maximum Callers: This sets the maximum size of the queue. If a queue is full, callers will be sent to the next step in the dial plan. 

    • Callers can enter this queue: This option allows the admin to restrict entry to a queue if there are no agents present to take the calls or if there are none currently available.

Note: If a caller is prevented from entering a queue because there are too many callers or no available agents, the system will continue to the next entry in the hunt list. If the call was not directed to the queue by a hunt list, the call might fail. If a queue is not part of a hunt list, it is recommended that the “Regardless of Agent/Member Presence and Availability” option should be used. 

  • Position and Hold Time Announcement: These options can be enabled to automatically inform callers of estimated hold times and their position in the queue. An admin can set how often this announcement should play. The announcement frequency is timed from the beginning of the announcement. 

  • Periodic Announcement: A recording can be played to callers after a specified amount of time. This can be chosen from the list of voice recordings that have been loaded into the system.

  • Connections and Ring Strategy:

    • Weight/Importance: This allows the administrator to prioritise queues for incoming calls; the lower the weight, the higher the priority a queue will have over others. For example, if calls arrive simultaneously in two queues, the one with the higher priority will be handled first.

    • Connect to Agents in Parallel: Sets whether calls are connected to agents in parallel or in series. In other words, each call is considered as it arrives, regardless of its position in the queue, as opposed to processing in a serial manner where only the call first in line is considered. This is highly recommended for all queues.

    • Ring Strategy: Determines how to distribute a call to agents; for example, try each agent in a round-robin fashion or ring all phones at once.

    • Ring Busy Agents: Sets whether or not a call should be sent to an agent who already has a call in progress.

    • Agent Ring Timeout: Determines how long to attempt to connect to an agent before moving on. 

    • Retry: Specifies how long to wait before trying the next agent. 

  • Agent/Member Settings:

    • Report Hold Time: The agent can receive a message played to them stating how long a caller was on hold. 

    • Announcement: The agent can have an announcement played to them when the call connects. This is useful if an agent is a member of two queues simultaneously, for example, as the queue name can be announced. 

    • Wrap-up Time: How long after a call an agent is considered unavailable. This allows for wrap-up admin work to be completed before the next call. 

  • Service Level Agreement (SLA): Most call centres commit that a certain percentage of calls will be answered within a chosen time period. This does not affect the time a caller is allowed in a queue but instead provides reporting on whether or not the agents are complying with the SLA. This is more fully described in the analytics chapter.

  • Miscellaneous:

    • Music on Hold: The administrator can choose the hold music.

    • Queue context: This allows callers to press a number on their keypad to execute a function. For example: Press zero at any time to leave a voice message. The options listed are IVR menus, and the IVR needs to be prepared and enabled before this function can be used. 

  • Dispositions: Can either be enabled/disabled for queues. From here, an admin can add disposition tags as described in detail in the campaign manager sub-section.


“Members” Tab

Within the tab, an admin will be able to view assigned members and set penalty levels for them; this will prioritise the order in which agents are selected for calls. The higher the penalty, the less likely an agent is to be selected.


Members can also be assigned to a queue here by dragging and dropping them from “Available Members” into the Assigned column. All changes made will be effective immediately after the “Apply” button is selected.



” Webhook” Tab 

Webhooks are used to integrate with applications at specific times before, during or after a  call. Webhooks need to be set up in the Integration Centre sub-menu, under the API & Integration Menu, before they can be used. Webhooks will be discussed further in the API & Integration Menu.