Call Queues

Introduction

 

Call Queues allow calls to be queued, so that agents can take calls when they are available. If all agents are busy, calls are kept waiting until an agent is available. The Call Queue feature is only available in PRO and ENTERPRISE editions.

Creating a Call Queue

 

Creating a Call Queue in 3CX Management Console

 

To add a Call Queue click on the Call Queues function in the 3CX Management Console and:

 

  1. Click Add, enter a name for the queue and select a virtual extension number.
  2. Polling Strategy” – define how calls are distributed to agents:
  • Hunt random start – randomly choose an agent to distribute the call to and evenly distribute calls among available agents.
  • Ring All – ring the phones of ALL the agents.
  • Prioritized Hunt – distribute calls according to the order specified in the “Call Queue Agents”  section. i.e. all calls go to the first agent, and only if this agent is busy, the calls go to the next agent. This strategy can be used to set up skills-based routing, by prioritizing the agents according to their skills.
  • Longest Waiting Time – forwards a call to the agent waiting the longest.
  • Least Talk Time – forwards the call to the agent with the least total talk time.
  • Fewest Answered – forwards the call to the agent who answered the least number of calls.
  • Hunt by Threes Prioritized – forwards the call simultaneously to the top 3 agents, as prioritized in the “Agents” > “Call Queue Agents” section.
  • Hunt by Threes Random – sends the call simultaneously to 3 random agents.
  • Round Robin – sequentially cycle through agents logged in the queue, i.e. first call is sent to agent 1, second call to agent 2 and so on.
  1. Ring time” – the timeout in seconds, i.e. for how long the phone keeps ringing before the call is considered unanswered by that agent.
  2. “Direct Inbound Dialing (DID)” – assign one or more DIDs to the queue to route calls directly to the queue. Alternatively, you can assign an IVR menu option to the queue.
  3. Destination if no answer” – define the maximum queue waiting time and the action to perform if the call remains unanswered. If no agent is logged into the queue, this option gets triggered immediately. This option also gets triggered if the caller presses the ‘*’ button, to give callers a queue exit option and leave a message.
  4. “Music on Hold” –  use a custom on-hold audio file.
  5. “Play Intro Prompt” – set a custom introduction prompt and choose whether to play this prompt before polling the agents.
  6. “Options” – select to announce a caller’s queue position and specify the prompts language for the queue.
  7. “Agents” tab – click to Add the member extensions for this queue and move the extensions up or down to configure their priority.
  8. “Click2Call / Click2Meet” tab – set a user-friendly URL to enable callers to easily request remote assistance. See how this can help your contact centre here and here.
  9. Click “OK” to create the queue.

💡 Tip: You can add external agents by configuring their extension to “Ring Mobile Simultaneously” in “Extensions” > “Forwarding Rules” > “Options”.

Important: Queue members must be logged in a call queue to start answering calls. You can configure queue member extensions to automatically log out by enabling their “Forwarding Rules” > “Statuses” > “Log out from queues” option for  each status profile, or disable to allow users to log in manually.

Queue Options

  • “Callback” – enable callers to hang up and get a call back. You need to specify the “Callback Outbound Prefix” tο trigger an outbound rule to make the call. Set the “Callback mode” to be requested by the caller by pressing “2”, or to be offered when the queue timeout is reached.
  • “Wrap-Up Time” – gives the agent the specified time in seconds to enter notes into the call record, after taking a call.
  • “Maximum Callers in Queue” – when this number is reached, calls are routed according to the settings in the “Destination if no answer” section.
  • “Priority Queue” – enable to prioritize calls from this queue over calls from other queues the agent/extension is a member of. Example: A support team has one queue for normal support calls, and another queue for VIP customers, so even though serviced by the same agents,  calls from the VIP queue get priority.
  • Configure SLA Time” –  calls remaining unanswered in the queue for more than the number of seconds set in this field, are considered as breaching the SLA time limit in relevant reports and statistics.
  • “Queue Recording” – setting for caller opt-in or opt-out of queue recording. Depending on the option set, the caller can press DTMF 3 to opt-out or confirm being recorded.
  • Queue Statistics Reset”  – click to reset the Queue Agent Calls and Wallboard statistics, or set a periodic schedule for automatic reset. Detailed statistics for the queue, i.e. average call time, average wait time, etc, are visible through the Agent Status and Queue Monitoring functions in the 3CX Web Client.
  • “Queue Email Notifications” – enable to notify the manager for certain queue events, i.e. calls breaching the SLA time limit, queue calls lost and callback activity.

Skill Based Routing (Enterprise Edition)

Call queue agents

3CX Enterprise edition includes additional advanced Call Center features. It includes Skill-based routing, moving incoming queue calls to agents in the next skill group if members of the previous skill group(s) are busy or logged out. For example, a call center can assign its support agents in increasing skill-level groups based on their expertise. In this way, incoming calls are first assigned to agents in the level “1” skill group and when not available, move on to the less experienced agents in subsequent skill groups. These “Skill Based Routing” strategies are available:

  • Ring All – ring the phones of all the agents in this skill group.
  • Hunt Random Start – randomly select an agent to assign the call to, distributing evenly the calls among the agents in this skill group.
  • Round Robin – cycles sequentially through all available queue agents in this skill group.
  • Fewest Answered – prioritizes available agents who answered the least number of calls in this skill group.

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