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The queue is one of the important elements that make a call center successful. It determines which calls are routed to which agents as well as the experience callers have while waiting to talk to a sales or customer support representative.

Setup

A queue is needed for each department that customers can access from the IVR. For instance, Queue 1 may lead to Sales, whereas Queue 2 may lead to Technical Support.

Queues can be added and configured in the VoipNow interface just like any other extension.

  1. From the Quick Links section of a user account, select Add Extension, then configure the basic settings for the queue extension.
  2. Set a name and label for your extension and select Queue from the extension type drop-down list. If needed, extended information regarding the general settings is available here.
  3. When done with the basic settings, check the Select extension type parameters box, then press OK.

You will be redirected to an advanced settings page, where you can select the way calls are distributed to agents, the sounds to be played played for queued callers and much more. You can always come back to these settings in the Queue Setup section of the Quick Links area.

Call distribution

The call distribution algorithm you select determines the way queued calls are distributed to queue agents. Multiple options are available, but below are the most commonly used ones:

Ring all

All free operator extensions ring at the same time. The call is transferred to the first operator that answers.

Ring members in the adding order

The call is transferred to the agents following the order they have logged in to the queue.

Example:
In a queue managed by 3 agents, Agent2 logged in first, Agent3 second and Agent1 third. When a call is received, VoipNow searches for the first available operator using the login order: Agent2, Agent3, Agent1.
If Agent2 is available, the call is transferred to them. If not, it will be transferred to Agent3. If Agent 3 is not available either, the call will be transferred to Agent1.

Random

Transfers a call to a random agent, taking into consideration the agent's penalty level when computing the Random algorithm.

Example:
An agent with penalty 0 has a metric somewhere between 0 and 1,000; an agent with penalty 1 has a metric between 0 and 2,000; an agent with penalty 2 has a metric between 0 and 3,000 and so on.
The difference between this strategy and the Random with member penalty algorithm is that the calls are not distributed based on penalty levels. 

All call distribution options are available in the VoipNow User Guide.

Caller behavior

In this section you can customize the experience of users waiting in the queue.

When configured, VoipNow can play a welcome sound to let callers know they have entered a queue. It can also announce their queue position at a set period of time. Callers can exit to a predefined extension (if configured) by pressing 0 while in the queue.

You can also connect returning callers to the person they last talked with, if their call was within the defined number of hours.

Extended information on these settings is available here.

Queue behavior

In this section you can further adjust the way your queue handles calls.

When a caller spends a predefined time waiting in the queue (e.g. over 600 seconds), you can have that call automatically transferred to a set extension. Calls can be set to enter the queue only when at least an agent is logged in. If no agents are available, the calls be transferred to a predefined extension (for example, voicemail).

You can also choose to drop existing calls from the queue if all agents are paused or logged out. The dropped calls can then be transferred to a set extension.

Extended information on these settings is available here.

Tips and tricks

Basics

For a correct setup, at least one agent should be available in each queue.

A queue belongs to a user account. The Maximum number of queue members is specified on the Roles and Phone Numbers page of that user account. To modify this number, click on the Roles and Phone Numbers icon in the user account area.

If this value is limited at the Organization level, you cannot have more queue members than the number set at Organization level. Also, the number of members in your queue cannot be larger than the members of other Queue extensions under the same organization.

Customizing sounds

Customize sounds in the Sound Files Setup section.

Any sound file can be selected for multiple queue sounds and announcements. This helps service providers deliver a more personal experience by adding sound messages in the user's language and keeping them informed on their position in the queue, the elapsed queue hold time, etc. or thanking them for their patience.

Click the icon to view the available sound files or manually fill in the file location. You can read more on how to add and manage application sounds, sound folders, and sound languages here.

Need help? Ask a question in our GetSatisfaction community.

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