12 Features Every Call Queue Needs
Call Queues place callers on hold while they wait to be connected to the next available agent. Queuing incoming calls enables contact centers to handle busy phone lines without losing callers. Instead of sending callers to voicemail or busy signal, the queue keeps them on the line for those few extra minutes it takes for an agent to wrap up a call. A queue can handle the peaks of call traffic on a customer service line. Call Queues are highly economical for any business, and absolutely vital for call centers. But in order for a queue to work successfully, you have to have the right tools to manage them. In this article, you’ll learn about 12 of the queue management tools Telzio provides that you can use right through your browser.
1. Auto Attendant
One of the most powerful tools you can use to handle incoming calls is an automated attendant. Auto attendants relieve the call load on your staff by routing callers directly to the right team, and providing answers to frequently asked questions. The beauty of an auto attendant is that it works around the clock to answer calls 24/7/365. With the auto attendant, you can route calls based on schedules, languages, departments, and service levels.
2. Time-Based Call Routing
Time-based call routing enables you to create schedules and business hours to route calls differently depending on the day and time. For example, during open business hours calls can be routed to the daytime staff, and during after hours calls can be routed to a virtual answering service. Scheduled call routing can get as intricate as needed, with individual schedules for agents and teams who work part time or remotely.
3. Custom Hold Music and Announcements
Playing music while callers wait on hold in the queue is always a good idea. Telzio enables you to upload custom audio files to your phone system to use as hold music. You can play the best music suitable for your business, and insert recorded messages throughout the duration of the hold time. You can also add custom announcements before a caller joins a queue using the text-to-speech tool. For example, you might want to let the caller know about alternative ways to reach out for support (chat, email, etc.), or just let them know they’re being connected.
4. Maximum Hold Time and Rerouting
Managing wait times is key to the customer experience. If a call has not been answered by an agent after a certain amount of time, that call can be automatically rerouted. You can decide the most amount of time that is acceptable for a caller to be on hold in the queue - for example 5, 10, or 30 minutes. Once that maximum hold time is exceeded by a caller, you can reroute calls to another destination, whether that’s a different queue, a voicemail, a third party answering service, or simply an announcement.
5. Queue Announcements
When a caller enters the queue, you can play an announcement to let them know what their queue number is. This way they know their place in line, and have some expectations of how long they may be waiting. Once the call is about to be connected, you can play an announcement for the agent to let the agent know how long the caller was waiting.
6. Hunt Groups
Hunt Groups are exactly what they sound like - groups of users on your phone system that a call “hunts” down. You can set up your phone number so that an incoming call attempts one user at a time, or one group at a time. This round robin routing method enables you to give preference to certain users or groups to answer calls first. With this call distribution pattern, one agent or group will receive more calls than the other agents.
7. Smart Call Routing
Telzio uses a smart call routing algorithm to evenly distribute queued calls to agents. The queue sends incoming calls to the agent who has been off the phone the longest. This way, you avoid having agents sitting idle while a few agents are fielding most of the calls, and you maximize the use of time across all agents.
Amidst the set times that agents are scheduled to take calls, they can also log in and out of queues as needed for breaks. This can be done directly from their phone, and from the web browser. If an agent forgets to log out of the queue, say for example on a sick day, the administrator or manager can log out for them. Once the agent is ready to start taking calls again, they can log back into the queue with the touch of a button.
9. Grace Period
A grace period between calls allows agents to wrap up their current call before taking another call from the queue. With Telzio you can set how long this grace period is, say 5 seconds or a minute. During the grace period, the agent can finalize and save their notes in the CRM or help desk application, and then be ready for the next call.
10. Call Recordings
It’s helpful to record calls for sales and training, but it’s also important to take data and privacy rules into consideration. Depending on what type of business you’re in, you may want to automate the deletion of call recordings after a certain time frame. By default, recordings are only accessible by administrators, and you have the option to give access to managers.
11. Call Monitoring
Monitoring calls is another way to empower contact center managers, but unlike call recordings, monitoring is done in real time. While an agent is on a call, managers can pick up their phone and dial in to be patched into the agent’s call. By default, the manager will be on “monitor” mode, where nobody can hear them. From there they can switch between “barge” and “whisper” modes, to either join the call or whisper to the agent without the customer hearing.
12. Call Analytics and Live Reporting
Last but not least, call analytics provides you with the information you need to improve your call center performance. Call analytics tell you where you can be more efficient. You can see your most and least active agents, times, and phone numbers, as well as average hold times and missed calls. You can look at the call data historically over regular periods, as well as in real-time on the Live Reporting display. Call details provide even more granular data such as which option in the phone menu the caller selected.
Jennifer is part of the content marketing team at Telzio, providing insight and tips on how Telzio can be used to optimize business communications and customer service.