Call queues route incoming callers to a list of people in your organization and place callers on hold when everyone is busy. As people become available, callers are connected in the order they are received. Call queues can ring multiple people at the same time, or one at a time.
In this article, you’ll learn how to create a call queue and customize call queue features including:
- Call distribution pattern
- Callback request
- Caller and agent announcements
- Timeout and re-routing
- Cool-down period between calls
- Call recording
- Custom hold music
In addition, you'll learn about call queue management features including real-time call center monitoring tools and call queue analytics.
Create Call Queues with Telzio
On the Telzio Dashboard, you will find a page to manage your Call Flows and add Queues. Open up any Call Flow or add a new flow to get started.
Choose the Queue to add it to the flow and start customizing its settings. Give the Queue action a proper name, ie Tech Support. This helps you identify it later when you have multiple Queues, and enables Queue name announcements when connecting calls to agents.
Call Distribution Pattern
The call distribution pattern dictates how calls are routed to agents. There are two options to choose from, “Call All” and “Call One-by-One.” These are also known as Simultaneous Ringing and Sequential Ringing respectively. Simultaneous ring will call all available agents at the same time and the first agent to answer will take the call.
Sequential Ringing allows for incoming calls to attempt one user at a time. With this method, 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.
The callback request provides callers with the option to request a call back rather than waiting on the phone. When initiated, a notification will be sent to the user or group of your choice. You can choose to send the notification to the following options:
- All agents
- All enabled agents
- A random agent
- A single user
- A group of users
- An email
Call Queue Announcements
Queue announcements are available for both callers and agents. The following announcements are available:
Announce Queue Position
Announce Hold Time to Agent
Announce Queue Name to Agent
Timeout and Rerouting
The timeout period is an optional setting that limits the amount of time a caller can be on hold before being routed to the next action in the Call Flow. If a call has not been answered by an agent after the timeout period has been reached, that call will move onto the next designated action specified by you.
You can decide the most amount of time that is acceptable for a caller to be on hold in the queue from 1 minute to 60 minutes. Once that maximum hold time is exceeded by a caller, you can route calls to another destination, whether that’s a different queue, a voicemail, a third-party answering service, or simply an announcement.
The grace period, or cool-down period, allows agents to wrap up their current call before taking another call from the queue. You can set how long this grace period is, between 0 seconds to 10 minutes. During the grace period, the agent can finalize their notes and prepare for the next call.
Calls to the Queue can be automatically recorded and stored in the dashboard. There is currently no limit to the number of recordings that can be stored, and no expiration. However, recordings can be automatically deleted after a specified time using data retention tools.
By default, recordings are only accessible by administrators, and you have the option to give access to managers with User Permissions.
Custom Hold Music
In addition to the default hold music available, you can also upload custom audio files as hold music. This means you can also customize special announcements to be played during the hold time within the audio file. You can also use the Announcements action to record, upload, or dictate a message to callers before connecting them to the queue.
Managing Call Center Queues
Once you’ve added queues to your phone system, you can utilize the following tools to manage agents and call center performance.
The list of agents in the queue can be edited directly from the Call Flow. Any changes that are made are live instantly. Administrators can manually mark agents as available or not available from the Queue settings as needed, rather than removing them from the list completely. Agents can also set themselves as unavailable for breaks. There is no limit to the number of users you can add to your Telzio phone system at no additional cost. Related: How to Create a Hunt Group
Scheduling Call Queues
Within the Call Flow, the Opening Hours action can be used to create hours of operation. Outside of the hours, calls can be directed using any one of the other actions.
Amidst the set times that agents are scheduled to take calls, they can also log in and out of call queues as needed for breaks. This can be done directly from their phone, and from the dashboard.
Monitoring Call Queues
Managers can be given permissions to monitor agents’ calls in real-time. While an agent is on a call, the manager can pick up their phone and dial in to be patched into the agent’s call. By default, the manager will be in “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 being heard by the caller.
The Queues page on the Telzio Dashboard provides a live display of active calls throughout all Queues. From this page, you can barge into calls, change agents’ status, and toggle between the different Queues to see info including:
- Active calls
- Hold time for each call
- Which agent the call is connected to
- Agent availability
Call Queue Analytics
The analytics dashboard can be filtered by queues, phone numbers, and dates so that you can view historical call activity over specified periods. Metrics available on the analytics dashboard include:
- Average time in the queue
- Average call duration
- Total number of calls
- Number of callers who hung up
- Calls that exceed hold time
- Top active users
- And other call queue metrics
Receiving Calls from Queues
With their Telzio User, agents can take calls from any location using their preferred device, including:
- Desk phones
- Mobile App
Telzio works with any SIP compatible device or application, and you can bring your own device to use with Telzio if you already have IP phones.