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With Freshdesk Contact Center, you can now have two different call lines within a single call. 

You can easily switch between the two lines and have a seamless conversation with the callers on any line while putting the other caller on hold. 

  1. What is parallel calling?
  2. How does parallel calling work?
  3. Use Case: Understanding parallel calls
  4. How to make parallel calls?
  5. How to add a third caller(conference call)?
  6. How to merge calls?
  7. How to view parallel calls in call metrics section?

What is parallel calling?

Parallel calling allows you to make a second call, for example, to another agent/team, internal contact, or dial an external number while putting the primary caller on hold. 


How does parallel calling work?

When you make a parallel call, the primary caller, for example, the customer will be put on hold. You can talk to the second caller, clarify your requests, and switch back to your customer. 

Consequently, the second caller will be on hold when you resume the primary call. This way, you can easily switch between the primary and secondary call lines any number of times until the issue is resolved.


Additionally, you can toggle between the two lines, initiate a conference call, and add a third caller, either with the primary or the second caller. 


With parallel calling, agents can:

  • Have unified conversations within a single call without switching tabs
  • Easily get help from anyone within or outside the organization on the same call and resolve issues faster.
  • Enhance customer satisfaction by providing all the required information to customers at once.

Use Case: Understanding parallel calls

1. Making parallel calls


Consider your team runs a travel agency, and a customer (Corey Foster) calls to make changes to their hotel reservations. Agent (Ben Nash) attending the call wants to check with an external partner (Holiday Express) dealing with hotel reservations about the date changes. 

Usually, in this case, the agent may have to disconnect the ongoing call with the customer, talk to the external vendor, and then connect back with the customer. 

However, with the parallel calling feature, agents can quickly call the external vendor without disconnecting the current call by putting the customer on hold.


Let’s see how this works:

During the ongoing call with Corey, Ben makes a parallel call to Holiday express, putting Corey on hold. Ben checks with Holiday Express about Corey’s date change request. Here, you can see Corey’s line is on hold while he talks to Holiday Express. 

This makes it easy for Ben to have a seamless conversation and improves his productivity as he can quickly make another call without disconnecting the customer’s call.


2. Adding a conference call within a parallel call

Let’s assume Holiday Express wants to check their current contract policy with Ben’s travel agency. Since Ben is unsure about this, he initiates a conference call with his manager (Priya). So on this call, you can see Ben, Holiday Express, and Priya conversing on one line while Corey is on hold on another line.

Once Ben clarifies his queries, Priya disconnects the call, leaving the customer on one line and Holiday Express on the parallel line. 


3. Merging calls

Now, let’s assume, after checking the contract policy, Ben realizes that Corey has to make additional charges for the date change request. Ben wants to convey this to Corey, but to avoid switching calls multiple times, Ben decides to put Holiday Express and Corey on the same line.

For this, Ben uses the merge option. So, now Ben, Corey, and Holiday Express are on the same line. 

The parallel calling feature makes it easy for both customers and agents to have a unified communication. Agents can easily resolve issues faster by quickly connecting with anyone within or outside the organization without making multiple calls. 


How to make parallel calls?

With parallel calls, you can make a second call, for example, to another agent/team, internal contact, or dial an external number while putting the primary caller on hold. Check out the use case above to understand how you can use this.

  1. On the conversation widget, click on the Transfer Call icon.
  2. Enter the agent name, contact, or type any external number you wish to make a parallel call.
  3.  Click on the three dots next to the agent, contact, or type any phone number (with country code), and then choose Parallel Call.
  4. When the second caller (agent or external contact) accepts the call, you can see the customer on hold in the background.
  5. To resume your customer’s call, click Resume on the customer’s hold screen. 


How to add a third caller(conference call)?

While on parallel calls, you can initiate a conference call from the primary or the secondary caller line. This is useful when you want to add another caller to your ongoing call. Check out the use case to understand how you can use this.

Note: you can make a conference call to another agent, contact, or type any number.


Choose the screen from where you want to add another caller. For example, let’s assume the customer is on hold on the primary call line, you are talking to an external vendor on the second line, and you want to add your supervisor or manager to this call.

  1. On the conversation widget, click on the Transfer Call icon and select the second caller. This could be your supervisor/agent or internal contact, or you could type any external number (with country code).
  2. Click on the three dots next to the agent, and select Add Participant.
  3. You can see that currently, the call has two lines/screens:
    • Conference call with the agent, second caller (external vendor), and the third caller (manager or supervisor).
    • Parallel call with the primary caller (customer).

Switch between the two lines any number of times. 


How to merge calls?

With the merge call option, you can combine callers from two different parallel lines and have a unified conversation. This means you can merge the primary caller (for example, customer) and the second caller on the parallel line. Check out the use case above to understand how to use the merge calls option.

Note: You cannot merge calls if you have an ongoing conference call on any parallel line. So make sure the person on the conference call disconnects. 


To merge calls:

  1. On the conversation widget on any call line, click on the Merge icon.
  2. On the notification, pop-up, click Merge Call to confirm.
  3. Once you choose to merge the calls, both callers on different lines will be linked.

How to view parallel calls in call metrics section?

As a supervisor or administrator, you can check the call metrics section to view details of parallel calls. A parallel call is usually indicated as a related/child call in the Call Metrics table. 

Click on the blue bubble next to the agent to see if a primary call has related/child calls. 

To view the specific details of the parallel call, for example, to know the call cost, call duration, and talk time of the parallel call leg, click on the parallel call and check the call summary tab.


Note: Not all related calls are parallel calls. Make sure to expand the blue bubble to check the details. 


Alternatively, you can check the call lifecycle to view the complete list of call events and see at what point the parallel call was made.

To get deeper insights into your calls, we recommend using the export call metrics feature. For a call with a parallel call, you will see two entries with the same parent call id in the exported sheet. This makes it easy to differentiate and identify parallel calls.


Notes:
  1. Ensure that the primary caller is always active on a live parallel call. If the primary caller disconnects for some reason, you cannot initiate a parallel call again. In this case, disconnect the call, and make the call again.
  2. It is not possible to make warm/cold transfers when a parallel call is ongoing.
  3. Currently, you can make parallel calls only from the web app. This feature is not available on the Freshdesk Contact Center mobile app.
  4. Call transcriptions for parallel calling may not be accurate. This is because call recordings from two different lines may be inaccurate.