Applicable Plans for Call Queues: Sprout, Blossom, Garden, Estate
Applicable Plans for Wait Queues: Blossom, Garden, Estate
A call flow specifies the behavior of incoming calls to your contact center. Call flows are composed of:
- Call queues
- IVRs (or phone trees)
In this solution article, we’ll focus on call queues. To read about IVRs, visit this page.
A call queue simply allows you to customize the behavior of calls directed to a specific team within your contact center. Once you create a call queue (a type of call flow), you can assign it to a particular number in your contact center. All calls made to that number will then follow the routing behavior specified in the call queue. For example, if you create a call queue called “Billing Support Queue” in which all incoming calls are directed to a team of agents who handle billing inquiries and you assign this queue to +1 xxx-xxx-xxx, all calls made to +1 xxx-xxx-xxx will be sent to the “Billing Support Queue.”
If you have 5 agents in the billing team and all of them are busy attending calls sent to the “Billing Support Queue,” you’ll need to specify what the 6th (or any subsequent) caller experiences when they are added to the queue. This part is handled by wait queues. Wait queues place incoming calls in a virtual queue - i.e., in line to be answered - when all your agents are busy attending other calls or are unavailable for some other reason.
Who can configure?
Only an Admin or Account Admin can configure call flows (both call queues and IVRs).
When you create a call queue, you add the routing mechanism for new calls and customized greetings for each routing option. For example, within a call queue, you can record a message to let customers know their queue position (if they’re in a wait queue) or encourage them to leave a voicemail.
How to set up a call queue:
Click Admin > Call Flows > New Call Flow > Call Queue
Enter a name for the queue
Choose a message or a greeting you wish to play from your list of saved messages or create a new message
Select an agent, team, or an external number that will receive all incoming calls
|TIP: Check our solution article to learn more about creating messages|
After specifying the primary behavior of calls to this queue, you can define the next course of action for 3 scenarios in your call queue:
If agent is online but not answering
If agent is online but busy
In each of these 3 scenarios, you can choose to take any of the following actions —
Send to Voicemail- If you choose to send your caller to voicemail, click on ‘Send to Voicemail’ and select the message to be played from the drop down or create a new message.
Send to call queue- The advantage of call queues is that you can direct your callers to the right agent or team and ensure that no call is missed, even if those agents are offline or unavailable. If you wish to send your customer to a secondary call queue - perhaps to a different team- choose this option. You can select from the list of call queues you have created earlier or create a new call queue. This is called a “Smart Escalation.”
Hangup- Choosing this option simply ends the call after playing a message. You can choose the message you wish to play to your caller before the call is terminated.
Add to wait queue- Place incoming calls in a virtual queue - i.e., in line to be answered - when all your agents are busy attending other calls, unavailable, or offline.
How to configure a wait queue:
- To activate a wait queue, select "Place caller in Wait Queue" and scroll to the "Wait queue settings" dropdown at the bottom of the page.
- Define the maximum queue size (i.e., number of callers waiting in line) and add the message to be played to any caller placed in the wait queue. You can select one from a list of your saved messages or create a new one.
- You can also choose to communicate queue position to callers by toggling the "Append Queue Position to Wait Message" bar.
- Specify what happens to the call if the maximum queue size is exceeded. For example, if the maximum queue size is 5 people, you can direct the 6th caller in that queue to leave a voicemail, hang up, or to be attended to by another queue (Smart Escalation).
- You can also set a maximum wait time within a wait queue. This prevents customers from waiting on the line endlessly even if they're within the maximum queue size for that queue. For example, if you've set the maximum queue size to 5 people, you wouldn't want the 6th caller to be waiting on line for 3 hours until your agents have finished speaking to those 5 people. You wouldn't want them to hang up and create a missed call either.
For this reason, maximum queue size and wait time work together to create a better experience for your customers. For example, if you have a maximum queue size of 19 and a maximum wait time of 10 minutes, if any of these 19 callers have been waiting for over 10 minutes, they will be redirected to the secondary action you specify. The dropdown under “If customer waits longer” lets you choose whether you’d like them to be directed to another queue (Smart Escalation), leave a voicemail, or hang up. This way, the maximum wait time serves as a cutoff mechanism.
Considerations for wait queues:
The maximum queue size is 19 for Sprout and Blossom plans. Garden and Estate plans can have a maximum of 500 callers in the wait queue.
Sprout and Blossom customers have a max waiting time of 10 minutes. Garden and Estate customers can set wait times of up to 4 hours.
Sprout and Blossom customers have a ringing time of 30 seconds for agents. Garden and estate plan customers can configure a lower ringing time. However the minimum is 5 seconds. You will see an error message if the ringing time configured is lower than 5 seconds.
Rules for call queues
Once your call queues are set up, you can create a new rule in which you can associate a phone number to a specific action.
NOTE: Only basic call queues are available on the Sprout plan. Advanced call queues are available for Blossom, Garden, and Estate plans. Basic call queues entail certain restrictions. For example, you can only assign calls to agents and not to teams. If no agent is available to take the call, your callers will have to hang up because you cannot set any other secondary action (such as voicemail or redirect to another agent/ team). To read further about basic and advanced call queues, please check: What are the differences between basic and advanced call queues?