Queues are used to route callers to a group of agents. Callers who are routed to a queue will wait on hold for an agent to answer based on a series of rules you define in the queue settings.
Queues are very flexible, highly customizable routing tools. At a minimum, a queue must have at least one agent assigned and must be connected to any feature that can route calls to a queue. Callers can be routed to a queue from a tracking number, other queues, voice menu options, smart routers, FormReactor submissions, auto dialers, or no-answer routing rules on a receiving number.
Once your queue has been created, it can be configured with the following advanced options:
- Hold music (to replace the default ringing tone)
- Custom waiting messages
- Tags that are applied when a caller is routed to the queue
- Scheduled routing
- Simultaneous, round robin, weighted, or longest-waiting routing
- Agent selection for repeat callers (“sticky” agents)
- Prompts for the agents answering calls
- No answer routing
- Post call options (including post call surveys)
- Advanced agent rules (limits on calls agents can take, devices that can be used to answer, billing individual users for queue calls, and allowing agents to toggle availability in a queue)
For the purposes of creating and using call queues, an agent is a user in your CallTrackingMetrics account. Agents can be assigned to multiple queues in your account, and their availability can be determined by schedules assigned to their profiles.
You can configure many options in a call queue without assigning agents, but the queue will not work unless there is at least one agent assigned to the queue. To add an agent to your account, follow these instructions for adding a user to CTM. Although there is a user role named “agent,” any user can be used as an agent in a call queue.
Each individual agent can choose how they prefer to answer the phone (by using the CTM softphone or by using their own receiving number). To allow an agent to receive calls without using the CTM softphone, you will need to add a receiving number to their profile (when creating or editing a user, enter this number in the Receiving number field in the Agent Contact section of the page).
Creating a Basic Queue
This section will walk you through the bare minimum setup required to have a working queue. If you wish to configure other options for your queue, refer to the additional information after this section once your initial queue is saved.
Following this guide, you will end up with a queue that:
- Is reached directly from one or more tracking numbers (the caller dials a tracking number, then the queue immediately beings to dial agents)
- Plays the default US ringback tone for the caller while they wait for an agent to answer
- Routes to one or more agents
- Allows 18 seconds for each agent to answer, but will keep ringing each agent until the call is answered or until no answer routing occurs
- Automatically hangs up if the call is not answered within 30 seconds
All of these options can be changed or customized as needed after basic setup is completed.
- Navigate to Numbers → Queues. If you do not already have a queue in your account, you will be directed to a new queue settings page. Otherwise, click New Queue in the upper right corner.
- Enter a name and description for the queue. If you plan to use multiple queues, a good description is a helpful way to remind yourself what each queue does.
- Click Save Changes.
- With these basic settings in place, the last thing you need in order to use the queue is a way to route callers to it. The simplest way to route calls to a queue is directly through a tracking number. Click or scroll to the Numbers section of the page and click Edit Assigned Tracking Numbers
- In the pop-up that appears, click the tracking numbers in the list on the left to move them to the list on the right. Tracking numbers listed on the right side will route calls directly to this queue.
- Click Save Changes.
7. Click or scroll to the Agents section of the page and click Edit Assigned Agents.
8. In the pop-up that appears, click the names of agents in the list on the left to move them to the list on the right. Agents listed on the right side are assigned to this queue.
9. Click Save Changes.
- Note: If you want to route to this queue by another method (other than a tracking number), you can stop here. Once the queue has been configured and saved, you can select it as a routing option from any other routing feature (other queues, voice menu options, smart routers, FormReactor submissions, auto dialers, or no-answer routing rules on a receiving number).
Queue Routing Options
The Routing section offers a number of settings you can use to determine how calls are distributed to the agents assigned to the queue, when the queue is available, and what to do when the queue is not available.
For more details on queue routing, see the full article here.
Queue Connection Options
The Connecting and Connected sections give options for handling how agents are connected to calls for this queue, including agent prompts, connection beeps, and hangup settings.
For more details on queue connection options, see the full article here.
No Answer Routing
The options in the No Answer section of queue settings determine what happens to calls that are not answered by the agents assigned to the queue.
For more details on no answer routing, see the full article here.
Ringback Options and Waiting Messages
By default, when a caller is routed to a queue, they will hear the standard US ringback tone while waiting for a call to be answered by an agent. You can customize this experience by selecting a different audio file to play in place of the ringback tone or by adding waiting messages to the queue.
For more details on ringback and waiting messages, see the full article here.
Advanced Agent Rules
Agent routing rules allow you to customize when agents are dialed in a queue. With these rules, you can:
- Assign queue-specific schedules to an agent
- Assign caller locations (by area code) to be routed to an agent
- Limit an agent’s calls by hour, day, week, or month
- Assign weights to determine the order in which agents are dialed
- Route calls to an agent based on tags
- Customize recording and agent prompt settings
For more information on agent routing rules, see the full article here.