1. Overview

Large and small businesses are looking for every efficiency they can, while being as responsive to their customers as possible. One tool commonly employed is sharing resources across a team of people to achieve a common goal, or creating pools of people performing a common task – Sales, Customer Services, etc. For this strategy to work, the phone system needs to reflect this team approach.

Call queues temporarily hold calls in the cloud when all users assigned to receive calls from the queue are unavailable. Call Queues provide an automated “answer” with customisable greetings, comfort messages, and hold music for the caller to listen to. Queued calls are routed to an available agent when he/she is no longer on an active call. Each call queue is assigned a lead number, which is a telephone number outside callers can dial to reach the agents assigned to the call queue. Call queues are also assigned an internal extension, which can be dialled internally to reach the agents assigned to the call queue.

To complement the cloud based call queuing functionality, the Call Queue service also provides additional visibility into the calling activity of each queue via a series of reports. 

2. Feature Prerequisites/Restrictions

2.1 Before the Call Queue service can be used the following conditions must be met:

  • At least one 2 Way DID must be assigned to the Call Queue and be active.
  • There must be at least one Call Queue Agent seat in inventory at the site.
  • At least one Agent must be assigned to the Queue.
  • At least the main greeting must be uploaded into the Call Queue.
  • Agents may be assigned to Premium Station, Standard Station, or Basic Station users.

Call Queue Notes:

  • User features such as Call Forwarding are not invoked on calls to users from the Call Queue.
  • Agents (Users) will not receive queue calls if they have Do Not Disturb enabled.
  • All greeting announcement files must be formatted as CCIT u-Law 8.000kHz, 8 bit Mono .WAV. The maximum file size is 2000KB which is approximately 4 minutes of audio recording length.

3. Log into the Portal

After entering the Service Provider URL in a browser, the Sign In window appears.

Figure 1 - Sign In Screen

Click here to go straight to the login page. Enter the Username and Password. These credentials are sent via email when the Customer or Site Administrators are set up through the order process or in the Portal.

4. Go to the Services tab

Figure 2 - Services Tab

4.1 Select Services in the left hand navigation menu

4.2 Select Call Queue in the Call Routing section

Hit “Configure” to open the Call Queue window for set-up and editing.

5. Feature Setup

Prior to using Call Queue, the Site administrator must set up the feature. Follow the steps detailed below to configure or edit the feature.

5.1 Enable/Disable the Call Queue

Click on the box in the Status column to change to enable or disable the Call Queue. 

  • When enabled it shows as On and calls to the number will be auto answered.
  • When disabled it shows Off, and calls to the number will hear a treatment message that no one is available to take the call.

5.2 Select the Call Queue to Configure

Figure 3 - Call Queue Activation and Selection

Select the Call Queue to be configured. If you have a large list of them, you can also use the search tool at the top of the page to help find the specific Call Queue to configure.

5.3 Edit Call Queue

Figure 4 - Call Queue Configuration

If there are more than one Call Queues on a Site, you can switch to another Call Queue to edit in the top right dropdown box.

5.4 Incoming Call

  • Telephone Number – This is the lead number defined for the Call Queue. To change it, go to Assignments/List by Number. Search for the number and go to the Options box for the number and select “Unassign Service”. 
  • Name – This is the name defined for the Call Queue which shows in the list of Call Queues. By default the Call Queue is given the lead phone number as the name. It may be changed to provide a more meaningful label. This is a required field. Supports from 1 to 30 characters.
  • Caller ID – Enter a label which will be shown to Call Queue agents as part of the Caller ID on incoming calls to queue. The caller ID will show the “CQ Caller ID – calling party caller ID name and number”. This is a required field. From 1 to 30 characters are supported.
  • Extension – Shows the extension number of the Call Queue. This can be used by users in the Enterprise to call the Call Queue. By default it is the last four digits of the lead phone number. This is a required field. From 2 to 6 digits are supported.

5.4.1 More Options

  • Forwarding – Forwarding for a Call Queue directs calls to the lead number to a different destination. 

This capability may be useful in situations where calls to the Call Queue need to be answered in a different location possibly due to emergencies or natural disasters. 

Two modes are supported: Always and Selective. 

If no forwarding is desired, keep on the default setting of Do No Forward.

Figure 5 - More Options Forwarding

  • Call forwarding always – sends all calls to the configured alternate destination
  • To enable, click the Call forwarding always radio button and enter a valid telephone number in the Forward To field.
  • Call forwarding selective – applies forwarding only to calls meeting the configured criteria. The criteria include the time, date, and/or calling number.

To enable, click the Call forwarding selective radio button, enter a valid telephone number in the Default forward to field and add at least one criteria rule.

Add criteria rule

Figure 6 - Call Forwarding Selective Schedules

  • Enter a Description for the rule which will be displayed on the rule list.
  • Scheduling - Select a desired Time or Holiday schedule. Only existing Site level schedules are available to be selected. Additional custom schedules may be created under Services>Scheduling. 

Note: Both a Time and Holiday schedule may be selected. If both are selected, then forwarding rule will only be active if both the time and holiday schedules criteria is met.

It is best practice to choose only one: a Time Schedule or a Holiday schedule for a rule. If a Holiday rule is required, create a separate rule for it. 

  • Time Schedule – defines the days of the week and the specific hours/minutes of a day the rule will be active. 
  • Holiday Schedule – defines special days or time periods which may require different call routing.

Figure 7 - Call Forwarding Selective Criteria

  • Forward To – Sets the phone number to which the call will be sent. Select either Default Phone Number, Another Phone number or Do Not Forward.
  • Default Phone – uses the phone number entered as the Default Phone number.
  • Another Phone Number – If a number other than the Default number is desired, select this radio button and enter a valid phone number in the Forward to field.
  • Do not forward – Choose this option to disable selective call forwarding for this Automated Attendant.
  • Calls From - You may apply the rule to calls placed from any number or from selected numbers. Select one option.
  • Any numbers - enables forwarding from all originating phone numbers.
  • Following numbers - Applies the forwarding only when calls are received from the phone numbers defined below. Choose desired options.
  • Any private numbers: Calls from anonymous/private numbers. 
  • Any unavailable numbers: Calls that do not have an identified caller ID are presented as unavailable numbers.
  • Specific Number: You may define up to 12 specific telephone numbers from which forwarding will apply. Enter valid telephone numbers in the fields provided.

Alternate Numbers

The Alternate Number feature for the Call Queue provides the capability to have 10 additional telephone numbers ring to the same Call Queue. This may be useful when is desired to monitor call traffic from different numbers but serve them from the same Call Queue.

  • Add Alternate Number

Figure 8 - Alternate Number List

  • Hit the “Add” button at the bottom of the screen.

Figure 9 - Add Alternate Number

  • Choose the alternate number to assign to the Automated Attendant from the Phone Number drop down box.
  • Hit “Save”.
  • Delete Alternate Number

Deleting an Alternate Number disables the number from ringing the Call Queue and puts it back into the pool of Site numbers which can be assigned to a user or service. The Alternate Number can’t be edited once it has been added. To change the number, it must first be deleted and then the new number added.

Figure 10 - Delete Alternate Number

  • Check the box next to the number to delete.
  • Hit the “Delete” button at the bottom of the screen.

5.5 Call Queue

Figure 11 - Set Queue Size

  • Queue Size – Configures how many callers will be held in the queue waiting for an available agent before it overflows. The queue size may be from 0 to 50. Choose a number from the drop down field.
  • If 0 is selected, calls to the Call Queue will be immediately treated using the configured Overflow rules if there are no available agents. If agents are available, they will receive calls.
  • Play ringing when offering a call – Check to enable. If enabled, the caller will hear ringing when their call is offered to the agent. If not enabled, the caller will hear silence when their call is offered to the agent.

5.5.1 More Options

Entrance - Configure the announcement settings for the initial message a caller hears when calling into the Call Queue.

Figure 12 - Entrance Announcement

  • Play entrance message – Check the box to enable. A message is played when callers first reach the queue. For example, “Thank you for calling ABC Company. An agent will be with you shortly.” It will not be played if agents are available (callers will be sent directly to the agent) unless it is configured to be mandatory with the option below. The message may be the system default or a custom message which is chosen below.

If not enabled, callers will not hear an entrance message when they arrive into the queue. Callers will be sent directly to an available agent or will be placed in the queue if no agent is available.

  • Entrance message is mandatory when played – When checked it is enabled. When enabled and the Play entrance message is also enabled, the message is played to all callers before they are either sent to an agent or placed into the queue if no agents are available. However, it will not play if the Queue Size is set to 0.

Announcement Type

Select either a Default or Custom announcement to be played as the entrance announcement by clicking on the radio button next to the desired option.

  • Default – This is the default system announcement: “Your call is very important to us. Please wait for the next available agent...”
  • Custom – If a custom announcement is selected, at least one recording file must be uploaded. Enter a required name for the announcement and hit the cloud button to browse the computer for a file. When the file is found on the computer, hit Open in the browser, to save the file on the system. Up to four files may be uploaded which will be played in order from top to bottom.

WaitThe Wait announcement provides a message to callers giving them an indication of how long they will have to wait in the queue before their call is answered. Two wait options are available: Estimated Wait Time or Position in Queue.

Figure 13 - Wait Announcement

  • Default Handling Time – Select a number of minutes from 1 to 100. This is the announced wait time to callers when the system has not had enough calls to calculate the average wait time when the “Wait” option is chosen.
  • Enable estimated wait message for queued calls – This enables the system to provide either the Wait or Queue Position announcement to callers.
  • Play high volume message – This default system message is played to callers that are beyond the maximum position or minutes defined by the settings below.
  • Queue Position – This option sets the Wait announcement to give the caller their position in the queue so that callers will know how many people are waiting and will be sent to an agent before them.
  • Lowest queue position to play message to – This configures the queue position announcement to play only to callers up to this entered queue position. Caller with a higher queue position number will hear the High Volume message if enabled. Choose a number between 1 and 100.
  • Wait – This option sets the Wait announcement to give the caller the number of minutes estimated they will wait in queue before their call is answered. 
  • Minimum queue wait to play message – This configures the queue position announcement to play only to callers up to this entered number of minutes. Caller with an average wait time longer than the entered minutes will hear the High Volume message if enabled.

Comfort – An announcement that is played after the entrance message and before the music on hold. This is typically a custom announcement that plays information such as current promotions or information about products and services. Enter the time between comfort messages and select either default or custom announcement.

Figure 14 - Comfort Announcement

  • Time between comfort messages – Check the box to enable the Comfort message to play and enter a time in seconds that defines the play interval of the Comfort message.
  • Default – This is the default system comfort announcement: “Your call is very important to us. Please wait for the next available agent...”
  • Custom – If a custom announcement is selected, at least one recording file must be uploaded. Enter a required name for the announcement and hit the cloud button to browse the computer for a file. When the file is found on the computer, hit Open in the browser, to save the file on the system. Up to four files may be uploaded which will be played in order from top to bottom.

Hold – Provides a Music on Hold capability. When enabled, plays the default system music or custom files as configured for callers that are waiting in the queue before they are transferred to an agent. If a Wait announcement is enabled, the Hold music plays between Wait announcements.

Figure 15 - Hold Configuration

  • Enable music on hold – Check the box to enable. If not checked, Music on Hold will not play.
  • Use Alternate source for Internal Calls – Check the box to use an Alternate Custom source which will be used only for internal callers.
  • Announcement Recording Upload.
  • Default – uses the system default music.
  • Custom – If a custom announcement is selected, at least one recording file must be uploaded. Enter a required name for the announcement and hit the cloud button to browse the computer for a file. When the file is found on the computer, hit Open in the browser, to save the file on the system. Up to four files may be uploaded which will be played in order from top to bottom.
  • Announcement Recording Upload for Alternate Source
  • Default – uses the system default music.
  • Custom – If a custom announcement is selected, at least one recording file must be uploaded. Enter a required name for the announcement and hit the cloud button to browse the computer for a file. When the file is found on the computer, hit Open in the browser, to save the file on the system. Up to four files may be uploaded which will be played in order from top to bottom.

Overflow - Overflow treatment is applied to calls when the queue reaches its size limit or when callers have been in queue for a specified amount of time. For example, if the queue size limit is set to 20, the twenty-first caller will be routed to the overflow destination. Likewise, if the overflow timer is set to two minutes, after two minutes callers will be routed to the overflow destination.

Figure 16 - Overflow Configuration

  • Treatment – Select one treatment option from the drop down list.
  • Perform busy treatment: If selected, the caller will hear a fast busy tone.
  • Transfer to a phone number: If selected, enter the number to transfer overflow calls to. This can be an extension within any site or an external number. Note: if transferred to another Call Queue at the site, the queue timers do not reset – a call could be bounced immediately from the receiving queue. 
  • Play ringing until caller hangs up: If selected, the caller will hear ringing until they disconnect.
  • Enable Overflow after queue wait time – Check the box to enable and enter a time in seconds. This defines the time in queue a caller will wait before they will be treated using the configured option above. If not checked, callers will stay in queue until they are sent to an agent or hang up.
  • Play announcement before overflow processing – Check the box to play an announcement to caller before they are sent to treatment.
  • Default – Uses the system default message.
  • Custom - If a custom announcement is selected, at least one recording file must be uploaded. Enter a required name for the announcement and hit the cloud button to browse the computer for a file. When the file is found on the computer, hit Open in the browser, to save the file on the system. Up to four files may be uploaded which will be played in order from top to bottom.

5.6 Call Routing

Figure 17 - Call Routing Configuration

Note: The Save button at the bottom of the screen must be clicked to save any configuration changes.

  • How do you want your phones to ring

Choose All At Once or One at a Time. 

  • All At Once - simultaneously rings all of the users in the group; the first user to pick up the ringing phone is connected.
  • One at a time – Four options are available to choose from when one at time is desired: Circular, Most Idle, As Assigned or Weighted.
  • Circular - sends calls in a fixed order. The call is sent to the first available person on the list, beginning where the last call left off. Calls can be advanced to the next person after a defined number of rings with no answer, or if the person is already on the line.
  • Most Idle - as a call is completed, the user moves to the bottom of the call queue in a shuffling fashion. The next incoming call goes to the user who has been idle the longest. If a user receives a call that was not directed to them through the Call Queue, the call is not included in the receiving order for Most Idle calls. 
  • As Assigned – sends calls to users in the order listed by an administrator. Incoming calls go to the first available person on the list, always starting with the first person on the list. Calls can be advanced to the next person after a defined number of rings with no answer, or if the person is already on the line.
  • Weighted - enables calls to be distributed to agents according to a pre-defined weighting. Each agent is assigned a weight corresponding to the percentage of incoming calls they should receive.

Figure 18 - Agent Weighted Percentages Configuration

For each agent, set a weight percentage with the slide bar which will determine the percentage of calls the agent receives. The total for all agents must equal 100%.

5.6.1 More Options

Bounced

Figure 19 - Bounced Call Configuration

Bounced calls are those that have been sent to an available agent, but the agent does not answer.

  • Bounce after a set number of rings – Check the box to enable. Select a number in the drop down box from 1 to 20. This sets the number of rings after which a call will be returned to the queue if not answered by the agent. When returned to the queue, the caller will be placed at the top of the queue.

If not enabled, calls will ring to the agent until the caller hangs up or until the Overflow timer has been reached if enabled. If Overflow timer is enabled, the call will be treated as configured in Overflow.

  • Bounce if agent becomes unavailable – Check the box to enable the bounced routing treatment if an agent becomes unavailable after the call sent to them.
  • Alert agent if call on hold for set wait time – if a queue call is answered by an agent but subsequently put on hold, the agent can be notified via a visual indication on the phone as a reminder that a call has been on hold for a set amount of time. Check the box to enable and select/enter a number of seconds from 30 to 600.
  • Bounce if call on hold for set wait time – A call that is placed on hold by an agent may be bounced back into the queue if it is kept on hold for a specified amount of time. Check to enable and enter a number of seconds from 30 to 600.

Distinctive Ring

Figure 20 - Distinctive Ring Configuration

Distinctive ringing provides an alternative ringtone to an agent for Call Queue calls. This allows an agent to easily recognise a call as either a direct call or a queue call through an audible tone.

  • Enable Distinctive Ring – Check box to enable. Select a distinctive ring pattern from the drop-down box.

5.7 Agents

Controls the ability of the agents to receive more than on call from the Queue.

Figure 21 - Agents

  • Allow multiple calls per agent - If this box is checked, agents can be presented with multiple queue calls even when they already on a call if they have their Call Waiting feature enabled.

Note:

  • Enable calls to agents in Wrap-Up state – Agent Wrap-up is not enabled in Call Queue. This feature is not operational.
  • Enable maximum Wrap-Up timer - Agent Wrap-up is not enabled in Call Queue. This feature is not operational.

5.7.1 More Options

Licenses

Figure 22 - Agent License Assignment

Apply a Call Queue agent license to desired users by checking the box in the Agent column next to a name. To be assigned to a Call Queue, a user must first be assigned a license. Once assigned a license, the user may be assigned to any or all Call Queues within the Enterprise.

Agents

This is where a user with a license is assigned to a Call Queue. 

Figure 23 - Agent Queue Assignment

  • Available – users with an assigned license will appear in the Available list. Check the box next to the user’s name to select the user for assignment to the queue. Hit the  arrow to add the selected users to the queue. They will appear in the Assigned list below. 

For a large list of users, the filter bar at the top of the box may be used to find a specific users or users. Start typing a name or number and the list will filter based on the entered characters.

  • Assigned – Shows the list of users which are assigned to the Call Queue and will receive calls from the queue. To unassign a user, check to box next to their name and hit the  arrow button to remove the selected users from the queue.

5.7.2 Hit the Save Button

The Save button at the bottom of the screen must be clicked to save any configuration changes.

5.8 Reporting

Figure 24 - Reports

  • Date Range – Enter a date range for the report. Two days of data is available. Hit the Generate button to run the report.
  • Queue Stats Report
  • Calls Abandoned (avg. in sec) – Avg. Time callers spent waiting until they abandoned their call.
  • Number of Agents Staffed(avg.) - Average number of assigned agents to queue for the period requested.
  • Number of Agents Talking(avg.) – Average number of agents in an active conversation for the period of time requested.
  • Wait Time(avg. in sec.) – Average amount of time in seconds a caller is held in queue prior to agent answering.
  • Busy Overflows – Number of calls that came in after queue limit was met.
  • Calls Abandoned – Total # of calls that were terminated by the caller prior to speaking to an agent.
  • Calls Answered – Total number of calls answered by agents.
  • Calls Timed Out – Total number of call that remained unanswered and were forwarded out of the queue upon timeout.
  • Calls Transferred – Total number of calls transferred out of the queue.
  • Agent Stats Report
  • Average Calls(min) – Average time in minutes agent spends on calls from the queue.
  • Calls Handled – Total number of calls handled by the agent.
  • Total(min.) – Total amount of time the agent was busy handling calls out of this queue.
  • Total Calls – The total number of calls the agent has handled.
  • Unanswered Calls – Total number of calls extended to the agent (phone rings) that were not answered.
  • Hold Time(min.) – Total amount of time in minutes an agent locally held active calls on hold.
  • Talk Time(min.) – Total amount of time in minutes an agent was actively talking on a call.

bOnline Guide

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