Call queueing

Call queueing

Call queueing allows calls to be placed on hold without handling the actual enquiries or transferring callers to the desired party. While in the call queue, the caller is played pre-recorded music or messages. Call queues are often used in call centres when there are not enough staff to handle a large number of calls. Call centre operators generally receive information about the number of callers in the call queue and the duration of the waiting time. This allows them to respond flexibly to peak demand by deploying extra call centre staff.

The purpose of call queueing

Call queueing is intended to prevent callers from being turned away in the case of insufficient staff capacity. The purpose of the pre-recorded music or messages is to shorten the subjective waiting time. At the same time, call queues can be used for advertising products or services. As soon as the call can be dealt with, the caller is automatically transferred from the call queue to the member of staff responsible. If customer or contract data has to be requested in several stages, multiple downstream call queues can be used.

Legal aspects of call queueing

Different countries have different regulations on call queueing. In Germany, the costs chargeable to consumers as a result of call queueing have been set out in the German Telecommunications Act (Telekommunikationsgesetz) since 2012. Among other things, the law stipulates that the caller may only be charged from the point in time at which he is transferred to a member of staff or handling of the enquiry begins. This also applies to downstream call queues. The call queue ends as soon as information required for handling the enquiry is requested from the caller, either via automated dialogues or by staff.

Technical implementation of call queues

Previously, media such as cassettes or CDs were used for recording music or messages on telephone systems; however, modern telephone systems and cloud telephone systems almost exclusively use digital audio formats. In the case of cloud telephone systems, for example, digital audio formats can simply be loaded onto the system via the Internet and are then ready for immediate use. However, when making recordings of this kind, it is important to comply with copyright law and GEMA regulations (Gesellschaft für musikalische Aufführungs- und mechanische Vervielfältigungsrechte – German Association for Musical Performing and Mechanical Reproduction Rights).

Functions:

  •  Any number of queues and collective lines per system
  •  Custom, initial and periodic announcements
  •  Custom hold music per queue
  •  Automatic call routing to free or logged in agents
  •  Call routing by various criteria (all at once, round robin, random, longest break first, lowest load first)
  •  Freely defined wrap-up time for agents
  •  Exceptions for timeout and if no agents are logged in
  •  Optional caller hold time announcement to agent
  •  Optional custom announcement to agent per queue, e.g. queue name
  •  Optional announcement of queue position to caller
  •  Log in to queues from mobile devices
  •  Agent weighting (penalties). Allows agent skills to be illustrated for various queues
  •  Queue weighting (e.g. VIP customers)