Queues are the backbone of an inbound call center ACD. They are typically the primary destinations for your callers and customers, so you need to be sure that they are properly structured and implemented. Let’s have a look at a trio of dialplan components that can help you manage how and if callers get into your queues and what to do with them once that happens.
Component: Transfer – This component is quite straight forward as far as how its configured to send a caller into a queue. You select the queue you wish to transfer the call into and you indicate a Max Wait (in seconds) parameter. The Max Wait value will determine how long the caller will wait in the queue before signalling a exit out of the queue. If the agents assigned to the queue aren’t able to answer the call in time, the call will be removed from the queue and will be routed accordingly.
Component: Check Queue for Agents – This component can help you manage the specified queue by only allowing calls to be placed into the queue (typically via the Transfer component) if there are agents logged into the contact center ACD that have the necessary skills in order to receive these calls. In many cases, there’s not really a logical reason to send callers into a queue that isn’t staffed at all.
Component: Check Agent Status – Going a little above and beyond checking to see if there are logged in agents, you can leverage this component to only send calls into a desired queue depending on the states of the relevant agents that are actively assigned to the queue. For example, if you are truly in the market for absolutely minimizing the time to answer statistic for a given queue, you could use this parameter to only send calls into the queue if there are agents in a Waiting for Call state. If agents are waiting for calls and a call hits the queue, the call will almost immediately be routed to an available agent.
During most of my experience, the Transfer component is usually the only method contact center ACD admins want to route callers into their queues and that’s understandable. It’s simple and easy to set up and doesn’t require any checks and balances in the dialplan to determine agent availability. However, it’s definitely handy to have more than one way to determine how and when calls will get sent into your queues.