From VoIP.ms Wiki
If you want a solution to manage your incoming calls, and have your customer(s) waiting on the line while an agent picks up the call, you need to create a Calling Queue entry, this will permit you to have many calls on hold, queued calls in First In, First Out order until agents become available.
Queues consist of:
- Incoming calls being placed in the queue
- Members that answer the queue (extensions or users that login as agents)
- A strategy for how to handle the queue and divide calls between members
- Music played while waiting in the queue
- Announcements for members and callers
Agents are the people (or person) that answers the call(s) that have been placed into a specific Queue. An agent logs in indicating that s/he is now ready to take calls. Transfers an inbound call to a queue, which is then in turn transferred to an available agent.
The members in the queue can be static or dynamic. The Static Members are those that are always connected to the queue, on the other hand the Dynamic members are those that need to log in to the queue in order to take calls.
Log in or log out to the queue as Dynamic Member
If you want get access to your Call queue, dial *11 then at the prompt dial the queue ID and password if you set one. e.g. If I want log in to the "call queue 1" I dial *11 >> Option 1 >> Password (optional).
If you want to log out from the call queue, dial *12 then at the prompt dial the queue ID. e.g. If I want to log out to the "call queue 1" I dial *12 >> Option 1.
Go in to your Customer Portal >> DID Numbers >> Calling Queues
And then go to "Create New Call Queue"
Now you are going to start a new configuration:
- Queue Number: The number of our Queue, e.g I have my company and I want select the Queue 1 to my sales department, my Queue 2 to my support department. In this way you are sure that your agents receive the calls properly.
- Queue Name: Enter the name of your Call Queue 1, e.g. "Sales Team".
- Queue Language: The language of system announcements. Here, "English" .
- Queue Password: An optional setting - you can preset a password to access to this queue and be sure that only the people authorized for this queue enter it.
- Caller ID Prefix: Optional: You can optionally prefix the Caller ID.
- Join Announcement: If you have a recording for your queue you can set it here. This recording plays when a member enters the queue. e.g. In my company, I have a queue for my sales department, while my customers wait, they hear a recording of all our products and discounts.
- Priority / Weight: Weight of queue, compared to other queues. If an agent is logged in to more than 1 queue, the higher weighted queue calls that agent.
- Agent Announcement: Optionally, you can set a recording to be played to the agent. The caller will be connected to the agent immediately after the announcement.
- Report Hold time to agent: If you wish to report the caller's hold time to the agent, set this to yes.
- Member Delay: If you wish to have a delay before the agent is connected to the caller, set this to the number of seconds to delay.
- Maximum Wait Time: The maximum time that a caller can wait in queue before being sent to the "Failover" Destination.
- Join when empty:
-Yes: Callers can join a queue with no members or only unavailable members. -Strict: Callers cannot join a queue with no members or only unavailable members. -No: Callers cannot join a queue with no members.
- Leave when empty:
-Yes: Callers are sent to the failover when there are no members. -Strict: Callers are sent to failover if there are members but none of them are available. -No: Callers will remain in the queue even if there are no members.
- Ring Strategy
Calls are distributed among the members handling a queue with one of several strategies, defined in queues.conf
-Ringall:: ring all available channels until one answers. -Leastrecent:: ring interface which was least recently called by this queue -Fewestcalls:: ring the one with fewest completed calls from this queue -Random:: ring random interface -Round Robin Memory:: round robin with memory, remember where we left off last ring pass
- Ring in-use: This setting lets you avoid sending a call to an agent whose device is currently in use.
Note: Currently only a device with the SIP protocol is able to report his status as 'in use'.
- Agent Ring Timeout: Number of seconds in which the call will remain in ringing state, before being considered as timeout.
- Retry Timer: How long the system will wait before trying with all the members again.
- Wrap-up Time: After a successfully call, this setting lets you set the amount of minutes the system will wait before sending the call to a free agent.
Announcements and Fail Over
Periodic Voice Announcements
Voice Announcement: This is an optional setting, you can choose which recording will be played to the callers of this queue.
Frequency of announcement: Select the periodic interval to play the recording to the callers.
Periodic Hold Position, Estimated Hold-time announcements and Thank you for your patience announcement.
Announce Position frequency: This setting let you know how often to make any periodic announcement. Optional setting.
Announce Round Seconds: Here you can choose if you want to announce the number of seconds or round to minute. If you want to announce seconds, select the amount to round.
If Announce position is enabled, do you also want to report estimated hold-time?: Either yes, no or only once. Hold time will be announced as the estimated time, or less than 2 minutes when appropriate.
Thank you for your patience: This is an optional setting. Your callers will hear "Thank you for your patience", after announcing the Queue Position and Estimated Hold time left.
Fail Over Destinations
Here you can choose the destination for the follow failover options:
- Timeout: If the call reaches the maximum wait time.
- FULL: If the queue reaches the maximum number of callers.
- JOINEMPTY: A call was sent to the queue but the queue had no members (Only works when Join when empty is set to No)
- LEAVEEMPTY: The last agent was removed form the queue before all calls were handled (Only works when Leave when empty is set to Yes).
- JOINUNAVAIL: Same as JOINEMPTY, except that there were still queue members, but all were with status unavailable (SIP Phone logged out for example)
- LEAVEUNAVAIL: Same as LEAVEEMPTY,except that there were still queue members, but all were with status unavailable (SIP Phone logged out for example)
We are finished now click on the Save Queue.
Static Members are the predefined and permanently assigned members responsible for answering incoming calls to a queue. You can add as many members as you wish to any given queue.
The advantage of the static members is that your members do not have to login or logout from the queue using the *11 and *12 commands. The only thing your members have to do is register or unregister their accounts from the VoIP.ms servers.
One of disadvantages of the static members is that your members are unable to log out of the queue, they are permanently assigned instead. Other disadvantage is that your members need to use their account or sub account to be in the queue, this could mean that they wouldn't be able to change devices and log into the queue, they would have to use their assigned device.
Add a Static Member
First you need to access the Calling Queue page that is under the DID Numbers menu in your Customer Portal.
From there, you need only to click on the link Edit Static Members, that will bring you to the next screen:
To add a new static member, you only need to fill out the following information:
Description: Here you can assign a description to easily identify each member of the queue.
Account: Here you select the account or subaccount that is going to be assigned as a member for this queue.
Priority: This value can be equal or greater than zero. Available members with lower priority will get the calls first. You can have more than one member with the same priority.
How to use your Queue
Once you have created a Queue, you can assign it to as many DID numbers as you want without needing to create it again. You need to go to your Customer Portal >> DID Numbers >> Manage DID(s). And from there you can route the DID numbers to go directly to the Queue, using an IVR, through a time condition or even as a failover option for your DID number.