ACD queues (Automatic Call Distribution) are a more advanced version of Groups that allow your company's users to handle calls one at a time while new callers wait in line for the next available agent. Call queues are great for businesses that experience high volume customer calls, as they allow your representatives to effectively deal with each incoming call without losing other callers to busy signals or unanswered phones.
Your users, or agents, which want to handle incoming calls from the queue must log in to the queue in order to begin receiving calls. When your agents have finished for the day, or no longer wish to continue receiving calls from the queue they must log out of the queue. Logging in and out of the queue is done by dialing the queue's login extension.
Simple vs Enhanced Queues
OnSIP now offers two (2) types of queues, Simple or Enhanced Queues. Pricing for queues has changed from per channel (caller) to per agent. The default number of agents is set at 5, meaning 5 agents can log into the queue at one time.
Standard queue functionality with updated HD voice, 2 new ring strategies and ability for callers waiting in the queue to failover to a voice mailbox at any time.
Cost per Agent = $9.95
Offers the Simple Queue feature set plus a reporting dashboard accessed in the OnSIP app. Upon creation of a Enhanced Queue, the Account Admin will be granted a new role called "Queue Supervisor", which will make reports available in the OnSIP app. Account Admins will have the ability to grant this "Queue Supervisor" role to other users on their OnSIP Account. This new dashboard offers in-depth statistics and reports on the following:
- Real-time Overview - Showing a snapshot of the queue within the hour (how many calls are waiting in the queue, a list of agent(s) currently logged into the queue and their status (on a call, available, logged out)
- Historical Reports - Customers will be able to run detailed reports on the queue by selecting the time period to review ranging from the last day to the last month(s), etc. (includes average call wait time, longest call wait time, busiest time of day) and download as CSV files.
For more information on the Enhanced Queue Dashboard, please see this Knowledgebase article.
Enhanced Queues also offer call recording capabilities in conjunction with a 3rd party Storage Service Provider (SSP). OnSIP currently supports the following three SSPs for call recording:
- Amazon Web Services (AWS)
- Google Cloud
Call recording is included in Enhanced Queues pricing, however there may be additional costs incurred by the external storage provider and due to the SSP directly- see their products for more details.
Cost per Agent = $14.95
Creating an ACD Queue
Setting up a call queue for the first time may seem like a daunting task but is actually quite simple and is generally a one time process.
Under "Apps" tab, click "Create New Application" at the top left of the "Apps" page, then select "ACD Queue" > "Create a new ACD Queue".
Enter the name for your queue, something descriptive like "Tech Support Queue" or "Billing Queue" is generally best.
An extension is a 4-digit extension, created by you, to allow for blind transferring to your queue from other users.
This is the number of agents you create in a queue. Default is set at 5 agents.
The universal PIN for agents to use to enter the queue after entering the Login Extension.
This is the extension your agents use to log in and out of the queue.
By placing a checkmark in the box, you are enabling reporting data that lets you view real-time caller/agent events and historical aggregated statistics at a cost of $14.95 per agent configured for queue.
By placing a checkmark in the box, you are enabling call recording for all calls on your Enhanced Queue. Before enabling call recording on your queue, you must set up an account with one of the 3 supported SSPs. See the following articles for setup instructions:
When you’ve created an account with a SSP, enter the credentials of that account in the Resources tab of your OnSIP account. Once that has been done, choose the name of the Storage Service (created in the Resources tab) here.
Selecting a Recording Announcement will play a recording before every call, stating to the caller that their call may be monitored or recorded.
By placing a checkmark in the box, a tone will play periodically during a call, notifying the caller that the call is being recorded.
This determines the manner in which your agents will be delivered calls from the queue. OnSIP offers five (5) ring strategies:
- Roundrobin Memory: each agent is rung in succession beginning with the last agent succeeding the last agent to answer a call. Example: Three agents logged into queue. First call to first agent logged into queue, second call to next agent logged in, third call to next agent logged into queue, fourth call will loop to ring first agent and ring specified "Ring Each agent for" time and then call will move to next agent.
- Fewest Calls: rings the agents who has received the fewest calls from callers
- Least Recent: rings the agents who has waited the longest since receiving a caller.
- Ringall: rings all agents simultaneously
- Random: randomly selects agents to send the next call
Ring each Agent for
When the queue routes caller to an agent, if the agent(s) does/do not answer within the amount of time specified, the call will be routed to the next agent, based on the "Ring Strategy".
Choose whether the caller will hear music or ringing:
- Ringing - the queue will act like a ring Group and no announcements will be played
- Music - MoH (music on hold) Choose from the music sources available. (Enhanced MoH not needed)
Your callers in queue will be played status messages regarding their position in the queue.
If the Caller Hears music option is selected, you may optionally specify how often the caller will be played status messages regarding their position in the queue (On Pickup).
Use this to allow an agent to accept a call from the queue, but still give them a few moments to prepare before connecting them with the caller.
Report Hold Time
This announces to agent the length of time caller was on hold.
Post Call WrapUp
This value, when set, will be sure that the agent does not begin receiving new calls from the queue for this amount of time. If agents require a few moments to record notes or other final tasks then this value is useful.
Failover Voice Mailbox
This is the location to which timed-out callers will be automatically routed. Also, if no agent(s) happens to be logged into the queue, then this again serves as a failover destination.
By checking this box you are setting an email address to have the voicemail to be sent as a WAV file notification.
Maximum Callers in Queue
This is the maximum amount of callers that can be in a queue at one time. All additional callers will immediately go to the queue failover.
Caller's Max Wait Time
This is the maximum amount of time you would like any caller to stay in queue before being automatically routed to the Failover Voice Mailbox.
Escape Voice Mailbox
If an escape address is enabled, the caller gets a menu option to manually leave the queue and go to the escape voice mailbox.
By checking this box you are setting an email address to have the voicemail be sent as a WAV file notification.
This is created by you to be used to directly call into the queue as a caller.
Login SIP Address:
This is the SIP Address that agents can directly call to reach the login/logout prompt.
Queue Video on Hold
This allows for callers who video call into your Enhanced Queue to watch a YouTube video while they are waiting. The Queue Video on Hold feature works in conjunction with OnSIP InstaCall, a Web-RTC based button that you place on your website.
Logging Into the Queue:
To login to the queue, an agent must dial the login extension from a phone registered with OnSIP. Important: logging into the queue from an outside phone like a cell phone will NOT work. Once the agent has dialed the login extension they will be prompted to enter the login password, this may be found in the ACD queue details under "Login Details". Upon successfully entering the PIN the agent will be logged in and the queue will hangup the call. Now when callers begin entering the queue, the agent will receive calls.
Logging Out of the Queue:
Simply dial the queue login extension again from the phone that is logged in. If you are already logged in you will hear a message to the effect of 'agent logged off', at which point the queue will hang up the call.
Important Notes and Suggestions:
- Unless all of your agents log out of the queue at the end of the business day, all callers calling into the queue will be waiting in line for the full caller timeout duration before failing over to the timeout destination. In order to avoid this please be sure that all agents log out when they are not answering calls
- Unexpected fail over - many people become surprised when queue calls begin ending up in their personal voice mailbox. This usually occurs when an agent is logged into the queue and has a setting to fail incoming calls over to another location after a certain period of time. If this length of time is less than the "Callers Max Wait Time" (see above) then the incoming queue call will fail over according to the user's incoming call preference. In order to avoid this either select a sufficiently short "Callers Max Wait Time" in order to subvert user timeout settings, or only log into the queue from "special" lines configured never to fail over in their incoming call preferences, this is the suggested approach. This will also occur with agents who are logged in but do not have a device registered.
- What to do if the settings do not display
Revised September 2015