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Call Queues

There are two ways to ring a group of phones from a babblevoice call rule, first by calling a group, the second by queueing the call.

When you call a group, that is what happens immediately. All the phones in the group will start ringing, and if several other calls come in at the same time, the phones themselves will receive the calls and alert the user to those calls.

Call queues, on the other hand, have a number of features which make them a better choice for handling inbound calls:

  1. They don't present the phones with multiple calls; once phones who are members of a queue are ringing with other calls from that queue, further calls will be held back as part of the queue,

  2. We can announce the queue position to the caller so the caller can decide whether to wait or call back later when it is less busy,

  3. You can configure an 'agent' delay (sometimes called lag) so that once they have finished on a call, they get a defined amount of time to write up their notes before another call is passed down to them,

  4. We have a number of reports that aid with managing a volume of calls, such as a live view of how many callers are waiting in line through to historic stats such as abandoned rate, queue volume and so on (example image above).

Queue strategies

Once you have decided on whether to use queueing or a simple group if you choose to queue, you also have options on how best to find agents to handle those calls.

By default, we employ a strategy called ring all. It is designed to be the first step into queueing calls - and mimics calling a group but with the feature of holding queueing calls back. So, when a call comes in for a queue, the queue rings all the available phones in the group for the queue at the same time. This has several considerations:

  • Most users understand how this works as it is like a normal call group rule,
  • Because it tries to mimic how a group works, the queue presents the caller id of the caller on the phone when the phone starts to ring. This may seem like common sense, but there is one drawback to this strategy: If the caller id is presented to the phone, this means the decision as to what call in the queue will be put through when it is answered. Call one, hits the queue and rings phone one. Phone two wasn't called as it was already on a call. The agent (person) who answers phone one goes on a toilet break. Call two now comes in, and phone two is now available, so it starts to ring. Agent two answers phone two, which means the call in queue position number two has been answered before call one. This isn't a massive drawback in most scenarios - but it should be part of your consideration.
  • Becuase for every call, lots more phones will probably ring. This is good to grab the attention of the office, but also has a cost. When a call is answered, babblevoice has to hangup all the other phones which where presented with the same phone call (to ensure the first person which answered gets the call) before it can confidently answer the call. This may introduce a small delay in the actually connecting on the answered phone.

The second strategy which can be employed is enterprise. This strategy is designed to be much more efficient in how it places calls for both strictly maintaining the order of calls and efficiently connecting the calls to agents. The main features are:

  • For every call in the queue, it will ring one phone up to the number of phones in the group at the time. Two calls, two phones will ring. It decides on which phones based on the least answered and other statistics.
  • Every 20 seconds, the calls will switch phones.
  • It holds back which call will be sent to which phone until a phone is actually answered. When the phone rings, it will not show the caller id of the caller but "Queued(queuename)", i.e. "Queued(Reception)". This has the advantage that the first call will be strictly answered in order as the decision to place which call to which phone only after the first phone has been answered.

When a user answers the call, the caller id of the call is then presented on the phone.

When a call comes in on 01442299280 then set the queueing strategy to enterprise then, queue the call for reception queue for 3600 seconds then hang up the call.

Note, call queueing supports one strategy per queue. If you have multiple rules into a queue where one is enterprise and one the default ring all, it will have the following behaviour

  • If the queue is empty, it will pick the strategy based on the rule followed,
  • If a queue has other callers in it, it will pick the strategy of whatever those calls picked via the rule route they took.

Queues in rules

Sending a call into a queue is very simple; you might have:

When a call comes in on 01442299280 then queue the call for reception queue for 3600 seconds then hangup the call.


When a call comes in on 01442299280 then enable and add agent delay of 60 seconds for call queues enable queue position announcements then queue the call for reception queue for 3600 seconds then hangup the call.

In the first example, it is a simple queue the call. In the second example, we announce to the caller the position they are in and also add a delay for the agent to write up their notes.

Warning, every call route must have the same delay in, or it resets the call every call and breaks the delay.

Have a look in the 'Groups' section for call rules there are other options, including playing a recording to callers whilst they are waiting.