Minimum queue wait/ringing time for caller even if all agents unavailable?

Callers enter queues from our IVR that handles all incoming calls. When there is no agent available to answer the queue, they are immediately bounced to a voicemail box.

We are noticing some callers end up feeling like something is broken because the transition from answer->IVR->queue announcement->voicemail happens so fast and there is never any ringing/waiting to give the feeling that the phone system is attempting to reach someone to take their call.

What I’d like to do is have a minimum amount of time that a caller is in a queue hearing hold music or ringing before they are directed to voicemail, even if there are no agents available. But I also don’t want to prepend an artificial “play ringing” step that would extend their queue wait time in a way that is unanswerable when there IS an agent available to answer.

Any suggestions? Thanks.

You could put e.g. two cycles of ringback tone at the beginning of the “there is no agent available” greeting. If the voicemail box is also used for other purposes, route to an Announcement that then routes to the voicemail box (specifying No Message).

Are you talking about a queue or a ring group? I’m curious how you’ve configured a queue such that callers will only wait in the queue when agents are available, but immediately go to failover when all agents are on a call.

It’s a queue. I believe we’re doing this through the “Capacity → Leave Empty” setting. Ours is set to “Strict” but looks like “Ultra Strict” would cover the “all agents on a call” version:

  • Strict Same as Yes but more strict. Simply speaking, if no agent could answer the phone then have them leave the queue. If agents are inuse or ringing someone else, caller will still be held.
  • Ultra Strict Same as Strict plus a queue member must be able to answer the phone ‘now’ to let them remain. Simply speaking, any ‘available’ agents that could answer but are currently on the phone or ringing on behalf of another caller will be considered unavailable.
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