Multiple Queues, Agent Behaviour

Hi Folks,

Have a situation regarding a customer of ours. They’ve got 3 call queues which is being manned by the same staff. They want the ring behaviour to be least recent to answer the calls.

However, the issue is that the queues treat them in their own small bubble. What the customer wants is to have the longest idling person of the lot from any of the 3 queues to be the one to answer the call next. To put it in simple terms, even though there are 3 queues, the call handling should be treated as if they’re in a single queue.

Is this doable, or this is not an option at all.


Question: why not use one queue and set a CID Prefix like “Operator” “Sales”? so the Queue agents will be able to differentiate… I’m just asking.

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I am also curious if this is a bug or standard operation.

There are no provisions for treating three queues as one queue. They are three queues and are separate on purpose. If you want the call handling to treat all three queues as a single queue, you are going to need to find a way to differentiate the calls on the way into the queue and use a single queue. (see note)

There are several ways to do that, including Caller ID Resets using “SetCallerID”, prepending information onto the incoming CID through the inbound route (IIRC), and using different ring tones through setting the Alert-Info on the call.

It might help you to think about the call as it is handled in Asterisk:

  1. The call comes in to the server and is answered.
  2. The system looks at the settings for the incoming call and initiates a new call to your extensions or ring-groups.
  3. When someone picks up the phone, the inbound call is bridged to the picked up phone.

So, the part when the PBX calls the phone is handled in your queue module, but there is a lot of stuff you can do to the call before it gets to the queue.

Note: You could actually do exactly what you are asking, but you’ll have to rewrite most of the queue handling contexts to keep track of the extension information on a ‘per system’ rather than ‘per queue’ model. This is doable, but nontrivial.

Their is a commercial module called Queues Pro or also formerly known as VQ Plus that let’s you have virtual queues that let you change any setting before sending the call to queue that way you have a single queue but can change settings.

Thanks everyone for your replies.

The main intention is reporting and KPI’s are dependant on these queues. Hence the reason for having 3 queues.

Explanations have helped me to look into alternative ways of achieving something similar. Will discuss with the customer and proceed from here.


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