Is it possible to send callers to a IVR/queue after there are a given number of active/hold/parked calls? Due to limited staff I would only like to have three active calls at a time and have all others put in the queue until one of those three calls is disconnected.
Enable skip busy in the queue settings, this will keep the caller in the queue until an agent becomes available, or a timeout.
Don’t think that will work in our case. We have 14 extensons through the building but it’s mainly just the two or three receptionists that answer them. Plus when they park a call that extension become free. Really want to find a way that there are only three calls at a time they are juggling.
There are lots of ways to do what you want to do, but honestly, why not let the system do the work and let your “answerers” do whatever it is they need to do. Your description makes it sound like you really want to do this in a hard-to-manage, frustrating-for-your-customer way.
For example, instead of forcing all of your calls through a human, set up a queue for the three people that are answering the phones. They can handle the inbound calls if they are not busy and the queue will fill and empty as they handle the incoming calls.
As they park, forward, or transfer calls to the “elite” employees, the phones will free up and the next call in the queue will be directed to them. If one of your answerers isn’t “full time”, you can even have them log into and out of the queue so that they become part of the pool, or remove themselves from the pool. There are also many “extension choosing” schemes to allow you to tune the queue so that you can direct the calls very specifically.
You can have many, many queues. They purpose of each can be as specific as a line of people to talk to one extension, or as broad as an “all employees” number that can be answered by the first person that gets it.
While it is probably possible to do what you want to do, I’d really recommend you stick with the time-honored processes that have been developed over the past 100 years.
I think what makes it difficult in our situation is the “answeres” are not always at the same phone, they are constanly getting up to do other tasks and answer the nearest phone. Or they might be helping a in-person customer and will need someone else to answer a call at a phone that isn’t right in front of them.
I imagine there is a better way to do this, just not exactly sure what it is.
That’s a horrific thing to do to a receptionist. Invest in a portable phone and give them some support to make their lives easier. Put their desk phones and their portable phones in the queue - you can even set up the portable and the desk phone as the same extension (so that their other phone won’t ring while they are on the phone). This way, your inbound queue will work.
There are lots of other ways to handle this, including setting up a “two level” inbound queue. If the receptionist doesn’t get the call within three rings, drop the call onto everyone that isn’t on the phone. There are many other schemes that can make this work. The system is VERY flexible and can be programmed to do a lots of really cool stuff that makes answering the phone efficient and a good experience for your customers.
Thank you for the info, I do think we need to figure out a better way to manage calls.
When a call is put into a parking lot, will that free up that agent?
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