Best Guide to Call Queue Set Up & Strategy

Anyone who has ever said that waiting for something will make you appreciate it more once you get it probably was never put on hold.

In an age where the internet has revolutionized communication and e-commerce is slowly becoming the norm and not the outlier, the average consumer has an attention span between six seconds and eight seconds.

The point is that with so much competition and high consumer standards, the longer you have callers to your business waiting, the less likely it will end up positively for your business. 

In a recent customer service research survey asking customers how long they are willing to stay on hold for a business, over 60% of customers said waiting one minute is too long to wait. 

Over 32% of customers believe that they should not be made to wait one second while on hold. 

These customers believe that any business deserving of their business should answer their call the moment they call.

Only about 4% of customers are willing to stay on hold for as long as it takes to reach a customer service representative.

Unnecessarily putting customers on hold can negatively impact your business or call center's brand, reduce the likelihood of purchase, create irritated and dissatisfied customers who will complain online about you, and write negative reviews about you online.

The reality of business transactions in the 21st century is that customers can't realistically avoid wait times when calling a business' customer service system. The average call wait time for a customer to wait on hold is about 90 seconds

Additionally, the perception of time can seem excruciatingly slower for a customer waiting on hold to reach a business. Customers who have been kept waiting for 60 seconds or 90 seconds may have the mistaken psychological perception that they have been waiting several minutes.

The point is that the customer is always right. And while business hour hold times for customers is an unavoidable reality, your business should endeavor to keep wait times to a minimum.

So, here is our best guide to setting up a call queue system for your business and strategies on how to maintain it properly.

But firstly, what is a call queue system?

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Related: Fixed & Non-Fixed VoIP: What's the Difference?

Call Queue System 101

A call queue system is a digital call distribution and organization system that a call center or business can use to handle all inbound customer calls efficiently.

As previously mentioned, businesses and call centers can't avoid making customers wait on hold. A business may have hundreds or thousands of customers trying to call one or a few business numbers for one company during the day.

Then one must consider that the average call center for a business may only have a handful or a dozen or two employees on-site during a shift. Or the call center may be outsourced to a country on the other side of the world, which brings a host of other issues like differing time zones, cultural differences, and so on.

Call queue systems are designed to efficiently organize and distribute high volumes of inbound calls in the shortest time frame possible. 

Callers are usually placed in a call queue system in the order in which they call. Subsequently, each caller on hold is transferred to a call center agent or customer service representative as they become available.

Call queue systems are also designed to prioritize important calls that may need to jump the queue. The callers in a call queue system are calling for a variety of diverse reasons and needs. 

Additionally, depending on who is calling and why some issues are more important than others in a call queue system.

Now that we understand what a call queue system is let's discuss some of the basic features that come with it.

Estimated Wait Times

As we previously discussed, customers don't like waiting on hold to do business. Over 60% of customers are only willing to wait a minute and no longer while on hold. 

And 32% of customers aren't even willing to wait one second on hold to get through to a business.

Only 4% of customers will wait as long as it takes to get through to a business or a customer service representative.

And the slower perception of time that people experience when they are waiting can make them believe that the short wait times they are experiencing are longer than they are in reality.

Most call queue systems have estimated wait time features built-in as a basic option. The call queue system has basic algorithms that can calculate how long each caller waiting in the queue will have to wait to talk to a customer service agent.

The call queue system can make such calculations based on the average call times previously experienced on the system. 

Additionally, announcing estimated wait times to callers waiting on hold can reduce the chance of creating frustration or dropped calls. 

And intermittent estimated wait time voice prompts can positively enable customer patience and potentially keep them on the line.

Management Contact Center

This system allows call center managers to see every call waiting in the call queue system.

In Queue Call Back Options

Some callers may end up waiting longer than others. It's an inevitability. So many call queue systems feature a callback option for customers unwilling to wait longer.

And the callback option also increases your chances of the customers finalizing their needs with your business. And your business won't lose the opportunity through an extended wait time.

Call Queue System Set Up Basics

Setting up your call queue system is a straightforward and user-friendly process. And the business that sets you up will provide installation and training basics.

Establish Business Hours

Your call queue system lets you set business hours for multiple departments simultaneously. For example, you can develop business hour times for mainline operators and various departments. 

With this method, various departments can handle calls on a staggered or diverse schedule or priority.

Establish Call Routing Priorities

Call routing establishes which calls are prioritized and how they are routed to agents.

So, for example, some customer service agents can receive calls based on callers who have been waiting for the longest, in a random order, or on the sequential order, each call was placed.

Non-Agent Options

Your call queue system can be set up to offer customers an option to leave a voicemail message, engage with an automated voicemail menu, or refer to another department.

There are many options that your business can consider with a call queue system. 

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Related: How to Switch to VoIP Easily [Beginner's Guide]

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