“Please hold, while we connect you…”
Nowadays, ACD Queues (Automatic Call Distribution Call Queues) are a well known tool in telecommunications. Call queues make it easier for callers to access telephony services, while the call center and service staff (also called agents) is relieved due to automatic call distribution. When calling a phone system (PBX) that uses call queues, callers usually hear a welcome message and an IVR menu and are then sent into a call queue, where they hear waiting music and position announcements until an agent becomes available. The normal distribution approach in call queues is first in, first out.
There are different types of agents. There are agents whose phones are constantly connected to the call queue. This approach is usually found in call center environments. Some call queues also allow dynamic agent login. This allows additional staff to login their phones into queues in times of high call loads to support the other agents and ensure smooth service for the callers. Decreases the call load, the additional agents can logout the queue and go back to other tasks.
In the past many cases of call queue abuse have occured. Callers were sent into call queues with very high rates and after a long waiting time didn’t receive anything in return. To prevent this in the future, and protect customers, the German government has passed a law (§ 66g TKG) to control the usage of call queues. Since June 1. 2013 ACD queues are only allowed if:
– they are reached via free numbers (0800),
– they are reached via local numbers (e.g. 030 for Berlin)
– they are reached via public mobile numbers (015, 016, 017)
In cases where special service numbers are used (e.g. 0180 or 0900), ACD queues are only allowed if there is a fixed pricing for the call or if callers are not charged for the time they spend in the call queue. Violations of this and similar laws can be reported to customer protection and will usually be fined.
Other countries have passed similar laws.
The AskoziaPBX IP phone system fully supports ACD queues. The Call Flow Editor allows you to add welcome announcements, music-on-hold, announcement of the average waiting time, the position in the queue and much more. AskoziaPBX also allows easy monitoring of call queues and agents workload with the Wallboard. AskoziaPBX doesn’t limit the number of call queues available.