Manage Business Calls with Ring Groups and Call Queues!

Great Features from the Best Business Phone Service Provider. 

With any business communication strategy, the primary goal should be to route your callers efficiently to the people best suited to meet their specific needs for that call.  When paired with an auto attendant, ring groups or call queues are an effective tool to handle call volume when customers are directed to the correct group to meet their needs.  sipVine offers many call management features including ring groups and call queues that your small business can leverage with our Hosted VoIP phone system.

Ring Group Defined

A ring group is a set of phones that all ring at the same time for a defined number of rings before going to the next programmed option.  For example, a business can choose to have a ring group or groups in front of an auto attendant for their main line calls.  For example, you can have a couple of primary phones ring first for four rings and then roll to a "ring all" ring group for another four rings before rolling to your auto attendant options. 

In cases where the auto attendant answers first, certain options can route callers to a defined set of phones (a ring group) to handle the specific need.  For example, a business can have an option for "sales" and a ring group consisting of the sales team phones.  Another option can be for technical support and a ring group consisting of the phones in their IT department.  

The key differentiation here is that a ring group consists of a set of defined phones and all those phones ring at the same time.  Whether it be to the main phone line or from an auto attendant option, your call flow design will automatically identify the ring group, number of rings, and what to do if there's no answer.

sipVine's Hosted VoIP service provides small businesses with many features to fit each company's needs.  With ring groups, your customers can dial a set extension and it will ring to every phone in the designated group at the same time, making the automation seamless and efficient.

Call Queue Defined

A call queue works much differently than a ring group and requires more programming and operational interaction.  Queue members are identified and calls are funneled into the queue and answered by the next available associate.  Callers can hear music on hold while they are in queue and period messaging can play while they wait.  Options for opting out to leave a message is an example of a programmable option.

Call queues are typically used to handle high call volume situations or to ensure the equitable distribution of calls.  These would be in situations where callers expect to be on hold for longer than a standard amount of rings (16 seconds or so).    An advantage of call queues versus ring groups is that you can have a caller in the queue for a longer period of time and phones are not just ringing and ringing.  If the "next" associate in line is on the phone, the call would ring to an available associate who is next in line.

Programmable options for consideration are below:

  • Amount of time in queue.  Queues are recommended for anything 60 seconds or longer.
  • Type of call distribution.  For example, typically queues are programmed for the next call to go to the person that has been idle the longest.   Another example is a "priority based" queue.  Calls are always distributed in the same order by an associate.  If the person who is always first in line is on the phone or logged out of the queue, calls will roll to the next person.
  • Type of in-queue messaging desired.  When entering a queue, you can have a short intro greeting like, "please hold for the next available associate."  That way they are aware they are entering a queue and won't be taken aback by hold music playing.  You can also have periodic messaging play where callers can press an option to opt out of the queue or stay on hold.
  • Agent post-call wrap up time.  In some cases, an agent requires time to wrap up data entry or call documentation notes before being available to take the next call.  You can define this wrap up time.
  • Define post-queue options.  If a caller has remained in queue for the defined set of time, an end state is required.  For example, a caller can be directed to a ring group of another set of phones designed as a back up to the queue or they can go to a message with options for the customer to select.

sipVine has a queue management application to help with the real-time management and monitoring of the queue.  It is one of the primary applications in our sipPanel.  Included in the sipPanel would be the ability for the customer to:

  • See who is logged in and available to take a queue call.
  • Observe the number of callers waiting in the queue and for how long.
  • Users or administrators can log in or out of the queue or pause from the queue when queue members are away from their desk.
  • Administrators can log non-traditional queue members into a queue during periods of high call volume.
  • Users can define a presence status when they are away from their desk, essentially explaining why they are logged out or paused from the queue.  They can even use the sipPanel as a chat platform.
  • Supervisors can be provided a listen in or listen and whisper capability, so they can monitor their agents' calls for quality or in a training environment.

sipVine associates have helped thousands of businesses optimize their communication practices and consult on whether ring groups, queues, or a combination are best suited for their business.  Business phone service is what we do, and we're happy to help you find the best solutions for your company's needs.  If you'd like a quote or a consultation to discuss Hosted VoIP options, please reach out to us.