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Virtual Contact Center: Customize Your IVR with Test Queue

By Thomas Wu, 8x8 Project and Professional Services Manager

Call Center IVR QueueWe all have horror stories of bad interactions with a company's IVR. One of the most common complaints is being kept on hold with no feedback on wait time and feeling like you have been forgotten. With the IVR Test Queue feature in your 8x8 Virtual Contact Center, you can customize your IVR’s behavior to ensure that your callers have the best possible experience with your company.

Your IVR Test Queue lets you define IVR routing choices based on agent availability or queue performance. Choices include directing a call to voicemail, another queue, or the most popular feature, a recorded message that announces the approximate wait time.

How the Test Queue Works

The “Test Queue” feature tests or checks the condition of a queue before determining what to do with an incoming call. When certain conditions are met, actions can be triggered.  For example, you can define a condition that says if the wait time is longer than 60 seconds, callers hear a message such as “We are currently experiencing longer than usual wait times. Please continue to hold.”  Or maybe you want to give your callers an approximate wait time. The Test Queue feature can do that too.

You can insert a Test Queue “object” anywhere in the IVR tree. The test can check for the following conditions in your IVR queue:

  • No qualified agents waiting in the queue
  • No qualified agents logged in
  • _X_ number of calls in the queue ahead of this call.
  • Call waiting longer than _X_ seconds in the queue
  • Expected wait time calculation for a call exceeds _X_ seconds
If the condition matches one of these categories, you can define what happens next. For example: play a message, send to voicemail, send to another queue, or check for another condition.

Additionally, the test queue can be used to test multiple conditions in the queue. Here’s an example of five test queues that are set up in one IVR. The design is illustrated in the screen shot below.

  • Test Queue 1:  Checks if there are no agents logged into the tenant. If the condition matches, plays an emergency closure message and terminates the call. If the condition does not match, meaning agents are logged in, test queue 2 is triggered.
  • Test Queue 2: Checks if logged-in agents are busy (not waiting). If true, triggers test queue 3. If false, forwards the call to a queue where agents are available to answer the call.
  • Test Queue 3: Checks if a call in the queue has waited longer than 1 minute. If true, triggers next queue. If false, plays a message “Your expected wait time for this call is less than 3 minutes”, and forwards the call to a queue.
  • Test Queue 4: Checks if a call has waited longer than 2 minutes. If true, triggers test queue 5. If false, plays a message to indicate an expected wait time of less than 5 minutes and forwards the call to a suitable queue.
  • Test Queue 5: Checks if a call has waited longer than 5 minutes. If true, plays a busy tone, and terminates the call. If false, plays a message to indicate an expected wait time of less than 10 minutes and forwards the call to the queue.
Customize Your Contact Center IVR
For more information and instructions on using your Test Queue see the Virtual Contact Center 7.0 release notes, pages 25-30.

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