Call wait queues: Max queue size, wait time and failovers

Configure wait messages, max waiting times, queue size, and failover options. Tailor settings to individual call queues by location, brand, or client account.

July 14, 2022
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In this update, we are excited to announce an enhancement to our call wait queue feature, which allows you to configure what happens when callers are waiting to speak to a live agent.

From waiting messages and queue timeouts to failover settings, FocalScope allows you to tailor a set of rules for every call queue, making it easy for call centers, BPOs and multi-location businesses to improve their phone support efficiency and customer satisfaction.

What is a call wait queue?

Under our call queues and routing umbrella, a call wait queue is used for placing customers on hold when all agents are either occupied with other calls, unavailable, or offline. Once an agent becomes available, the first caller in the wait queue will be connected.

Benefits of configuring your call wait queues include:

    • Improve customer satisfaction
    • Improve call center performance (across different locations)
    • Manage call routing and workflows more efficiently
    • Reduce missed calls and abandoned calls

Configure your call wait queue experience

While a customer waits in queue, you can trigger a set of actions: play music, recent announcements, or a wait message via our built-in text-to-speech enabled IVRs.

For instance: “Thank you for waiting. Your call is important to us, and we will connect you to the next available customer service officer shortly.”

Using text-to-speech IVRs means you won’t have to manually record these messages or spend on voice talents. It also means you can make changes conveniently down the road.

Limit the wait queue by size

Set the maximum number of callers allowed in your call wait queue(s) e.g. 5 callers.

This is a crucial feature for call centers and BPOs, as well as multi-brand or multi-location businesses, to manage manpower allocation and resource constraints effectively.

If you have a limited pool of agents servicing multiple phone numbers, it helps to optimise workflows by configuring wait queue sizes proportional to the expected call volume. Alternatively, you can also limit the queue size according to priority, contractual agreements, SLAs and/or KPIs. 

Scenario 1:

You have 2 clients (or brands/locations), A and B. Client A gets 500 calls a day, while Client B gets only 20. You can set up Client A’s wait queue size to be 10, and Client B’s to be 2. This way, more resources will go to Client A who has the higher call volume.

Introduce a maximum call waiting time

Set the maximum waiting time allowed for customers to stay in a call queue e.g. 5 minutes.

This helps you prevent excessive waiting periods and protect your SLA and/or KPI performance. Similarly, if you are servicing multiple phone lines, you can also tailor wait thresholds accordingly your manpower availability, expected call volume, SLAs and/or KPIs.

Scenario 2:

You have 2 office locations: Denmark and Thailand. You have 2 agents in Denmark, and 20 in Thailand. To optimise the workflow, you can set up the maximum waiting time to be 10 mins for Denmark, and 3 mins for Thailand.

Decide what happens when the queue is full

FocalScope offers elegant workarounds to curb long waiting times, so that customers won’t be left feeling spurned. At the same time, you get to reduce the number of missed and abandoned calls. 

Configure what happens when a call wait queue is full, or when the maximum wait time has been reached. As always, note that you have the full flexibility to trigger different actions for different call queues (e.g. one set of triggers for your call center in Denmark, and another for Thailand).

Option 1: Route customers to a back-up queue

You can direct customers to a back-up queue, managers, or even mobile numbers. Doing so, you can ensure calls are still answered despite frontline agents being fully occupied. This trigger is particularly useful for critical call queues typically used for VIPs or emergency lines.

Option 2: Offer customers an exit from the queue. 

Offer customers a few exit options by using our text-to-speech and IVR capabilities. Giving customers a chance to leave you a voicemail or request a callback reduces the odds of them hanging up immediately, resulting in lost opportunities.


“We are currently experiencing high call volumes. To leave a voicemail, please press 1. To request a callback, please press 2. Alternatively, please hang up and call us again later.”

Explore our call queues and routing features

Click to learn more about our call center software features, or contact us directly for a full demo.

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