ClarityTel Industry Insights

4 Call Queue Problems and How to Solve Them


Companies of all sizes share one common challenge: managing the call queue in a professional, efficient way that enhances customer experience.

Customers, after all, are justifiably annoyed. Some 86% of customers are put on hold when they call customer service, for a total of almost 43 days on hold in their entire lifetime!

There are many different strategies to address call queue organization. This article will consider common challenges and how a small to mid-size business phone system might better address these problems with effective call queue management.

1. Managing a Full Queue

Positive service experiences are critical to a good relationship with customers, and humans hate to wait. With call queue management, a business can decide in advance how to direct the system with the greatest efficiency to handle waiting callers. Managing maximum callers, queue member retries and queue ring strategy are only starting points to more effectively manage peak times without breaking the bank.

2. Long Wait Times

Businesses working to build positive relationships with consumers are battling impatience. As society has become more technology savvy, the threshold for waiting for service has shrunk. With call queue management there are several opportunities to keep impatience at bay:

  • Use periodic announcements addressing where the customer is in queue or offering estimated wait times.
  • Upload music selections and informational announcements to make the wait more pleasant or informative.
  • Streamline the call agent’s desktop so that employees have relevant data at their fingertips.

3. Prioritizing Call Queue

In an ideal world, the customer support team would quickly address those in the queue with simple problems and choose to give customers with tougher problems greater attention. Yet call queue systems work on a first-come, first-served basis.

Nevertheless, one way to give callers with simpler issues help quickly is to use targeted recorded announcements. After identifying the most common questions called in by customers, the company can record specific announcements offering troubleshooting solutions to address those issues.

4. Staffing Peak Call Times

If only customers called at regularly paced intervals throughout the day, consistently each day, year-round, without any surge times… Since they don’t, companies can address busy periods in several ways:

  • If a business is able to anticipate particularly busy times of year to manage calls, that would be a good time to limit vacation time for those who answer calls.
  • Plan to train staff on non-working days. Your staff may be more receptive than you would think as this choice will reduce the stress of their day-to-day job.
  • Allow employees to leave early or arrive later to address personal matters in return for more agents available during peak times.
  • Connect with other departments so support staff know to anticipate increased call volume in advance. For example, after a new direct mail campaign launches or during a social media marketing push for an upcoming event.
  • Bring in temporary help to handle peak times.
  • Call-back technology can enhance customer experience, as they are able to choose whether or not to wait. Knowing that they will get assistance shortly can reduce that customer’s impulse to reach out to a competitor for help instead.
How to deal with Long Queues in the Contact Centre. (2013, February 20).
Nasir, S. Customer Relationship Management Strategies in the Digital Era. (2015).