Question:

Can virtual queuing be used as a method to manage call volume with a smaller complement of staff?

Answer:

Virtual queuing is a queue management application. During peak periods of high volume and extended wait times, the application advises callers of the approximate wait time and provides options to wait in queue for the next available agent, or drop off and receive an immediate or scheduled callback. The fundamental purpose of a virtual queuing solution is to give callers control of their time while reducing operating costs for the enterprise during unanticipated spikes in demand. DMG cautions contact center mangers to use this functionality carefully, however, as it could throw off their statistics and result in a major understaffing situation. We further qualify that while the concept of virtual queuing is customer-centric, as it is driven by customer choices, callers will embrace this approach only if it’s used occasionally, and will be displeased if they are offered a callback every time they call.

It’s always important to respond whenever customers/prospects reach out, so best practice is to be adequately staffed to handle the anticipated volume of incoming interactions. (Think one and done.) Virtual hold/virtual callback can be effective when it’s used properly; for example, call centers should use virtual hold/virtual callback only on an exception basis when there are unexpected surges, not as a standard staffing strategy or as a justification to understaff the contact center, which only places a heavier burden on already overtaxed agent resources.