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Glossary

What is Invisible Queue?

What does invisible queue mean?

In reference to the terminology used in call centers in India and across the world, an invisible queue is regarded as a call center queue where the caller is not told about his position in the queue and also, how the queue is proceeding or moving. Unlike a real-life queue, it is an intangible entity. You cannot touch and feel it, but it exists. It is not revealed via a Graphical User Interface (GUI). It is a thing that very much exists; however, the users do not get to see or monitor it. It is not visible to end-users; thus, it is called an invisible queue.

In layman’s language, it is a term used when callers are waiting for a customer care representative to answer their calls and are not informed about how long they will have to wait.

If we compare the difference between standing in a queue in real life and an invisible queue in a call center, we will observe that in real life we can judge our position and the time it’ll take for us to be the head of the queue through its movement; however, it is not the case with being in an invisible queue. In an invisible queue, you connect with a call center and expect an instant answer; however, when that does not happen as many people are waiting before you, you tend to become irritated and unhappy about the entire situation.

The resolution to handle such a situation is to play live messages announcing the actual position in the queue or at least the estimated wait time before being heard or serviced.

On the other hand, a visible queue will allow a caller to be aware of their position in the queue and/or the expected wait time. This will enable a caller to decide whether to hold. They will keep in mind the expected answer time as well as how quickly the position in the queue moves.

Invisible Queue in a Contact Center

In a contact center, an invisible queue is created by a process called Automatic Call Distribution, or ACD. This transitions long-standing callers to the next agent while they wait, often listening to informative announcements or, more often, to music.

Invisible queues can be solved by playing messages which announce the position in line and the estimated wait time. These messages should be sent out every 30 seconds or so.

In contact centers, people will abandon a queue (i.e. hang up the phone) when they have given up on waiting. The contact center must understand the amount of time people will spend in a contact center queue and ensure that they come up with the wait time that is feasible for the customers

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