Customer service

How contact centre software can help you manage customer waiting times

Enreach 19/03/2024
Clock icon 6 min
Level: Medium

With the approval of the Spanish Customer Service Bill, customer service organisations must be prepared to serve their customers in less than three minutes.

Hiring more agents and using advanced contact centre software will be essential to meet the upcoming regulations.


You can’t manage what you can’t measure, including customer wait times. That’s why supervisors need to be able to check the percentage of calls answered in less than three minutes.

With a real-time control panel, they can see if there’s an overloaded queue, for example, or if an agent is taking too long to deal with a customer.

They can then make decisions and act immediately, whether it is adding more agents to a queue or entering the call to give instructions to the agent without the customer hearing them.


To reduce customer hold times, it’s necessary to streamline the process of identifying the reason for the call.

In the past, the only way to do this was through IVR menus, where we programmed a series of prompts to route the call depending on the number the customer pressed (DTMF) or the word spoken (ASR).

For several years now, call centres have been using open-ended questions. Instead of giving several options to choose from, they ask directly: “Please state the reason for your call”.

Call qualification can be done using an advanced IVR or a bot. Both systems can recognise keywords in a sentence and route the call to the most appropriate queue.

But remember! If you want a ‘human’ conversation before the call is routed to the queue, an advanced IVR won’t do.


Self-service is an effective tool for reducing customer waiting times by providing quick and automated responses to recurring and simple queries.

Without the need for supervision, callbots are able to speak, understand and respond like humans thanks to conversational and/or generative artificial intelligence (such as ChatGPT).

Although they require prior training to learn how to identify and resolve these types of queries, they can relieve agents of the need to: identify a customer, answer FAQs, read an instruction manual, manage a medical appointment, recommend a pension plan, etc.


Of all the queue configurations available, there are three that are specifically designed to effectively manage customer waiting times: skill-based routing, queue prioritisation and maximum queue capacity.


Specifying the skills of the agents working in the contact centre is essential for routing calls more efficiently and thus reducing waiting times.

The programme you use to handle calls should allow you to specify the skills of each agent, from general knowledge to the most specific skills and even soft skills.

For example, we can have an agent with technical support skills, based in Barcelona, who specialises in fixing routers and also has empathy skills.

This agent will be assigned to the technical support queue with a maximum score (100 points), but will also be able to handle some calls from the customer service queue (20 points). They will be able to handle calls in Catalan (100 points), Spanish (100 points) and English (60 points), they will be able to resolve queries about the Internet (100 points), and they will also have knowledge of computers with the Windows operating system (80 points), in addition to being empathetic (100 points).

This system allows us to list all the operators’ skills and assign them a value from 0 to 100. They will therefore deal first with requests that require their strongest skills, and then those with lower scores (if the agents with the highest scores are busy).


Queue prioritisation is used to further refine routing and consists of assigning a value from 0 to 100 to the queues themselves.

For example, if we have three queues: one for customer service (50 points), one for technical support (100 points) and one for sales (20 points), we can tell the system which queue has the highest priority.

In this way, agents trained to receive technical support and customer service calls will deal with technical queries first.

This configuration is very useful if we find that the volume of calls is higher for one type of query. By prioritising them, we will deal with them before the rest.


Limiting the size of a queue can help us to prevent overflows, as we not only specify the number of calls that queue can handle, but also specify an alternative queue for when it fills up.

Following the previous example, if we create several technical support queues by language, we can make the Spanish queue only take up to 5 calls and use the Catalan queue as a backup, since it’s made up of agents who also speak that language.


The definitive way to end phone queues is to have an artificial intelligence queue for your customers when they call the contact centre.

As soon as the customer enters the queue, the AI informs them that they can end the call and receive a callback when an agent is available.

Despite hanging up, the bot will continue to advance positions in the queue, and when it reaches the first position, it will automatically call the customer and the agent to connect them.

The main difference between this AI and a traditional callback is that when the customer calls back, the bot informs them of their current position without losing their turn.


Another way to meet the new customer service SLA is to reduce the volume of incoming calls by enabling digital channels, whether it’s WhatsApp or a chat on the website.

These channels do not have minimum attention times and can also be managed by chatbots. Just as AI can detect intent and intentionality in calls, it can also do so through written channels.

So, the process would be the same: present the user with a menu of query options, or an open-ended question.And once the bot understands the customer’s need, it can offer self-service or transfer the call to an agent.

The best thing about omnichannel contact centre software is that both the chatbot and the agents can seamlessly switch from a WhatsApp conversation to a phone call.


The technology available on the market today can help you serve all of your customers in less than three minutes.

Depending on the volume of calls your contact centre receives, you’ll need to assess whether you only need an advanced customer service programme, or if you need to add alternative channels and/or artificial intelligence.

Will your company’s customer service be affected by the new by the future law? Get in touch with our team of experts on +34 900 670 750 or chat to us. We’re here to help!

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