Call center ring strategy is an important consideration for all inbound call center managers. This setting, which allows you to determine how calls are distributed to agents within a call queue, affects many call center KPIs, including average hold time and average time to answer.
Call center ring strategy is a call center setting that allows managers to control how calls are distributed to agents within a given call queue.
In this post, we discuss 3 different types of call center ring strategy settings: Ring All, Round Robin, and Memory Round Robin. We explore the pros and cons of each ring strategy, and how you can use them to increase productivity and customer satisfaction.
Ring Strategy #1: Ring All
This is the most basic ring strategy available with most virtual call center software solutions. If you’re using Ring All as your ring strategy, then every incoming call rings to every agent in the specified call queue at the same time. The caller is connected to whoever picks up the call first. And that’s it!
Though simple, this ring strategy does have its advantages. First, it ensures that everyone in a specific department or call queue hears the incoming call; if one or more agents are away from their stations, you can rest assured that someone who is available will be notified of the call. In theory, this means that your callers will spend less time on hold waiting for the call to reach an available agent.
However, the Ring All ring strategy can have some downsides. Although it seems like Ring All would lead to a shorter average hold time, some call centers have reported the opposite. Why? Well, because all agents in a queue know that everyone is aware of the call, it’s easy to assume that someone else will pick up the call. Other call center managers have noted that some agents felt that they were answering every call. After answering the last 10 calls, they might start to feel like it was “someone else’s turn,” and not pick up.
Ring Strategy #2: Round Robin
Round Robin is another common ring strategy used in inbound call centers. Instead of ringing to every agent in the call queue at once, Round Robin forwards the incoming call to the first person in the queue. If he or she does not pick up the call after a set number of rings, the call is passed to the second agent in the queue, and so on. This type of ring strategy allows call center managers to determine which agent receives the call first.
The major benefit of the Round Robin ring strategy is that it allows call center managers to prioritize who receives incoming calls in a particular order. However, it can cause problems with average hold time if the first 2 or 3 agents are unable to take the call.
Ring Strategy #3: Memory Round Robin
Memory Round Robin works similarly to the Round Robin ring strategy with one major difference. Instead of starting with the first team member and moving in order, it remembers where it left off and starts with the next person in the call queue when another call comes in. This allows call centers to share calls equally amongst team members.
One of the major benefits of the Memory Round Robin ring strategy is that it allows you to see missed calls by agent. With Ring All or Round Robin, call center managers only have visibility into missed calls by queue.
Which Call Center Ring Strategy Is Right for You?
As you can see, there are many different types of call center ring strategies, and they all come with different pros and cons. The Ring All ring strategy can cut minimize average hold time, but it can also make it difficult for managers to see who is answering calls. It can also cause problems with agent morale, especially when one or two agents feel like they are answering all the calls.
The Round Robin ring strategy gives call center managers more control over who answers the call, but it can be problematic when the first 2 or 3 agents are busy or unable to take a call. On the other hand, Memory Round Robin offers the best of both worlds: it evenly distributes calls, more like the Ring All strategy. And, it provides visibility into who is missing calls and who is answering them.