Routing Zendesk Talk calls to multiple agents at the same time

95 Comments

  • Chris Duncan

    How do we "vote" aside from ditching Talk for another VOIP product that can do something as simple as ringing all available agents?  I've never owned a PBX or worked with a VOIP provider that couldn't handle such a simple task.  

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  • Nicole - Community Manager

    @Chris you use the arrows on the original post to vote for the idea. Product Managers take the number of votes into consideration when looking at what to prioritize each development cycle. 

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  • Matt Chayba

    Honestly, very disappointing that this functionality is not included in any package. There is also no work around to easily distribute calls the way you want. The poor UX design from a group sharing perspective is honestly making me consider cancelling my talk subscription as it isn't optimal for daily operations.

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  • Chad Mickelberry

    Need this to work.

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  • Jamie Noell

    With the phone system we have internally, we can set-up a prioritized list of agents, and I as the manager am at the bottom of the list so that I can know immediately if our team is not answering calls live.  WIth Zendesk Talk, however, the round robin means that I cannot be last but instead am in the general group for receiving calls.  

    I am not always in the area of our agent team, so it's helpful for me to see "real time" if calls are being missed.  Plus, I want the phone answered so I am like the fail safe to get a call answered.  I do not want to receive another email notification of an abandoned call as it's too late to get that call answered "live." 

    It would be ideal if we could prioritize the list of agents within the call group.  

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  • Ryan Miller

    @Jamie Noell,

    You can do this by setting up two different groups. The first group would be all support agents except yourself. The second group would be all support agents including you.

    In the IVR Menu you'd send "Support Calls" to a new number in Zendesk Talk which would use Group routing rather than an IVR tree. 

    In the group setting you would select the two groups you just created and default to the group without you. That way, if all else fails, you get a phone call, but in most cases the calls get routed to all your support agents.

    I just implemented it and it works well.

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  • Chris Ryland

    Without simultaneous ringing, Talk is useless to us. Please add this feature!

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  • Nicole - Community Manager

    Hey Chris - can you tell us more about your use case? 

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  • Chris Ryland

    Same as most folks commenting here. We're just 4 people working out of our home offices, 2 of whom are generally available and 2 of whom are backups. We all do support, but that's not any of our main functions. We just do it as part of our work as engineers (or in my case, as company head and thus general dogsbody).

    Since we can't predict when any one of us will be around (our schedules are flexible), ringing round-robin won't work, since the phone might ring for up to 1.5 minutes without a response.

    Every other phone system we've ever seen or tried (and we've tried several) can ring all phones simultaneously. I just don't understand why ZD talk can't do it. Seems like an anti-product.

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  • Nicole - Community Manager

    Thanks for the additional detail, Chris. 

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  • Sarah Salvador

    We also desperately need this functionality and I echo many of the specific needs of others who have commented. We're small team with many members who have multiple roles. The round-robin style of ringing simply does not work based on how we prioritize those that are on the primarily phone versus those that have other primary roles, with phone as a secondary role. We have a hard "no missed calls" rule in our call center, which means that anyone who is qualified to answer the phone is required to as needed if calls go unanswered. As someone commented above, this means that I and other managers who are on the phone less by nature, would be pinged first on incoming calls due to low-talk time. Even if we create concentric groups of members, we'd have to create so many in our organizational setup that I can't imagine a customer having the patience to wait through as many rings as it would take to reach finally an agent if it got to the management level.

    Regarding the official response above, the ability to configure the 30-second wait time may help some, but it wouldn't help in our situation. In order to reduce the wait time to a total time that would prevent the end-user from hanging up, we'd likely have to reduce the wait time to a duration that would be moderately unreasonable for an agent to pick up the call.

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  • Chris Ryland

    @Sarah: My thoughts exactly. Thank you.

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  • Jeff Noles

    We are in the process of switching over to ZD Talk (we're about to port our number), and it's hard to shake the feeling that we made a *huge* mistake.  Perhaps we presumed too much, but in our trialling and testing we just assumed ZD Talk would have round-robin inbound calls.  We're a small company--2 agents on deck but on the phone ~60% of the time and every so often I help out....we need round-robin to see who's calling and then we make a judgment call on who's best to answer, and its usually not me.  We also don't have our headphones on 100% of the time, which is a secondary issue.  We're testing speakerphones to hear the ring when we don't have headphones on and then plug them in for the call, but the only solution that seems to work, Jabra, has poor sound quality in the "handoff" from speaker to headset.

    From reading the threads, the PMs have a consistent message:  this software is for larger, inbound call centers.  Which is too bad.  We use ticketing and chat and wanted to unify all contacts through ZD by using Talk.  It's too bad the product, however, doesn't fit our small-business requirements.  We're debating internally about whether to go back to our old VOIP or forge ahead with ZD Talk.  It's not looking great for forging ahead.  Any comments / feedback would be appreciated since we only have a few days to decide.

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  • Ryan Miller

    @Jeff that's exactly the problem. A small team needs some round robin capability. We need the flexibility that round robin brings to the business while focusing on creating great support and ticket solutions using ZD. We've been using ZD Talk for a month and in many ways it's not nearly as efficient as our old system. At the same time, it has really transformed a lot of what we used to do on paper or in passing into digital efficiency. 

    What I'm hoping for is the option to use Round Robin style calling. It might not work for big call centers, but for us small companies, it would make a world of difference in our ability to respond quickly and efficiently with our team.

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  • Chris Ryland

    @jeff, @ryan:

    When you say "round robin" I think you mean "simultaneous ringing", or at least your comments make the most sense, even if you don't mean that.

    I.e., in a small company (like ours, 4 people, all "on deck" but also wearing many hats and often in and out or developing "in the zone" and thus essentially uninterruptable) we all need to see the phone ringing simultaneously, for there to be any chance of handling the call effectively.

    Round-robin would take at least 1.5 minutes to get to the last person on the list, and that's unacceptable.

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  • Ryan Miller

    @Chris, yes apologies for the terminology.

    The suggestion is that a call should ring to all agents at once. That is what we need.

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  • Chris Ryland

    Althought we mostly love ZD for ticket handling (plenty of little annoyances as with any solution), it's pretty clear they have no intention of implementing simultaneous ringing (unlike every other VOIP solution out there), which makes them useless for most small businesses. That's a shame, as we'd love to consolidate our channels into ZD.

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  • Jeff Noles

    @Chris, @Ryan:

    Thanks for the terminology correction.  And thank you for your comments / insights.

    Yes....it looks like we'll remain open to moving to ZD Talk, but for now the "solution" (channel consolidation) doesn't quite justify the difficulty of moving to Talk (lots more missed calls, hard outbound calling, tricky dashboard management for not-full-time agents).  We'll go back to manually entering tickets for the phone calls we're receiving so we're still capturing contact data.

    I've signed up for alerts from this channel so hopefully we'll get some good news down the line.  

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  • Amy

    We moved over from RingCentral back at the end of 2017 and since then our call pick up rates have been lower with Zendesk. Even with a fully stocked team, our highest % acceptance is 87%, which still isn't good enough.

    I sound like a broken record notifying our small team that a call waiting to be picked up, we use Queuerious and we also now have Geckoboard dashboards showing our call/inbox stats but it's just simply the not ringing on all phones at once, is a major issue for us in terms of on-going improvement.

    We NEED the option of simultaneous calling, I can't believe it's not already there. It seems like a no-brainer.

     

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  • Nicole - Community Manager

    Thanks for that feedback, Amy. I've escalated your comment internally. 

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  • Simon H

    We are in the process of moving to ZD Talk and I have raised this issue with my manager about the round-robin strategy. It doesn't work for us either.

    We are a small team of 3 support agents. Ringing my phone for 30 seconds and then moving onto another colleague is not good enough. It's simply too long for the customer to wait.

    A) Make the 30 second ring time configurable. 10-15 seconds would be acceptable in our scenario.

    B) Allow for more ringing strategies.

    If you're going to provide end-users with a phone system equivalent to handle their calls, you need to have the BASIC features covered, which unfortunately, you don't. 

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  • Nicole - Community Manager

    Thanks for your feedback, Simon. 

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  • Stuart Anderton

    Can I just add that we have got a long way into implementing Zendesk, but the lack of simultaneous ringing is a huge issue. It honestly never even occurred to me that that wouldn't be available. And not being able to change the ridiculously huge 30 seconds before it moves to the next agent is just as bad. Fortunately we have not yet spent a lot of money, but it looks like I will have to switch to an alternative.

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  • Sarah Salvador

    @Stuart - I will admit that when we were considering Zendesk, I didn't properly vet Talk enough to discover that this wasn't possible, for the same reason you stated - it honestly never occurred to me that a feature like that wouldn't be available. We were more focused on the Support and Chat aspects of Zendesk, which we have implemented fully and use regularly with great success; but now I am unfortunately stuck in a place in which we are having to consider another move to an alternate system for all of our CRM needs because the Talk module is insufficient for our needs.

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  • Tobias

    @Nicole are there any news regarding the simultaneous ringing or the 30 seconds? Any feedback would be appreciated... It is absolutely key for us to have one of those features implemented as soon as possible

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  • Nicole - Community Manager

    Hi Tobias, 

    Unfortunately not. It's not something the team has been able to tackle as of yet. 

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  • Tobias

    @Nicole. OK, thanks. Is there a roadmap or anything? What's the next improvements planned and is the improvement of the 30 seconds rule or the simultaneous ring on the list?

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  • Nicole - Community Manager

    Hi Tobias - 

    We don't have a public-facing roadmap. I'll check in with the Talk product team to see if they can speak to either of those items. 

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  • Chris Ryland

    It seems to me that ZD has no intention whatsoever of making a round-robin kind of Talk available, and that ruins ZD for most of us small businesses.

    This is a major problem.

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  • Robert Hoare

    Hi Nicole,

    This is also a major problem for us and we also believe this functionality should be added ASAP!

    Any news much welcome.

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