Call Queues - Call Center features
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Call Queues – Call Center features

Configuring Call Queues

On this topic

Configuring Call Queues


Creating a Call Queue

Configuring Queue Options

Adding Agents

Advanced (PRO Edition)

Additional Queue Strategies

Additional Queue Options

See Also


Call Queues allow calls to be queued whilst agents (members of a call queue) answer calls. Calls do not go unanswered but wait in a queue until an agent is available to take the call.

For example, you can define a group of three sales people, and have the general sales number route to a sales call queue. If all three sales people are busy, callers will be kept in the queue until the next sales person is free.

When you create a call queue, you also assign it a virtual extension number. This will be the number used by the phone system to “address” the Call Queue.

Creating a Call Queue

To add a Call Queue:

In the 3CX Phone Management Console, select  “Call Queues” > “Add Queue”. Now enter the call queue options:

  1. Virtual extension number – Optionally change the suggested virtual extension number. Note that this extension number will be automatically created. Do not specify an existing extension number.
  2. Name – Enter a friendly name for the Queue.
  3. Polling strategy – This option allows you to choose how calls should be distributed to agents:
  • Hunt random start – 3CX will randomly choose an agent to distribute the call to. This will evenly distribute the calls to each of the agents.
  • Ring All – The phones of ALL the agents will ring.
  • Prioritised Hunt – 3CX will distribute the call according to the order specified in the Queue members section. All calls will go to the first agent first, and only if this agent is busy, it will go to the next agent. This strategy can be used to set up skills based routing, by ordering the agents according to their skills.
  1. Ring timeout – Indicate the timeout in seconds, i.e. for how long the phone should keep ringing before it considers the call unanswered by that agent.

Configuring Queue Options

You can configure advanced queue options such as destination if no answer, maximum queue length is reached and maximum queue waiting time is reached.

  1. In the “Destination if no answer” section, you can define what should happen if the call does not get answered by an agent. If no agent is logged into the queue, this option gets triggered immediately. In addition, this option gets triggered if the caller presses the ‘*’ button on his phone. This gives callers an option to exit out of the queue and leave a message.
  2. In the “Other options” section, you can specify a custom introduction prompt and a custom music on hold file. You can now choose whether to play the full intro prompt before the system starts to call queue agents. You can also decide whether you wish to announce a caller’s position in the queue and what the maximum wait time should be.

Adding Agents

Now go to the Agents tab to specify the extensions that should be part of this Call queue.

  1. Click on the extensions and click on “Add” to make them a member. Move the extensions up or down to configure the priority of an extension.
  2. To add an Agent that is connected via an external number click the “Add” button next to “Add External Agent Number”. Fill in the external agent’s details (an extension will also be created for the external agent). Click “OK” when done and the external agent will be added to your queue.

In addition to being a member, an extension/user must also login to start answering calls routed to this call queue. Users can login to a call queue using the login button in the 3CXPhone or via a schedule using the Office Hours Schedule.

Advanced (PRO Edition)

3CX Phone System Pro Edition adds additional Call Centre like features. No further installation is required – you just purchase the module, reactivate your existing key and the additional call queue features will become available.

Additional Queue Strategies

With the Pro edition, you have these additional Queue strategies:

  • Longest Waiting Time – Will forward a call to the agent who has been waiting the longest to take a call.
  • Least Talk Time – Will forward the call to the agent with the least total talk time.
  • Fewest Answered – Will forward the call to the agent that has answered the least number of calls.
  • Hunt by threes prioritized – Will forward the call to the top 3 agents (as configured in the call queue agent section simultaneously).
  • Hunt by threes random start – Will send call to 3 random agents simultaneously.
  • Round Robin – Will target only active agents, that are logged into the queue, in round robin manner, i.e. first call will be sent to agent 1, the second call to agent 2 and so on.

Additional Queue Options

In the PRO edition, you have additional options that you can configure:

  • You can enable a Callback option – This allows callers to hang up and get called back when it’s their turn. This option requires that you specify an outbound rule to which the configured prefix, matching the rule, is used to trigger the call. The Callback option can be requested by the caller (Option 2) or it can be offered, if the timeout of the queue is reached.
  • You can specify the wrap up time in seconds – This gives the agent time to enter notes into the call record after taking a call.
  • You can specify the maximum number of callers in the queue – When this is reached, the caller will be routed according to the setting in the “Destination if no answer” section.
  • Reset Queue statistics – Detailed statistics for the queue, such as average call time, average wait time and so on are visible through the Presence and Queue Monitoring function of 3CXPhone. You can reset the Agent Call Statistics for the Queue by clicking the “Reset” button. This is also available in 3CX Wallboard.
  • Call statistics can also be reset automatically using a preconfigured schedule.
  • Priority Queue – The administrator can configure this queue as a priority queue. This is useful when the same people are part of two queues, and calls on one of the queues should receive priority over calls in the other queue. For example, a support team might have one line (and one queue) for normal support calls, and another line (a different queue) for VIP customers. Both queues are serviced by the same people. The queue for VIP customers will have the “Priority Queue” feature enabled.
  • Give Caller ability to opt out of recording: This gives the option to the caller to press DTMF 3 to stop being recorded during a call.
  • Configure SLA Time .
  • Queue Notifications – Various notifications can be enabled so that the Queue Manager is notified when certain conditions are encountered, such as the SLA time has been breached, or a call in the Queue has been lost.

See Also



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  1. Spring

    What is different between intro prompt and music on hold?

    June 24, 2015 at 10:49 am Reply
    • Charalambos Eleftheriou

      Hi Spring

      An intro prompt can be any recorded message that, for example, introduces your company to a caller and then when it ends the caller can be put into the queue they have called. Music on hold plays a recorded message or music when the caller has been placed on hold.

      June 24, 2015 at 12:22 pm
    • Spring

      Hi Charalambos,
      Thanks you for your answer.i have configured music on hold message but the problem is when there is a first call come if the recorded play 20s before my agent picked up the call, the second call will hear the recorded continue from that 20s. i wish the second call should hear the recorded from the beginning.

      July 20, 2015 at 6:20 am
    • Spring

      Hi Charalambos,

      I mean on hold music for the Queue. when there is a call it is not play the recorded message from the beginning.

      July 20, 2015 at 11:02 am
    • Charalambos Eleftheriou

      @Spring, actually this is by design. it is suppose to work like this.

      July 20, 2015 at 2:15 pm
    • Spring

      Hi Charalambos,
      Thanks you for your information. i suppose that i record promotion to replace music onhold so customers will hear when they are call in but if they cannot hear from the beginning of the promotion how can they understand what i am advertising?

      July 21, 2015 at 5:30 am
    • Charalambos Eleftheriou

      @Spring, in this case it is best to use the intro prompt option for your promotion and set it to play from beginning. This way the caller will hear the entire message and then be transferred. Then once the intro prompt has finished it will transfer the call to agents. Then you can choose a different file to play for music on hold until the call is answered. I hope this answers your question, thanks.

      July 21, 2015 at 10:54 am
  2. Corey Nikkel

    we have about 50 csr’s. They are all added to our main que. My problem is that at any one time I might only have 6 people answer calls at any one time.

    It is almost impossible to figure out who is signed in and available. I have tried removing everyone and just putting in the people workig. But unforatanly, I am the only person that knows how and wantts to know who to put people back in teh que.

    What I realy need is a to create a virtual que that I can add my own people to que.

    October 3, 2015 at 2:07 pm Reply
    • Charalambos Eleftheriou

      @Corey, thanks for the question. This though will need to be answered by our support team. In order for them to be able investigate this further you will need to open a support ticket. Please contact your 3CX partner/distributor in order to do so, if you do have a support contract with us.

      October 4, 2015 at 12:52 pm
  3. Stef Geentjens


    I’m configuring a ring queue, is working fine but when the call is transfered after 15 seconds to the digital receptionist, there is a voice “please wait while your call is transfered”, how can I disable the play of this message ?

    October 17, 2015 at 9:42 am Reply
    • Charalambos Eleftheriou

      @Stef, Thanks for the question. This message can be changed by locating the setting within the management console from ‘Settings’ > ‘System Prompts’ and changing it for the prompt you require by pressing browse and locating your replacement wav file.

      October 19, 2015 at 3:29 pm
  4. Kevin Baker

    Good Morning,

    extension/user must also login to start answering calls routed to this call queue. Is there a way to set something up where the calls stay in the queue or are parked somewhere until an agent logs in?

    October 22, 2015 at 8:10 pm Reply
    • Charalambos Eleftheriou

      @Kevin, thanks for the question. If no agents are logged into the queue then the call will be directed to which ever destination has been set in the ‘Destination if no answer’ section within the call queue configuration.

      October 22, 2015 at 8:48 pm
  5. Viaan

    Hi All,

    Is there a limit to the amount of call queues you are able to create/maintain, and in turn, a limit to the amount of wall-boards ?
    Perhaps limited to the amount of virtual ext. numbers available to use ?

    As I understand ever queue will have its own unique wall-board.

    January 27, 2016 at 3:19 pm Reply
    • Charalambos Eleftheriou

      @Viaan, thanks for the question. The only limit to the amount of Call Queues you can create is the amount of virtual ext. numbers that are available which depend on the extension digit length that you have specified during the configuration stage.

      January 27, 2016 at 3:42 pm
  6. Johnny

    I have configured a Call Back option on the Queue, and I do not have any Prefix configured in my Outbound rule. Therefore, I left the “Callback outbound Prefix” box empty. However, the caller requested a Callback in the Queue and I received an email from 3CX System with Failed Call Back. Am I doing something wrong or not configured correctly?

    March 1, 2016 at 3:27 am Reply
    • Charalambos Eleftheriou

      @Johnny, It sounds as though you may have configured this correctly providing there is an outbound rule that matches the length of numbers that are being dialled. Also the agents phone in the queue will carry on ringing if a caller is expecting a call back of which the agent will need to answer the phone in order for the call back number to be dialled.

      March 1, 2016 at 7:50 pm
  7. Johnny

    Hi Charalambos,

    Thank you for your feedback! I have 4 agents in a Queue. When a caller requests a Call Back, none of the agents’ phones are ringing. I just keep on receiving the Call Back Failed email. Perhaps the Outbound rules are somewhat incorrect?

    March 5, 2016 at 9:07 am Reply
  8. Johnny

    Hi Charalambos,

    Please disregard my previous question. I did received a ring from a desk phone when the system is initiating a call back to a requested caller. I am running into another issue where when a caller requested a call back in the queue, press “0” to enter a number in a 10-digit format. 3CX system was unable to initiate a call back on a 10-digit format; however, the system was able to initiate a call back in a 11-digit formal which starts with “1”. I had 2 Outbound rules setup: First rule is “Calls to Numbers with a length of => 11, “Strip Digits” => 0, and “Prepend” => blank. Second rule is “Calls to Numbers with a length of => 10, “Strip Digits” => 0, and “Prepend” => 1. Both rules have “blank” for “Calls to numbers staring with prefix”.

    March 5, 2016 at 10:40 pm Reply
    • Charalambos Eleftheriou

      @Johnny, If the rules are not being matched make sure that the ordering is correct within the outbound rules section so the rules that need to be matched first are above any others that may be matched before the desired rule therefore not processing the calls as required.

      March 6, 2016 at 12:56 pm
  9. Johnny

    Hi Charalambos,

    Thank you for your reply! After few days of extensive testing on the Call Back feature, it seems like it is not the rules. 3CX Phone System will only initiate a call back if the caller press “*” when asked to confirm the call back number that detects by the caller number. If the caller press “0” to enter a different number, regardless of 10-digit or 11-digit format, 3CX Phone System will not initiate a call back whatsoever. Do you have any ideas or if this a known bugs?

    March 10, 2016 at 8:37 am Reply
    • Charalambos Eleftheriou

      @Johnny, Unfortunately due to the limitation of these in page comments we are unable to offer direct support for issues that require further investigation to resolve. Please contact your 3CX reseller/partner or distributor to open a ticket with our support team so that they can look into this for you. If this is not an option for you, please ask this question in our user forums and I am sure that one of out very capable users and partners will be able to assist you further. We also have a dedicated 3CX Support Engineer browsing the forums and guiding people in the right direction. Please find our forums here:

      March 10, 2016 at 10:50 am
  10. Natalie

    Thanks for your great answers below – very helpful. Is there a way to play the intro message and THEN the music on hold? Rather than them both being on at the same time?

    March 15, 2016 at 2:02 am Reply
  11. John


    When I complete a Call Back, there is no Wrap Up time.
    Can Wrap Up time be configured for Call Backs also ?


    May 19, 2016 at 4:22 pm Reply
    • Charalambos Eleftheriou

      @John, Wrap up time does take effect after the agent has completed a call back. Make sure that you have set the Wrap up time correctly.

      May 19, 2016 at 8:19 pm
  12. John


    Is it possible to redirect all Call Back calls to another Call Queue?


    May 24, 2016 at 10:42 pm Reply
  13. Richard Ruimschoot

    Ifthe first agent of a Call queue is Out of Office, the phone of the next agent rings like onhold?? Why is it not just ringing like allways

    July 11, 2016 at 11:00 am Reply
    • Charalambos Eleftheriou

      @Richard, make sure that the other extension in the queue is also logged in to the queue. Not quite sure what you mean by “the phone of the next agent rings like onhold”. Please note though we not provide direct support through these in page comments. Please contact your 3CX reseller/partner or distributor to open a ticket with our support team or you can even purchase a support contract so that you can contact support yourself then we can have look into this for you as it sounds like a configuration issue on your side. You can also post in our user forums, Please find our forums here:

      July 11, 2016 at 4:10 pm
  14. timothy omogiade

    pls i would like to know the maximum number of callers that can be on queue,and the maximum limit that the music hold or the intro prompt could last.thank you

    July 21, 2016 at 12:08 am Reply
    • maximum number of calls in a queue depends on the licence size you have. Intro prompt has no limit because it depends on the audio file you put (combined with the option Play full intro prompt). Maximum Music on hold is in seconds and the maximum is 4 hours.

      July 22, 2016 at 11:01 am
  15. IS there an article or document related to “Configure SLA Time (seconds)

    August 29, 2016 at 7:45 am Reply
    • Charalambos Eleftheriou

      @Geoff, Configuring SLA time is a matter of simply specifying the time which calls should be answerd within, when this time is exceeded the SLA is breached and an email can be sent to the queue manager.

      August 29, 2016 at 2:26 pm
  16. Giuseppe Blanco

    Hallo everybody.
    Is there a way to DISABLE the “please hold while i transfer your call” prompt in the queue management and/or in ring groups WITHOUT editing/modifying the prompt itself but simply skypping it?
    Thanks in advance

    September 9, 2016 at 10:52 pm Reply
    • Charalambos Eleftheriou

      @Giuseppe, this can only be skipped by changing the prompt itself.

      September 9, 2016 at 11:33 pm
  17. johan

    I am using a queue with fewest answered strategy. Before it’s a queue member’s turn, (s)he can pickup a Queue Call earlier. This works with the 3cx software switchboard. How can I let this work with a busy lampfield, for members who don’t use the swithcoard?

    Note: I know about working with pickup calls from Extensiongroups etc. This question is specific Queue calls.

    September 20, 2016 at 12:13 pm Reply
    • You can pick up calls earlier using the switchboard only. To do this via BLF you need to configure the blf lamps to monitor all the agents in the queue. When the phone you are monitoring rings, the blf monitoring that phone will blink and when you click on a blinking BLF Lamp, the system performs a PICKUP instead of a call.

      September 20, 2016 at 2:56 pm
  18. Jack

    i have created a Q, however when the new call calls in and places in the Q. the max Q wait time is 1800 secs but the call gets disconnected way before that and goes into voicemail.. maybe this is determined by the ext as the ext is selected when “destination if no answer”. but it should be in a Q for 1800 secs not 20 secs like it is set on the ext.

    Also, when in “destination if no answer” i put connect to ring group, the new caller just gets a message saying “user busy” and does not get places in a Q? why is that, but only works when connects to an ext if no answer?

    October 3, 2016 at 12:27 pm Reply
    • Jack

      Please ignore this message, under the “other” tab in the ext the call Q was logged out which needed to be logged in. Would be beneficial if you could mention this on your page for future reference.

      However, how can the extension get notified on the handset when a caller is in the queue? so they can see on screen to pick it up and put the present call on hold for a moment.

      October 3, 2016 at 1:00 pm
  19. Jack

    i have ticked the “announce queue position to caller”. However, the caller does not get told he is in the queue or what position they are in and i have put the announcement interval to 10 seconds.

    How do i make it say the caller does get announced what position they are in? even tho it is all ticked.

    October 10, 2016 at 5:43 pm Reply
    • Jack

      Please discard this question as i solved the solution on announcements queue position to caller.

      However, if there a way when the caller presses * to leave a voicemail, the intro prompt can be removed or even be something different to the actual intro prompt. Because this file should only be for the intro of the queue, not at the end as well when leaving a voicemail when pressing * ?

      because the intro file would be something like “thank you for caller company A, lines are busy right now but someone will be with you shortly” etc but i do not want this to be played when the caller leaves a voicemail after pressing *. any idea how to remove it or have two different files?

      October 13, 2016 at 1:48 pm
  20. JAck

    how do i see the new caller who is in the queue on my hard phone as a new “incoming call” ? as i have no indication on my hard phone (Yealink T29G) on screen saying there is a new call incoming. So i know someone is trying to call the company and i have an option to take the new call or not.

    October 17, 2016 at 6:25 pm Reply