1. Home
  2. Knowledge Base
  3. Useful Guides
  4. Agent’s Guide to Fonolo Voice Call-Backs

Agent’s Guide to Fonolo Voice Call-Backs

The only thing callers hate more than navigating a phone menu is waiting on hold.

Fonolo’s Voice Call-Backs are a solution that lets callers schedule a call-back when hold times are too long. We wait in queue on behalf of your callers, and then we call them back when an agent is ready to handle the call.

What Callers Hear

When callers are on hold, something like the following message plays, offering them a call-back:

“If you would like to receive a call-back rather than wait on hold, press one now.”

Callers that accept the offer by pressing 1 are transferred to a call-back confirmation voice menu. The menu first reads back the caller ID, and then says:

“If you would like us to call you back at that number, press one. If you would like us to call you back at a different number, press two.”

Once the call-back number has been confirmed, callers are told that their call-back has been scheduled:

“Your call has been scheduled and you will receive a call as soon as an agent is available. Goodbye.”

Fonolo then dials into the company phone system and waits on hold for an agent.

The Agent Whisper

While waiting on hold, Fonolo plays a looping whisper, indicating that there is a caller on the line waiting for a call-back:

“Hello. there is a client on the line for you. Press one to be connected now.”

This message will continue to play until an agent is ready to speak with the caller.

Once you hear this message, press 1 on your phone to accept the call-back. We then notify you that the call-back is being started:

“We’re calling the client now. Please wait on the line until they answer.”

Fonolo calls the caller back at their requested phone number, connecting the call (note that the whisper message will stop playing as soon as the ringing starts.)

Starting the Call-Back

Fonolo passes along the caller’s ANI and CTI information, as if the call came directly from the customer, so the call can be identified in your reporting system.

It’s important to clearly identify who you are and that you are giving them a call-back, to give the caller context for the call. For example:

“Hello, this is [your name] from [your company] calling you back, as requested. How can I help you today?”

Clear identification puts the caller at ease, reminds them about their call-back, and gets to the purpose of the call.

Though callers can be surprised at first, they’re usually thrilled to have avoided waiting on hold, and so calls begin very pleasantly.

Pre-Call Questions

Optionally, call centers can ask callers for additional information in the call-back confirmation menu. For example, callers could be asked for their numeric account number or to leave a recording of their name. This information can then be given to you as part of the whisper or after you press 2. For example, you might hear:

“Hello, there is a customer on the line for you. Press one to be connected now or press two to hear the client responses.”

In this case, when you press 2, Fonolo will play back any input left by the caller. You can use this input to prepare for the call-back. Once you are ready, press 1 to accept the call-back and dial the caller.

You can listen to the information more than once by waiting for the whisper to loop or by pressing 2 again.

If the Call-Back Fails

If the call-back to the caller cannot be completed (for example, if the phone number is invalid, out of service, or busy), you can hang up and the call will be disconnected. Depending on the Fonolo service settings, the call might then be put into the queue to try again later.

If the call-back reaches the caller’s voicemail, follow your call center scripting rules. We recommend that you leave a message clearly identifying who you are, and tell the caller that you attempted to call them back:

“Hello, this is [your name] from [your company] calling you back as requested. I’m sorry I couldn’t reach you today. Please try us again and one of our agents will be happy to assist you. Have a great day. Goodbye.”

The optional agent rescheduling feature lets agents press 9 to retry a call-back. Ask your supervisor whether this feature is enabled. If you retry a call with agent rescheduling enabled, we recommend leaving a voicemail letting the caller know that the call-back will be tried again:

“Hello, this is [your name] from [your company] calling you back as requested. I’m sorry I couldn’t reach you right now, but don’t worry, we will try your call again. Goodbye.”

If the call-back ends before reaching the caller—for example, if you accidentally hang up the call without pressing 1, or if we experience any issues calling into your phone system—Fonolo automatically reties the call-back up to five more times.

If all call-back attempts are unsuccessful, the caller receives an automated call from Fonolo, letting them know that there was a problem:

“We’re sorry, there was an error placing your call. Please press one to try your call again.”

The caller can then press 1 to retry their call-back or hang up and end the process. If the caller opts in to the retried call-back, Fonolo lets them know the call has been rescheduled:

“Your call has been rescheduled. You will receive a call as soon as an agent is available. Goodbye.”

Common Errors

Due to the nature of the telephone network, you might experience the occasional issue that prevents you from handling the call-back.

For example, you might experience an issue with noise on the line, one-way audio (where one party doesn’t hear the other), difficulty with key presses (you press 1, but the call does not work as it should), or other types of carrier errors (“we’re sorry, this call cannot be completed as dialed”).

While Fonolo can’t guarantee that every individual call will be successful, we have several layers of retry logic and error correction that help me make sure we complete as many call-backs as possible.

If you experience any issues with a call, you can safely hang-up, knowing Fonolo will retry the call-back. Think of this like getting a “bad line” when you make a call and saying, “let me try calling you back to see if we get a better line”.

Agent FAQs

Why did the agent whisper start in the middle?

Fonolo will continuously loop the agent whisper until the agent press 1, so it is normal to pick up the call in the middle of the whisper message. You can press 1 at any time during the message to accept the call-back.

What happens when I press 1 to accept the call-back?

When you press 1 to accept the call-back, Fonolo automatically calls the caller back. This call is placed like any other regular call, and you can hear the ringing as if you dialed the number yourself. These calls can run into normal call issues such as getting a busy signal or reaching the voicemail.

What happens if the call rings busy? What happens if the caller doesn’t answer?

If the caller phone number is busy or there is no answer, you can hang up the call. Fonolo automatically retries the call-back. On Fonolo reports, these calls are marked as Client Number Busy and Client Call Abandoned, respectively.

What happens if I don’t press 1?

If you hang up without pressing 1, Fonolo retries the call-back again. Do not do this without a good reason. There are a finite number of retries, and these calls will be marked as Agent Did Not Accept on Fonolo reports.

What if we can’t reach the customer?

If the call-back has used all its retries, Fonolo sends a call to the caller that lets them know that there was a problem with their call-back.

Related Articles

Fonolo’s Status Page
Check to see the status of Fonolo's core services. Any incidents that may occur will be reported here.
Check Status