Setting up support queues

Support queues match individuals or teams to the topic in which they have expertise. To set up support queues, an administrator must perform the following procedures:

  1. Create support queues.
  2. (Optional) Create topics and map each topic to a support queue 
  3. Assign agents to support queues.
  4. (Optional) Enforce topic selection.

This topic includes the following sections:

How self-service users are routed to support queues

Choose the following methods to define how self-service users are assigned to support queues:

  • By topics— Configure topics and queues. Make it mandatory for self-service users to select a topic from the Topics menu when they choose to chat with a live agent. From this menu, users can select a topic with which to associate their question. If the user selects a topic, the user's question is routed to the most appropriate support agent with that subject matter expertise. For example, you might define a support queue of UNIX, with three topics of HP-UX, Linux, and IBM AIX. When you assign an agent to one or more support queues, the agent sees queries in the support queue, as well as queries in the general queue. If a user does not select a topic, the query goes into the general queue. Queries in the general queue have a lower priority than queries in topic-specific queues.  For example, if you assign Francie to the Hardware queue, she will see queries in the Hardware queue, followed by queries in the general queue. You do not set up general queue.

  • By user login information — Assign users to support queues based on their login information (fields in the CTM:People form). For example, using the Region field information, users from New Mexico and Arizona go to one support queue and those from Nevada, Utah, and Idaho go to another. For more information, see Setting up custom support queues that autoroute.
  • By topics and user login information — When support queues by topics are configured and we want to use values of the CTM:People form. First, the system searches for support queue related to the Topic selected by user. If the system does not find such support queue, then the system searches for support queues for topic-<something else>, such as topic-region (e.g. Hardware-EU). If such support queue is found then, the query is routed to that queue, otherwise - to the the general queue. This allows you to assign agents to support queues related to the same topic, but in different regions. For example, you can assign Francie to the Hardware-US and Bob to the Hardware-EU region. Then users from US region with Hardware-related questions will be routed to Hardware-US queue (to Francie) and users from EU region with Hardware-related questions will be routed to Hardware-EU queue (to Bob).

  • VIP - The VIP queue is created so that chat sessions can be assigned to the VIP queue. If a self-serve user is set as a VIP in BMC Remedy ITSM (on the CTM:People form), the chat sessions of this user are automatically routed to the VIP queue, regardless of what topic the user selects. If you do not set up a VIP queue, the user gets routed to a queue based on the topic, and the user is placed at the top of the queue. 


    The VIP queues works only when both—virtual agent and live agent are enabled. VIP queues do not work when only virtual agent is enabled.

  • VIPX - The VIPX queue is created so that support agents can be assigned exclusively to cater to the chat sessions in the VIP queue. You can set up a VIPX queue only if you also set up a VIP queue. 

Multi-tenancy and support queues

In a multi-tenant environment, agents can have access to one or more companies and are responsible for providing support to those companies. Self-service users belong to a specific company. Agents can assist users who belong to any of the companies that the agent supports.

If you set up a support queue for a specific company, you can assign support agents who support that company.

If you set up a support queue for the Global company, you can assign any support agents to the support queue. The agent sees queries only from self-service users who belong to the company that the agent supports. Let's look at an example in which you set up a Hardware queue for the Global company. Francie supports the Calbro company, and Bob supports both Company A and Company B. Both Francie and Bob are assigned to the Hardware queue. If Joe belongs to Calbro and asks a question on a hardware topic that is assigned to the Hardware queue, only Francie would be assigned Joe's question. Because Bob does not have access to Calbro, he cannot see Joe's question. 

If you set up a support queue for the Global company, you can also set up a support queue with the same name for a specific company. When a self-service user belongs to the specific company, that user's queries are routed to the queue for the specific company and not to the queue for the Global company. Let's consider an example that builds on the previous example. If you set up a Hardware queue for the Calbro company, Joe's hardware questions get routed to the Calbro Hardware queue and not to the Global Hardware queue. If Francie is assigned to the Global Hardware queue, but not to the Calbro Hardware queue, she will not see any Calbro hardware queries.

To set up  VIP or VIPX queues in a multi-tenancy environment, you must set up the queues for each company that requires a VIP or VIPX queue, and you must assign support agents to each VIP or VIPX queue.

To create support queues

  1. From the IT Home page, select Virtual Agent > Virtual Chat Administration Console.
  2. Under General Settings, click Support Queues.
    The Support Queues pane appears.

  3. Activate support queue functionality as follows:
    1. Select the Support Queues and Use Topics check boxes to enable the feature.
    2. (Optional) Set a queue timeout (in minutes). If an assigned agent does not respond to the chat within the specified timeout period, the chat is released to the general support agent queue. If there is an escalation queue defined for the topic queue, then at the timeout period, the chat is released to the escalation queue. The default value is 10 minutes.


      If you do not want chats to be released to the general queue, specify an exceedingly long queue timeout, such as 1,000 minutes.

    3. Click Apply to save the changes.
  4. To create a new support queue, click Create in the Support Queues section.
  5. In the Support Queue dialog box, perform the following steps:
    1. Type a queue name (for example, Hardware or VIP).
    2. Select a status of Active or Inactive.
    3. Select a company from the menu.

      For the VIP and the VIPX support queues, you must select a specific company. For other support queues, you can select either a specific company, or the Global company.

    4. (Optional) Select an escalation queue.
      If you want chat sessions to be escalated to the VIP queue, type VIP


      Do not type VIPX as the escalation queue.

    5. Click Save to save the new queue.
      The new queue appears in the Support Queues box on the console.
  6. Define how to populate the support queue.
  7. Restart Apache Tomcat for these changes to take effect.

The following image is an example of setting the VIP and VIPX escalation queues:

To define support queue topics

  1. From the Support Queues dialog box, create the required topics. For each new topic, click Create in the Topics section.
  2. To add topics to a support queue, perform the following steps:
    1. Select the queue in the Support Queues box.
    2. Select the topic in the Topics box.
    3. Click Add to Queue.
      The topic and corresponding queue appear in the Support Queue Topics box.
  3. To remove a topic from a support queue, perform the following steps:
    1. Highlight the topic name in the Support Queue Topics box.
    2. Click Remove.
      The topic is removed from the support queue.

To define topic support queues in combination with other queues

  1. From the IT Home page, select Virtual Agent > Virtual Chat Administration Console
  2. Select Self Service Portal > Configurations.
  3. Open each Authentication entry and copy the value from <request alias> element to the Enabled Authentications.txt text file. 


    If there were several names delimited by semicolon then treat them as separate values and save on new line in the file.

    Do not use values with the word guest, such as “remedyguest” or “itsmguest”.

    Example of code block
    	<name>User Profile by Remedy ID</name>
    		<name>Remedy ID</name>

    From the above example, copy <request_alias>userprofilebyloginid;remedyid</request_alias>

  4. Open the Forms-Standard configuration entry. 

  5. If an overlay is not created, click Create Overlay and open the Forms - Standard configuration entry again.

  6. Open the Enabled Authentications.txt text file and perform the following steps:

    1. Paste the entire xml section for <request_alias> parameter from the entry to the overlay.

    2. In the <profile> element of the overlay, update the <supportqueue> parameter. 

      The following is an example of the updated code:

    <ar_form_condition>'Remedy Login ID' = "[cnsparam:uid]" AND 'Profile Status' = "Enabled"</ar_form_condition>
       <personid>[cns:getfield id='1']</personid>
         <firstname>[cns:getfield id='1000000019']</firstname>
         <lastname>[cns:getfield id='1000000018']</lastname>
         <email>[cns:getfield id='1000000048']</email>
         <company>[cns:getfield id='1000000001']</company>
         <supportqueue>[_TOPIC_]-[cns:getfield id='200000012']</supportqueue>
         <region>[cns:getfield id='200000012']</region>
         <vip>[cns:getfield id='1000000026']</vip>

    In the above example, the following table explains the parameters and their values:

    This parameter and value is pasted from the Authentications entry.
    [_TOPIC_]-[cns:getfield id='200000012']

    [_TOPIC_] is placeholder for Topic selected by a user and 200000012 is ID of the “Region” field in the CTM:People form.

    You can provide ID of any other field in the CTM:People form. For example, ID of the “Site” field is 260000001.

    You can change format of the <supportqueue> element value to align it with the name of the support queue.

  7. Save the overlay.

  8. To ensure that each authentication type is updated with the <supportqueue> element value, repeat the steps for each of the names saved in the Enabled Authentications.txt file.

  9. To apply these changes, click Refresh Servlets

The following image is an example of the Forms-Standard configuration:

To assign an agent to a support queue


You assign agents to queues, not topics. Before you can assign an agent to a support queue, the agent must login to the Support Agent Console and save his or her profile.

    1. Select the queue in the Support Queues box.
    2. In the Support Queue Agents box, click Add.
      The Add Agent ID dialog box appears.
    3. Click the Agent from the table.

    4. To populate the Agent Login ID field with the selected agent, click Select Agent.
    5. Type the logon ID of the agent and click Save.
      The agent appears in the Support Queue Agents box in the console.

To enforce topic selection for live chat

    1. From the IT Home page, select Virtual Agent > Virtual Chat Administration Console.
    2. Select Self Service Portal > Configuration.
    3. In the Self Service Portal Configuration page, in Name, select Application Portal - Interface
    4. If an overlay is not created for this entry, click Create Overlay, else click Open Overlay.
    5. In Configuration, set the value of the <topicrequiredparameter to 1, as shown in the following image:

    6. Click Save

After you enforce topic selection, self-service users receive the following message when they request to chat to a live agent:

Related topics

Configuring the Self Service Portal

Using the Self Service Portal

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