Receiving Calls in the Phone Queue


Calls within the DTA Assistance Line are transferred to staff based on the menu selection, transfer needs, and outbound call type. Staff must confirm the best number to reach the client, as well as their address(es), at every client interaction.

SNAP-only case managers assigned to the Phone Queue become part of the statewide Assistance Line via the Cisco Finesse 2.0 software.



BEACON and Cisco are separate systems and do not communicate with one another.  Being logged into and available in one does not log you into or update your status in the other. See DTA Staff: Updating Your Status in BEACON.


Logging in to the Cisco Software and Availability to receive calls:



You must only be logged into the Cisco software during the hours that you are assigned to the phones.  Do not log in before the start of your assigned shift.  When your phone shift ends you must fully log out of the Cisco software.


Outbound Calls from the DTA Assistance Line

The DTA Assistance Line has the capacity to place automated outbound calls.  A batch narrative will document all automated outbound call attempts the same evening to indicate whether the call was successful. Outbound calls occur for:


The DTA Assistance Line places automatic outbound calls to clients at their scheduled interview time using their primary phone number.


If the outbound call is successful, the client will be routed to the First Available Worker in the Phone Queue.  You must validate these calls by asking the client for their full name, social security number or APID, date of birth, and address.  Any address known to BEACON (residential, permanent, or mailing) shall be considered acceptable for client authentication purposes.


Answering calls

The Phone Queue Portal provides information to help you quickly identify the client that is connected to the DTA Assistance Line.  The information that is displayed indicates the type of phone call that is connected.

The phone queue portal:

An incoming call appears in the Cisco Toolkit with information corresponding to the Call Type and Caller ID origination number. If you are logged on as a Mobile Agent, when a call comes in it will connect directly to your phone to answer.  When a call is received by the Department, you must follow procedures as established in Answering and Ending Phone Calls.


Receiving Calls

The IVR system recognizes two types of inbound calls: authenticated clients and unauthenticated clients.

When you are speaking to a client through the DTA Assistance Line who wishes to discuss case-specific information, you must verify the caller’s identity to ensure client confidentiality.

If the information the client provides is not correct and identity has not been confirmed or is otherwise questionable, please contact FIDM or the Procedural Mailbox for further instruction.  This occurrence must be noted in the BEACON Narrative.



It is also possible to answer a call by pressing the Headset button on your phone.  Sometimes when a call is answered this way, the speaker functionality is triggered requiring that the Headset button be pressed a second time.


Place a client on hold if you must conduct research or consult other staff including a supervisor. Always inform the caller that you are placing them on hold before doing so.


Putting callers on hold:



Do not use the mute feature on your phone instead of hold, as when using the Mobile Agent, this can cause problems with reconnecting to the call.


Conference Calls:

You must create a conference call if the caller needs a translator. A conference call may also be necessary if bringing in a consulting party or working with a third party to assist a client in obtaining verifications.  Always inform the caller that you are creating a conference call before doing so. A conference call may be created by using the regular phone conference option or by using Cisco Finesse.


If you are on a call through Cisco Finesse, you must use Cisco Finesse to create the conference call.


If the call occurs outside of Cisco Finesse (e.g., a call received through Jabber, the standard incoming call through the phone line), you have the option to create the conference call through Cisco Finesse or by using the regular phone conference option.


The table below displays the steps to creating a conference call for the two platforms:


Cisco Finesse

Regular Phone Line

  1. Click “Consult”

  2. Enter the phone number you need by using the Cisco keypad

  3. Click “Conference”

  1. Click the Conference button

  2. Once the Conference button is pushed, the original caller is put on hold.  The CTI Dialing Pad is launched so that you can dial the number to conference in.

  3. After the number is dialed, click the Conf Init button to dial number

  4. After speaking with the other party and explaining the purpose of the conference, the Conf Init button becomes Conf Complete.  Click it to merge the calls 




If the call is through Cisco Finesse and you do not use Cisco Finesse to create the conference call, any subsequent inputs (such as those required for telephonic signature) may not be recognized.


Following a call, you have a specified period of wrap-up time during which you will not receive new calls from the queue. When the allotted time expires, you automatically enter a Ready state and are able to receive calls.


Not Ready status


The Not Ready status is only to be used only when you are working on an existing Action or call.  Do not use the Not Ready status when going on break, attending a meeting, or otherwise away from your desk for an extended period of time.  If you are working on a particularly complicated case, performing extensive research or will not be ready to take another call for more than 20 minutes for some other reason, consult with your supervisor or manager who may determine that it is appropriate for you to log-off, allowing for other staff to log on and receive calls while you are unavailable to do so.


Logging Out


When taking your lunch break or ending your workday, you must log out of the Cisco software (using the reason: End of Shift, Other).  Simply closing the Cisco Toolkit does not log you out of the software.  You must follow the above steps to log out of the software when going to lunch, ending your phone queue shift or leaving the office for the day. Otherwise, the Cisco clock will continue running.



  Last Update:  March 31, 2022