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What is the best way to have calls answered by a live person vs going right to queue?

Matthew Shulman
Occasional Contributor

I am experimenting with the preview of the AA and queues.  But I am not sure the best way to handle a situation I see at most of my clients.

 

What I'd like to do is the following - I have situations where each one is used..

 

1)  Have the reception phone ring directly - no menues or greetings - live person picks up.  If the live person doesn't pick up, then it could go to the AA.

 

2)  Have a group of phones ring (similar to the calling queues) without it first going to music on hold or any other message.  If no one answers, then it can be sent to an AA or other queue. 

 

The issue I have with both the AA and queues now is that it goes to an automated message first when we want a person to be the first point of contact in both the above situations.

 

So am I missing something or is this just not possible yet?

 

Thanks.

6 Replies

Hi Matthew,

 

Looking at the request there are certain limitation which I am thinking of in Cloud AA and Queue. Please find the answers which are as follows:-

1. We can have the live person take the call without any menu or greetings. But if the live person doesn't answers the call the call will go to the voicemail we cannot re-direct the call to AA or Call Queue.

2. We can have the call queue set up normally but we cannot skip the music on hold for the call and if someone doesn't answers the call for a specific time frame then the call would be transfered to a specific person or the call would be disconnected.

 

With Regards,

Satish

I hope there are changes in the future that help resolve this as I have a number of clients that prefer to have a live person answer the phone and not have any kind of automated message first.  While the 1st option would work, it would then go to this one users mailbox and we'd either have to give others the ability to access it or wait until they did.  In addition it would mean the person at reception would have to be set up with the main company voicemail greeting and wouldn't have their own mailbox - or would need two phones. 

 

While I realize a LOT of companies these days answer their phones with greetings and automated messages first, the majority of small to medium businesses that I deal with prefer to have a live person answer first and only go to an automated system if they do not answer.  In addition having the ability to have others answer the calls if the receptionist is on the phone already would be a big plus.

Matthew - if you're open to a conversation and a solution for you leveraging Skype for Business with both of the call scenarios, I have a solution for you. Please reach out to me directly via email. msexauer@altigen.com.
Hi Matthew You may be able to do this Direct Your company main line to the Receptionist directly Set up call forwarding on the Receptionist SFB client such that when the person doesn't answer the phone the call gets transferred to your Call queue. Then the call will ring the agents in the queue (however the caller will hear the hold music while the call is ringing the agents. If you don't like this and would want the caller to hear the ringing tone maybe you can record a MOH music as a ring tone, not pretty but a workaround) Set the queue time to minimum of 1 minute and after a minute if none of the agents in the queue answer the call you can set the Queue time out setting to transfer the call to another user. Then set call forwarding on this user to transfer directly all calls to a different Queue (this is not a great workaround as you would require an additional license for this user who essentially will need to just have been assigned for this purpose and will never actually be a live user answering any calls ever. However you would still be in a scenario where callers will hear the hold Music for a minute when the call is in Queue (can be replaced by a custom hold music sounding like a ringing tone) The receptionist will have a voice mail box but since the call forwarding setting for them is set to transfer to a call queue there may never be a moment where anyone can leave a VM for your receptionist. Not sure if that will work for you but thought id suggest. If in Future our product team decides to add a feature where we allow setting a Queue time out to be directed to a different Queue it may align well with your requirement. I Will submit this feedback.
I learnt that even today you have the ability to select the default Queue time out setting to another Queue. You have to do it however using PowerShell as this is not available in the GUI. SO with that I am hoping you would be able to achieve what you are after If you still feel that having the company main number directed straight to the receptionist is not a good idea than you can use a Call Queue for that too and just have one agent (receptionist in that call queue) then set the queue time to another queue

Matt - you could try the following for the first scenario:

 

Have inbound calls ring the receptionist DID directly.  Using the Skype for Business client, sign in as the receptionist and configure unanswered calls to forwarded to the PSTN number of the Call Queue or AA.   The default setting is 20 seconds but you could choose a shorter or longer duration. 

 

Configure your AA or Call Queue to handle the call appropriately.

 

BTW - This will still work if you are using VVX phones.  The setting made in the Skype client will be honoured by the phone.  (you just can't access that setting via the VVX) 

 

As for your second scenario, there is nothing available today that can handle this.  I suspect/hope that will change in the near future.  What you could do as a work around is simply have a few phones that are signed in as the receptionist.  Its not very elegant but might be suitable in the short term.