2nd incoming call overrides keyboard input

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Canadian account. We use the Softphone desktop app. We have about 15 or so phone numbers routed through the same phones and get hundreds of calls a day. To make things easier, when we answer the phone we hear a whisper telling us what number they called us through with a prompt "to answer, press 1".

Simple enough.

The problem that keeps popping up for me is when two calls come in rapid succession, I am unable to accept either call without a lengthy work around or disconnecting one of the two calls.

Here is a step by step example of the situation I am describing:

Call 1 comes in. I click answer and I get the whisper "blah blah site, New Customer Inquiry. To accept the call press 1". During this, the active call window has several options and is capable of interpreting my keyboard input.

However, if a 2nd call comes in midway through the whisper, it's caller ID window pops over the answered call options. Thus any input I enter is interpreted as being for this new, overriding call, not the one I am in the middle of trying to answer, so nothing happens when I input anything on the keyboard.

At this point, call 2's screen presents four options:
1) Hang up on call 1 and answer call 2 (not an option)
2) send call 2 to voicemail (an option but frowned upon)
3) disconnect call 2 (not an option)
4) I click the X in the upper left of the incoming caller ID screen (the option I have to resort too)

However doing this does not reinstate call 1's keyboard priority. Instead I have to then click on the phone icon on the upper right of the screen, choose call 1 from the now 2 active ringing calls and THEN press 1 to connect and start talking to the customer.

This happens several times a day and is exceedingly frustrating.

What I am looking for:

If I have already pressed the "answer" button, that call should be considered the PRIORITY call. Sure, tell me another call is coming in, that's great. But DO NOT have any additional incoming calls take priority.

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CMO - Jason

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Posted 2 years ago

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Scott Edmonds

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We are in the process of looking at RC to replace our current phone system and this would be terrible because we are an electric utility and during big outages, have calls coming in one right after the other with only a split second between calls. If they all start piling on top of the first call, it sounds like it could be a nightmare to get back to your first call. I hope this is resolved soon because knowing that this is the way the calls would work in this situation is a real deterrent to purchasing the system. 
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J.B. Ferguson, Champion

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I don't know anything about how you would use a VoIP system but Jason is talking about an issue with the "softphone", which is a computer application which allows calls to be handled on the computer screen. His situation would not apply with any deskphone or mobile app deployment. This appears to only be an issue with rapidly incoming calls on the softphone.
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CMO - Jason

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From what I understand, this is only an issue when there is a "whisper" prompting for input before the call is fully connected.

The original solution earlier today was to remove the whisper entirely and have me placed live with the customer calling in as soon as I hit answer.

The problem with that is that my department takes calls for 5 different self storage sites and each site's phone system filters calls related to new inquiries, existing customers, uhaul rentals, or merchandise sales. Without knowing what site they called or why they called that site, my average call time increases dramatically because I then have to gather all of that information from each caller that I speak with.

In regard to utility contact centers, I've worked for Toronto Hydro customer service in the past and since we knew all the callers were calling for Toronto Hydro, no whisper was needed. In this case, it would not have been an issue.

I've also worked for Starwood Hotels & Resorts and in that case, the whisper was VERY much needed because we were taking calls for over 2,100 hotels world wide. However, that phone system was setup so that once we answered a call, no other calls were sent to our phones and instead the callers stayed "hold" waiting for the next available operator.

I think one of the problems is that my superiors do not want people waiting on hold. They want our clients to feel like they can get a live person every time they call, so if we are unable to take the call at the client management office, they will roll over to the sites for the front desk staff before going to voicemail.
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J.B. Ferguson, Champion

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That's good to know about it only being an issue with the whisper prompt. I used that prompt a lot on my extensions but rarely to never used the softphone so I never experienced what you are seeing.