Call Handling - Direct Dial to Group

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I am in the US.  We have five users.  We currently have our main phone number ring into a call group which sequentially goes through various users until someone is available. If no one is available they get an IVR.

But unfortunately, now that we're using texting more and more people have my direct number.
I don't want people to reach me directly via phone.  I want them to go into the group first. 

Does anyone have a solution for this?  Basically, any calls originating outside of our organization should go to the Group no matter what number they dialed.  But if the call originates from within our organization (like a call transfer) it should go direct.

Simply put, I don't want anyone to be able to call my direct number, but I want to be able to text from it and receive call transfers to it (or get calls out of the sequential ring group previously mentioned).
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MikeBGrandRapids

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Posted 1 year ago

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Andrew, Champion

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Most of this can be done through an advanced rule.  You can set it up so that your direct dialed number will forward to the group/IVR and leave the extension ringing you.
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MikeBGrandRapids

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Can you tell me how to do that? I don't see an option to forward to a group.  If I assign a direct number to the group and forward to that number it says I can't forward to a number that exists in my account.
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MikeBGrandRapids

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Also, I wouldn't want the group to ring when a user within my organization transfers a call to me.
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Andrew, Champion

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Sure it's a bit of a work around but it totally works.  How are you currently forwarding from a Virtual Extension or from a Queue to an IVR?  it should be the same as that but in some cases you'll have to get fancy.  Let me know and I'll try to cook something up for you.  
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MikeBGrandRapids

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I'm not sure I understand the question to be honest.

Currently during business hours the auto receptionist skips the greeting and forwards to a group which cycles through users sequentially.  If no one picks up it goes to the group voicemail.  After hours the group connects to an extension which is an IVR.
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Go to your Call Handling and Forwarding on your extension > Click Advanced > Add Rule  > Title it and select Called Number >  then select the direct line for your extension only  (the one with no extension)....I think if someone knows your extension they'll be able to call you from the outside, but this will make sure that if they dial the caller ID from the text messages you send them that we can send them to the queue.  

Click next and under Forward calls deselect everything under screening, Greeting & Hold >  Turn off all call forwarding on the next step > Deselect Messages to disable taking messages >  Once you do this you'll get a new drop down option to "connect directly to Group."  >  Select the Queue you use for the main number and you should be good to go.  Click Save.

Sorry, I know it's quick, but I'm running out the door and wanted to get something to you tonight. 
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MikeBGrandRapids

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Thank you.  I was able to set it up.  When I tested it tonight (had to turn the system back on by changing our hours temporarily) obviously no one picked up because no ones in the office.  When I got the greeting I typed in my extension and then was kicked back to the group, which makes me wonder if with this setting anyone can even be transferred to me or if any transfer to me will get dumped back to the group.

I'll report back tomorrow!  Thanks again!
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Alright, looks like it works - with a couple of hiccups.  We can't blind transfer.  If you try, the call just goes back to the group.  And we can't transfer direct to voicemail, it just ends up in never never land.

Any ideas on how to fix those?  Specifically the direct to voicemail piece.  
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There's another issue as well. Now when calls come in they don't trigger the desktop or softphones at all, just our desk phones.  If I turn the Advanced Rule off, the desktop and softphones are triggered again.  Any ideas what's going on?
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Hey Mike,

Could you provide the extension number for the Group and yours as well? I would be more than happy to look at your settings :)
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MikeBGrandRapids

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I'm 101, the group is 250
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Hey Mike,

So because you turned off the "Take Messages" option in the Advanced Rule (which takes precedence over all Call Handling Settings) your extension will not be able to receive voicemails...

Now, why the Desktop app is not being triggered I'm unsure - seems odd.

With the setup that Andrew suggested you will be losing some functionality in order for it to work the way you want.

The only thing I can think of, would be for you to purchase another number for your extension and use that number for texting only. You can use any number attached to your extension as your Outbound ID for SMS - and then create that Advanced Rule for the SMS number only. But that's up to you if it will suffice your needs.
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OK, I did that.  I bought a new number.  What advanced rule do you suggest I implement so that we retain full functionality?

When I use Andrew's rule on the new number you still can't blind transfer to my extension.  In doing so it goes to the ring group instead of me.
(Edited)
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Ok, so what I see happening is that when you text someone you use the new number as the outbound ID. Then create that same advanced rule that Adam suggested but change it so that the new number is listed instead of your other Direct Number. This way, if anyone calls the SMS Number they get sent to the Queue (which they can leave a voicemail at) and if you need to transfer that call to someone else in your department, you shouldn't have any issues :)

Now, I haven't fully tested it but if you run into a snag let me know! 
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MikeBGrandRapids

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Yes, I did that.  If someone calls the texting number they are put into the queue, as expected. Unfortunately, if another user in my office answers that call and forwards the person to my extension the call goes in't the queue again, not directly to me.
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Hmmm....how are they transferring the call to you? Are they using a deskphone or softphone? Is it a warm transfer or a blind transfer?
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MikeBGrandRapids

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Deskphone.  Blind transfer.  Blind transfer direct to voicemail doesn't work either.  Attended transfer works.  
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Now when they do the Blind Transfer, are they typing in your extension or direct number? This may be one of those things that we can't get around :/ As in you may have to always do a warm/attended transfer.
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MikeBGrandRapids

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They are using the line, not the phone number.
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Ok, I believe it's because with a Blind Transfer our system sees the original caller's information (their caller ID and what number they dialed) while with a Warm Transfer the system sees the internal individual who is calling you (not the information from the original caller). So that's why the call gets stuck in a loop with the Blind Transfer. 

So a Warm Transfer would be the way to go. I'd be curious, though, if they did a Blind Transfer to your direct number (as opposed to extension) but my feeling is that it still would get stuck in a loop.
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MikeBGrandRapids

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When transferring to the direct phone number instead of the extension the transfer does come directly to me, but the caller ID is our Main Number, which defeats the blind transfer.  I guess warm transfer is all we can do.  And that wouldn't be that big of a deal if after the transfer was completed the callers caller ID came with!
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Yeah, I understand that...I wish it would follow, that's something that bothers me :(

There's a feature request for it if you'd like to vote