Call Handling: route calls to Auto-Receptionist if User Ext does not answer.

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Main number Rings to Ext.. if Ext doesn't pick up we want it routed to the Auto-Receptionist

We are attempting to set our system to mimic our old system where some will call MAIN number, it rings to an extension ( Live Receptionist ) if she does NOT pick up after say 4 rings it goes to a Auto-Receptionist.  

How can I accomplish this in Ring Central ?
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MTBrob80

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Posted 5 years ago

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Rob Benn-Frenette, Champion

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You can have it go to an extension as the operator extension yes. I don't think you can have it go back to the IVR if she does not answer without the caller pressing zero or another number
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Kim, Alum

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Rob is correct here.  An Extension cannot cannot be re-routed to the main number / auto-receptionist.  In this situation I recommend setting up a call queue (group) and have the members setup in a "fixed order"...that way if she doesn't answer it can be routed to the next available agent.  

Please let us know. 

Kim
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MTBrob80

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Rob and Kim Thanks! If I created a ring group can it ring to auto attendant  instead of another agent ? 
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Rob Benn-Frenette, Champion

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As far as I know, yes you can because the Auto Attendant is an extension. 
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MTBrob80

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Not seeing an option where this is possible because technically the Auto attendant doesn't have an extension ? 
(Edited)
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MTBrob80

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Thoughts ?  
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Mike, Official Rep

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Hi MTBrob80

I think this is what Rob is referring to. In the image below, you'll see that you can set the Auto-Receptionist to "Connect directly to extension" and then specify the extension to ring. 

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MTBrob80

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Thanks for the reply, however what I would like to do s have main number dial an extension and if the Live person does not pick it up .. The Auto-Receptionist will pick up after 5-6 rings.. Is this possible if so How ? 
(Edited)
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RC-Installer, Champion

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Not possible .  I have been asked this many times.

The only way to get to an auto attendent is via a company number or Direct number.  And You CANT forward to a internal company or direct number as many have tried that also.

Now if you are a premium office customer you have access to the multi level IVR which has greater functionality.  I have tested this and it works out well.

Here is what I did.  

People call your main number and it rings the receptionist extension (Live Body) if that person is unable to get the phone then the caller is put in to their voice mail.

What you would do is either in the voice mail greeting tell the customer to press the extension number of the IVR menu and the system will transfer them and you should be good to go.  You may also be able to record the tones of selecting the menu extension and the system may do the transfer automatically.  I have not tried this automated fashon but having the caller enter the extension works.  

Hope this helps

Chuck
Certified Ring Central Installer
chuckfuscone@gmail.com
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MTBrob80

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What If We did this.. Set up a Call group with a ring order..  If Receptionist doesn't pick p it rings another extension.. But this extension forwards to a Phone number under our account assigned to auto attendant ?   Thoughts ????
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Mike, Official Rep

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Hi MTBrob80 ,   If I understand you correctly, I think the best thing do do is change the call handling so it rings in a fixed order, instead of simultaneously (first arrow).  Then click the "specify order" link (2nd arrow) . The next screen will allow you to control/order the agent you want the call routed to.  I hope this helps.  Also, I added the Call Queue Overview video below. 



(Edited)
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MTBrob80

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THanks for the reply Mike. But I think you are missing what I am trying to accomplish . I have a receptionist that if she is on the phone it would ring over to auto attendant. lik eon their previous phone system. 

It is my understanding from earlier replies that this could not be done at this time with Ring Central... 

I perposed a work around by  

Creating a ring group with fix order  

If first ext.(receptionist)  doesn't pick up it Rings to the next ext. 

This next  Ext. is setup to forward all calls to another  number that is on my RC account and have auto attendant pick up that number  

In theory I feel this will work. Just want to see what others thought before I purchase a new line/number. 
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RC-Installer, Champion

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Seems like a simple request to have a phone ring a person and then to the auto attendent but the reality RC blocks this type of thing.  The ONLY way to get a call to go to the auto receptionise is via the company numbers.

that is it.  You cant forward to it the system will not allow.

Now I have seen people when using the MULTI level IVR tell people via a voice mail greeting to Press a button, 8 for example, and then assign that to a menu and you could get to a auto receptionise but this needs to be configured.. Also the multilevel IVR only exists in premium and enterprise plans.

Hopefully this helps

Thanks

Chuck
Certified Ring Central Installer 
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Mike, Official Rep

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 MTBrob80 ,   Chuck is correct.  "The ONLY way to get a call to go to the auto receptionise is via the company numbers.

that is it.  You cant forward to it the system will not allow."  If you try to do this, the system will give you an error.   Here is a page giving an overview of the Multi-Level IVR chuck mentioned in case it helps. Multi-level IVR Overview
(Edited)
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MTBrob80

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Why is this blocked or not allowed to function. We replaced a 10- 15 year old Phone system which allowed  this to work.. I would think something so simple would be a capability. Is there a reason? If So I would like to understand it so I can go back to my customer and tell them why this can't happen. 
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Mike, Official Rep

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HI MTBrob80 ,  I am changing this thread to an "idea" topic so that this gets some consideration from our product team. I do not know all the reasons why this is not made possible, except that it does create the potential for looping in the phone menu.  

Anyone who would like to see this made possible, please click the "like" button above. 
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Mike, Official Rep

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Sorry, that was probably an oversight no my part. I've changed it to an "idea". 
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tanager

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i'm having this problem and reading this thread. I hope the 3 year old problem isn't current because it is a ridiculous failure of product management if the call has to be continually routed to "find a live person". 
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jason pharr

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This just seems crazy that this feature is blocked for whatever reason.  I just pre-paid for 1 year for a dozen users.  I didn't realize we would lose this feature when I switched  to RC.  I'm going to get so much flack for this. I don't know that we will stay with RC when it comes time to renew if they don't decide to allow forwarding to the auto-attendant.
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MTBrob80

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Jason, I was able to get around this by utilizing the voicemail message. As at any time you can dial an extension while the voice mail message is being played, and it will transfer to it. So I just had the receptionist record thank you for calling blah blah if you would like this dept. Dial ext 100 (ext 100 points to a call grp) if you would like this dept dial 101 and so on or if you like leave a message after the beep. It gets the job done but totally agree it is absolutely asinine that such a basic feature is not included.
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Jessica Winter

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I agree with the extreme disappointment of this not being a basic feature.  I should not have to have the multi level IVR to allow this or spend hours trying to find a work around.  Please make this a standard feature. 
(Edited)
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Robert

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Our old phone system had the ability to ring our receptionist first and if she was away from her desk it would go to the IVR which I would think would be a standard option for Ringcentral as well but alas, it’s not. Anyway I was able to create a work-around in Ringcentral and wanted to share my configuration to help others out. Like others have proposed, this method uses a voicemail message for the initial greeting and requires multilevel IVR.

 

  1. Create and record your voice prompts and save in the prompts library. I have an intro that says: “Thank you for calling company name. If you know your parties extension you may dial it at any time. For the employee directory, press one. For our office hours and location, press two. To hear these options again, press pound.” As well as an “hours and location” prompt, an “employee directory” prompt, and an “after-hours intro” prompt. You will also need to create an intro2 prompt that has the same information as intro but says something like: “Otherwise stay on the line to leave a message in our general mailbox” at the end. IMPORTANT: Leave 5 seconds of silence at the end of this intro2 prompt. As an alternative you could cut the “otherwise” sentence and have several minutes of silence at the end of the intro2 prompt then most callers won’t wait around to hear the beep and leave a message, especially when they’re not prompted to.
  2. Next, create your IVR menu. I used the visual IVR editor and created an IVR with a menu prompt with the intro then a branch to “employee directory” and a branch for “hours and location”. I gave the employee directory an extension number of “1” and the hours and location an extension of “2”. Make sure to set your voice prompts for each under settings for each menu. I also created another IVR with the same options as the first but the intro was changed to the “office closed” voice prompt.
  3. Create a call queue with your receptionist as the only member. Under “Call Handling” turn on audio while connecting (I used ring tones) and under the member availability and hold times section I set all three sections to 15 seconds. In the after-hours tab change it to connect to extension and select your intro IVR. Under “Messages & Notifications” I set the message recipient to my call queue extension and changed the voicemail greeting to custom and used “intro2” as the voicemail greeting.
  4. Under Auto-Receptionist”/IVR settings, set your company greeting for both hours and after-hours to bypass greeting to go to extension and use your call queue as that extension.

 

That should do it. How this works is if the receptionist doesn’t answer the phone during business hours the caller gets the voicemail box of the call queue which is your intro2. When a voicemail is playing any extension can be dialed so when they press 1 or 2 it connects to the IVR extensions we created and they can now navigate those menus (this is also the reason for the 5 seconds of silence at the end so they have time to press the extension. After-hours calls will also now get forwarded to the regular IVR intro menu.

 

The only downside with this is you need to have a general mailbox voicemail, one you either check or not. The other problem I have discovered is if the caller tries to go back to the root menu after hitting 1 or 2 during business hours it will just replay that extension and not go back. To fix this you would need to give the main menu a one digit extension number and instead of using star to return you would say “to return to the main menu press 3” using 3 as the example extension number.

 

Anyway, hope this helps. I also hope Ringcentral adds the ability soon to include an IVR in a call queue which would solve this functionality problem the right way.
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tanager

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has this been fixed by ring central yet? This is a huge failure in their design.
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Saadet, Employee

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Sorry, tanager. There is not ETA on this request
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Jessica Winter

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This fix should be a priority for ring central.  Why can't this get done?  We pay a lot of money for our subscription to not have a basic feature.   
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Saadet, Employee

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Hi Jessica,

I understand your frustration. We receive hundreds of feature requests each quarter - you can learn more about this here. Please make sure to vote on requests that would make a difference for you and your business by clicking the Me Too button.
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MileHighWelch

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New customer here, this seems pretty basic, mandatory even regardless of the business size.  What is the point of having a Live Receptionist and an IVR if they can't work together to handle the business' call flow? 
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Jessica Winter

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Many requests for such a basic feature to be implemented and still nothing.  Why should I continue doing business with a company that is not listening to their customers?
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Adam

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Company Call Handling: Need Ext to ring first and then auto-receptionist?.

Is it possible to have the system ring an extension first, and if that person DOES NOT pick up for whatever reason, it goes directly to the Auto-Receptionist?
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Robert

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Yes but it's not built in, you have to use a workaround. I wrote up a procedure above. Essentially you just create a call queue with your receptionist (or whatever extension you want) with the voicemail message of the queue as the intro to your IVR.
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Brad Swindell

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Any update when RC will get there act together and add this basic feature?  I find it extremely distasteful to have to put the responsibly on the caller to get to the right prompt for the call to be answered correctly.  Making the users responsible to getting to the IVR leaves a lot of room for error.  If they don't understand or miss the prompt, it wont be repeated, and they will be transferred to a useless Voice mailbox.  This is not an acceptable workaround.  And i think the DTMF tone hack is unprofessional and buggy.  This is a simple feature and RC is choosing not to support their users.  Broadview and the other VOIP providers i have used in the past have no issue with transferring calls between EXTs, VMs, Call Groups, and IVR menus alike.  They are all treated as virtual extensions.  Just pick up your RC phone and dial the number of your IVR menu... It goes right there.  There is no valid reason for not supporting this feature!
(Edited)
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Brad Swindell

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See Comment in Post for our Workaround.

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IHC

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Please Ring Central Build this out. Our old System our Auto Assistant(IVR) was a catch all. A lot of businesses want to have a live receptionist to answer calls and then for the system to go to the auto route in the event of unable to answer. 
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IHC

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This is my work around. In each one of our Branch offices I have an Auto (IVR) that fwd calls to a Hunt Group (This is just a user with a FWD on) when its within business hours. From there I have the call FWD to receptionists If they do not answer I have the Messages section Connect Directly to a group and I choose that offices Auto (IVR). 
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Admin@BMBLLC

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I've been a RC client for 5 years. I was given a work-around then, which is at the bottom of this. I tried again for the last 2 nights trying to see if they have done any improvements to fix this. During these almost 4 hours of tech support, I've put together some ideas.

Idea 1: Have a general voicemail digital line created that is a free add-on for business clients -
When a call is received, the Auto Receptionist (AR) is still forwarding the calls to the live receptionist's (LR) ext. If the line isn't answered it moves to the IVR Group created, and if the caller doesn't choose an extension it will roll into the general VM.

Idea 2: Create a Live Receptionist Timeline -
Have the AR still forward lines to the LR, but only have that line ring for a certain amount of time before the call is rolls into the LR's VM. Instead, the phone call is transferred to the IVR Menu and allows the caller to choose a prompt or an ext. If they don't make a decision, it can route back to the LR who can either choose to answer or let it roll into VM. -right now the only way this idea works is to not enable vm for the LR's ext; which is not acceptable. 
 
My work around right now:
The auto receptionist forwards the calls to the LR ext, and if it isn't answered the call moves to the LR vm. Inside the VM are prompts created (through Groups: Others) so that the client can still leave the LR VM and go to another extension/press 3 for a list of extension, press 9 to dail by name or just leave a message in the mailbox for the live receptionist or the general mailbox.
 
The problem I have with this setup is sometimes, the prompts will not work so the client is super frustrated, calls multiple times, then leaves a message saying how they couldn't get the phone system to respond. 

It would be so great to have a better option for this; thanks!
Joanna
(Edited)
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Brad Swindell

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Hey everyone.... I now have a work around however we did have to push back on RC sales to get them to give me an exception for the extra extension.  My requirement was that I needed a group of live receptionists (LR) to try to answer the phones first and if none of them answered then it went to "Business Hours IVR".  The the group of LR should only ring while the business is open.  Otherwise the system should route the calls to the "After Hours IVR".

Point Main Number (MN) to Auto-Receptionist (AR).
This is a critical step to allow my main number to be used for outbound CID for every extension.  But we will create a rule later to redirect the inbound call traffic.

Setup Auto-Receptionist (AR)
Configure the following:
  • Business hours
  • Multi Level IVR
  • During Business Hours: "Ext 1 - Business Hours IVR"
  • After Business Hours: "Ext 2 - After Hours IVR"
Create (LR) Group as a Dedicated User Extension 100.
I had RC provision a new extension instead of using a RC Group because a Call Queue (CQ) does not have the ability to transfer to a IVR menu.  I then configured call handling on the extension to simultaneously ring the 3 receptionist desks during business hours and no extensions after hours and if no one answers in 4 rings (or there is no extensions to ring ie after hours) then transfer to "Ext 1 - Business Hours IVR".

NOTE I got RC to forgive the cost of this extension due to the fact that this feature was available in my previous VoiP provider (Windstream/BroadviewNetworks).  I explained to them that this is fundamental limitation of their platform that was their choice to impose and was not our fault they did not support this standard feature in VoiP platforms.  I proved to them that we could make the functionality work using their system but they had to give us a free extension to do it.

The Magic Step was to Configure a Custom Answering Rule on the AR.
This rule would override all the incoming calls to the the LR Group Ext 100.
Configured as such:
  • Condition: Called Number = Main Number
  • Call Handling: Live Reception Ext 100
Note you should be able to use the Custom Answering Rule to only redirect the inbound traffic during business hours, but we wanted the option to have an after hours receptionist if we need.  So all we would need to do is add their Extension to the call handling for after hours at extension 100 and it would automatically add them into the routing.

Other Notes:
Our IVR handles the voicemail options from inside the IVR.  Allow the user to leave a message by using a IVR prompt.  We have also created an Emergency After Hours Paging Routine using a simpler principle of an Extensions as the call group instead of a real call group.  RC call groups are not as flexible as they should be.  After deal with support for hours they told me that they limit the call group functionality so users do not create möbius loops in the logic.  However RC extensions can still do this if needed.  That is if you are willing to pay for the extension fee or get it waived in our case.  Good luck.

Brad Swindell
(Edited)
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Admin@BMBLLC

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Hi Brad! So, you did exactly what I has hoping for - an extra extension that doesn't cost me money. Did you just call Customer Service? Joanna
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Brad Swindell

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Yea it was a lot of back and forth but i was a new customer and i had some pull.  My account rep (Sales) was the one that got it done.