Contacts management and Caller ID features.

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We are a small financial services company with about 40 people in our office. We recently upgraded to the Polycom RingCentral phones within our office. However, we deal with a lot of advisors and affiliated companies at other locations who are on their own phone systems. Since the "Company" contacts section of the online management portal only contains people who are on our RingCentral phone system, we had to create a custom "Personal" contaacts list which we import and export as a .csv file.

 There are quite a few issues with this process, and as far as I can tell, there is no way to centrally manage these contacts. Any time a change is made to this list, every user must individually import the list again or update the contact on their own terms. When you import a contacts list into your personal contacts, it gives you a few different options. These options are "Overwrite the existing record with the new record" and "Keep current existing record and add new record" and "Keep current and ignore import record"..The only one of these options that works is "keep current and add new record".. The other two bulleted options do not work consistently and I have noticed that when I make changes in the .csv file or the contacts list itself, and then import with one of these options, the changes are not made, or only some of the changes are made.. This means that any time someone wants to append to their current list, they can't. They have to delete the entire list and import it all over again..

 Oh wait, there's more...

 We deal with companies that have one universal contact number (one main business phone number with each user having their own extensions WITHIN their own phone system).. So, in our contacts list, these people all have the same business number listed.. Apparently, RingCentral contacts can't handle duplicate numbers when it comes to caller ID features, and as far as I can tell, there is no way around this.. Somehow, the caller ID pulls the first user from my personal contacts list that it finds with this number and displays it on the phone each time, regardless of who is calling me from that company. My caller ID could say Bob Smith is calling when in fact Jane Doe is calling me (or one of any other 12 people from that company).. I've tried removing the business phone number and putting it into other fields like "other" or "home phone" for all but one of these users and this does not fix it. I've tried putting these people into a group, and this does not fix it. I've tried adding their additional extensions at the end of the phone number (for example 814-555-8888 * 2222) and this does not work either... There is NO WAY (as far as I can tell) to get the caller ID to display the correct name when dealing with duplicate phone numbers and I just have to accept the fact that people in my office will never know who's truly calling them. This can be quite annoying.. How does it decide which name to choose? It's not alphabetical order..

 The Call Log is also inconsistent... If I get a call from Jane Doe, but it pulls John Doe's number and displays his name as the caller ID on the phones screen, the soft phone will still display Jane Doe and then when they leave a voicemail, the voicemail will be from Jane Doe....but yet the phone can't figure out that she's the one calling me?

 Also, when our account was created, the main business phone number was associated by default with the person's name who opened the account, so now when our business calls someone, that persons name is listed on their caller ID instead of the business name. We were never told this beforehand nor were we asked what we wanted it to be be listed as... They just went ahead and did it. Fortunately, there is a fix for this, as we would have to assign a new phone number to this person, but that would affect their published number, business cards etc..I have called RingCentral support numerous times about these issues, and nobody I speak with on the phone has any idea about them or how to fix them. 
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Eric Russell

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Posted 2 years ago

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Mike, Official Rep

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Hi Matt, 

It looks like there are a couple different things going on here.

For the first issue, related to sharing contacts, we have a couple existing feature requests.  Here are links to those two pages, if you'd like to comment and vote on either, or both. 

Contacts: share my Personal Contacts with all users

Contacts: Adding Non RingCentral Users to Company Contacts

For your second issue. There is unfortunately no solution at this time.  When you have multiple users calling from the same number the system has no way of knowing which individual is picking up the phone and calling. 
This article may help those who wish to understand more about: Caller ID and CNAM

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The Singularity

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I read your reply and skimmed the pages you recommended. Sharing Personal Contacts would be helpful, but the real difficulty is the inability to centrally manage any list of contacts (call it whatever you like). We want all our users to have access to the same list of contacts. We want to be able to update that one list and have that updated information available automatically to all our users. A centralized contact database that allows admins to edit contacts would resolve the issue.

With regard to the 2nd issue, Matt's post is about the inconsistency of RingCentral in displaying the callers name. Results on the Windows app and mobile app are different than on the desktop phone. Same phone call, but different names are displayed? Caller's names listed in the call log can differ from those that appear on the desktop phone. If RC is using a CNAM database as the sole source for caller's names, how can the names be inconsistent from one platform to another? My guess is that the Contact information (from the Personal Contacts) overrides the CNAM data on the desktop phone, but not in the Windows app. Please correct me if I am wrong. I'd love to understand how it works. I realize the CNAM system is imperfect and the names may not be accurate, but at least it is consistent. With every dip for any given number, you're going to get consistent results.
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RC-Installer, Champion

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Hey Matt, going to chime in here for a min to try and address a few issues.

First on the caller ID matching for inbound calls...

If another phone systems displays the main number for out bound calls (Like Ring Central could be configured to do) then there is no way to do matching of different people from the same company like in your example.  Did this exist in another phone system you were using?  If the caller displayed their local DID then you would be able to match but that is not reality.  I would like to know more if you had this feature and now you don't since the move to RC.

Next there are many threads, that I have written on managing a central contact list.  Mostly for outbound speed dials is what my customers are asking for and then they are available to everyone on the system, but if you are looking for the inbound caller ID matching to a contact that may not be so consistent.

You could only get good matches if the incoming number displayed to RC is consistently associated with the user you are expecting.  Not sure how thee CRM integrations handle this but maybe much better especially when multiple people from the same company are calling using a consistent company number.  Do you have your CRM integrated with RC?  (Sales force is most popular) but there are others.

You could easily change the outbound CNAM information for your RC account.  Numbers could be moved around within the system from phones to auto attendant to company numbers so that issue should be able to be resolved quickly.

Hope this helps

Chuck Fuscone
Certified RC consultant
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The Singularity

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Hi Chuck,

Thanks for posting your response. We do not have any CRM integration with our phone system. Our old system was an on-premise small PBX and voicemail system. It relied entirely on CNAM from the carrier (Comcast). So when an inbound call came in, Comcast dipped into their CNAM database and pulled the corresponding name (usually a company name for most of our callers). We have no expectation that the system could somehow distinguish who is calling when the outbound CID from that location is the same 10-digit number. We understand that is not realistic.

With RingCentral, we are getting inconsistent results and that's the issue. The CNAM RingCentral sends to the deskphone is different than the CNAM displayed on the Windows app for the same call. If I could understand how RC chooses which name to display, We might be able to work around the issue.

Let me give an example. We have a business relationship with a small advisory firm (4 people - The primary adviser and 3 administrative assistants). This office does not have RingCentral. They have small system with 3-4 POTS lines and virtual extensions (not DID numbers) for all 4 of their users. CID for all outbound calls from this office is the same number. When this office called on our old system, we get the company name no matter which one of their users places the call. With RC, because we have a contact list that contains multiple users with this main business number, we get one of the user's names in this office. In this case, one of the administrative people, not the primary adviser. On the Windows app, we might get one of the other administrative assistant's names. So the challenge is, at the very least, to have the same name display on both the desktop phone and the RC for Windows app. Even better if we can somehow control WHICH name from that office appears. Again, with no understanding of how RC chooses which contact to display, formulating a workaround is impossible.