Hunt Group (AKA Sequential Call Forwarding, but sent to VM after first failure)

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We're a small business, and we're looking at duplicating our current setup, which I believe is fairly simple:

Calls to the main number go to line 1 (ext 101). Easy enough to do, skip the auto receptionist, send all calls to extension 101. If line 1 is busy, then try line 2. This also seemed easy, just add a second line to extension 101 and have the calls be forwarded sequentially. Here is where it gets tricky. If line 2 doesn't answer, then we'd like the call to be sent to voicemail, not try lines 3 and 4.

To phrase it differently, we'd like the call to go to VM if it's not answered, only forwarded to the next line if the line is busy. Our current phone provider (Comcast) calls this a "Hunt Group".

I've been reading docs over the last few days, and it seems like Call Queues is the answer, but it brings a load of more complex issues/rules with custom hours/greetings.

Is there a way to accomplish this?

Thanks in advance.

edit: I should mention we'd be using analog phones via ATAs. I've purposely left this vague in hopes that simplifying the issue makes it easier to understand, but I'll be happy to provide whatever more details are needed.
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Arturo

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Posted 10 months ago

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Michel, Champion

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Yes, you are right - the setup of a call queue is a good approach for this.  Add lines one and two as members of the queue.   In the "Messages and Notifications" section, setup the voice mail for when both numbers don't answer.  This is the most flexible approach in that you can add or remote lines as members of the queue, as well as setup how many rings to try each line before it tries the next line (in addition to if lines are busy).
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Arturo

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Thanks for your reply. I think call queues are extremely powerful, but they bring their own set of issues (different place for voicemail greetings, hours, etc) that we'd rather not deal with.
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Chris Duquette, Champion

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you could just leave the numbers in the company pool of numbers and use advanced rules for "numbered dialed" and send all the calls to whichever extension youd like. if the call was not answered, it would then go to that extension VM.
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Arturo

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Yup, I arrived at this same solution over the weekend. We just have the one user, extension 101, and it is set as the operator, no auto receptionist. Calls for that user are set not to forward anywhere. Then on the advanced rules for that user, we make it so that calls coming to the main number are forwarded sequentially to the four lines. I haven't tested it, but I believe it should work. Thanks so much for replying!
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Chris Duquette, Champion

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no worries, i try to help where i can, keep posting if you want to try and troubleshoot further
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Arturo

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So, this doesn't work the way I thought it should, Chris. I set the Advanced Rule to forward calls only when they are coming on the primary number, but I guess when RC forwards the call to the second line, it must still be showing that the call was made to the primary number, because it still rings instead of sending it to voicemail.

Can you clarify what you had meant, see if I understood you right? Thank you so much.
(Edited)
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Chris Duquette, Champion

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if i'm reading your post correctly, you have 2 phone numbers. I would direct both of them to whatever extension you want through advanced rules. the calls would then ring that extension and flow to VM after whatever amount you have it set at.