I need a feature to see which option is calling my extension before i answer.

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This conversation has been merged. Please reference the main conversation: Incoming Call Information -- IVR Menu Key 'pressed'

I have setup a Multiple level IVR with 5 user groups, where a caller must press 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 or 5, to be routed correctly. The challenge is, that all calls are routed to my extension, as the only user in the system, and these calls come to my iphone using the ringcentral app. The challendge is, I need to know when receiving the call what option the user chose, so that i can answer the call accordingly. I need a feature to see which option is calling my extension before i answer.
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Posted 9 months ago

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Jan Ferguson, Champion

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As I understand your post, you might have different "departments" set up for each of the number presses (i.e., 1 for Sales, 2 for Support, etc.). I do the same also as the only user.

However, since you can only log in to one direct dial number in the RingCentral mobile app at one time, it will only use that extension. I used to use several other extensions (i.e., Sales, or Support) for ring groups and have them ring through to my cell phone but I then would lose the RIngCentral Mobile app functionality. Sure, it would tell me which "department" I was receiving the call on, but as I said I lost the mobile app functionality. If the mobile app functionality is not as important to you compared to how you answer the phone, you can do this by having the extension tell you it's name before the call connects to you. I can tell you how if you are interested.

There is no way I am aware of that can accomplish what you are trying to do at this time. I also voted for this as I believe it would be a really good feature to integrate into the system.
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Larry Solheim

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My two cents... I have asked for this feature for many years.  No one at RC seams to understand why this and several other basic features are important to their clients.  We are not alone on this one for sure.

RC is a great company in so many ways, but they NEED to fix a couple of basic features (that others like 8x8 have), but I stick with them because I believe they will get it some day.

The good news is that there IS a way to do this (sort of) but it is certainly not the way it should work.  I am shooting off the cuff here because I am not at my computer right now.  Their support team can help you for sure.  But, it won't work like you expect it to, and it takes more steps than necessary to set this up than it should... in-fact, you shouldn't have to do anything to make this work, it should just work out of the box, but it doesn't.

Basically, you can set an option to a department or ring group (although they stopped calling them departments or ring groups), that when the call rings at an extension you can append a short numeric code to either the beginning or end of the number that is displayed (I use the department or RG extension number).  This can be done on an internal/external basis separately, so it is pretty well thought out but not the way it should work.

If I am correct, you are wanting to see the word "Sales" or "ABC - Billing" or "XYZ-Support" displayed.  That is what makes sense and that is what other VOIP providers do.  I hope they eventually get it, but my feeling is that they think it is working and they would rather add new things and fix some of the old things.

No provider is perfect, but I use RC for clients over the others whenever I can.  Overall they seem to be doing better lately, especially regarding customer service.
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Chris Duquette, Champion

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maybe an annoucement prior to you speaking to the caller like "connecting message" but backwards. This way you know where the call came from and answer the right way.
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Larry Solheim

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I believe that is already an option, part of the same work around.  But that means that you have to answer the call to hear that.  If you are on a call, or doing something else you want to know at a glance if it is a call that NEEDS to be answered or not, and sometimes HOW to answer it.
(Edited)
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Chris Duquette, Champion

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makes sense, just giving my thoughts
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Jan Ferguson, Champion

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@ Larry Solheim

Absolutely correct. In addition, the original poster has ALL the button presses going to his personal direct dial extension so that he gets his calls on the RingCentral mobile app. If he were to use other extensions, he would be able to accomplish what I referred to and told him I could tell him how to do it, and you fleshed it out more. However, since he would be using other extensions, he would not receive the calls on his RingCentral mobile app as you cannot currently use an extension in a ring group.
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Jan Ferguson, Champion

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To flesh this out more for the original poster and others who may read this, assume he is using x102 and has his DDL (Direct Dial Line) assigned to that extension. That would be the extension/number that he would log into his RingCentral Mobile app with.

Right now he has ALL his calls (via the Multi IVR button presses) being transferred to his x102 so he can use the mobile app.

If he were to use x1001 for Sales (Press 1), x1002 for Support (Press 2), x1003 for Main Office (Press 3), etc. he wouldn't receive any of these calls on the RingCentral Mobile app since he is logged in with x102 and ONLY calls transferred to x102 will go to the mobile app.

Since extensions cannot be used in a ring group, if he were to send any of those extensions (1001, 1002, 1003, etc,) to his cell phone listed in the ring group, then the solution you and I offered would work but he would not be able to use the mobile app functionality as the call would go to his cell phone. While the caller would not know it went to his regular cell phone, he would not be able to place them on HOLD, Flip them to another phone, etc. as you can do in the mobile app.
Thanks for the replies everyone, i have already followed the guidelines outlined in the help article below, which doesnt solve the problem.  https://success.ringcentral.com/articles/RC_Knowledge_Article/4618

As mentioned in your replies this would limit me to only logging in as one extension a time on the mobile app and that doesnt work for me.  I only use the mobile app.  there are no hardwired devices anywhere in my use, so Ring Central needs to act on this very basic (or so it would seem) function that apparently i am not the only who requires it.

Surely if you can append a number either before or after an extension, then in that same breath should be allowed on the groups... It just makes logical sense.

It would be great if Ring Central could post a response here about a solution, or about a development that will be addressing this basic need.

Clint.
Prince Charming!!!! but not today!!!
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Jan Ferguson, Champion

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I feel your pain. I changed some of my Multi IVR settings because of this very thing.
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Luke, U.S. Tier 1 Support

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This is definitely possible, though there is no setting specifically for this. There is a process to set it up by using virtual extensions along with Incoming Call Information. I can explain it here, but sometimes it is easier to explain over the phone by calling us in support. I'll do my best to give instructions, let us know any follow-up questions.
  1. Create an extension without a phone or number for each option in your IVR, sounds like you will need 5. These are called virtual extensions. See step 5 in our Adding User Extensions guide.
  2. On each of these extensions, add the phone assigned to your user in the Call Handling & Forwarding of each extension. See step 7 on our Configure a User's Call Forwarding guide.
  3. On each of these extensions choose an option for Incoming Call Information. You can play an announcement or add numbers to the Caller ID displayed on your phone. Make sure each one is unique so you can identify which extension the call is coming from. See step 3 in our Configure a User's Incoming Call Information guide.
  4. Update the IVR menu so that each option goes to one of these extensions. Each extension will ring your phone, but it will have a different announcement or added number to the Caller ID so you can see which option the user has chosen. See our Adding Key Press Assignments to an IVR Menu guide.
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Jan Ferguson, Champion

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Luke,

You missed the part where all he uses is his RingCentral mobile app. See my discussion above regarding that. While what you suggest is certainly an option if he were using a desktop phone but he does not have one, as he stated. Further if he does do what you suggest, as I also suggested, he will lose the functionality of the RingCentral mobile application.
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Luke, U.S. Tier 1 Support

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Gotcha, I did miss that part, my bad.

What could be an option is setting up a queue for every keypress of the IVR, add only yourself to each queue, and turn on the announcement before connecting on your personal extension.

This would make it so you hear an audible announcement upon picking up the phone so that you will know which option they selected.

This will also keep compatibility with the mobile app as it will be using your original extension and follow your setting for Desktop and Mobile apps in your Call Handling & Forwarding settings.
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templar701

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Hi Luke, thanks for this suggested work around.  As per your suggestion, I implemented one queue per menu option, allocated extension to each queue, and activated the extension's "play announcement", settings under "Call handling & forwarding".  You can hear the audible announcement when forwarding to an external number such as a land line or  mobile, however it doesn't work when answering the call through the mobile app (android, tested).  Therefore I didn't grasp the last paragraph of your solution, when you said this would keep compatibility with the mobile app, because you lose the the app functionality if you have to answer the call through  your mobile number, unless I'm missing something?  (I have come up with my own work around, posted below).
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Larry Solheim

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Luke,

The original workaround that you described is exactly what I have used.  The unfortunate thing is that this should be automatic and not this is certainly not a real fix.

There are several reasons why this is far from perfect however.

1 - This is a complicated work around that still makes the user remember the addition number appended to the caller ID.

2 - The audio prompt option requires the user to pick-up the call. Those of us who want to see the incoming call information (before deciding to pick-up the call) must use the appended number method only.

3 - There is no way to do this with a call queue.  Unfortunately there is no way to modify the incoming caller ID in a call queue... fixing this would help significantly, but at this time it is not an option.

4 - Using the described method, it only works with 10 or less simultaneous users. This is why fixing the call cue would be a better option as you can easily add many members of the queue.

5 - My understanding is that using this method, you have a choice for the incoming caller ID to be changed on internal and external phones, so I am not sure why this would not work with the phone app.  I will test it to see if it works on my setup.

In short, this truly needs to be fixed and the solution is to display the words not the number without the need of creating an additional user.  In fact, this should be a function of a ring group (slightly different from a queue) or a department (neither of which seem to exist at RC but are still referenced in many technical articles).  The mechanism obviously exists but for years this has not been a priority to RC. At least there is a work around of sorts.  I am confident that one day RC will see the light.

I have a very similar nagging issue surrounding group voicemail notification and accessibility which is also being ignored.  It is so frustrating that the developers cannot see when huge issues are not being resolved.

These are basic functions of business, not obscure whimsical wishes.

I understand that new features and new interfaces lead to new problems, but please don't ignore the obvious.

Honestly, this is so important that I would travel to RC offices if I thought that someone would really listen.

(Edited)
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Luke, U.S. Tier 1 Support

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I acknowledge that there is currently not a way to do exactly what you describe Larry, and I can totally understand wanting a feature that does this. I can assure you that we do listen to our customer's requests and attempt to ensure their needs are met by our platform.

In my posts I wanted to provide a couple options that are close to what you are looking for, as well as instructions that may help some others who are searching for solutions here in our forums and find that those options work for them.

Understand that RingCentral is constantly adding new features, and our development teams do pay attention to idea posts that have very good use cases and higher votes from other RingCentral users.

The best thing you can do to highlight this feature and what it means to you is by adding some information about your company and how it would enable you do do your business with RingCentral more effectively.

To help our Product Team understand your request and assure it gets more consideration, please include the following details in your request: 
  1. Number of Digital Lines on the account
  2. Account type  (U.S., Canada, UK,  AT&T, Telus, British Telecom)
  3. A brief description of the business you perform
  4. A high level description of the feature being requested
  5. A typical use case scenario explaining how your business would use the feature
  6. Benefit of such feature
  7. Include any related support case number if applicable
Good Morning Luke, and all others who have commented on this post.

Thank you for all your contributions and comments.  The reality is, that as I am a 1 man business currently, the concept of creating an IVR is to create the impression of a larger scale professional fronted business so that when customers call in, a process is started to make them feel like they are being handled accordingly and directed to the correct person to deal with them and their query.

That being said, as I am mobile most of the time, i opted to use the phone app on my iphone, as it allows me to take and make calls anywhere, anytime.

While RC is a great system, for this purpose, there are some fundamental and very basic shortfalls in the what the system offers or can do, when using the mobile app, vs a hard wired telephone device.

This is where my query stems, that after setting up, with the help of the online tech team, I started playing with the system, and while it was confusing got it to the point of being what i needed it to be, from a client calling in perspective.  Once i started receiving calls, i quickly noticed that while I could handle most of the calls with some covert questions at the onset, I soon found that some customers were frustrated as they had selected the correct routing option to come to the right department, they didn't see the need for me to ask the questions again.

This is where, I found the need to know from which option selected the call is emanating before I answer the call on the mobile app.  and since this was an IVR routing I really don't understand why there is not any functionality for the mobile app, to enable this.  its really a simple requirement.  to either show, the user group/call queue that is sending the call on my phone screen, but simply appending the call queue number eg: "1: their number" 

That said It seems this is not a new requirement based on many of the comments, and it eludes me to understand why RC has not already addressed this issue.  Putting it out to vote at this point seems a little counter productive considering the great need for the function, but nonetheless here are the answers to the questions you posted above:

To help our Product Team understand your request and assure it gets more consideration, please include the following details in your request: 
  1. Number of Digital Lines on the account  : 1
  2. Account type  (U.S., Canada, UK,  AT&T, Telus, British Telecom) : CANADA
  3. A brief description of the business you perform: Cleaning Company that focuses on Home Cleaning, Office Cleaning, Carpet Cleaning, upholstery cleaning
  4. A high level description of the feature being requested: as details above and below in all the comments
  5. A typical use case scenario explaining how your business would use the feature: as detailed above and below in all the comments
  6. Benefit of such feature: as detailed above and below in all the comments
  7. Include any related support case number if applicable: Not sure where to find that, but surely this post is sufficient evidence of the need.

Have a good day and thank you.

Clint
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templar701

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I've come up with a work around for the mobile app's lack of menu option announcement, which I'm testing.  It isn't perfect, and may not be to everyone's liking. It involves queues and only "works" if simultaneous calling is activated for each queue.

1.  Assign a unique queue per each IVR menu option.
2.  Create user virtual extensions (no number) for each mobile number you want to use.  Under "Call handling & forwarding", enter your mobile number and activate the slider.  Turn the slider off for the admin, desktop and mobile app.  Then, assign extensions to the queues.
3.  For each virtual extension, mobile number, created in (2) create another virtual extension (no number), but this time, under "Call handling & forwarding", there is no need to add your mobile number.  Leave the admin, desktop and mobile app sliders activated.  Assign these extensions to the queues also.
4. Log your mobiles into the user virtual extensions created in (3).
5.  When you receive a customer call via your IVR menu, your mobile will ring via the ring central app, and your mobile number simultaneously.  Answer your mobile first to hear the whisper of where the call is coming from, then simply hand up.  The Ring Central app on your mobile will then continue to call you, you can then answer this via the mobile app with the knowledge of where the customer came from in your menu, while having the luxury of utilising all the features in the app. 

Hopefully this will help some, and hoping this can be improved on.
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templar701

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Further to the above, step (2) can also be achieved more easily by substituting it for the following steps instead:

2a) Create a single user virtual extensions (no number).
2b) Under "Call handling & forwarding", enter all your mobile numbers in the list, activate each slider for the numbers, and set incoming calls to the "simultaneously" setting.   Turn the slider off for the admin, desktop and mobile app.  
2c) Add this extension to the queues.

This has the advantage of only taking 1 additional extension slot in each queue, which is favourable, because your limited to just 10 slots, for simultaneous calling in queues.
(Edited)
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templar701

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Refining the above even further, the below outlines how you can achieve the same goal more easily, without needing to create additional extensions. 
The following describes how to get an announcement, regarding where the call came from, when picking up calls, and requires your users to have the mobile phone app and a mobile number.  Works better on Android, iphone seems a bit hit and miss with the dual calling.

1.  Assign a unique queue per each IVR menu option.
2.  Create whatever number of user extensions you need and for each, Under "Call handling & forwarding", add your mobile number, activate the slider, and set the duration of the "rings" required.  Keep the slider on for the desktop and mobile app, but set duration of "rings" to zero.  Assign your users to the queues as required.
3. Install the mobile phone, Ring Central app, and log each of your users in.
4.  When you receive a customer call via your IVR menu, your mobile will ring via the Ring Central app, and your mobile number simultaneously.  Answer your mobile first to hear the announcement whisper of where the call is coming from (menu option), then simply hand up.  The Ring Central app on your mobile will continue to call you, you can then answer this via the mobile app with the knowledge of where the customer came from in your menu, while having the luxury of utilising all the features in the app. 

A work around, yes, but still no one should have to be doing this clumsy method, so please simply add the call announcement whisper to VOIP Ring Central!
(Edited)
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templar701

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Ring Central's call announcement whispering is already available for call forwarding to external numbers like mobiles and landlines, and they just need to include this feature for VOIP as well, like a lot of their competitors already do like, https://mitel.co.uk/ , https://voipstudio.com/ and https://www.lazypbx.com/ to name but a few.

For example, below is a screen shot from https://voipstudio.com/ queue set up screen.  Notice the "Agent Announcement" input box, where you can simply record a whisper to say something like "sales call".  This is then played back to you when you answer the phone via VOIP   So Ring Central, as you can see there are no excuses for you not implement this simple yet fundamental feature please.

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templar701

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WARNING - Beware of Ring Central's mobile phone user charges.  The work arounds above mention using mobile phones, however, beware.  You may be forgiven to assume that creating a virtual extension without a direct line is free on mobile apps, however, I have discovered that Ring Central may treat this as if it were an additional user and charge for it - more information here:  https://community.ringcentral.com/ringcentral/topics/the-truth-behind-the-mobile-user-announcement
(Edited)

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