Company Call Handling: Need Ext to ring first and then auto-receptionist?

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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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Adam

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Posted 5 years ago

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Ben Foster, Alum

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Hi Adam -There is a workaround that can be applied, though. To enable it, set Auto-Receptionist > Greeting & Company Calls to connect directly to an extension. You'd then turn off all greetings on that extension so calls will just forward to whatever forwarding number is configured for the extension. If the forwarding number does not answer, voicemail will automatically pick up. The secret is to upload your auto-receptionist greeting as the voicemail greeting - but make sure that there is a pause/dead air after the greeting (10-20 secs) so callers have enough time to enter another extension number.
(Edited)
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Andy Thompson, Sales Engineer (SE)

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Hi Jeremy,

I haven't seen an issue with the workaround for scenario b) when recorded as suggested below.  Obviously the caveat is that you can only list extensions that are built within your phone system.  To confirm, have you recorded the receptionist's voicemail greeting as follows?

"Thank you for calling {company name}.  If you know the extension of the person you are trying to reach, you may dial it at any time.  To dial by name, press 9.  Otherwise, please stay on the line to leave a message in our general mailbox"
***Leave 5 seconds of dead air***


Within that 5 seconds (before voicemail beeps on the caller forcing them to leave a message), the caller would be able to select any extension within the company.

-Andy Thompson
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Chambers

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I agree with all the above - this needs to be an integrated feature, not some clumsy work around that you have to search the KB to get an answer for
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Chambers

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Now I see the work around is only available to premium/ enterprise subscriptions.  Is that correct?
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Mike, Official Rep

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Correct. The multi level IVR is only available on RingCentral Office Premium and Ultimate.
(Edited)
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Henry Cholakyan

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That's the way RingCentral makes their money.
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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.

 

  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. This also allows for the receptionist to have a voicemail box of their own.

 

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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Massiel Guillen

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Robert - We've been trying to set up our system the way you suggested, and really appreciate your guidance, but for some reason, we aren't able to replicate your achievements. 

First, when the call rolls over after 15 seconds to the receptionists call queue, no matter which keypad numbers are pressed, there is no response, including pressing 9 even though we have the dial-by-name function enabled.

Next, when we have an IVR selected, we cannot turn it off under "IVR Settings" during business hours. It automatically goes to the IVR. The only way we can get the phone to ring first and then go to the call queue voicemail it to set the system to after-hours.

So, basically, we are really frustrated after spending 6 hours on a Saturday trying to figure this out. Anything you can offer would be greatly appreciated!
(Edited)
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Robert

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Sorry, just saw your message. Weird my setup is working great. After the 15 seconds it should start playing the voicemail greeting intro message (number 3 above). When a voicemail is playing it should allow you to enter extensions. Make sure you have the 2 minutes of silence if not using a general vm inbox and make sure your IVR has an extension number and it has to be a custom recorded VM greeting, not the automated vm. I just double checked and when I press 1  during the silence after the custom greeting it goes to my ivr directory extension. Yeah if you have the IVR on it won't ring the reception it needs to be a separate extension. Try dialing any extension number when a vm greeting is playing that is basic functionality that doesn't require additional settings. If you can't dial an extension during a custom VM greeting, call Ringcentral support, they are extremely helpful, almost too helpful. LOL, anyway hope this helps, reply back if you need any more help from me otherwise, good luck! P.S. I agree this functionality should not be this difficult!
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philip.denton

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I have a client who desperately requires this feature also.  Why is this so difficult to add?  I would not consider this an "advanced feature" that a company should pay more for!
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Craig Lohman

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We are a new RingCentral business customer and have been trying to figure this out as well.  Based on this thread and others, it seems that there is no option for a call to be first routed to an extension and hopefully to be answered by a live person.  If that person is unable to answer the call, then the IVR functionality would kick in with a message allowing a person to dial by name or leave a message in the general mailbox.  Seems simple enough, yet based on all the threads I have found, it is not an option.  Disappointing. 
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Robert

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Yeah, It's not built into Ringcentral. I have this setup for my company using the above procedure though.  If you have any problems, let me know or you can always call RC support.
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Craig Lohman

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I guess we must be crazy to think that customers would actually prefer to have a live person answer the phone during business hours.  For our business, this is something that we believe in.  It would be nice to have this ability along with the IVR when someone cannot answer timely.  I can see how your procedure might work, but like I have seen elsewhere, it is a workaround.  Maybe RingCentral will one day add this functionality into their system. 
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Cheri Hughes

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I cant understand how this is not an option to turn on or off.  This should be simple not a work around, turn off the auto answering. 
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Robert

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Yeah, I absolutely agree. An easy fix Ringcentral could implement would be to allow you to add an IVR extension to a call queue.