Route unanswered calls to IVR Menu with option to leave Voicemail

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One of our lines is our dedicated Front Desk line (ext 100) and during business hours we'd like it to be answered by a live person that we've established in our call handling. But if someone does not answer, we'd like it to route to an IVR Menu where one of the options is to leave a general voicemail on that Front Desk line. 

The only way I can find to do this is to disable Take Messages and instead connect directly to group (IVR menu in this case) but when one of the menu key press options is to leave a general voicemail (on ext 100), it says it can't be completed because the user doesn't have Take Messages enabled. 

Is there any way to route the missed calls sequentially to the IVR menu and keep Take Messages enabled on that extension?
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Ellen

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Posted 3 weeks ago

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Taylor, Champion

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Once the call gets sent to an IVR, that is where the call sits. You can't leave voicemails on an IVR. I would set it up to have a key (the option for leaving a voicemail) send the call to a voicemail-only extension where they could immediately leave a voicemail. This extension would then email that message to the front desk person (through Messages > Notifications) who could handle it.

The bonus to this setup is that it would allow for analytics to track how many voicemails are being left on that extension, and therefore how many callers want to leave a message if unanswered.

I had planned to convert our front desk to a mini-IVR for just this approach and your post has reminded me about that, so thank you. I'll be doing this myself today.
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Ellen

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I wanted to avoid sending voicemails to a message-only extension (instead just setting a key press to route back to the voicemail for the front desk user) so that the physical phone has a flashing light indicator. It seems like there's no way around that though, thanks for the help!
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Taylor, Champion

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I see what you mean, but think of the IVR as a temporary holding space. You can only route out of it - not act inside of it. If you route the call back to the extension to leave a voicemail, it would ring again and end up in the same IVR in an endless loop.

From a technical standpoint I don't see an easy way around that issue. Potentially an advanced call rule to say "any calls from this IVR go directly to voicemail". That may work, but no guarantees.
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Benjamin Pina

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Route the calls to that front desk phone. When the calls aren't answered, send them to that phones voicemail. In the voicemail greeting, say something something like this - "Thank you for calling, to reach our menu options, please press 1. Otherwise, please leave a message and we will return your call as soon as possible"

Build an IVR. Make the IVR extension number 1. When the caller reaches the voicemail box for that front phone, they can press 1 to go to the IVR or they can leave a message on that front phone if they want to.

;)
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Lee

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Ellen, I just did a test and this worked for me. I setup an Extension we will call Ext 1, forwarded it to an IVR after 4 rings, in that IVR, I added 2 extensions on the key press , Ext 2 and Ext 3. Ext. 2 is set for 1 ring/5 sec under call handling and forwarding, then to voicemail. Under messages and notifications for Ext. 2, I selected the message recipient to be Ext 1. Even though Ext 1 is not enabled to take messages it still went to it's voicemail when I made the selection in the IVR, and the message light flashed on the Ext 1 phone. Not sure why this works but i have found it before when making another extension the recipient of voicemails.