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Parking Confusion and Agent Group Question


Allstate Computers
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I'm trying to figure out the best way to handle parking and holding calls. My customers currently have either key systems or PSTN lines with off the shelf 2 - 4 line phones. I'm looking to switch them to hosted VoIP using PBXNSIP.

 

Right now when they place someone on hold on say line 1 the light next to the line 1 button blinks and they hang up the phone. They do what they have to do (look up an answer to a question or go to the bathroom - whatever) and press the line 1 button to retrieve the call.

 

I understand the concept of parking calls, but in order to make this easy for clients to transition to - what is the best practice for setting up call parking in small organizations that are used to placing a line on hold. Is there a way to have say 4 parking orbit accounts (service flag accounts? - as not to waste extension licenses) associated with a function key and you press the one labeled Park 1 the light comes on showing somebody in the orbit and then going to another phone pressing the Park 1 button on that phone retrieves the call. Sometimes if someone is inundated with work they may park the call and not remember either what extension or phone they parked to or from, not to mention it's easier to press one button instead of keying in *85300. This is where a little blinking button-light may come in handy. I've had this happen where I'm the only one in the office and have 2 or 3 people in the office and 2 lines on hold. I've seen multiple forum posts on this but no really good solution.

 

My other question is in regards to Agent Groups. I'm coming from an Allworx system myself and when a call would come in, if one of us couldn't pick up the call it would go into a call queue where the caller would hear music and it would ring all of the phones simultaneously until we could answer the call in the queue. When I set it up on PBXNSIP the queue rings all of the phones in order, but by the time it gets from extension 400 to extension 405 it has already rang 6 times to the customer before it rings once at ext 405. Also it rings on the caller's side instead of playing MOH if all of the phones aren't occupied. I know if the phones assiged to the queue are all busy it plays MOH, but not all cases are sales offices or offices at all.

 

1. Is there a way to make it so that it rings all of the phones simultaneously so that if you have one 1 guy somewhere in the office and he can't hear the other phones from where he is, his rings right away. Keep in mind this guy could be anywhere in the building so while one day it may be ext 405 the next it may be ext 422. Point being all the available phones should start ringing at the same time.

 

2. Is there a way to have the caller hear MOH instead of ringing

 

In some places: auto shops for example you may have 1 mechanic working and covering the phones while everyone else is out to lunch. Customer calls and the mechanic is under a car can't get to the phone in time so it goes to the queue. It's going to be a minute before he can get to the phone so the customer hears constant ringing instead of MOH and a "your call is important to us" message because the mechanic is not necessarily on the phone, he's just busy and cannot get to it right away. The Allworx system in this case would keep ringing on the mechanics side, but the client would hear MOH so they know they're techincally on hold and not being ignored.

 

In the case above we can't really have all of the phones except for the shop phone logged out or on DND. What if the call comes in and he happens to be in the parts room getting a part, or in the office looking up a repair procedure. The point is he may be moving around and the phones in those offices need to be active so he can hear them ring.

 

Sorry for the long post, just trying to illustrate the scenario.

 

Thanks for any advice you can offer :),

 

Brian

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I'm trying to figure out the best way to handle parking and holding calls. My customers currently have either key systems or PSTN lines with off the shelf 2 - 4 line phones. I'm looking to switch them to hosted VoIP using PBXNSIP.

 

Right now when they place someone on hold on say line 1 the light next to the line 1 button blinks and they hang up the phone. They do what they have to do (look up an answer to a question or go to the bathroom - whatever) and press the line 1 button to retrieve the call.

 

I understand the concept of parking calls, but in order to make this easy for clients to transition to - what is the best practice for setting up call parking in small organizations that are used to placing a line on hold. Is there a way to have say 4 parking orbit accounts (service flag accounts? - as not to waste extension licenses) associated with a function key and you press the one labeled Park 1 the light comes on showing somebody in the orbit and then going to another phone pressing the Park 1 button on that phone retrieves the call. Sometimes if someone is inundated with work they may park the call and not remember either what extension or phone they parked to or from, not to mention it's easier to press one button instead of keying in *85300. This is where a little blinking button-light may come in handy. I've had this happen where I'm the only one in the office and have 2 or 3 people in the office and 2 lines on hold. I've seen multiple forum posts on this but no really good solution.

 

My other question is in regards to Agent Groups. I'm coming from an Allworx system myself and when a call would come in, if one of us couldn't pick up the call it would go into a call queue where the caller would hear music and it would ring all of the phones simultaneously until we could answer the call in the queue. When I set it up on PBXNSIP the queue rings all of the phones in order, but by the time it gets from extension 400 to extension 405 it has already rang 6 times to the customer before it rings once at ext 405. Also it rings on the caller's side instead of playing MOH if all of the phones aren't occupied. I know if the phones assiged to the queue are all busy it plays MOH, but not all cases are sales offices or offices at all.

 

1. Is there a way to make it so that it rings all of the phones simultaneously so that if you have one 1 guy somewhere in the office and he can't hear the other phones from where he is, his rings right away. Keep in mind this guy could be anywhere in the building so while one day it may be ext 405 the next it may be ext 422. Point being all the available phones should start ringing at the same time.

 

2. Is there a way to have the caller hear MOH instead of ringing

 

In some places: auto shops for example you may have 1 mechanic working and covering the phones while everyone else is out to lunch. Customer calls and the mechanic is under a car can't get to the phone in time so it goes to the queue. It's going to be a minute before he can get to the phone so the customer hears constant ringing instead of MOH and a "your call is important to us" message because the mechanic is not necessarily on the phone, he's just busy and cannot get to it right away. The Allworx system in this case would keep ringing on the mechanics side, but the client would hear MOH so they know they're techincally on hold and not being ignored.

 

In the case above we can't really have all of the phones except for the shop phone logged out or on DND. What if the call comes in and he happens to be in the parts room getting a part, or in the office looking up a repair procedure. The point is he may be moving around and the phones in those offices need to be active so he can hear them ring.

 

Sorry for the long post, just trying to illustrate the scenario.

 

Thanks for any advice you can offer :),

 

Brian

 

Hello,

 

quite easy:

 

[1]

 

Under:

 

Accounts/Edit Agent Group/Algorithm/Number of agents added per stage

 

- set the number of phones which should be ring from the first moment

 

[2]

 

Under:

 

Accounts/Edit Agent Group/Ringback tone

 

- choose "no ringback tone, continue to play music"

 

Best regards,

 

Lucas Hummig

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  • 4 weeks later...

This is indeed not a simple question.

 

We found that many people love the speed and productivity of key systems. A CO-line is something everyone understands and everyone knows the police office movie where the officer shouts "hey Joe, XXX on line 3". Then he just needs to push button 3 and the call transfer worked. While this scenarion is fast & productive, there are a couple of problems here. First of all the "core" (interop) SIP simply does not support this. Blame the IETF, but they believe this is a unrealistic scenario! So far, AFAIK only snom works with the "shared line appearance" mode. But the other problem is, that for large organizations, you might have a lot of CO-lines (like 24 or more) and it is getting messy calling "hey Joe, XXX on line 324!".

 

That is when people invented the attended transfer. Instead of shouting through offices (which BTW requires visibility), they just call the other person and then perform the transfer. That does not require any kind of parking, just holding the call. IMHO that is as productive as the police office application, but has the benefits that you don't need the term of a CO-line any more, you can actually have a lot of them, and it is even SIP compliant. We must also note here that CO-lines are something very primitive and physical (versus virtual). The number of cases where you really have to park a call is quite limited then and most companies quickly forget what parking was all about anyway.

 

I believe that most users are very little religious about the way transfers are being done. In the end, it is about getting the job done. I remember there was a huge discussion in SIP about "overlap dialling" and that customers would never accept that they have to push the dial button. Today we know that this is nonsense. Everyone who has a cell phone understands that you have to press the "okay" key in order to start the call and it even has the benefit that you have someing like a delete/backward button (just in case that you entered the wrong digit!!). After some initial bitching about not being 100 % backward compatible users understand that they actually witness technological progress, it makes their life easier and finally happily accept it (later they might complain how stupid it was in the old times).

 

I believe the same thing slowly also happens to the way people transfer calls. A proper explanation how it works helps a lot, if done proactively and in the beginning.

 

I don't even remember the last time I parked a call (vs just holding it).

 

Except for testing purposes, of course.

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