You do not need an expensive phone system to enjoy the benefits of call management via a call queue or ring group. Securing your service with the right Hosted VoIP provider who can effectively consult with you and program your call flow to balance customer needs and employee capacity will deliver the benefits you are looking for with your hosted system.
For high inbound call volume companies, a hot debate is whether to utilize call queues or ring groups. There are benefits to each, but let’s start with a general description:
Ring Group – Inbound calls are directed to a set of employees and they ring all phones at the same time. If no one is available to answer, it can be programmed to roll to a back-up group or move into an auto attendant.
Call Queue – Inbound calls are directed into a queue, where the caller is on hold for an available attendant. Employees need to log in and log out of the queue to accept calls. Programming and system capability differ widely at this point, but typically there are either opt out processes or time out process that direct callers to an automated attendant.
The beauty of the call queue is the equitable distribution of calls to employees in the queue. Callers typically will hear hold music and messages while they wait. Depending upon preferences of the company and their customers, the length of time in queue is a programmable variable. The challenge with call queues is the management of the employees from a log in/log out perspective. If someone forgets to log out, calls could be directed to an unattended station. Again, there are some programming variables to solve for such an issue, but it could lead to some longer hold times for a caller or two until the programming kicks in.
Ring groups are more of a static program with a fixed number of rings between groups and ultimately to an auto attendant as a back-up. Callers can either hear ringing or hold music while ringing. The automated attendants serve as back-ups and can provide for routing to people or departments or for message delivery. The benefit of this approach is that employees in the group are free to move about without worrying about logging in and out of the queue. Additionally, the fixed amount of time before back up groups or attendants are engaged is seen as a benefit. The downside is potential inequity of call disbursement between members of the group.
Ultimately, the decision comes down to striking the right balance between customer preference and employee management. Companies that bring a solid understanding of customer preferences to the table are a step ahead in programming the right solution.
About the author: Mark Greim is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at sipVine, a provider of Hosted VoIP Phone Service. Mark has extensive experience working for start-up or entrepreneurial organizations and has a passion for affordable, reliable, and purposeful technology solutions in those environments.