Automate Your Business After-Hours On-Call Staff with sipVine Hosted VoIP!
Great Features from the Best Business Phone Service Provider!
One of sipVine's guiding principles comes from the recognition that all businesses present unique requirements for their business phone communications. Therefore, we are in the business of molding the phone system to meet those requirements while making the solution easy to operate.
We see this all of the time with businesses who have after-hours on-call support staff. There are many ways calls are directed to an on-call agent, but the example solutions below will assume that the after-hours auto attendant provides callers with an option to engage an on-call associate. From that point, we have programmed many solutions to meet the specific needs of the business.
Important Considerations before Implementing the Solution
There are several factors to understand prior to selecting the right solution for the business.
- Will the on-call staff be using a VoIP desk phone at their on-call location? This may be a desk phone at home that duplicates their office phone. This solution is the easiest to program but doesn't provide the user with mobility.
- Does the on-call associate have a business cell phone or personal cell phone to use for company on-call purposes? In either case, the best solution is to install a soft phone app on the cell phone. When the app is turned on, calls can be received to the device just like a VoIP Desk Phone. Additionally, when calls are made from the app, the caller ID is the business caller ID, not the cell phone.
Using a cell phone number in the on-call equation does present some challenges. Even if the soft phone program calls for it to ring the cell phone(s) a certain number of times before pulling back to a company voicemail, if any of the cell phones in the equation are turned off, out of service area, or if the call is rejected by a user (by hitting decline or ignore) the call will be "answered" by the cell phone's voicemail. Also, the tracking of the calls are lost. Reporting will show that the call was delivered to an off-network device, but the length of the call is lost, the ability to record the call is not possible, and voicemails left on a cell phone are not able to be captured by anyone other than the cell phone user.
Therefore, if using cell phones in the on-call process, it is best to use the softphone app to have end to end control of the call.
- Soft Phones in On-Call Ring Group - The easiest way to implement an on-call solution is to provide everyone with on-call status a soft phone on their cell phone. All members would be included in the ring group for the on-call option. Thus, the individual(s) on call for that night or week simply need to turn on the app when their on-call shift starts. Those who are not on call will leave the app off. Calls will be directed to the ring group. If there is no answer, the caller will receive a greeting with further instructions. Voicemails should be funneled to a distribution email to all on-call agents.
- On Call Assignment Based Upon a Code - One or more on-call agents can be assigned a three digit code to select that particular agent or agents for on-call duty. A series of codes would be assigned to all agents or mix of agents for periodic selection. Again, it would be ideal to have soft phone apps engaged for this, but certainly cell phone numbers could be included. The on-call "manager" would select the applicable codes for those on duty and enters it (dial it) from any sipVine phone. This triggers the program to directed calls to that agent or group of agents until a different code is entered. sipVine can also place this program selection on the customer access portal so on-call selection can be made from anywhere, not just by entering the code on a sipVine phone.
Those a just a couple of examples. sipVine associates have helped thousands of businesses optimize their communication practices. Based upon how on-call activity works for your business, we can recommend and implement the best solution for you. If you'd like a quote or a consultation, please reach out to us.