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  • Return unanswered calls to transferor


    We have a customer who struggling to get their new Connect install to work the way they want for incoming call flows... it is currently setup as follows

    External call come into "Reception" workgroup (say ext 500) via a SIP trunk
    A reception operator answers
    Routes the call and makes an unattended/blind transfer to the extension required (in the customers words "fire and forget")
    (In an ideal world the call is answered and this story ends)
    If the call isn't answered or the extension is busy they don't want it to go to voicemail box, that is the organisation policy, they want to make sure that every call is handled in a timely manner, be that routing that taking a message and making urgent contact with the recipient, transferring it to someone else or an off system transfer to a mobile phone; in essence they want those call to return to operator to direct them.

    From what I can see a call will basically ring indefinitely and doesn't have any kind of automatic "call return/recall" after a timeout period - I have tested it on an extension with forwarding setup and after several minute of the unanswered phone on a blind transfer ringing I resorted to answering the call to shut it up. To get around this the installer when they put the system in set it up with a second "Call Return/Recall" workgroup (say 501) that they then set as a forward on no reply destination on each extension; in principle this sort of does what they want in that the call arrives back to an operator... the problem is it is an operator as opposed to the operator that handled the original call.

    Apparently the operators don't know it is a call return/recall call (although I am a bit dubious as they should be able to tell the workgroup the call queue is in) and are thus answering it as if it were a "new" call. My gut feeling is I think what is actually being reported is slightly different perhaps and is perhaps the awkward thing for them is that when the call is represented not only is it ending up going back into a general call queue across all operators but even if they can see it is an unanswered call they don't see who that call was originally transferred too to be able to go "I'm sorry I'm not getting a reply from Mr Smith's line, would you like me to put you through to his assistant, for me to take a message or for me to try his mobile etc" but instead are having to ask as if it were a brand "new call" who the person is trying to reach - and apparently there have been instances where one operator has transferred a call to an extension and it bounce back for one of their colleagues to try to put the call back to the same unanswered extension.

    I am a bit at a loss as to what to suggest - other than making sure all calls are attended/announced transfers so the operator remain in the loop until they are sure they can complete the transfer (which is what various of our other clients do so this had never crossed my mind or come up earlier). From from my experience of other phone system I know I have seen "Call forwarded from XYZ extension" come up on the display of the phone and that unanswered call will effectively time out and revert back to the transferor after a wait - and from experience been the calling party I assume this "prior routing" information being given isn't exactly unusual as I have been on the end of "fire and forget" call routing where the call has bounced back to reception having sat in a departmental queue for a bit.

    I have to say I thought the original installer had come up with a fairly good workaround originally to get these call to revert back but I can sort of understand the frustration that what they are trying to achieve isn't something it appear you can do out of the box on the Connect platform and was something that existed previously in there old system.

    Any bright ideas or suggestions would be welcome before the customer contemplates potentially skipping a 6 month old $50,000 phone system and replacing it with something else as they are that touchy about upsetting callers although to be fair some of whom are potentially spending millions of dollars and they very much competing in a quite specialized market on global basis to offer their services.

  • #2
    Do you have call notes enabled or Connect app installed on the PCs?

    That would allow the persons answering to see the history of the active call.


    • #3
      They are either going to have to use consultative transfer or, when an operator transfers a call they need to pay attention to that the next call that comes in to the workgroup and see if the CID matches the call they just transferred. This of course is going to be about 20 seconds so to me it would be better to just have them do consultative transfer. Also, if they have communicator/Connect Client, they can watch the called party and see it ringing,, then it will either go offhook and be on the call, or if not the call will ring back and they will know to answer it. Either way, it is going to take a little bit of work on their end.


      • #4
        Consult transfer is the best option here. Alternatively, if you have the full collaboration suite set up (Instant message) we encourage our team to have the Connect client always open on their computer so that they can receive IM. This give the first person the ability to IM the receiving party to ask if they're available for a call transfer.


        • #5
          I think consult transfer is a good idea. Also, they could park the call on the extension, and after your system designated park timeout time it would ring back to the user that put it on park. But then that person could end up missing the call and it is put in their VM instead.