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layoric
05-20-2010, 07:06 AM
Tried figuring out which is the best place to share this, finally settled on here. Recently made a great, yet complicated, phone menu system.

What happens is, there is a time condition that directs a caller to a specific menu system. Various rules are setup based on call busy, no answer, etc. For instance, if there is no answer during the day on the main line, it automatically forwards to cell phone. From there, if there is no answer, Google Voice picks up the call via voicemail, which of course is transcribed and forwarded to emails and can be read later on the phone.

At night, the phone system automatically switches to a different menu, but allows a caller to get forwarded to another number if they wish to pay for an emergency call, or they have the option to leave a voicemail.

Specific callers - based on caller ID, can be routed to other destinations and bypass the main rules altogether.

This setup has many benefits. One great one I personally like is that telemarketers are never brought to my attention at all, since they must hit a digit to get through to someone - most telemarketers use automation. Another great plus is the fact that it provides some information to the caller that I don't have to waste time doing manually, such as offering directions and hours of operation.

In case you were wondering, this is all running on VOIP (with failover to cell).

http://i898.photobucket.com/albums/ac189/irecoverdata/th_VOIPMS_Phone_Tree5.jpg (http://s898.photobucket.com/albums/ac189/irecoverdata/?action=view&current=VOIPMS_Phone_Tree5.jpg)

vdub12
05-20-2010, 07:57 AM
Looks like a cool system. However, it doesn't change the fact that phone systems drive me and many other people crazy. Unless I have no other choice but to deal with it I just hang up.

layoric
05-20-2010, 01:55 PM
Surely you jest!

Can't get away from it with higher call volumes. I believe it's more irritating to call and call and call somewhere, never getting any response whatsoever, either that or never even given the option of leaving a voicemail. Also eliminates the problems with a live operator who might have had a bad day or something, and for whatever reason treats the caller like crap - giving you and your business a bad reputation.

The key to a good phone system is having a quick option given up front to get to someone, and not bury it in there like a phone company or something like it. You know what I mean, in order to speak with a live person you have to go through about 3 or 4 submenus, only to find out you got the wrong extension and have to go through it all over again.

My system is designed to always have the option on top for getting to someone live.

keeperofthecode
05-20-2010, 03:33 PM
What voip system are you using? Or is it PBX or something?

NeutronTech
05-21-2010, 04:35 AM
If I had to use a phone system, I would use one that is just a call queue. With the occasional message that pops on and says "press 1 to leave a message, otherwise stay on the line". I hate listening to menu options and having to interact. I usually just press zero repeatedly until I get someone and have them direct my call for me.

callthatgirl
05-21-2010, 04:57 AM
wow. That appears to be very confusing! But if it works for you...

I have 3 phones. One office phone that is the main line. My cell phone routes to it if I am on it, or miss a call. My 2nd location will be also forwarding to the office phone if I'm on it or miss a call. I like one place to check voice mail.

I would prefer to have staff always answering though. It's hard to do when you are a smaller biz.

hardtoremember
05-21-2010, 05:49 AM
Cool system but I have to say I hate menus! I would rather leave a message and get a call back.

Graystar
05-21-2010, 07:48 AM
I completely transitioned to a Google voice account that rings all three phones, Cell, home and shop. I catch 90+% of the calls coming in personally, If no one picks up GV sends me a text of the message to my cell.
If I am on site I look at cell to see if caller ID is blocked, if yes I pick up the call always, if not I may let it go to voice mail and excuse myself long enough to call back in less than 20 minutes.
Works really good for me.

layoric
05-25-2010, 03:42 AM
What voip system are you using? Or is it PBX or something?

voip.ms
Inexpensive. Seems flaky on the dialout, but still troubleshooting that. Doesn't seem to be anything on my end. Always have cell as backup though.

layoric
05-25-2010, 04:00 AM
I completely transitioned to a Google voice account that rings all three phones, Cell, home and shop. I catch 90+% of the calls coming in personally,

My system also has ring grouping, which is what GV does (the ringing of multiples at once). Didn't need that with mine though, for as you can see, the automation simply goes to the next phone if it is not answered.

For the comment about one place to check for VM, I have multiple voicemail mailboxes, but they all forward to one email.

The system does seem confusing, but the caller is never lost in the shuffle - though if someone just tries to hit ZERO until they get someone, they get BOOTED after the third try, for as you can see by the original diagram, ZERO is not an option. The caller waits for less than 10 seconds to be prompted with the most chosen choice, which is used to forward to an available technician.

Regarding the comment about a calling queue, you really need a constantly dialed in/logged in operator to answer them. I have a fake queue in place though, should the line be busy. They have a choice of waiting for the next operator or leaving a VM. The queue is a timer of about 1 minute or so, which repeatedly checks the line for availability - if available, it rings through, if not, it prompts for the same choice. This simply circumvents the lack of an operator.

An additional benefit of this type of phone service is that it has several potential lines, ie: several callers can dial in at the same time. Yes, I even created a rule for an overage of callers at once being forwarded to another option.