Everything You Need To Know About VoIP: Call Hunting
If you’ve read our blog before you know that we love VoIP so we’ve decided to explain exactly why we love it by looking at some of the features in a bit more detail.
Firstly, we are going to explain what Call Hunting is and why you might want to use it in your business.
Sometimes known as ‘Line Hunting’ or ‘Call Routing’, Call Hunting is an advanced type of call forwarding that that uses Hunt Groups and ensures that callers avoid the busy signal and get to speak to the person that they want more of the time.
How does it work?
Basically Call Hunting routes an incoming call to multiple phones, in a predetermined sequence until one is answered or the call passes to voicemail.
This is a really versatile feature that can be used by different sized companies from an individual working on their own through to large call centres.
The simplest use of the Call Hunting feature is to route an unanswered office line to an individual’s mobile then, if still unanswered, to a voicemail.
However, additional steps can be entered, so you could, for instance, have a sales line route to a mobile and then back to a general number and then on to a call answering service to ensure that all prospects speak to a human rather than a machine.
Call Hunting can also be useful if you work away from your primary phone a lot e.g. you are field-based, or for routing out of hours calls to a mobile or home phone (if you want to take them that is!).
Call hunting is a good way to decrease call waiting times for customers as you can move them away from busy extensions and over to free ones, and they don’t hear a busy tone.
For companies with more than one person, you will need to set up ‘Hunt Groups’ – these are groups of individuals assigned to a specific number such as the new enquiries line.
With a hunt group set up, you then have various options for routing calls such as:
- Simultaneous – all the phones in the hunt group ring at the same time. Individual operators pick up as and when they are able to. If the phone rings for a set number of times the call would then be forwarded to voicemail.
- Regular. The call is sent to the first phone in a list set by an administrator. If that phone is busy (or rings unanswered) the call goes to the second phone, and so on through the list of extensions. This is the least preferable method for those with high call volumes because calls will arrive at destinations that are in the process of completing the previous call, and depending on the circumstances, may be the least prepared to take the call.
- Circular. The first call rings one phone first. The next call rings the second phone in the group first, etc. the succession throughout each of the lines continues even if one of the previous lines becomes free. When the end of the hunt group is reached, the hunting starts over at the first line. Lines are skipped only if they are still busy on a previous call.
- Uniform. The call is first sent to the phone which has been idle the longest. If that is busy (or goes unanswered) the next longest idle phone rings. This considers the length of time that the call taker has been busy versus available. This is typically used in call centres in order to distribute the load evenly.
Group administrators can also establish a no answer policy to redirect calls to the next agent if calls are not answered in a specific number of rings by the previous agent. If all idle phones have been visited once without answer, there are two options for handling the call: forward call to an external number, or give the call a Temporarily Unavailable treatment, which can trigger a service such as voice mail.
Users will also be able to log in and out of hunt groups – meaning that a phone won’t ring when the operator is not around to answer it.
Hunt groups are great for teams. If you have auto attendant set up so that callers press one for sales, for example, you can control how calls are distributed to the team and make changes to improve call answer times.
Are you currently using VoIP? If not you need to be aware that ISDN is being phased out and will disappear entirely in 2025 – it’s a case of when, rather than if, your business will move to VoIP.
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