Customer Support Line with Time Restrictions

I have a client that we installed FreePBX 13 on and everything has been working great. They have about 10 or so extensions. Most in house but a few are virtual extensions forwarding to salesmen cell phones in the field. We are also using SIPStation for the trunks and mostly Aastra 6757i phones on the desks.

They now want to add a customer support line to field calls from the public. The issue though is with limited staff they want to redirect this line to various other staff based on the time of day. In addition, these redirections may need to be altered from the schedule once or twice a day, so they need to be able to modify the time table with little notice.

So I guess what I am asking is what is the best way to go about this? To summarize the requirements :

  1. Set up a basic schedule to route calls from this customer support extension to various other extensions (or go to VM off hours)
  2. Give a few employees the ability to modify this schedule if needed (preferably keeping them out of the full blown GUI if possible).
  3. We will probably need to implement queues for this number as well. I haven’t done that before but wanted to mention it in case it alters the solution.

If there is a commercial module that would accomplish this we would be happy to purchase it. They are also looking into third party solutions outside of FreePBX but if we can accomplish everything internally without an additional ongoing cost I would prefer to do so.

Thanks for any suggestions,

Hi Kent,

Here’s the deal.
It really depends on the schedule and which users are going to answer support calls.

Most simple way i’d say is to have a time condition route the calls, On hours to a Queue, off hours to a Voicemail.
Now add all users who will be answering calls as dynamic agents, and whoever is “on call” logs into the queue and logs off once their “shift” is done.
You can also route the Failover to a backup group in case no one is logged in, or wait time has reached the limit.

The other way would be to setup multiple time conditions one tied to the other, and route the calls to the appropriate destination based on the schedule.

Now, you mentioned about being able to control where the calls are going:
If you use the 2nd option, you can change the state of the time condition with a feature code, which will obviously change the routing destination.

Here’s my two cents:
A support/service line, especially a queue, must have a manager who’s on top of it to make sure there’s agents who are answering the calls, no long wait time etc. etc.

So, if you are using the first option, you will need someone who makes sure there’s someone logged in, or that manager should log in/off whoever needs to take calls either by using the feature code, phone apps or a portal like fop2

We use fop2 for most of our clients who even have a semi call center, and i must say it’s tool worth the money.
One solid feature that managers have a good use of, is the drag and drop feature. If the manager sees a call waiting too long in the queue, or there’s too many calls in the queue, they can drag and drop the call in the queue to any extension (even not a dynamic agent)

In other words: it really depends on the amount of calls you have, the schedule you want to have etc.
If you can tell me more about the schedule, based on what which user will need have their “shift” etc. we can work out something in details…

More: We recently migrated a client from an old Panasonic system to FreePBX, in the meeting we of course asked him how many calls the operator has on average. “I have no clue” he answered, we asked him: 20,30,50 can you tell us about? he repeated “I have no clue”.
We tried asking the operator, she also had no idea. Same was the answer when we asked if he knows the wait time etc.

Once we migrated, we installed fop2. he was shocked to see that on average day the rep answers about 300 calls herself, and of course there’s a 30 minute wait time on average…
He immediately assigned two more users that the rep can log in to answer calls, as well as two more users which the rep can drag and drop calls to in busy times.
Their max wait time is now 3 minutes.

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