How Do You Mix Phone-Call Customers With In-Store Customers?

I am eager to start deploying a FreePBX at a small business.
Migration will go slowly: I won’t drop them off the deep end.

Business is an auto parts store.
A topic I still have to be address: How do you mix the customers that are calling with the customers physically standing waiting to be served?

The staff of the counter will be the one working the phones… there’s no additional staff for phone calls.

The “call back” module (feature?) will surely help.
Yet how, on your experience, can the counter staff either:
#0 mix in serving the customers on the phone and the customers standing at the counter
#1 wait until the counter has no customers standing waiting to be served, and then start calling phone customers back.

This topic mixes FreePBX with a “how to” on a brick & mortar business… yet would love your feedback.

If you use a ticketing system, then effectively the waiting customers are in a queue, perhaps put your phone customers also into a queue, tear off a ticket and put it on the phone when a call comes in, your physical customers will immediately understand. You might want your callers to go to a ring group with a short time out failover to the queue which audibly prompts a new torn off ticket, and clues your physical customers also.

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The Auto Parts Store is probably used to a “Key-system” style phone setup. There are ways to make Freepbx behave like a key system but they tend to be painful to setup and maintain. You’ll have to explain the difference between a call on hold and a parked call.

Speaking from a customer point of view, when I go to a store I like to get service. When I call, I’d like to talk to a sales person and get my order taken care of.

If you don’t have the personnel to do both, you might want to dedicate everyone to the customers until a phone call comes in. When the phone rings, one/two person/people is/are dedicated to phones until they are no more calls and then float back to the store customers. You make a balance between both customers and eliminate call backs. There’s no keeping track of order in the queue between the in person and callers.

Be sure to watch the report of people that call, get placed into the queue and then hang up because it took too long to get to them.

Dicko, That’s a great idea, I’ll file that one away thank you very much.


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