This configuration has worked like a charm for us. It uses all of ShoreTel’s best features. We use it internally as well as have customers using it. Basically you are going to setup a workgroup that rings cell phones top down and puts the caller in queue till they get an agent via their cell. This works well for emergency or after hours support situations
Use Case 1:
During the fires in Santa Barbara we had a client’s customer service department configured so that their agent’s didn’t have to come to work but still got all customer service calls at home on via cell phone(safely away from fires)… total setup and testing time less than 2 hours.
Use Case 2:
To give another example of a classic use case that this can replace is the pager rotation. This is the idea that you give an employee a pager or a “bat” phone and that person carries it around with them. The upside is that responsibility is clear, the downside is that if that person doesn’t pick up then customer has to wait(this wait time is havoc for your SLA’s).
Use Case 3:
Our internal use case is two engineers primary and secondary that are on call. This system calls primary then secondary then primary then secondary(total time from customer’s prespective at this point Is 2 min). If those two don’t pick up it starts ringing other engineers top down until someone picks up. Max a customer has ever had to wait for an agent for after hours support is 3 min.
How to setup up workgroup with cell phones via ShoreTel dirctor
1.) The first step is to create special users just for cell phones(yes I realize this uses another shoretel license). Theoretically you could have a normal user toggle their settings when they leave for home but we have found that it leaves too much room for error and it is much better to have a dedicated cell phone user created.
2.) This user needs to be setup for office anywhere with a large amount of rings(5-7). You also need to make sure wait for DTMF(Press 1) option is selected. If you don’t select the wait for DTMF the caller may end up speaking with a cell phone’s voicemail.
3.) Configure a workgroup with a queue. All distribution options should lead to the queue. Be sure to record two steps in queue. 1st one saying we are getting ahold of an agent, second saying something reassuring like we are making sure to get ahold of live agent please be patient.
4.) Optional- If you really want to get fancy you can give them an option to leave a voice message(feels like classic pager style) and then have the workgroup voicemail escalation profile configured to escalate to this workgroup, i.e. guaranteeing that the voicemail will be answered. Training your agents is the biggest issue if you do this as answering an escalation profile requires knowledge of the vm password.
5.) Optional – If you want a primary agent to get the majority of the calls(think HR implications of having all agents “on call”) then create two workgroups. First one has just the primary agent in it. This workgroup hands off(uses workgroup overflow) to the overflow workgroup if primary doesn’t pickup after specified amount of time in queue. Primary will essentially have his/her cell phone ringing lots until the call is either picked up or overflow timer runs out.
6.) Test Test Test. This configuration sounds easy but timing is everything. Once it is setup test the heck out of it to make sure the behavior is as desired. Make sure your cell phone agents are logged in via workgroup page in director. Also make sure the workgroup is not configured for simulatenous rings. Simulatenous rings and office anywhere is a disaster waiting to happen so if you decide to use this configuration be sure your shoretel troubleshooting skills are polished.
I apologize if you are new to ShoreTel and trying to follow my article as I have assumed people reading this have done lots of workgroup and office anywhere configuration. If you need clarification on specific settings or screen shots please reply to this post and I’ll answer promptly.