Softphones - calling queues



  • As many of you know I tried moving my company to FreePBX 4 years ago and had to bail at the last moment and ended up sticking with Mitel equipment.

    Well - it's time to try again. We have even older equipment now, some of which is being held together with ducktape and bailing wilre.

    I was wondering if anyone has deployed a mostly softphone solution to a company? We could potentially save a bundle buying headsets for Laptops instead of phones (and likely new headsets for those phones). Of course there will be places that phones just have to be.

    One of my key concerns is a workflow issue.

    Today we have a few areas that currently rely on a specific phone number being in a specific huntgroup, then the operators use those huntgroups to find whomever is currently sitting at those extensions.

    If we move to a softphone setup, I envision people having to log in and out of queues regularly. For example, when a medical assistant is working in clinic, they are in one set of queues, when they are on phone duty, they are in a different set.

    I'm guessing that getting them to manually log into the required ones will be a challenging personal issue at best (and no HR won't solve it - so don't ask - don't even comment because - you know I just said it won't help 🙂 ).

    So am I crazy to even think of this?

    I'm also thinking - if we go with softphones for the medical assistants, it's likely they will need wireless headsets because it's understandably to cumbersome to take the the headset on off 30-50 times in 4 hours.



  • We went all softphone (using SfB) as the softphone since its literally the platform we use as well.

    And while yes, you can save a ton of money, you're stuck using alternatives, like headsets. Your staff will bitch and moan, and not use the softphone or phone service to the same degree.



  • Assuming your staff works in clinics on some sort of predictable schedule you could set up a call flow for those schedules.

    It would be annoying though.



  • @DustinB3403 said in Softphones - calling queues:

    Assuming your staff works in clinics on some sort of predictable schedule you could set up a call flow for those schedules.

    It would be annoying though.

    Don't I wish. They are on a nearly pure random movement. Example - someone is sick in Columbus Ne, so someone unexpectedly is having to drive 2 hours from Omaha to work there.



  • @Dashrender yeah so this system your envisioning is going to be nearly impossible.



  • @DustinB3403 said in Softphones - calling queues:

    We went all softphone (using SfB) as the softphone since its literally the platform we use as well.

    And while yes, you can save a ton of money, you're stuck using alternatives, like headsets. Your staff will bitch and moan, and not use the softphone or phone service to the same degree.

    What do you mean? They stopped making/taking calls? What was so hard about it? Where they frustrated by being teathered to their computer by the headset? Did they have headsets with their old phones?



  • @DustinB3403 said in Softphones - calling queues:

    @Dashrender yeah so this system your envisioning is going to be nearly impossible.

    Yeah - Kinda assumed as much as I typed it up... mostly impossible because the staff will bitch and moan, not because it's not doable. It does require people to do their jobs.



  • @Dashrender said in Softphones - calling queues:

    @DustinB3403 said in Softphones - calling queues:

    We went all softphone (using SfB) as the softphone since its literally the platform we use as well.

    And while yes, you can save a ton of money, you're stuck using alternatives, like headsets. Your staff will bitch and moan, and not use the softphone or phone service to the same degree.

    What do you mean? They stopped making/taking calls? What was so hard about it? Where they frustrated by being teathered to their computer by the headset? Did they have headsets with their old phones?

    It's a psychological issue that has been studied and I fought against going purely softphone. Essentially, taking a desk phone away from someone and forcing them to learn to use a phone all over again really pisses off people.



  • So, a lot of people either "forget" to login to SfB (your phone system), turn their audio off, refuse to use it and use their personal cell phone for work calls etc.



  • @DustinB3403 said in Softphones - calling queues:

    So, a lot of people either "forget" to login to SfB (your phone system), turn their audio off, refuse to use it and use their personal cell phone for work calls etc.

    I suppose you can make out going calls easy enough... did they also start handing out their cell phone number as the way to get a hold of them?

    Now that'd be an HR issue.



  • @Dashrender said in Softphones - calling queues:

    @DustinB3403 said in Softphones - calling queues:

    So, a lot of people either "forget" to login to SfB (your phone system), turn their audio off, refuse to use it and use their personal cell phone for work calls etc.

    I suppose you can make out going calls easy enough... did they also start handing out their cell phone number as the way to get a hold of them?

    Now that'd be an HR issue.

    That I can't specifically answer since I honestly don't know, but there also isn't a great way for us to tell and force people to login SfB and put their headsets on when they need to make or are receiving a call.

    A lot of our staff has likely already given out their cell phone prior to the conversion.



  • Instead of signing in and out of queues, what about having different extension numbers with different properties. So they just switch from "on queue extension" to "private extension?"



  • @DustinB3403 SfB can be setup to automatically forward calls to a given number if their SfB is unavailable. Other option to consider is having them use the SfB app on their cell. Similar user experience to most modern cell diallers and keeps the calls within the company's control



  • @notverypunny said in Softphones - calling queues:

    @DustinB3403 SfB can be setup to automatically forward calls to a given number if their SfB is unavailable. Other option to consider is having them use the SfB app on their cell. Similar user experience to most modern cell diallers and keeps the calls within the company's control

    The issue at least in from my observation is that once an experienced is fouled, most people don't want anything to do with whatever solution is installed.



  • Especially when there are expectations to meet and the end product doesn't at all look like what was proposed.



  • @DustinB3403 said in Softphones - calling queues:

    Yeah, for sure. If you pooch the launch users are extra-resistant to anything else related to it



  • I don't see how softphone would be any different than "hard"-phone.

    Are you conflating headset with non-headset? Or wireless versus stationary?


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