I have been doing some testing on a Lync phone system specifically with response groups and call queues to try to figure out the most appropriate way to design our incoming call routing once we completely migrate to the Lync phone system. The response group features provide most of the features that you need to create basic call center-ish call routing, queuing, and end-user call route feedback. You can configure your response groups to pick up an incoming call and then play a recorded message. You can then configure the response group to provide callers with routing options (like press or say 1 for sales….press or say 2 for support…stuff like that).

My goal was to imitate the current phone system setup as much as possible. Right now, when someone calls the main number (during business hours), it just rings back to the caller until one of the call operators answers. One of the operators must be “online” to receive the call. In Lync, the equivalent of this functionality is to have a response group configured to receive the inbound call and then ring all users who are “logged in” to the response group. The desire was expressed to make sure SOMEONE (not something) be the first to answer the phone. So, from the Lync configuration side, this is basically a response group with no recorded greeting and no user call routing options….the incoming call rings, Lync answers and places the call in the response group for someone to pick up.

The problem is that when Lync picks up the call and transfers it to the response group, it terminates the ring-back to the caller and since the call was transferred to the response group, it starts playing music on hold.....(it’s nice music on hold but could be very confusing to the caller). I struggled with how to fix this and still have the caller have the impression that they were not “talking to a machine”. The solution is somewhat lame, but what the ears hear, the mind believes. Basically, I called into our current phone system, put my phone on speaker and recorded the ring-back with my cell phone. Then, I created a .wav file of the ring-back and set that .wav file as a looping auto greeting for the response group. So, when an incoming call comes into the response group, the caller gets the impression that the phone is still ringing…just waiting for someone to answer. Problem solved.