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The Rewards of Ring Groups
Using the 8x8 Ring Groups feature
A Ring Group is a feature that allows you to have multiple phones ring when one extension or number is dialed. It's a great way for a business to share the distribution of incoming calls among employees. It is often used to efficiently distribute calls to specific departments such as Sales, Customer Support and Accounting.
Ring groups allow your employees to be more productive and help decrease customer hold time. If all of the users assigned to a ring group are unavailable, you have forwarding options that range from having the call sent to the ring group's voicemail box, the call being transferred to another extension, or you could have the caller routed to your auto attendant.
The Ring Group feature is provided free of charge with your 8x8 Virtual Office service with the option to configure up to nine different Ring Groups! If more are needed, they can be ordered in additional sets of 1, 6 and 15.
Here are some examples of how a business can use ring groups:
- Small business with 4 employees—Set up a ring group to include all four employees. When a call comes in, you could have all four extensions ring simultaneously so whoever picks up first takes the call. Or set up the ring group so the phones ring in a specific order to better distribute the workload.
- Larger business—Set up a Ring Group for your sales team. When a call comes in to your sales number, you can set it up to ring the sales reps in a certain order so they each get a turn to answer incoming calls. Or set it up so all the phones in the group ring simultaneously so whoever answers the phone fastest gets the sale!
- Multiple Departments—If you have multiple departments in your company, use ring groups to simplify transferring calls. Set up ring groups for Sales, Technical Support, Shipping, etc. Then you can either set up your Auto Attendant to route calls to these ring groups (Press 1 for Sales, Press 2 for Technical Support, etc.) or you can have the receptionist transfer live calls to the appropriate ring group instead of calling multiple extensions to find a live person to take the call.
Each Ring Group can have any type of number assigned to it. The number can be a virtual number, toll-free number, the main company number, or any other number in your system. It can also be answered by the auto attendant or by another extension.
Enterprise-class services like Ring Groups can help take your business to the next level by improving employee efficiency and delivering better customer service.
Select the Right Ring Pattern
What a call comes into a ring group, you can choose how that call will be distributed. You can select from three ring patterns to configure your Ring Group.
- Cyclic—Also known as rollover. A Cyclic pattern allows an equal distribution of calls, making sure all extensions in the Ring Group assist in answering the calls. You can set the number of times the call cycles through the extensions before sending it to voicemail.
- Example: For a 3-line Ring Group, the first call rings ext. 101 (no answer), then ext. 102 (answered). Second call rings ext. 103 (no answer), then ext. 101 (answered)
- Cyclic Repetitive—A Cyclic Repetitive pattern allows calls to be distributed among all extensions in the group in the order that the extensions are entered. You can set the number of times the call cycles through the extensions before sending it to voicemail.
- Example: For a 3-line Ring Group, the first call rings ext. 101 (no answer), then ext. 102 (answered). Second call rings ext. 101 (answered). Third call rings ext. 101 (no answer), then ext. 102 (no answer), then ext. 103 (answered)
- Simultaneous Ring—The Simultaneous Ring pattern rings all extensions at the same time when a call is received. The first extension to pick up the phone will answer the call
How to Create a Ring Group
- Log into your Account Manager by clicking Sign In and then Account Manager at the top of www.8x8.com
- Click on the Phone System tab in the top navigation, then select Ring Groups from the left hand navigation.
- Click on the link labeled Create Ring Group to go to the Create Ring Group screen (see screen shot below).
- Enter a name for this Ring Group in the Ring Group Name field.
- A Ring Group extension number will be suggested for you. Either leave it as is, or enter a different one. If you accidentally clear out that field and want to see the suggested extension again, click Suggest. Choose an option from the Ring Pattern drop-down.
- If you select either of the "Cyclic" options, choose the number times the call of cycles through the extensions before calls are routed to voicemail. Simultaneous Ring will automatically select 1 cycle
- Select the Voicemail Password for this Ring Group
- Select the forwarding destination from the If all lines are busy, forward immediately to drop-down. The default for this will be 555 for voicemail.
- Select the forwarding destination from the If the Ring Group cannot answer the call forward the call to drop-down.
- Enter the desired number of seconds before the call is forwarded. Five seconds equals one ring.
- Optional: Select the forwarding destination from the Immediately Forward Calls to to drop-down. (Note: Setting this feature will override steps 10, 11 & 12)
- Add extensions to the Ring Group. In order to add additional extensions to the Ring Group, select an extension from the Phone Extension drop-down menu. Click the "+" button to add more extensions and the "-" button to remove extensions. Click Save to save your new Ring Group.
You can go back and edit your ring group to make changes and updates at any time.
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