Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Using Ring Central to setup curbside phone queuing


Covid-19 has been a big pain for everyone with many businesses and organizations trying to offer services during the pandemic.  A change for a library was the need for call cueing due to a number of users coming at the same time for pickup.  So in this case the organization wanted a call cue for up to 9 people with no voicemail, and a pre-recorded message they would get when dialing the number.  Also we have to use a cell phone number that is already in use and didn't have account access to at the time.

To use the phone number on the current cell phone is easy; we just enabled call forwarding on the phone but the other features required would be much more challenging.  The organization doesn't have a pbx that they control, and they are only wanting to use the service for a few months.  I knew that ring central could do lots of the things that were desired but I didn't know if it could do it in the process they wanted it.

Here is how they organization wanted it to work.  A single phone/user that could have the option of transferring the call to a lan line or another user.  The call cue should be able to handle up to 9 users and answer them sequentially also NO VOICEMAIL!  The phone would only work during operating hours.  It has to be easy to use.  I am going to go over and show the settings I used to get it working the way they wanted.

It is worth noting that ring central does have a 15 day trial which I had signed up for then realized that the trial did not do the call queuing; the call queuing is only available on a non trail basis.  I dealt with a helpful rep Jace Henderson, he was able to help us out with what was needed.  I had originally setup a trail account which did not do any of the call queuing features that I was looking for.

Once your setup you have to go through and make some changes so it comes in line with what you want for your business.  The login is simple get an email asking you to activate your account, once activated you get an email with a temporary password.  Then you login.  The login allows you to use your phone number or email address you used to setup the account.

Once your logged in a wizard starts and you can follow it to fill out the information required by ring central.  I skipped most of the wizard with the exception of the E911.  This account was setup for use at a single location.  After the initial setup the UI is pretty simple but I did find myself going around in circles occasionally looking for some of the recorded call settings.

From the quick access menu we adjust the business hours to the hours we want or are defined by the organization.

You may want to change your caller id as there is a limit of 15 characters.  The name of the organization was being cut off so they changed the caller id to a shortened version of the name.

The real settings for the call queuing is in the groups settings.  Once you create a group, you can then assign a number or numbers to the group to handle the queued calls.

When you click on the group you have a number of settings you get to setup.  We will be going through all of the settings starting with Call Queue Details

Call Queue Details - General Settings

In this situation the organization is only using one user and they happen to be the manager.

Call Queue Details - Settings

In the settings, I setup the business hours and changed the regional settings.

Direct Numbers

I made no change to the Direct Numbers options.

Greeting and Hold Music

Here is where I made lots of changes to the settings.  Using audacity and a good microphone I had pre-recorded some scripted text with some good voice talent.  The organization changed the Call Queue Greeting, the Interrupt Prompt and the After Hours Call queue greeting.

To upload or record a new greeting you select the edit then hit the record button

Then when you hit the record button you will have three options for changing the audio.  You can get a phone call where ring central will record the call, using your computer microphone or importing which accepts .wav or .mp3.  I chose to use the last option.  You will need to do this process for any audio you want to customize or change from the preset defaults provided by ring central.

Call Handling & Members

For the call queue you need to add a member, in this case the default user as we only have one user.  


The auto receptionist settings were pretty simple, I just make sure that zero dialing went to the user extension and company hours were set with the general company hour settings we set before.

User Settings

This is where you can disable voicemail, you need to edit to user and go to messages.  Uncheck Take Messages, then change the How To Handle Missed Calls to connect directly to Group and select the group.

You also need to make changes to the Call Handling and Forwarding, changing the incoming calls to a sequential order and I changed the ring for 15 Rings and enabled a 30 second break between calls.

Along with Screening, Greeting & Hold Music

Users with Extensions

There is one more place that you can add business hours and it is in the Settings & Permissions section of the Users with Extensions.  So when a user should be off they no longer get phone calls and can have different hours from the phone group and the business.

This setup has the following process.  During operating hours the user calls the cell phone number which is then forwarded to the Ring Central Account Mainline, where they press 0 or are automatically forwarded to the default extension.  Where the call is then answered or put into a queue if the phone is busy where they stay in the queue until the phone is available.  The caller is not able to leave a voice message, so must stay in queue or hang up and try again.  If they call during non-operational hours they the user gets a message saying that the organization is closed, the user gets the operating hours then disconnects.  If there are more then 10 users in the queue the user will get a message saying there is higher than expected call volume and to try again later.  It's not pretty but it does work.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Acrobat Update Breaks Office Save As PDF Button

Acrobat update 17.011.30175 breaks the com add-in for office 2016.  Doing a fresh install of acrobat 2017 without the update the com add-in works as you would expect but upon installation of the update you get the error shown below.

You can view the full video here.

while I don't have a fix for this you can mitigate any issues by users by disabling the add-in in your office applications by going File -> Options -> Add-ins -> select manage COM Add-ins and press go

Then uncheck the offending add-in which is Acrobat PDFMaker Office COM add-in and hit ok

This will remove the Save as PDF option from the file menu, though it doesn't fix the issue users will not encounter the error because the menu option is not available.

Adobe Acrobat

Remove Acrobat Plugin

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