A ShoreTel Workgroup is a Contact Center for the rest of us!

April 8th, 2015

We have been working around the call center space for a long time.  Actually, it is our first love! Does everyone need a full blown Contact Center?   If you have a real boiler room operation, with shifts of agents that are heavily manged, counted, recorded, measured complete with staff forecasting and multiple channels of client communication, yes you need an Enterprise Contact Center.   As Arlo Guthrie might say “what about the rest of us”?   The small to medium size business that is really not cracking the whip on customer service agents, but making efficient use of “knowledge workers” who often participate within a group setting.  How do we organize customer calls to this group?

A techncial support group or an order entry group might be a good example.   By grouping these folks into a “workgroup” we can funnel calls to them in a call center like fashion without the call center overhead of application servers and third party middle ware.   ShoreTel has an embedded call center like feature aptly named “WorkGroups” that is an ideal solution for this environment.   You can organize a group, route calls to group members and even queue the call until a group member becomes available.   While callers are in queue, you can organize the messages they hear, the time they wait between care messages and you can also provide “bail out” options at each step of the way.

The workgroup can be reached as a menu selection off of an automated attendant or have a phone number assigned that enables outsiders to call directly to the workgroup!   The workgroup can have an operating schedule applied that routes callers to alternative answer points if the group should be reached after hours.  Group members can Log in and Log out of the workgroup using their ShoreTel Communicator and still maintain their personal extension number and mailbox.  While logged into the workgroup, they can share the group voice mail box and see callers waiting in queue!  Supervisors can monitor the callers in queue and manipulate resources to meet call demand.   Reporting statistics on the group are maintained and easily obtained by the workgroup supervisor or administrator with reporting permissions.

We are now even making it possible for Callers to TEXT into your workgroup!  Group members can even email back a TEXT message!

The ShoreTel Workgroup strategy is a powerful call center like functionality and very cost effective.    The marginal cost of adding agent and supervisors license when you plan to implement a ShoreTel iPBX when compared to adding a complete Enterprise Contact Center is amazingly low!   We would be happy to explain the difference between a Workgroup and the ECC, so just contact us for details!

TEXT the keyword “workgroup” along with your name or email to 702-956-8700 and we will respond immediately!



One response to “A ShoreTel Workgroup is a Contact Center for the rest of us!”

  1. DrVoIP says:

    There is a commons error in the configuration of a WG that I want to highlight and urge you to avoid. First, the only time we should queue a caller is when agents are logged in, but busy. To queue a caller on ring no answer, or when agents are logged out, is asking for big trouble. Imagine queuing a caller when the agents have all logged out and gone home for the day! The issue of queuing on “ring no answer” brings me to the second problem area. AVOID the use of “simultaneous ring” as an agent selection strategy! If we ring a group of agents, and nobody answers, when the ring no answer threshold is reached the call will attempt to queue, then it will see agents available, and try to ring them again. You will be in a loop in which the issue of queue steps and queue messages will never be heard! Do not queue callers on RNA and avoid the use of “simultaneous ring” at all costs!

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