Creating a “Personal Workgroup” to help answer your phone!

August 2nd, 2010

One of the great attributes of a Personal Call Manager, is the multiple call appearance functionality.   When you have an active phone call  you  can actually see a new call ring in, on your screen.  I like to think of this as “priority call management”.  Given that I know the value of the call I am on, when I see the Caller ID of the new call, I can make a real time decision about putting my current call on hold to take the new call.   Sometimes, however, this is just not possible without offending someone!  What I really want to do, is let the person ringing in, know that I am aware they are there and I will be right with them as soon as I finish the call I am on.  What combination of ShoreTel features will let me do that?

I created a new Personal Workgroup and put myself in the Workgroup as the only “agent”.   I also used the administrative interface to declare myself “always logged in”.  In this way I do not need an Agent Call Manager, nor do I have  to “log in” and Log out” of the Workgroup and I save the cost of a Workgroup Agent License!   I then recorded a Workgroup Queue Message: “Hi! I see you ringing into my desktop and I just wanted you to know I will be with you in just a minute as I am wrapping up this current call”.     To fully appreciate how this works, you have to understand one of the underlying principles of a ShoreTel Workgroup!   If you are a member of Workgroup, that Workgroup will only present one call at a time.   If you are on a Workgroup call, the Workgroup will queue the caller until an Agent becomes available.

Now when I am on the phone and I see a new phone call ring in that I really want  but can not just put my current call on hold,  I can still answer the new call!   First, as the new call rings in, I right click the new call appearance with my mouse and, while still stalking to the original caller, I  Transfer the call to the extension number of my Personal WorkGroup.  The ShoreTel Workgroup, sees that I am already on the phone and queues the caller.   The caller then hears my Queue message “ please wait and I will be right with you”, followed by music on hold.  When I wrap up my current call, the ShoreTel Workgroup sees me available and takes the caller off hold and routes them directly to my extension.  This is very effective tool for managing a busy desktop and it is also easy to implement!

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