Introduction to Call Management on RingCentral
Getting Started with the Call Management API
The Call Management API allows developers to build and manage the set of rules that govern the flow of calls through a phone system to help connect callers to the right person within the organization in the most efficient way possible. These rules encompass call forwarding and blocking, phone tree (IVR) navigation, call queues, and the many highly customized behaviors one might want to build in a programmatic fashion.
What is Call Management?
Within the RingCentral platform Call Management refers to the set of activities and configurations within a RingCentral account to control how calls flow and are routed through their network.
What are the components of Call Management?
Calls that are placed into a RingCentral account can be managed and routed a number of different ways via the Call Management API. These are:
Developers can designate a schedule for both users and companies to reflect when a user or company is able to receive calls. Once a set of business hours are defined, a Call Handling Rule can be setup to determine what actions should be taken during business hours and outside of business hours.
Developers can define via the Call Management API what types of calls should be blocked, or specifically allowed. Calls can be allowed or blocked and handled based upon any of the following criteria:
- Was caller ID transmitted?
- Was a pay phone used?
- Is the call a voice or fax call?
- What is the specific phone number making the call?
When a call is blocked, developers can designate a recorded message to direct the caller to hear.
Call Forwarding and Flipping
Call Forwarding rules allow a developer to specify for an extension within an organization to which calls will be automatically forwarded to when another extension is called. This is a good solution for individuals, for example, to say, "while I am out of town, please forward my calls to Janice."
Call Flipping specifically applies to active calls, and allows a call to be instantly and transparently transferred to another phone number. For example, I may be on my desk phone and need to get in my car to head home - in which case I would flip the call from my desk phone to my mobile phone without the person on the other end being away the transfer took place.
A Call Queue is a group of users one can designate to share incoming calls. For example, you may wish to group all customer support representatives together so that a call can be routed to the first available person in that group. The Call Management API allows developers to manage call queues by adding and removing extensions from a Call Queue to assist in routing calls quickly and efficiently to a human to answer.
Call Routing and IVR
Call Routing, or IVR ("Interactive Voice Response"), is the means by which one builds what is commonly referred to as a phone tree, e.g. "if you would like to speak to someone in Sales, please press '2' now." The Call Routing API allows developers to:
- Create, update and delete IVR prompts - an IVR prompt is the recorded greeting that is played to the caller.
Create, update and delete IVR menus - an IVR menu is what is bound to an IVR prompt and is what governs what menu options will be made available to users, and what actions will be taken when those options are selected.
The Rule Management API allows developers to create highly customized call handling systems that seek to optimize how quickly a caller is connected to another individual within a large enterprise. The Rule Management API enables the following use cases:
- Allow personal phones to be dialed when an internal extension is dialed.
- Transfer a call to another extension.
- Force calls that meet specific criteria to voicemail.
- Fine tune the rules to govern call queues: hold/wait times.
- Set dial sequences to run serially or in parallel.
- Manage an agent's availability status after a call is concluded.
- Determine what greetings are played.
- Setup call screening rules, e.g. when should a caller be prompted for their name.