How to apply a Time Frame using an answering rule.
First create a Days of the week and times Time Frame
Please see this article for how to create a Time Frame Creating a Time Frame
The Reasoning behind Time Frames and applying them via Answering Rules
Let's say you want to have your main number's call flow act different after hours than it does between 8am to 5pm.
- First we created a Days of the week and times time frame called Business Hours that carves out the time between 8am to 5pm.
- Next we need to apply this time frame to our call flow using an Answering Rule
For our example our company's main number is pointing to a Hunt Group or Call Queue that rings several members of our company. If they don't answer or are on another call, the call then goes into our Auto Attendant where the caller can choose from preprogrammed prompts. To learn more about Auto Attendants, please see this article Auto Attendants.
This scenario is great for during business hours. But after hours we don't want our caller to have to wait the 25 seconds the phones will ring before the call hits the Auto Attendant. After hours, we want calls to go straight into the Auto Attendant
Make sure that Hide System Users is unchecked at the bottom right
This will allow us to see all of our domain's users, including system users, which allows us to make wholesale changes to our call flow.
Using the inventory to find out where the main number is pointing.
Please see this article for help using the Phone numbers inventory to see where your main number is pointing Inventory
For our example, our main number is pointing to our Main Calling Ring Goup (CRG). So we click on the user for 800 and then click on Answering Rules
From this screenshot you can see that, according to the default time frame which is in play 24 hours a day, all calls to our main number will first ring the Call Queue - 800 (Main CRG), then after 25 seconds, it will forward unanswered calls to the Auto Attendant, which is at extension 200 in our example:
Now we will direct our call flow to go directly to the Auto Attendant outside of Business Hours, which we have established as 8am to 5pm.
Applying the Business Hours Time frame in the Answering Rules
Here we are applying Business Hours time frame. During this time we want our call flow to Always ring our Main CRG and if everyone in the Main Calling Ring Group is busy, it will send the calls to our Auto Attendant 200.
Editing the Default time frame to forward calls to the Auto Attendant
Now in this screen shot, we have applied the Business Hours Time Frame so any call that is received on the main number(s) outside of 8am to 5pm will be directed to the Auto Attendant.
You can tell that the Business Hours Time Frame is in play or live because of the blue highlighted ACTIVE. Once 5:01 pm occurs(up until 7:59AM), the default Time Frame will become live and you will see the blue highlighted ACTIVE next to Default Time Frame
To do this, we first edited the Default Time Frame to forward always to the Auto Attendant (200) since this will now represent our After Hours time period going forward.
TIP: Each extension or user has a default time frame built into it. The default time frame represents 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. By creating a Business Hours time frame, we are carving out our 8-5 work day from the default time frame and directing call flow accordingly.