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Hunt Groups, Call Queues, and Your Business

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Hunt Groups, Call Queues, and Your Business

So, we get a lot of confusion over the technical terms that are slung around in our business. PBX, VOIP, SIP, live extensions, virtual extensions, physical extensions, it’s a mess. Today I want to clear up a vital part of many businesses that many of our customers don’t really understand when they’re first signing up, specifically hunt groups and call queues.

Businesses setting up their automated menu for the first time know that they’re going to need calls to come in to the right place. For when the caller hits a button, and they go to whoever’s available to handle the kind of call they chose, hunt groups are a great option. Sales teams, or support teams, or the billing department. It doesn’t always go to just one person. And the idea of something called a ring group that hunts through your numbers looking for an available person sounds like what they’re looking for. That’s not really accurate, however.

Most systems that have phone number groups that are run when someone makes a menu selection are the most clumsy sort of patch on the problem. It’s a fix, but it could be a lot better. The calls don’t get distributed evenly to the correct extensions, callers have to wait on hold longer, and managing the groups require significant personal effort.

For a couple thousand dollars, fancy pieces of PBX hardware can string together what’s called an Automatic Call Distribution Queue. I know that’s a lot of money, I’m getting to a point, bear with me. So these ACD queues take in the calls, and automatically distributes those calls to the group of people waiting to receive the calls. That sounds like those hunt groups I just mentioned, but don’t mix them up – an ACD queue is a piece of advanced technology that prioritizes, ranks, and manages both the incoming callers and the people waiting to take the calls.

Where Virtual PBX comes in is taking that big fancy expensive hardware and making it available for a much lower cost. Our ACD queuing service is the match for any call-center hardware or software, capable of handling and distributing calls to hundreds of people simultaneously, keeping track of who’s on a call and who’s not so there’s no wasted time, and making it easy to add or remove people from the queue. None of those things are the case with hunt groups. They take a call, they run down their list of numbers one after the other, one at a time, and then they go to voicemail.

From most of our technically proficient customers, they consider our advanced queuing services to be the crowning achievement of our system. Nobody else out there is going to give you that level of quality at anywhere near the price. Now, I know that was kinda dense info there, so if you have any questions, just give us a call. It’ll all make sense.

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