Rules are where the magic happens! This is where all call routing decisions happen, including things like auto attendants, call queues, conference facilities, voicemail, call parking and more. All call rules are written in plain English. Sentences are built up from ‘rule chunks’ - parts of a sentence.
Different rules can then also be joined together by jumping from one call rule to another.
Rules are started by a rule trigger. That is, someone probably dialled a number or an extension. Babblevoice currently supports the following triggers:
1 and 3 are considered public rules whilst 2 and 4 are considered private. Public rules can be triggered by someone else outside of you organisation. For example, trigger number 1 is a public phone number. Rule number 3 introduces a new concept of ‘hash tag’ rules. Numbers defined starting with a # can be dialled by any person who uses babblevoice. Although they are public, you can use them in the sense of what used to be called x-directory. They are not published.
Trigger 2 defines an extension within your organisation.
Triggers then run into rule chunks, for example:
| When a call comes in on 1 then check my voicemail. |
Anyone in your organisation can now dial 1 to access their voicemail.
Remember when you add a rule chunk you will have to click at the end of the previous rule then select the ‘+’ to continue to build your rules.
An auto attendant is one of those menu systems you often get when calling your bank. ‘Please dial 1 for account enquiries or 2 to be put on hold’. You often hear the term IVR (Interactive Voice Response). The terms are quite often used interchangeably, but are subtly different. Auto Attendants provide simple menu choices to direct the user to the correct person - using a predefined route - or set of rules. IVR on the other hand uses some integration with a computer system. In the bank example, this would be the bit which looks up your account balance.
Babblevoice supports both, this section will explain Auto Attendants.
| When a call comes in on AutoAttendant then play the file intro.mp3 then wait for the user to dial 1,2,3… then jump to extension Sales,Support,OpeningHours respectively. |
The trigger is the second one but we have defined it as AutoAttendant instead of a number. If you have a phone capable of dialing text as well as numbers you could dial AutoAttendant and hear intro.mp3 being played. During or after the intro has been played when a user then dials 1 into their phone the call will jump to extension Sales, if they dial 2 the call will jump to extension Support and so on. When a call comes in on Sales then queue the call for group SalesGroup, queue for 3600 seconds then end the call.
We now combine the first rule with a second one. When the user dials 1 in the first rule, then the call jumps to extension Sales and the call enters a queue which will wait to be answered by any phone in the group SalesGroup. The call will wait for up to an hour in this call queue as we expect no one to have to wait that long in this queue. NB, if they do end up in this queue for that amount of time then this can be picked up in our vibes section.
We can add more intelligence to the second level menu if desired (in fact you can keep on going). When a call comes in on Support then check my Google calendar firstname.lastname@example.org, if I am busy jump to extension SupportOpen, if I am free jump to SupportClosed.
You then have a further 2 rules
| When a call comes in on SupportOpen then queue the call for group SupportGroup, queue for 3600 seconds then hang up the call. | | When a call comes in on SupportClosed then play the file supportclosed.mp3 then hangup the call with normal clearing. |
As all these rules are in plain English, hopefully you get the idea.
This topic is covered in our docs on our web site. The only difference between IVR and an Auto Attendendant (we are now getting geeky) is an IVR is linked to some form of intelligence/data source - such as EMIS Web.
A pre built IVR is available for EMIS Web. There is also a simple language called BAAXML to enable programmers to integrate with their own system.
Next section - Devices