Armed with a Hosted VoIP phone system, your business can access over 80, state-of-the-art features. That’s an overwhelming number! How will you know which Hosted VoIP features to use? To start, there are two important call management features your small business should consider leveraging with a Hosted VoIP phone system: ring groups and call queues.
Which call management feature is best for your small business? Well let’s look at the similarities, differences, benefits, and disadvantages of call queues vs ring groups.
- Ring Group (a.k.a Call Hunt): When customers dial a particular extension, it rings every phone in the group at the same time—until someone answers or the call is directed elsewhere.
- Call Queues (a.k.a Automatic Distribution): When customers dial a particular extension, the calls are put on hold and assigned equitably amongst the group.
Both of these features help businesses quickly and efficiently answer incoming phone calls. Because they produce similar results and are both categorized as call management features, it’s easy to conflate the two. But there’s a difference between ring groups and call queues (hence the title: call queues vs ring groups). To know which call management feature will work best for your business, you’ll need to consider these key differences.
Call queues are similar to ring groups, but they have more bells and whistles. With call queues, you can add pre-call announcement, hold music, provide callers with their position within the queue, and determine a max number of callers. (Just to name a few.) So if you want a more customized experience for callers, and more control over your incoming calls, than call queues are the best solution.
In a competitive environment, phone equity matters. Ring groups promote a relaxed free-for-all mentality that can motivate employees. But it also can lead to imbalance. That’s why many owners or managers opt for the automated call management methodology of call queues. With a call queue, you can even determine the routing pattern: ring all, round robin, last recent, fewest calls, or random. Because of this automated control, call queues reassure employees that calls are distributed in a measured and fair way.
There is one important advantage for ring groups. With a ring group, you can include landline or mobile phone numbers, which means greater accessibility and mobility for your employees. For example, an employee can easily work from home by simply adding their mobile phone to the ring group for the day. So with ring groups, employees don’t have to be chained to their desk!
Buffet vs sit-down restaurant
To illustrate the distinction between a ring group and call queue, imagine the difference between a buffet and a sit-down restaurant. Both serve food, but both accomplish their food service in different ways.
A ring group is like a buffet because it’s informal, and everything is up for grabs. It’s a first come, first served free for all. This of course has positives and negatives. It gives a lot of mobility and freedom, but the distribution of food or service may not always be fair for employees and customers. (Gluttons will be gluttons).
A call queue is like a sit down restaurant because it’s more formal and structured. Similar to the time you spend with the matradee before being seated, callers in a queue must listen to pre-recorded messages and hold music before being served. And similar to the automated system that allocates customers to agents, there is a rhyme or reason to where people are seated and when they’re seated.
So when you’re considering call queues vs ring groups for your small business, ask yourself whether you would prefer a buffet or a sit-down restaurant.
Benefits of call management features with Hosted VoIP
Does your small business have a group of people taking the same type of calls? With a Hosted VoIP phone system, you can give this group of employees the tools to improve customer support and call response times: call queues and ring groups.
Who wins in a match between ring groups vs call queues? It depends on your business situation. If your group is large and they want more control and metrics, go with the call queue feature. If your business has a smaller group of employees and they enjoy flexibility and mobility, manage your call flow with the ring group feature.
That’s the great thing about Hosted VoIP—you have choices! There are over 80 features with a Hosted VoIP phone system, so you can pick and choose the phone features that best fit your company’s needs.