General Question

Jonathan_hodgkins's avatar

Setting up a phone hunt group for a major event?

Asked by Jonathan_hodgkins (397 points ) April 5th, 2011

I work for a large nonprofit Walk a thon. Every year, we set up a nerve center in a local room near Boston Common. This room houses staff members who answer calls from volunteers along the route and field their questions and concerns.

It requires us to have Verizon set up a hunt group of 5 different phone lines every year at that location.

Several issues we’ve had. We use a 20 year old AT&T splitter that only works with compatible phones.
Last year, we lost one of the phones and was forced to try and figure out a solution but really couldn’t solve it so one line was silent.

Apart from this, it works funny. The phones don’t ring at the same time. Only the first phone rings and if that’s busy it bounces to the next one and so on. This means that whoever has that first phone is always getting calls.

Perfect scenario: We want to give one number out to all of our volunteers that they can call if they need information or to report something.
On the other end of that phone number is 5 phones that ring simultaneously until someone answers it.

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2 Answers

creative1's avatar

I have previously worked in a call center enviroment for many years and what your are looking for is something that will route your calls to the open agents that are staffed to take calls rather than searching for what ever phone is not busy. I went online and I don’t know if the nonprofit is looking to upgrade but here is a link that will basically do what a typical call center enviroment does just on a smaller scale without too much cost in the upgrade process.

http://www.prettymay.net/callcenter/

blueiiznh's avatar

This is a feature that has more to do with the software or phone system that is controlling the POTS lines.
I live in the Boston area and have also done these type events.
What type of phone system is on the end of these inbound lines?
On the CO side, there are 5 numbers that are assigned to one or more hunt groups.
You certainly should be able to have one phone number (toll free or local) that can be assigned to this. Don’t let Verizon yank you around. They should be able to help you solution this.
You may have to upgrade your hardware or go to a software solution.
There are plenty of companies out there and I don’t want to come across as pushing one, versus the other.
Feel free to message me if you wish.

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