Hunt Groups allow you to have incoming calls ring to multiple employees on your account. The feature attempts to “hunt” for an available employee. It can be set up to ring all phones at the same time or in a specific order. This feature is perfect for a company who needs multiple people to answer phone calls. Or you can set up Hunt Groups to search for an available employee by creating Hunt Groups that roll over to other users if, for example, the receptionist is busy.
How to set up Hunt Groups from the Nextiva Portal:
- Log in to the NextOS Portal by going to www.nextiva.com and selecting Customer Login from the top right corner. Enter your login credentials and click Sign in. Select Sites & Employees then click on Login under the Admin Login column.
- On the left-hand side of the screen, select Services and then click Hunt Group under Basic Services. On this page, select Add. Next, fill in all of the fields, including the Hunt Group ID, a distinct name for the Hunt Group (helpful if you have more than one set up), and the first and last name for the calling line ID. Make sure you click the box next to “Allow Call Waiting on agents”, if applicable.
- The next section to set up is called Group Policy, which is the ring pattern this Hunt Group will follow. In most cases, you will want to set your Hunt Group to ring Regular, which rings one phone at a time in a set order (A-B-C, A-B-C). Choose Circular if you’d like to make sure your employees are all offered the same opportunity to answer calls (A-B-C-D, then B-C-D-A, then C-D-A-B, etc). Another popular option is Simultaneous, which rings every phone in the Hunt Group at the same time. Uniform Hunt Groups will first ring the phone that has been idle longest. This set up will try to spread calls to employees equally. The last option, Weighted Call Distribution allows you to design your ring pattern so that your strongest employees take the most calls.
- The next section allows you to set up No Answer rules. Here you can choose how long each phone will ring before it skips to the next employee in the Hunt Group (when using a rotating ring setup – not simultaneous). To enable this feature, click the check box next to “Skip to next agent” and enter the number of rings. Note: We suggest keeping the number of rings at six or fewer. The next check box lets you designate how long to wait before forwarding the call to another user on your account, or even an outside line. If a call comes in, for example, you can have it ring users in order and then, if unanswered after 60 seconds the caller would transfer to a cell phone, or voicemail, depending on your company’s needs. To enable this, check the box enter how many seconds you want it to ring in the office before forwarding. Note: On average a ring is 5 seconds. Then enter the phone number, voicemail box number or extension where calls will forward if the Hunt Group is unable to answer in the allotted time.
- The Not Reachable Settings box will allow your incoming Hunt Group phone call to forward out if all of the phones in the Hunt Group are not accessible by Nextiva (for example, you lose internet connection). To set this up, check the box next to “Enable Call Forwarding Not Reachable.” Then enter a 10-digit phone number (internal numbers or extensions are not recommended).
- Next, you will want to add at least one user to the Hunt Group. In the field “Enter Search Criteria,” click the Search button. You’ll be presented with a list of all employees on your site. To add users, highlight their name and click Add> to the right. Or, if you want everyone in your account included in the Hunt Group you can simply click Add All>>. To change the order in which your users will receive calls for a rotating call set up, highlight the user and click Move Up or Move Down. Once done, click OK at the bottom of the page.
- Once everything is set up to your liking, click OK to save. If you assign a 10 digit phone number or extension number to your Hunt Group, you can call and test the routing. To assign a number to your newly-created Hunt Group, click “Profile” from the menu on the left-hand side of the screen. You’ll see “Addresses” under Basic. Here, just create your extension number, or assign any available phone numbers on your account listed in the drop-down box.