Business Support

Understanding toll-free routing features

Your toll-free traffic ebbs and flows throughout the day, week, and year. And, sometimes it fluctuates based on where you're located—near a natural disaster or close to your customer base. You can use routing features to redirect calls based on the day of the week, day of the year, time of the day, or even the physical location of your offices.

  • Day-of-year—redirect callers on specific days of the year—this is especially helpful if you're closed. Use day-of-year routing to redirect traffic on Christmas, Mother's Day, Easter, or a custom day you create.

  • Day-of-week—redirect callers to a different number on certain days of the week. For example, on week days have inbound calls go to your headquarters sales department and on weekends send them to your regional sales office. 

  • Time-of-day—redirect callers based on the hour of the day. For example, in the morning you send callers to your Florida office and in the afternoon redirect them to your Portland location.

  • Geographic—redirect callers to a different number based on location. For example, if you're a national organization that wants to emphasize you're locally operated, you can route calls based on geography. Calls from Tempe, Santa Barbara, and Madison come into the same switched, toll-free number, but based on the routing criteria you've created, the Tempe and Santa Barbara customers are routed to your California call center. And the Madison calls are answered by your Chicago staff.

  • Percentage allocation—redirect a percent of your callers to one or more support locations. For example, you could redirect 50% of your calls to Irving, TX, 35% to Sioux Falls, SD, and 15% to Jacksonville, FL.

Sometimes despite your best attempts to manage traffic flow, peak times exceed expectations. You can plan for these exceptions by using overflow features.

  • Busy ring no answer—If the line is busy, or goes unanswered, callers are sent to another location. You can use the default feature settings or create custom timing criteria. The final overflow destination can have direct trunk overflow if it's dedicated. Switched and dedicated locations can be placed in any order of the route advance sequence. The overflow timeout between destinations is 2 to 60 seconds, with 15 as the default. Callers hear "please hold while we try another number" before they're transferred.

  • Direct trunk overflow—During peak traffic, you want your callers to talk with someone, not get a busy signal. The trunk-to-trunk feature pushes the call from trunk to trunk (3). Direct trunk overflow ensures callers terminates with a DID/ANI ring-to number.

Additional routing features

  • Alternate call plan—In case of an emergency, you can redirect call traffic to up to 20 alternate plans per toll-free number. You define these plans in advance. They can be as simple as a single, dedicated route or as complicated as an application with several linked features. For example, during hurricane season in North Carolina, you create a plan that lets you redirect those calls to your Ohio office.