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Simplifying Your Front Desk: Time Frames and Answering Rules

As more and more businesses push to streamline communication and create remote work environments for their employees, a common question often arises. How will our phone system adapt to meet our ever-changing needs? In part three of an ongoing series for “Simplifying Your Front Desk,” we take a look at time frames and answering rules and the benefits they can provide for businesses of all sizes.

What are Time Frames and Answering Rules?

Time frames are used to create automated call routing schedules. These schedules can be preset to repeat weekly, added on the fly, or enabled/disabled on demand. Answering rules work in conjunction with time frames to determine where calls will be routed during each portion of the schedule.
These features allow you to plan for business/ after hours, holidays, PTO, etc. and can be used globally to setup call routing for a company’s main number or at the user level to determine what happens when your extension is dialed.  

The TIPS hosted VoIP platform features several scheduling options that can be set and arranged to meet your organization’s needs.

ALWAYS – Remains active 24/7 when enabled. Primarily used for routing for an unspecified period of time (i.e. inclement weather or internet outage).
DAYS OF THE WEEK AND TIMES – Allows you to set a daily schedule based on specified time ranges. Typically used for business hours or after hours schedules.
SPECIFIC DATES OR RANGES Allows you to create schedules for specific dates and times. Typically used for events like holidays, scheduled closings, or PTO.


ENABLED: Checked by default. If unchecked, the rule will be ignored and will display a Disabled tag.
DO NOT DISTURB: Automatically sends calls to voicemail without ringing.
SIMULTANEOUS RING: Ring multiple extensions, devices, or phone numbers simultaneously.
INCLUDE USER’S EXTENSION: Choose whether to include own extension in simultaneous ring.
RING ALL USER’S PHONES: Ring all registered devices belonging to the user.
ANSWER CONFIRMATION FOR OFFNET NUMBERS: Requires cell phone numbers to press 1 if they answer to prevent calls going to offnet voicemail.

JUST RING USER’S EXTENSION: Rings only the device registered as the user’s main phone.

CALL SCREENING: Requires callers to state their names before connecting. User is given the option to decline the call before answering.
CALL FORWARDING (ALWAYS): Immediately forwards calls to the specified destination 24/7.
• CALL FORWARDING (ACTIVE): Forwards calls to the specified destination when the user is on an active call.

CALL FORWARDING (BUSY): Acts the same as “On Active” but is only relevant if there is a call limit set on your domain. NOTE: This feature is unavailable if simultaneous ring is enabled.

CALL FORWARDING (UNANSWERED): Forwards calls to the specified destination after the ring time is met. If unused, calls will forward to voicemail.
CALL FORWARDING (OFFLINE): Forwards calls to the specified destination if all devices are offline.

For more information on time frames, answering rules, and numerous other features of the True IP Solutions Hosted VoIP Platform, contact our sales team:

Simplifying Your Front Desk: Time Frames and Answering Rules