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Great Alternative to Find-Me-Follow-Me: The OnSIP "Press 0" Option for Voicemail

by Nicole Hayward

Here's an OnSIP feature that performs similar functionality to 'Find-Me-Follow-Me'

We get asked about find-me-follow-me on a fairly regular basis. The concept is simple enough: someone dials your DID or extension, and the call rings your desk phone. Then, if you don't answer, the call goes in sequence to your cell phone, home phone, the proverbial beach house, your in-laws, etc. - until someone picks up and answers, or the call ends up in a voice mail box. While this feature is helpful for businesspeople who aren't often at a desk, it can be time-consuming for callers. If a call is routing down a queue of end points, the caller can be left waiting for an eternity "listening to some music while your party is reached." It can get especially frustrating for callers intending to leave a voicemail in the first place.

OnSIP currently offers a simple and free option: the "On Press of 0, sent caller to:" feature. If a call to a user's registered desk phone isn't answered, we send it to the failover destination. This is normally a voice mail box; but, the failover destination can be your cell phone. So, an incoming call would first route to your business phone and then to your cell phone (and then to your cell phone's voicemail).

Here are some instructions for setting up this feature:

  1. Go to the resources tab in the admin.onsip.com interface and select the VM box you want to modify.
  2. Click the modify link next to Voice Mailbox Configuration.However, you can edit the pull down menu and send the call to your external phone number resource.
  3. By default, we send calls back to the VM box if a caller presses "0".
  4. Make sure your outgoing VM greeting lets callers know they now have an option to reach your cell phone (*98 from your SIP phone and then enter your mail box number and PIN and follow the prompts to make a new recording). My message is something like: "Hello, you've reached Tim at Junction Networks. Press 0 now to be transfered to my cell phone. Otherwise please leave me a message after the tone. Thanks."

The "On Press of 0, send caller to:" feature isn't limited to sending calls to cell phones; you can select any destination included in your OnSIP PBX. For example, when I'm on vacation, I give callers the option to "Press 0 to be transfered to our main attendant menu." This means customers get the option of having their questions answered immediately, and I don't come back to a voice mail box full of messages.

While we are talking about voice mail, here is another quick tip: You can assign your VM box its own extension. Our standard extension numbering system starts at 7001. My extension is 7008. I have also set up extension 6008 to go directly to VM. Colleagues can transfer calls directly to my VM without them first ringing my desk phone.

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