When you are setting up Ooma Office, you need to consider what will happen when calls come in to your main company phone number. The default Ooma Office configuration directs calls to a Virtual Receptionist, which provides callers with different options based on the time and day of the week. It answers calls with an automated greeting and presents the caller with options like transferring calls to a menu, extension, voicemail, or informational announcement. Our robust Virtual Receptionists can be fully customized to suit your company’s needs. You also have the option to set up Ooma Office to direct incoming calls to a single person, or to a group of people who share the responsibility of answering the phone.

Virtual Receptionist

Have you ever called a company and been greeted by an automated announcement that asks you to select from a menu of options? With Ooma Office, your company can set up one or more Virtual Receptionists just like the ones that are frequently used by large businesses.

A Virtual Receptionist is fully customizable. When you assign your company’s main phone number to a Virtual Receptionist, your incoming calls will be answered automatically. Depending on the time of day, the call can be routed to the Virtual Receptionist’s menu, an extension, or a voicemail box. If you would like, you can play an automated greeting for your users that you have recorded yourself or that was generated using the Ooma text-to-speech feature. Virtual Receptionists also support:

  • Different options for greetings, actions, and key presses during business hours and after hours based on the time of day and day of the week.
  • Up to ten custom menu options for one-touch connections
  • The option to transfer calls to another extension, to an extension’s voicemail, or to another Virtual Receptionist
  • Dial by name or extension number

You can learn more about getting started with Virtual Receptionists in our overview article.

Dedicated Receptionist

If your company prefers a personal feel with every call being answered by a person, you can route your company main number to a specific individual (the receptionist). This receptionist’s phone will ring each time the company phone number receives an incoming call, whereupon the receptionist can transfer the caller to the appropriate extension. Calls that are not answered can be sent to one of the following alternate destinations:

  • Voicemail: Unanswered calls can be automatically transferred to receptionist’s voicemail box or to another voicemail box on the account.
  • Virtual Receptionist: Unanswered calls can be picked up automatically by the Virtual Receptionist, which will play a greeting that you specify and route calls based on the caller’s key presses (note that calls can be automatically rerouted to the Virtual Receptionist when the receptionist leaves for the day if their IP phone is put into Do Not Disturb mode).
  • Another user: Unanswered calls can be automatically forwarded to another user’s extension (the “backup” for the receptionist).

You can learn more about configuring your Ooma Office account with a dedicated receptionist in our setup article.

Receptionist Group

If you want to ensure that incoming calls to your main company number are answered, you can route them to several people by assigning your company’s main number to a Ring Group. You can select which users are part of this group and whether the call will ring the users simultaneously or sequentially. The simultaneous ring option is perfect if you have no preference for who answers the call, while the sequential ring option will always ring the first user in the group first. If the first user does not answer, the call will then ring on the next member, and on down the line.

If no one in the Ring Group is available to take the call, then the following alternative options can be set up:

  • Voicemail: Unanswered calls can be automatically transferred to any voicemail box.
  • Virtual Receptionist: Unanswered calls can be picked up automatically by the Virtual Receptionist, which will play a greeting that you specify and route calls based on the caller’s key presses (note that calls can be automatically rerouted to the Virtual Receptionist when the receptionist leaves for the day if their IP phone is put into Do Not Disturb mode).
  • Another user: Unanswered calls can be forwarded to another user who is backing up the receptionist group.

You can learn more about configuring a receptionist group in our Ring Group article.