The phone channel in Freshdesk is a cloud-based telephony system integrated within the helpdesk. Specifically, it refers to the voice service with the replacement of telephone equipment with third-party VoIP services; which is where Twilio comes in, as our service provider.
The phone channel is neatly built on the cloud which facilitates call functionality on the internet. You would be able to set up a simple welcome message to greet your customers or give them a map of who to reach through the IVR options. It can be configured for your business hours and the calls can be routed to the different agents groups. Agents would also be able to save the calls and voicemails as tickets and handle them accordingly.
You need to send a request to enable the Phone channel from under Admin -> Phone. We will then enable the phone option on your account, after which you can purchase a number and setup the Phone channel.
When you raise a request to enable the phone channel, you would have two options, Trial and the Full version. The trial version is your chance to take the feature for a spin and decide how these features would suit your requirements. In the trial version you will be able to get a phone number and make 5 minutes of outgoing calls and receive 20 minutes of incoming calls. It has some limitations when compared to the full version but it is apt to help you understand the behavior and functionality of the Phone channel.
If you wish to activate Full Version of Phone Channel during your Trial period, kindly write to firstname.lastname@example.org with your request. One of our agents would get in contact with you to activate the Full Version of Phone Channel for your account.
After the Trial Period, you could activate the Full Version of Phone Channel, by navigating to Admin-->Phone-->Buy Phone Credits. Once you purchase the phone credits, you could continue using the Phone Channel with your Freshdesk Account.
Once the Phone channel is enabled on your account you can purchase a local numbers for over 40 countries and toll-free numbers for US & Canada. To purchase a number go to Admin -> Phone and click on Buy Number. There you would be given the option to choose toll-free or local and the country of your preference. The option to purchase the number would appear next to the number of your choice - kindly click on that to complete the process.
P.S - If you are in the Sprout please please ensure that the card details are added under Accounts -> Plans and billing -> Enter payment details so that you would be able to make the purchase.
You would be looking at supporting customers in various regions across the globe and Freshdesk currently supports phone numbers for 42 countries. Please find the list attached below which helps you understand the countries where you can buy local numbers from. Also, toll-free numbers are available in US, UK, Australia and Canada - please feel free to get in touch with us to guide you further on purchasing a number that meets your requirement.
You could purchase a new Local Number and add it to your Phone Channel in Freshdesk, under Admin-->Phone-->Buy Number-->Local. You can choose the Country and search for numbers from the list of available numbers.
Once the number is chosen, please click on Buy and provide a confirmation after which it would added to the Phone Channel of your Freshdesk Account.
You can get started by purchasing a phone number for as low as $1/month. Please note that the pricing changes based on the country and you can find all the pricing-related information on the Phone channel here
A simple way to verify this would be to check whether you have a dial-er option on the lower left area in the agent portal. If you do not find the dial-er option, you can check under Admin-> Phone and you should find an option to buy a new number. Once you buy a number the dial-er option would appear for the agents.
You can purchase a local or a toll-free numbers in Freshdesk. If you are using a local number (currently available in 36 countries), then your users will be charged the regular call tariff as per their network provider.
In case you have purchased a toll-free number (currently available only in US, UK, Canada and Australia) your users not be charged for the call. However, if a cross country call is made then the regular call rates as specified by their network provider applies.
The following requirements will ensure smooth functioning of the phone channel in Freshdesk:
- Browser and Flash updated to latest version.
- Ensure that your network ports aren’t being blocked by a firewall/router/antivirus software.
- If your router supports QoS, prioritize UDP ports in the range 10000 - 20000 as well as the IP address of the agents making/receiving the calls.
- Check your network latency with the Ping Test Site. Select Ashburn VA as the preferred server in the settings menu. If the grade is less than A, call quality might be degraded.
- If you are using a Bluetooth headset, use a USB dongle instead of relying on the computer’s native Bluetooth. Also, compare call quality with a USB headset or a 3.5mm headset since each device behaves differently with each browser.
- Reduce network activity not related to VoIP, or use a separate network for VoIP workstations.
- Chrome v38/39 has known issues involving audio dropouts/one-way audio. Upgrade your browser or use Firefox and see if the issue persists.
- Ensure computer has sufficient resources available to process a call.
- Ensure that CPU and RAM are not over-utilized.
- Close unnecessary applications and browser tabs.
- Try disabling antivirus software.
If you are facing any call quality-related issues, please double-check the points mentioned above.
The agents can make themselves available to receive and answer support calls by turning on the Answer calls option in the top-right corner. Once this is enabled they can
- Answer calls via the browser/Freshdesk app.
- Have calls routed to their personal phones. (For this to work, the agent's work phone number would have to be updated on their profile.)
The option to limit a phone number to a particular group can be found under Admin -> Phone -> Settings -> Accessible by.
We currently do not have an option to change the ringtone for the agents.
All incoming calls would ring for 30 seconds (with a buffer of 8 seconds, give or take). However if the "Call Idle Agent" option is enabled, then the call would ring for 10 seconds for the first agent. If that agent does not answer the call it then moves on to the next agent and rings for another 10 seconds. This will happen until the 30 seconds of ring time is exhausted, after which a non availability message is played and the call is routed to the voicemail if configured.
The default ring time is 30 seconds and this cannot be changed in the UI.
Yes, we do have an option to setup an IVR. The IVR in our phone channel is multifaceted and allows you to use the keypress option to route calls to a group, agent or call a number directly. There is an additional feature which lets you jump menus where you could create another IVR and jump to that when you are on the first one.
Say, for example, you have two departments which need separate IVRs - you could ask the customer to jump to the department they would want to reach. This can be done under Admin-> Phone-> Edit-> Greetings
In the phone settings under Admin -> Phone -> Edit-> Settings, when you move down to "Call Routing" section, you would have two options - "Call idle agent first" or "Call all agents". When the former option is selected the call would be routed to an agent who has been inactive on the phone channel for the longest amount of time. If the later option is selected the call would ring for all agents irrespective of how many calls they have attended previously.
You can find the complete phone history under the call history section on the dashboard.
There is a configuration under Admin -> Phone -> Edit-> Settings called "Accessible by" using which you can make the phone channel available only for a specific group or groups.
The ringtone of incoming calls cannot be changed since it is hardcoded.
You can choose to accept calls only during your business hours . For the calls received outside your business hours you can play an out-of-business-hours message and route them to a voicemail. These can be configured under Admin -> Phone -> Edit -> Settings.
The default ring time before the user is directed to voicemail is 30 seconds; currently, there are no options to change this.
You can make use of Freshdesk's Android and iOs apps to make and receive calls. You need to ensure that your agents has the "Allow Incoming calls" option turned on in the app. Please note that when you disable the phone notifications on the app, it will disable notifications only on that particular device. However when you disable the phone notifications on the web, it will stop notifications across all devices.
No, the default flow requires the non-availability message to be played before the customer is directed to voicemail.
Under each number's setting, you will find an option that says Accessible by. Once you select a group name here, only the agents belonging to that specific group can use the number to make outbound calls.
Yes, you can port a third-party U.S. local/toll-free number into Freshdesk. To initiate the process, you would have to help us with the LOA and latest billing statement from your previous service provider.
The default flow requires the non-availability message to be played before the customer is directed to voicemail.
If you already have a Twilio number, you would have to contact Twilio and get the existing Twilio account SID. Once we have these details, we'll send an email to Twilio - copying you - for approval of the number transfer. The number will be transferred once you approve it.
When you turn the voicemail "on" under Admin -> Phone -> Edit -> Settings -> Voicemail, it gets converted into a ticket in your portal with the recording added to the ticket. The ticket would along with the phone number and requester details if available. The only catch is that the voicemail needs to be more than 7 seconds in length for it to get converted to a ticket.
During the porting phase, you will still have incoming and outgoing calls to your number functioning seamlessly. Porting will not affect default behavior.
For incoming calls, a call queue can be configured with a cap on the number of callers in the queue. This can be configured under Admin -> Phone -> Edit -> Settings-> Maximum Calls in Queue. Currently the limits for the number of calls are 3, 5, or 10. Additionally you would also be able to configure how long a caller can stay in a queue. The current options for the queue time are 1,2,3,4,5,10 and 15 minutes.
When a caller reaches the queue, the queue message is played and the caller remains in the queue until an agent becomes available or until the queue time is exhausted. On completion of queue wait time, the non-availability message is played, and the caller would be routed to voice mail if configured.
The number porting may take 2-4 weeks to complete, depending on the service provider. You will be notified by our service provider, through the email address you provided, once the porting is complete.
When you have a busy day with multiple callers reaching over to you at the same time, you can route them to a wait queue in the phone channel. In Freshdesk you can have a maximum of ten calls in the wait queue and also you can choose the wait time per call. The wait time ranges anywhere between 1 to 15 minutes. Furthermore, you could also upload a queue message to let them know that your agent will be with them shortly and read out the queue position as well which would be reassuring for the customers and prevent them from dropping the call.
The option to turn on all phone call recordings made 'from' and 'to' your Freshdesk account can be done under Admin -> Phone -> Settings.
To avoid dead air and to keep the callers entertained while they wait for an agent, you could choose from soothing jazz music to upbeat pop as your wait music. You can upload the music file under Admin-> Phone-> Edit-> Settings-> Wait Music. Please note that the file should be in a mp3 format and less that 5MB in size.
There is a possibility that you could have routed calls to a particular group using IVR, and the agents who are not receiving the calls are not be part of that group. Please check your IVR settings under Admin -> Phone and the group settings under Admin -> Groups.
We do have an option to record all calls. You can turn on the recording option from under Admin -> Phone -> Edit-> Settings-> Record Calls.
Our Call Masking feature can ensure that you don't have to reveal your helpdesk numbers. Along with a host of other features, Call Masking is available from the Forest plan onwards as a part of the Advanced Call Center Feature Suite. Here's an article that elaborates on this topic.
You can find the complete phone history and the recordings under Dashboard-> Call History.
You would be able to save the call recordings from under Dashboard -> Call history. To save the call, mouse over the call duration time, right-click on it and click on "save link as". This would give you an option to save the recording in a mp3 format.
Phone channel is an important medium of support without which there is a hindrance in your workflow. When this is not working, please check the following:
- Please navigate to the dashboard to see the "available agents" widget where you can check how many agents are available on call - this means they are online and have turned on the widget.
- Kindly check if you have an insecure connection indicated on the browser next to the support URL - in this case, please load the phone channel in the default Freshdesk URL.
- Change the browser or load an incognito mode to check if the phone channel is connecting. Also, kindly check the network with which you are using the freshdesk portal.
After these basic checks, if you are still facing an issue, shoot a mail to email@example.com and we would be with you right away!
Possibility is that, you would have routed calls to a particular group using the IVR and the agents who are not receiving the calls may not be part of that group. We would recommend checking the IVR settings under Admin -> Phone and the group settings under Admin -> Groups.
When you accept a call, the phone availability option would turn Orange and be displayed as Busy. After the call is disconnected, this button would return to Green and Available.
However, if you are actively using Freshdesk on Multiple Tabs, or because of browser cache overload, this option would sometimes stay in Orange. So, incoming calls would not ring for you, as you would be displayed Busy in an Ongoing Call.
To overcome this instance, please clear any other tabs in which Freshdesk is open and clear the Cache and Cookies on your Browser. An easier and temporary hack is to click multiple times on the availability button. This would make it turn back to Green and you could continue accepting calls through Freshdesk.
Yes, as long as the third-party number is a US local or a toll-free number we can port it into Freshdesk. All you need to do is, fill the attached LOA and send it to us along with the latest billing statement from your previous service provider and we will get the porting process initiated.
If you are an existing Twilio user, you need to get in touch with Twilio to get your account's SID number. Once you get the SID number, we'll send an email with the details to Twilio and copy you in it. When this request is approved, the number will then be transferred to Freshdesk.
Depending on your existing service provider, the porting process could take anywhere between 2-4 weeks. You will be notified through the registered email address, once the porting process is complete.
Porting will not affect the existing workflows and the incoming and outgoing calls to your number will function as expected.
Our Call Masking
feature can ensure that you don't reveal your helpdesk number. Along with a host of other features, Call Masking is available from the Forest plan onwards as a part of the Advanced Call Center Feature Suite. Here's an article
that elaborates on this topic.
Caller ID feature helps you hide your helpdesk number and shadow it with another number. To enable this, please navigate to Admin-> Phone-> Manage caller ID (a blue option near "buy number") and add the numbers you wish to use for masking. Once you've added the number, please select the helpdesk number you want to hide and scroll down to the call masking section. You can now add the number you wish to shadow this with and this number would then play Batman to your helpdesk number.
We do provide an option to barge live calls however this feature is only available as a part of the advanced phone channel package offered in the Forest Plan. To barge a call, go to Dashboard -> click on In conversation under the phone dashboard, this will list the live calls that are currently in progress and you can then click on Join to listen to the call. By default you will be on mute however you could unmute at anytime to join the conversation if required.
We do offer a Phone Summary report which can be accessed from under the Reports tab. You would be able to choose a time frame to filter this data and analyze it for particular agent or group. You can also track the average handling time of the calls and pull out information on voicemails, call durations, etc. You can get more information on this report here
You could add phone credits to your account, under Admin -> Account -> Plans and billing and purchase credits. Kindly note that you need to be an Account Administrator to access the accounts section.
You could purchase phone credits and continue using the Phone Channel on your Freshdesk Account.