Sorry about the late post; I had two back-to-back webinars yesterday that ate up time. And this post is a LONG one, so it took a while!

In fact, it's long enough that I decided to focus on one task only for this week: How to create a Response Group in Lync.

A Response Group allows you to route calls to a certain group of people, called agents. It's how you create customer service call trees, and help desk call centers. The Enterprise Voice server funnels calls from the Support/Customer Service number you designate to the agents in the Response Group.

This one's long. Get some coffee first.

Part 3: Create a Response Group in Lync Server 2010

A. Select the type of call routing you want to use.

There are five types of call routing to choose from. They determine what order you want Enterprise Voice to call your Response Group.

  • Longest Idle: The agent that has been idle the longest is called first.
  • Parallel: All agents are called at the same time.
  • Round Robin: Calls are distributed evenly by rotating which agent is called first.
  • Serial: The first agent listed is called first; the rest are then called in sequence.
  • Attendant: Like Parallel, but calls are routed regardless of the agent”s Presence. Only “Do Not Disturb” is acknowledged.

B. Create the Response Group:

Choose the people you want to put in the Response Group before you start. And make sure all of them have active Lync accounts.

  1. Log on to your front end server as Administrator.
  2. Open the Lync Server 2010 Control Panel. Click Response Groups.
  3. Click the Group tab. Click New.
  4. In the Select a Service window, click “ApplicationServer:” and then click OK.
  5. On the New Group page, type a group name in the Name field (for example, “XYZ Corp. Customer Service”).
  6. In the Participation policy drop-down list, click Formal (if you want agents to have to sign into the response group to receive calls. If not, select Informal).
  7. In the Alert Time spinner, click 30.
  8. In the Routing Method drop-down list,click the option you want to use (from the type list above).
  9. Under Agents,click Select.
  10. In the Select Agents window, click Find.
  11. Choose your agents by name, and click OK to select them. Pay attention to the order in which you select them, depending on the routing type you selected.
  12. When you've added all the agents you want, click Commit.

C. Create a Queue for your Response Group:

The Queue establishes the Response Group's main action when taking a call. It funnels the call to your Response Group, and handles timeouts/disconnected calls.

  1. In the Lync Server 2010 Control Panel, click the Queue tab, and then click New.
  2. In the Select a Service window, click “ApplicationServer:” and then click OK.
  3. In the Name field, type a name for the queue (for example, “XYZ Corp. Customer Service Queue”).
  4. Under Groups, click Select.
  5. In the Select Groups window, click the Response Group you created (“XYZ Corp. Customer Service”). Click OK.
  6. If you want to, select the Enable Queue Time-Out checkbox. Adjust the time-out value if desired (default is 20 seconds).
  7. In the Call action drop-down list, click Disconnect.
  8. Select the Enable Queue Overflow checkbox.
  9. In the Forward the call drop-down list, click Newest call.
  10. In the Call action drop-down list, click Disconnect.
  11. Click Commit.

D. Create a Workflow for the Response Group:

Lastly, we have Workflow. This establishes the phone number for the Response Group, and activates the Response Group in Enterprise Voice.

  1. In the Response Groups section of the Control Panel, click the Workflow tab. Click Create or edit a workflow.
  2. In the Select a Service window, click ApplicationServer:. Click OK.
  3. Wait for the Response Group Configuration Tool Web page to open. Log on as Administrator.
  4. On the Response Group Configuration Tool page (it's next to Hunt Group) click Create.
  5. On the Hunt Group page, under Step 1, in the SIP field, type a SIP-enabled email address for the Response Group.
  6. If desired, select the Enable agent anonymity box on the left. (Anonymizes who the caller speaks to.)
  7. In the Display Name field, type a name you want callers to see (for example, “XYZ Customer Service”).
  8. In the TEL: field, type your (normalized) customer service number (+15101234567).
  9. In the Display Number field type the number with spaces and area code marked (+1 (510) 123 4567).
  10. Add a group description in the Description field.
  11. In the Select a Language drop-down list, select English (United States)(en-US).
  12. Under Step 3, select the Play a welcome message checkbox.
  13. In the Use text-to-speech field, type a message for your callers. Something like, “Thank you for calling XYZ Corp. A Customer Service rep will be with you shortly.”
  14. Under Step 4, select your time zone in the zone drop-down list.
  15. Set your business hours using the Open and Close time boxes. Clear the Sun and Sat check boxes if you aren't open then.
  16. Here you can select whether to play a message outside of business hours. If so, select the checkbox and type a message in the Use text-to-speech field. Select “Disconnect call” afterward.
  17. Under Step 6, in the Select the queue that will receive the calls drop-down list, click the queue you created above.
  18. Click Deploy.
  19. Click the Here link to return to the Response Group Configuration Tool page.
  20. Verify the new workflow shows. Close Internet Explorer.
  21. Click Refresh in the Lync Server Control Panel. Does the workflow show? If so, you're done.

Microsoft has a Lync Virtual Lab set up for this, so you can practice creating Response Groups whenever you want.

Next week I've got more tasks every Lync Admin should know. Depending on the detail, it'll either be another one-task focus post, or several. You'll have to check back next week to find out!

Thoughts? Comments? Lync Questions?

How to Create a Response Group: 20 Tasks Every Lync Administrator Must Know
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