Time-based routing allows you to effectively manage where calls should be delivered at different times or days, such as holidays or at night. There is also the option to play a recorded announcement message to the caller before terminating the call.
The time-based routing (TBR) service can be set up in the call flow designer. Calls into individual DDIs can be directed to alternative destinations according to:
- Day-of-week (e.g. Monday to Friday)
- Time-of-day (e.g. Office opening hours)
- Special one-off dates (e.g. Planned maintenance windows or bank holidays)
The Smartnumbers Support Team can also work with you to create the time table routing based on your requirements and support tickets should be raised for any subsequent changes.
Setting up time-based routing
After dragging and dropping the time-based routing service into your call flow and connecting it to a service upstream from it, you have several configuration options to reflect your needs:
Conditions are always evaluated on an OR basis - as long as the current date and time satisfies any of the conditions above, the call will be routed via services in the "During this time" branch. Only if no conditions are true will calls be routed via the "Outside this time" route.
This is why it is recommended, to avoid confusion, not to use both date and time/day conditions in the same time-based routing service. Instead, you should chain together two time-based routing services.
Opening hours example
The most commonly used case is to represent the fact that your staff will not always be available to accept calls. Outside of working hours, you can route calls separately:
First, you need review your opening hours and times to see when the office corresponding to the numbers assigned to the call flow is open, then set up sets of days with different opening hours with separate conditions. In the example above:
- The first condition sets up the working hours during weekdays. Monday to Friday are selected as the days, and 9am to 5pm is selected in the time. This condition will only start returning true as of the 22nd of June, 2022 - before that date, no day/time of the week will be evaluated as true.
- The second condition, added by clicking the "Add a condition" button, allows you to set up opening hours on the weekend. Sunday and Saturday are selected as the days, and 10am to 2pm is selected in the time. This condition will only start returning true as of the 22nd of June, 2022 - before that date, no day/time of the week will be evaluated as true.
Please note that the week is shown as starting on Sunday. Each condition can be removed by clicking the delete button to the right of the starting date.
Thus, calls during your working hours will go via the "During this time" route, and other calls will go via the "Outside this time" route.
Public holidays example
You can also use the time-based routing functionality to treat calls differently if they come on a bank holiday or mandatory leave day. Calls can go via a different branch of the call flows on specified days:
The above example shows the bank holidays for the first half of 2022 set up:
- There is a separate condition set up corresponding to each day off
- "Specific day" is used in each condition instead of "Day of week"
- The date is then selected
- From and To times are left unfilled to cover the whole day
Thus, calls on bank holidays will go via the "During this time" route, and other calls will go via the "Outside this time" route.
Chaining time-based routing services
In some cases, you will want to route calls separately both on bank holidays and outside of working hours. The below example shows how two time-based routing services can be chained and where calls are routed to:
The structure of the example call flow with two time-based routing services is as follows:
- The first TBR service checks whether it is currently a bank holiday. If yes, calls go to an announcement and then end, and if not, they go into the TBR service that deals with office hours.
- Callers during bank holidays are played an announcement that explains that it is currently a bank holiday and when you will be able to accept calls next.
- The call then ends for bank holiday callers. Alternatively, calls could be sent to a voicemail number.
- The second TBR service checks whether the call is being made within your office hours. If yes, the calls get routed according to the rest of the call flow, beyond the screen. If it is currently outside of working hours, calls go to an announcement and then end.
- Outside working hours, callers are played an announcement that tells them what your office hours are.
- The call then ends for bank holiday callers. Calls could also be sent to a voicemail number outside working hours instead.
For more information about how to connect your time-based routing service to other services in your call flows, see Getting started with the call flow designer or take a look at the Top 5 use cases for call flows.