Building a Custom Reach Schedule
The following tutorial will provide instructions on how to populate an on-call schedule for a Custom Reach. In a Standard schedule, the same person or group of people is on-call for the full 24-hour period from the Start time to the Stop time. In a Custom schedule, there are different people on-call during separate blocks of time within the 24-hour period.
With a reach, we will disconnect the caller and then begin to dial out to your on-call staff list.
During programming, your staff list and schedule may have been added. But if you haven't already added your schedule, please see our tutorials for Adding your Staff Members and Adding an On Call Schedule. You'll need to complete these steps before you can populate your schedule.
In this tutorial, you'll learn how to:
After your staff members and schedule type have been added, click the yellow Schedule button to the right of the Expiring column to build out your dates.
At the top of the next screen, you'll see the Schedule expires status, you'll see the Start / Stop Time (Schedule runs from), the Timezone, and the schedule Type that you selected during setup. Just below the grey bar, you'll see Set the schedule for followed by the name of the schedule you are editing.
Selecting Dates to Schedule
Under the schedule name, you will enter the active dates that you'll be building out.
∞: If you are building a schedule that will never change, you can retain the default ∞ (Infinity) option on the left. Creating the schedule using this option will infinitely populate calendar dates with the staff members you select.
We're building this example as an Infinity schedule, but there are a few other options for selecting dates. Learn more about them here.
Did you know that you can color-code your on-call schedule? Learn more about it here!
Adjusting Contact Settings
Next, you'll determine the Contact settings. This includes the Reach format, the number of times we will dial through your list, the number of minutes between each call, the employees and phone numbers we will contact, and what to do if we reach voicemail.
1. To the right of Reach, you will see a drop down menu with the options Standard or Custom. For this tutorial, you will select Custom reach.
2. Once Custom is selected, the schedule will update to the display below. This is where you will set your first block of time. Note that initially, the system will automatically set your From and To time to match your Start / Stop time.
3. Use the drop down list to set the first To time.
4. At this point, we will Add the specific staff members who will be called during your scheduled dates.You will see 2 column headers: Staff and Telephone number. (If you need to enter additional staff before continuing, click on the blue Return to on-call link in the top left corner of the page.)
Select the first person we will reach out to from the Staff column along with the corresponding number from the Telephone number column.
Reach schedules can have a maximum of 10 dial-outs.
5. Now, in the If / Then drop down menus, you'll need to tell the system what you'd like the operators to do if they reach voicemail or your staff does not answer.
Note that if you are a HIPAA compliant account, the only option displayed in the Then drop down will be No Message.
If you have selected an Infinity reach, ideally, you would select No Answer, No Message. Keep in mind that if you would like the operators to leave a voicemail on each Infinity reach attempt, this could result in significant usage.
6. Once you have set all fields, the yellow Add to reach schedule button on the right will be operational. Click it to add the staff member. Follow the same steps to include additional staff members, if necessary.
7. Next, you'll select the type of reach. Type tells our operators how many times to loop through your on-call list. For example, if we were to call through your list 5 times, you would choose 5x + End. If we were reaching through forever, you would use Infinity. Keep in mind, the number of times our operators reach out is all billable and adds to the usage on your account.
Note that our operators can reach out to your staff for a maximum of 10 calls. This means that the number of staff members in your list combined with your Type cannot exceed 10 dial-outs. For example:
- If you have 2 people in your list, your Type cannot exceed 5x + End.
- If you have 10 people in your list, your type cannot exceed 1x + End.
8. Then, use the Queue drop down to select the number of minutes the operators will wait between each dial-out call. For example, setting this time to 10 minutes means our operators will wait 10 minutes between each outbound call we place to your on-call staff.
Note that if you have selected an Infinity reach, your Queue time must be greater than or equal to 10 minutes.
9. With the first section complete, click the green Add another timeslot button to begin building your second block of time.
10. The system will automatically set your From and To time based on the previous time block. If you've added this timeslot in error, click the red Delete timeslot button.
11. Now just as you did before, you will Add the specific staff members who will be called during the second block of time.
12. Again, set the Type and Queue. You will need to set these parameters for each time slot you add.
13. To extend the time block and add another time slot, you'll need to adjust the To time again.
Note that you can add as many blocks of time as necessary, as long as the first From and last To times are within a 24-hour period based on your Start time.
Edit a Staff Entry
Changing Drop Down Values
1. Now that you've adjusted your staff list, the blue Edit button to the right of the entries will become operable.
2. Click Edit to make any changes. In Edit mode, the entry will be highlighted in yellow, and a Save button will appear on the right. Use the drop down lists to update each entry. After updating an entry, click the Save button on the right side of the highlighted line.
Moving an Entry
If you would like to change the order of the dial-outs, hover over the green crosshairs to the left of the staff member column. Right click to drag the entry up or down in the list.
Deleting an Entry
You can also delete an entry by clicking the red X button to the far right of the line item.
Save a Schedule
1. Once all time blocks and staff members have been added, and any changes are complete, click the blue Save schedule button in the bottom right corner of the last entry.
Note that because Infinity is the default setting for scheduling, when trying to save an Infinity schedule, the system will confirm that this is what you want before saving. Click Yes to confirm.
2. Then, scroll down to the full calendar where you'll see the dates you scheduled displayed in the color you selected.
If you are building a schedule that will change regularly, visit this article for more information on how to schedule specific date ranges. Then, repeat the string of steps above to continue adding to your schedule. Once you've built out your dates, the Schedule expires status at the top left of the page will change to the last date you have scheduled.
NOTE: If you are scheduling for a future date or time, the expiry status will remain Expired until that date.
Now that you have created your reach on-call schedule, please read How to Integrate a Reach Schedule into Your Script to complete the on-call setup.
Have questions? Feel free to contact our Customer Service department or submit a support ticket.