Understanding On-Call Schedules And Rotations

In SAS Flex, Reach On-Call is a completely automated feature that ensures you are always getting your messages in real-time. 

In this article we'll discuss:

What is an On-Call system?

An On-Call system is commonly used in Medical, HVAC, Property Management and other service industries where urgent issues may occur at any time. Integrating your on-call schedule with your answering service ensures that you receive important information as soon as an urgent need arises. On-call alerts come from your SAS forwarding number, so it's a good idea to have your on-call staff members save that number in their contacts. 

Our system cannot dial out to international numbers.

Understanding the On-Call Page

The main On-Call page is broken down into 4 tabs:

  • Schedules: This tab will display all active on-call schedules. You can use the filter to show all schedules or only expired schedules. 
  • Reach Messages: A Reach Message is how SAS relays a caller's message to your on-call staff after we've disconnected the call. 
  • Groups: On-call groups are a great way to quickly populate a schedule without having to enter individual employees each time you need to make updates.
  • Archived schedules: Any schedule that has been archived will be removed from the main Schedules tab and moved to the Archived tab. 

Within the Schedules tab, you'll see on-call details at a glance, including:

  • Type: The Type denotes what kind of schedule it is. You can create a Reach, Cold Transfer or Warm Transfer schedule.
  • Mode: The Mode will be either Advanced or Basic. Advanced schedules can rotate between different staff members on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Basic schedules will call the same group of people and will not rotate based on the day. 
  • Complete: This column will tell you when the schedule runs through. 
  • Last Modified / Modified By: These columns will tell you the last time the schedule was modified and by who. 

Clicking on the 3-dot menu icon will bring up some additional options:

  • Settings: Clicking this will pull up the schedule's settings.
  • Upload: Upload your schedule from a CSV template for easy updating. Note this option will only be available for Advanced schedules.
  • Schedule: See the current schedule. Note this option will only be available for Advanced schedules.
  • Copy: Use the Copy feature to copy a schedule instead of building a new one from scratch.
  • Archive: If a schedule is no longer being used but you do not want to delete it, it can be archived to be restored at a later date. 
  • Profiles: See which Profiles are being used within a schedule. Note this option will only be available for Advanced schedules.
  • Who is on-call: See who is currently on-call at a glance.

Rotating vs. Static Schedules

When you create a new on-call schedule, you will need to choose between a Static or a Rotating schedule.

To help you decide which schedule will most benefit you and your current protocols, we’ve broken them both down below.

  • Static: The Static On-Call schedule doesn't change. This option allows you to set your schedule without having to get into the nitty-gritty details. Essentially, if you have one group of staff that should be contacted during after hours and one group that should be contacted during business hours, you’ll want to stick with the Static schedule.
  • Rotating: A Rotating Schedule allows you to better customize how and when we reach out to your on-call staff. The Rotating option comes complete with a calendar where you can implement your changes and break things down by the year, month, week, day and even hour. This option is great for businesses with schedules that rotate frequently between multiple staff members and can be customized based on who is on-call and when.
You are free to create both Static and Rotating on-call schedules as long as your script is set up in a way that routes calls towards the appropriate schedule, depending on the situation.

Standard vs. Custom Schedules

Once you've added an on-call schedule, Standard and Custom Rotation options enable you to choose how many people the system reaches out to, how many times we reach out, and the amount of time between each attempt.

Let's take a look at both below.

  • Standard: 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. 
  • Custom: In a Custom schedule, there are different people on-call during separate blocks of time within the 24-hour period. 
Within any Rotating schedule, you can use both Standard and Custom options as needed.

Types of On-Call Schedules

Type denotes which On-Call schedule you are creating. The options are Reach, Warm Patch and Cold Patch.

  • Reach is limited to a maximum of 10 people, with 10 dial-outs in total.
  • Warm patch is limited to 2 people, with 2 dial-outs.
  • Cold patch is limited to 1 person, and the call will be transferred directly.

How to add an On-Call schedule

At this point, you've set the parameters for your schedule. Now, you'll need to update the calendar. Visit the tutorials listed below for step-by-step instructions!

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