TryLearn More

Use SIP trunks, WebRTC & Apps

Slash your Phone Bill by 80%

Inbound Rules - Routing Incoming Calls

On this topic

Introduction

About DID Numbers

Configuring Inbound Rules for DIDs

Create a Νew Caller ID (CID) Inbound Rule

Troubleshooting DID Numbers

Configuring Office Hours & Holidays

See Also

Introduction

Inbound rules process and route inbound calls to the right destination, i.e. an extension, an IVR or a Queue. Inbound rules can be created based on:

  • The main trunk number. Calls to this main number can be processed according to an inbound rule, configured from “SIP trunk” > “General” tab > “Route calls to” section.
  • Based on a DID number. You can enter DIDs directly from the “SIP Trunk” interface or from the inbound rules interface. Adding a DID from the “SIP Trunks” function automatically creates an inbound rule forwarding the calls to the operator extension. You can then change this in inbound rules or by assigning the DID from an extension, IVR or queue.
  • Based on Caller ID - you can enter a caller ID, for example a customer number, and have calls from that Caller ID go to a specific extension.

About DID Numbers

Many companies provide users and/or departments with “Direct or DID numbers,” which allow their contacts to call them directly, bypassing the receptionist. DID numbers are referred to as DDI numbers in the United Kingdom and as MSN numbers in Germany. Even if you make use of a digital receptionist, a direct line / number is often preferable because of its convenience to the caller.

DID numbers are provided by your VoIP Provider or phone company and are virtual numbers assigned to your physical lines. Usually you are assigned a range of numbers, which are linked to an existing BRI / T1 / E1. There is an extra charge per number or per range, but this is a fraction of the cost of adding physical lines. Enquire with your phone company or VoIP Provider for more information about DID numbers.

You can assign DID numbers to queues, ring groups and extensions. The easiest way to assign a DID to an extension is via the “General” tab of that extension.

Configuring Inbound Rules for DIDs

To create an inbound rule go to Inbound Rules in the 3CX Management Console and:

  1. Check if an inbound rule already exists for the DID and if it does, double click on the rule to edit it. If not, select “Add DID Rule”.
  2. Enter a name for the DID, e.g. “Sales”, to be prepended or appended to the Caller ID and identify on which number a caller has called you. You can enable this in “Contacts” > “Options”.
  3. In the inbound rule’s “DID” field, select from the available DIDs. You can add DIDs that are not listed in “SIP Trunk” > “DIDs” and enter the DID number as it appears in the SIP “To:” header. 3CX matches the number inserted in this field with the “To:” header, starting from the end of the received string to avoid any differences in the format of the number.

Εxample: Ιf you are based in the UK and your DID number is 0845-2304024, then you can enter the number *2304024. This matches any DID number inserted in the “To:” field ending with these numbers, including +448452304024, 08452304024, 00448452304024, including *2304024.

  1. Specify where calls to this DID should go during office hours, choosing between:
  • End call.
  • Extension.
  • Voicemail box for Extension.
  • Forward to Outside Number.
  • Send fax to (email of extension).
  1. Specify an alternate destination for calls outside office hours and configure custom office hours by enabling the Set up Specific Office Hours for this trunk option.
  2. Enable “Play Holiday Prompt on Public Holiday to play the holiday prompt whenever there is a holiday.
  3. Click OK to create the inbound rule for the DID.

Create a Νew Caller ID (CID) Inbound Rule

Creating Caller ID (CID) rules is very similar to creating a DID rule, as they are based on the Caller ID, rather than the DID number being called.

  1. Select Add CID Rule.
  2. Enter a name for the rule, e.g. “VIP Customer”.
  3. In the “Caller ID” field enter the Caller ID as it appears on the 3CX app screen when getting a call from this number.
  4. Select a SIP trunk to link to this CID rule.
  5. Specify where calls from this CID should go during office hours.
  6. Specify an alternate destination for calls outside office hours and configure custom office hours by enabling the Set up Specific Office Hours for this trunk option.
  7. Enable “Play Holiday Prompt on Public Holiday to play the holiday prompt whenever there is a holiday.
  8. Click OK to create the Inbound rule.

Troubleshooting DID Numbers

If you have created the DIDs, but calls are not being forwarded as expected, do the following:

  1. Click the Activity Log tile in the Dashboard function in 3CX Management Console to see a list of current server activity and log entries for received calls and their destination number.
  2. Call the configured DID number while monitoring the “Activity Log for a line similar to:
    Incoming call from “1000” to <sip:789456123@3CXPhone System>
     where “1000” is the internal number of the line configured to receive calls from the VoIP Gateway or VoIP Provider and <sip:789456123@3CXPhone System> is the content of the “To” header of the INVITE, i.e. the intended recipient. Note: The “Logging level” can be set in “Activity Log” > “Settings” to “Medium” or “Verbose” to see additional messages.
  3. Analyse the To header carefully to ensure that the DID number you have configured is present in the header: <sip:789456123@3CXPhone System>.
  4. Adjust the number accordingly if needed.

Configuring Office Hours & Holidays

You can configure global office hours and holidays in order to have all incoming calls routed to an IVR or different number on these days:

  1. Go to Settings > Timezone, Office Hours & Holidays.
  2. In the Configure Office Hours section, specify the times that your office is open.

  1. In the Configure Holidays section click Add to add a holiday entry.
  2. Give the holiday a name, e.g. New Year and specify a single day or a range of days.
  3. Record or select pre recorded audio (.wav) files to play on these days.

See Also

Free for up to 1 year! Select preferred deployment:

On-Premise

for Linux on a $200 appliance or as a VM

Get the ISO

On-Premise

for Windows as a VM

Download the setup file

On the cloud

In your Google, Amazon, Azure account

Take the PBX Express