What is call forwarding

What is Call Forwarding?

Ready to set up call forwarding for your business? Roughly 60% of consumers say they prefer calling small businesses on the phone and asking questions about in-stock products, pricing, hours of operation, and more. Since you might not have an employee handling your phone around the clock, call forwarding is one way to ensure customers reach someone even after hours.

Not only does call forwarding improve your productivity, but it creates a better customer experience for potential buyers. You can answer phone calls outside of working hours and stay connected to your business even when working remotely or traveling.

If you are still new to this concept, then this blog is for you!

What is Call Forwarding?  

Call forwarding is the process of redirecting incoming calls to a different phone number so you can reduce the number of missed calls. In today’s age of constant movement, as a small business owner, you don’t want to be confined to your desk awaiting customer calls. It allows you to transfer incoming calls to a specific number like your personal smartphone.

It is a standard telecommunication feature to redirect calls, and most Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems have this ability. Business call forwarding also helps your company look professional and polished, ensuring customers receive timely answers and service when they need it.

Different Types of Call Forwarding  

There are several types of call forwarding, and businesses use them for different purposes.

1. Unconditional Call Forwarding (All Calls)  

Unconditional call forwarding redirects every call automatically to another phone without the original line ever ringing. This could be to your cell phone or a home phone number, enabling you to always answer calls when you’re away from the office.

2. Busy Call Forwarding  

Busy call forwarding is a conditional form of call forwarding activated when the original line is busy. This is particularly useful for businesses experiencing high call volumes or during peak seasonal periods.

3. No Answer Call Forwarding  

This conditional forwarding option redirects calls to a predetermined phone number if the original line goes unanswered. It proves invaluable for managing calls after business hours or in the early morning.

4. Selective Call Forwarding  

Selective call forwarding allows you to forward calls from specific phone numbers to a different line. This is beneficial if you’re utilizing various vanity numbers in marketing campaigns and wish to immediately segment customers based on the number they dial to reach your business.

The Role in Modern Businesses  

As everyone is increasingly on the go and working remotely, it’s unrealistic to expect you’ll be by an office phone 24/7 to answer. Call forwarding helps improve customer service, increase sales, and streamline communication.

Additionally, consumers have higher expectations than ever for great customer experiences, and this helps establish their relationship with your business on the right foot.

Improve Your Customer Experience  

Today’s consumers have high expectations, thanks to the rise in fast, convenient options for communicating with businesses. Customers want answers quickly and promptly, and they don’t have the patience to call back multiple times. A prompt response via call forwarding leads to happier, more satisfied customers who will return to your business for repeat services.

Increase Sales  

Research shows most customers only call twice before they decide to call another business. 20% of potential customers won’t even make the second call. Missed calls can significantly impact your sales when customers don’t receive an answer and hang up. Businesses can lose a substantial amount of money due to missed calls, but call forwarding helps ensure someone is always answering. By increasing the number of answered calls, you’re able to win more business and grow sales.

Streamline Communications  

Call forwarding for your business can significantly streamline communications by quickly directing specific customer segments to different numbers. It also gives you the freedom and flexibility to answer the phone on the go or allow other employees to answer the phone at certain times.

Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up CallForwarding  

Take a look at this step-by-step guide to set this up.

Step 1: Choose a Call Forwarding Service  

Most standard phone services don’t offer it, so review smart business phone service providers to purchase a communications system. Look at phone systems that not only allow you to redirect incoming calls but also have other features like call analytics, advanced routing, call masking, inbound call management, and more. It’s important to find a call-forwarding service that fits your budget and needs.

Step 2: Set Up Your Account  

Once you’ve decided on your exact service, it’s time to set up your account. As soon as your account is set up, you’re ready to start making and receiving calls from your business phone number.

Step 3: Add Phone Numbers  

Now, it’s time to add phone numbers. Once you sign up, choose a business phone number or vanity number, and then connect your existing phone number.  It may all be worth using a phone number validator, to ensure everything is working smoothly. You might want vanity phone numbers like 1-800-BUSINESS-NAME for easy customer recall. Not only do vanity phone numbers look professional, but they also increase the likelihood that customers will remember how to contact you.

Step 4: Configure Call Forwarding Rules  

Now that you have your basic phone system features established, you can set it up. Enter the specific number you want calls forwarded to, and depending on the service provider you’re using, you can start to configure specific forwarding conditions. Set up rules based on schedules, Specific phone numbers, and more. See if your provider allows for different types of call-forwarding, like selective or no-answer call-forwarding.

Step 5: Test Your Setup  

Before you start fully depending on call-forwarding, test your setup to ensure calls are being redirected properly. Especially if you’re using vanity phone numbers for different marketing campaigns, you’ll want to test each of these different numbers before releasing them to the public. Have friends, family, or employees test out various scenarios over a few days to ensure every call is forwarded properly.

Benefits for Different Business Scenarios  

It offers many benefits for different business scenarios, from improving the productivity of remote teams to streamlining customer service call centers and even supporting sales teams. Depending on the specific needs of your business and team, you might want to explore the different types of call-forwarding as well.

Productivity of Remote Teams  

With different geographical locations, your internal team might have different time zones and hours of operation. It allows for incoming calls to be redirected to other teams at one point of the day and allows the other geographic location’s to take over at the most convenient time for them. It ensures someone is always there to answer questions, provide information, and more.

To help you with redirecting calls to specific geographic locations, tool, such as a phone validator, is a great way to identify the location of an incoming call. It can provide you with the state and time zone of the phone number.

Improves Customer Service Centers  

When customers call service centers, they want prompt, efficient answers. For customer service centers, it helps distribute a potentially high volume of calls, decreases weight time, and improves the service experience. Also, when certain teams are experiencing a large influx of calls, backup teams can automatically pick up the additional incoming calls without missing a beat.

Supports Sales Teams  

Especially for teams like real estate agents or local law firms, missed calls can be extremely detrimental to closing a deal and making a sale. Many people will simply call another number if you don’t pick up, so it’s critical for salespeople to have 24/7 to their phone system from anywhere. Over time, a significant amount of missed calls can lead to a large decrease in sales revenue or opportunities.

How to Choose the Right Service for Your Business  

If it’s time for you to choose a call-forwarding service, be mindful of your business needs. Consider your customer base, call volume, budget, and specific requirements related to it.

Vet several service providers to find the best balance of budget and features. You can even assess their customer service to get answers to your technical questions about call forwarding once your account is set up.

Also, explore their integrations with marketing platforms, such as email marketing platforms, customer relationship management tools, or sales databases, so you can leverage the data and insights gained from your call -orwarding. The ideal call-forwarding service might offer its own data and analytics, enabling you to observe trends in call volumes, time spent on the phone, and more.

Use Call Forwarding for Your Business  

Call forwarding for your business is simple to set up and offers a significant number of benefits. From streamlining communications and increasing productivity to improving the customer service experience, simply redirecting your incoming calls to specific numbers can help grow your small business.

Carefully vet call forwarding services to balance your business needs and budget with the volume of calls you’ll need to forward. Consider the complexity of your requirements, and choose a provider who offers the precise workflows you’ll need to run your business.