For effective answering service call handling, you need a good script. Our setup team works with every client to build their account. (For clients who want to go live right away we also offer instant onboarding to get your account up and running in 5 minutes with a simple message script.)

But did you know that you can customize your script to automatically adapt to the day of the week or time of day? You can! Let’s take a look at how it works and some use cases.

How time-based call routing works

Time-based call routing is a way of customizing your call center script to use different call handling rules at different times of the day, or on different days of the week.

For example, you might have our virtual receptionists route your incoming calls to a designated staff person during the day, up until 5 pm. Then, starting at 5:01, the receptionist takes a message instead and delivers the information to you by email.

Or, you might set up your script to handle calls with one flow on weekdays, and with a completely different flow on weekends.

Either way, your script is smart enough to change your phone call routing depending on when the call comes in. That makes your answering service more effective and more personalized to the needs of your business.

Use cases for time-based call routing

Changing our role

One simple way our clients use time-based scripts is to have our associates’ role change at closing time. During your normal business hours, our virtual receptionists might answer your calls as an in-house receptionist would. They’d greet the caller and route the call to the most appropriate person or department to assist them.

Then the script automatically changes after business hours. Our receptionists no longer answer as your employee, but as an answering service, offering to take a message for the caller. This way, the caller understands that your business is closed and they shouldn’t expect an immediate reply.

Message handling

Another use case for time-based call handling involves how we deliver messages to you. For example, during business hours, you might want to receive your messages by email. You’re in your office, at your desk, and email is part of your workflow already.

But after hours, or on weekends, you’re on the go. Many sole proprietors, startup entrepreneurs, and even clients work on their businesses outside those hours. They don’t want to miss their messages or wait until the next morning to read them. They just want to get them by text message in addition to email, to make sure they’re getting all the information they need to make good business decisions, around the clock. A smart call center script can do that.

Shift work

We can also set up your answering service script to apply time-based routing to individual members of your team based on the days and hours they work.

If Rob works from 9-5 Monday through Friday, we can route calls for him to his line or extension during those hours, and take a message at other times. For Carol, who works Tuesday through Saturday from 11 to 7, we’d send calls to her when she’s on shift and take a message when she isn’t.

This way, your team gets calls when they’re available to take them, and we handle the messages at any other time.

Customized scripts work smarter

Our clients work with our client services team to design and build script customizations like these. Scripts with time-based customizations, when done right, can make your virtual receptionist service work smarter for you.

If you don’t have a virtual receptionist service yet and want to learn more about what we can do for your business, check out our plans here.