Did you know that every AnswerConnect account comes with options to set-up call forwarding? Here is a quick guide to let you get the most out of this feature.
We will tell you what call forwarding is, how it works, and most importantly, how it can help your business.
What is call forwarding?
Call forwarding is a telephone feature that reroutes calls from their original destination to another. Why might you need to reroute a call?
- If you change your phone number
- To automatically transfer unanswered calls to a new destination after a set number of rings
- To transfer calls between departments of a business. This is usually managed from a central source – ie by a receptionist, who can greet the caller, identify their needs, then transfer them to the desired department.
More specifically, call forwarding for an answering service refers to the various ways you can choose to redirect calls from your customers to your answering agents, and from your in-house team to your answering agents.
This form of call forwarding is particularly important for property managers, contractors and those in facility management positions.
Different types of call forwarding
There are a variety of call forwarding types to choose from. You can even use a combination of call-forwarding types for different situations.
Automated call forwarding
Automated call forwarding enables you to forward your calls to your AnswerConnect team, based on a set schedule. You decide when your calls go to your in-house staff and when they come to us.
That way your caller will always get another person at the other end of the line – regardless of when they call. You can rest easy knowing your calls will be answered even when you’re out of the office. Setting regular transfer time (for instance, before 9 am and after 5 pm each day) means you can better organize your workday.
‘Find me’ call forwarding
With ‘Find-me’ call forwarding, we follow a forward-chain based on your designated contact-list. If nobody is able to take the call, your virtual receptionists automatically route the call to them.
For callers, ‘Find-me’ call forwarding can lead to slightly longer waits as we try the different numbers in your list-of-contacts. But ‘Find-me’ call forwarding increases the likelihood that they’ll be able to speak with a member of your team.
Both automated and ‘Find me’ call forwarding usually use fewer minutes in your plan since we hang up once we have reached a member of your team.
Manual call forwarding
Choose to forward calls to us when you’re in a meeting, on holiday, or just when you need a few hours to focus on an important project. Manual call forwarding simplifies the process by allowing you to manage your calls in a click.
By setting your status to ‘Unavailable’, calls to your number will be automatically transferred to your virtual receptionists. Your receptionists will then take a message on your behalf.
So what if the call is regarding an issue covered by one of your call flows? The receptionist will check to see if anyone in your assigned list of contacts is available to take the call. If they are, the receptionist will transfer the call to them. If not, the receptionist will take a message.
Setting up call forwarding
Setting up call forwarding requires coordinating with your client account manager (CAM).
Before reaching out to your CAM first consider that all the contacts you want to forward calls to are added to your AnswerConnect app. Make sure you have talked to your team members prior to setting this process up.
Using advanced call forwarding
When you sign up for an AnswerConnect account, you can take a new freephone number for your business. This is often a good option for new businesses, divisions, or locations.
If you already use a local or freephone number, you probably want to keep it. In that case, you can forward your calls to a number we provide. Your customers can reach your business on the same number they always have.
Here are some common codes for different types of call forwarding you can activate and deactivate yourself:
Standard call forwarding
The most basic form of call forwarding is usually activated by pressing *21* followed by the number you want to forward to and then #. To deactivate forwarding and take the calls back to the original number, press #21#. This applies to most carriers.
Busy call forwarding
To forward calls only when the first line is busy, use *67* followed by the divert number and then # to activate, and #67# to deactivate.
No-answer call forwarding
Build a chain of forwarding transfers to transfer calls. If your first transfer choice can’t reach the phone, the call will automatically transfer to the second number after a set number of rings. (We recommend two rings).
To choose no answer call-forwarding, use *61*, then the number you want calls diverted to and finally the # to activate. To deactivate dial #61#. You may need to contact your carrier to set the number of rings your callers will hear before the call is forwarded.
Scheduled call forwarding
Set a schedule for call forwarding. You can choose to direct calls based on the days of the week and even by specific times of the day. Or, you can add an IVR to your AnswerConnect account and build the schedule into that system.
To set up a more customised call forwarding schedule, check with your phone carrier—most will be able to accommodate you.
Get in touch with your CAM today to make the most use out of your call forwarding service.
FAQs about AnswerConnect’s call forwarding solution
Q. Do I have to pay extra for call forwarding?
A. No, every type of call forwarding is covered under your AnswerConnect plan.
Q. Do I have to have an IVR system for ‘Automated’ and ‘Find me’ call forwarding?
A. Yes. You can use your own IVR if you have one in place. Alternatively, we can provide an IVR at an additional cost.
Q. Do I have to talk to my carrier about how many rings to set before a call is transferred to us? What if I have a business ID/line with us?
A. Yes, speak to your carrier to change the number of rings before a call transfers to your receptionists (most carriers have a default setting for this). The Business ID is simply designed to display a different number for inbound and outbound calls.
Q. How many call redirects can I set up within one call flow?
A. Varies. This depends on the script and what the requirements are.
Q. Can I set up call transfers directly through the app?
A. No. Call transfer needs to be built into the script. This ensures that the telephone number we are transferring to, has been added in the correct format and we need to add a delivery method for the messages.
Q. If I want to change the destination of a call transfer, can I do this myself or do I need to reach out to my CAM?
A. With your CAM. Any changes to your call transfer process will affect the way your virtual receptionists handle calls so chat with your CAM about setting up call transferring.
- Call forwarding is a virtual service that transfers calls from their original destination to another.
- Call forwarding is an essential feature for modern businesses, ensuring every call reaches the right person in your team.
- You can set up various types of call forwarding, including automated, “find-me” and manual call forwarding.
- When you sign up for an AnswerConnect account, you can forward your calls to a number we provide. Your customers can reach your business on the same number they always have.
- Your call forwarding service comes with a range of advanced call forwarding options using common codes you can activate and deactivate yourself.