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Things to look out for when shopping for a suitable call forwarding service provider

by on November 26, 2013 in Apps & Software, Business, Gadgets, Latest News, Lead story, Mobile/Tablet

Call forwarding is very important in today’s business environment; when a business is interacting with clients and partners from all over the world, making it simple to reach people when they are away from their desks, without having to give out their private access numbers to all and sundry is essential.

Take a case where a marketing team in Japan for a certain company needs to reach their CEO in California and the CEO is not in the office owing to the difference in time zones, a professionally run call forwarding service will come in handy.

But getting a good call forwarding service provider is not an easy task. There are a few guidelines which can help you choose the best provider like number of calls you can forward, availability of auto-responder and security of data among others.

Security and privacy of numbers

In these uncertain times of internet hacks and cyber theft, it is very important that a service provider demonstrate the capacity to effectively keep the private information you hand over like home telephone numbers safe. You do not want your CEO’s private phone number being accessed by unauthorized people?

Caller experience

It is important that your callers are not treated to a long awkward silence while a call is being forwarded. In some instances, it is best that the caller does not know that the call is being forwarded. This calls for creative use of the time between a caller waiting and the call forwarding being completed. Some companies will have an auto responder inform the caller that the call is being forwarded while others will have some music playing as the forwarding is taking place.

Forward-to numbers

A good provider will allow you, at the very least, two numbers that calls can be forwarded to. This means that if a call came in for the CEO and it happens that he is not available on the office line the call forwarding service should try and get him on at least two numbers. The CEO will have submitted these numbers to the service provider. If he is not the first number, the call goes to the second and if he is still not available then another option is considered. There are companies that will allow more than two numbers but two is reasonable.

A good call forwarding service should allow at least one international forward-to number. This helps if there are management level employees who travel frequently.

The process should also be well laid out and the sequence in which calls are forwarded well defined. A good company will, for example, try to raise a person on a number twice before moving on to the next number.

Ease of changing the forward-to numbers matters too. If a person changes his number, the corresponding change should be easy to make in the call forwarding service. There are companies that will charge for changes and there are some who don’t.

Forward-to people

The pass-down-to structure of a service provider matters a lot too. If a caller was looking for the CEO and he could not be found on any of the two numbers, the call is immediately forwarded to his designated deputy and so on. A good provider will allow chain should extend to three different people. Again, there are providers who may be willing to forward calls to more than three people but these are rare. And if your caller cannot find the top three people in a company that you need, chances are that he will not be too excited about doing business with you anyway.

The process of changing people in the chain of forwarding should be easy and hassle free too. Some providers will allow a business to change these people for a designated number of times for free beyond which further changes are billed.

Technical support

If you ever experience a problem with forwarding a call, the service provider should be on-hand to offer a solution fast. Sometimes the profitability of a business hinges on a few deals meaning a crucial missed call can have far-reaching effects on the bottom line.

Charges

The question of money ultimately has to be answered. It is important that the service doesn’t cost too much. The norm is that the more numbers and people allowed in the forwarding process the more it will cost. There are other factors which contribute to the pricing and it is up to the business owner to find the service at a price that is financially sound for his business.

These were just a few things that come into play when finding a good call forwarding service but with the above guidelines, you should well be on your way to finding a good fit for you budget and preferences.

 

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