Consumers have numerous options to contact a company in the modern day. When customers call a business, they are looking for a fast response and resolution to their problem. In a study featured in Forbes, consumers were willing to pay nearly 20% more to get immediate service and appreciate brands that value their time. They are more likely to work with businesses that provide a faster response.
Providing callers with responsive service and shorter wait times can yield numerous benefits to any customer-service-related organization. Remote call forwarding is one way to ensure your client or company’s callers always receive a prompt response when they contact the business.
Remote call forwarding can be a solution for companies looking to improve their wait times and have fewer abandoned calls to provide better customer service overall when combined with a reliable cloud-based voice service. This article will explore remote call forwarding, how it works, its benefits, and when your client or company may want to use it. We will also guide you through the best practices when implementing remote call forwarding to ensure your client receives the maximum benefits of this powerful tool.
What Is Remote Call Forwarding?
Remote call forwarding allows an organization to automatically forward inbound calls if the phone remains unanswered. It prevents missed calls and opportunities with clients and business partners. Call forwarding can also reduce the need for callers to call back, decrease wait times, and improve customer satisfaction. It is similar to call routing, a process in which calls are routed to a predetermined destination. Instead, remote call forwarding directs the calls to one or more direct inward dialing (DID) numbers consecutively as the phone continues to ring or simultaneously, often without the caller’s awareness.
How Does Remote Call Forwarding Work?
Remote call forwarding is a valuable service to implement for businesses of various sizes with offices or remote workers throughout several locations. With a cloud-based Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) or SIP voice service, there is no need for a physical device like a private branch exchange (PBX) to carry out the process. Remote call forwarding can be enabled through software or a web portal by the client or company to ensure calls are received.
When a caller dials a phone number with call forwarding enabled, the phone will ring until the preset timeout is reached and forward the call to another location or phone, often in a different geographic location and on different rate centers. The caller is unaware of the change because there is no prompt that the call is being forwarded and the same number is being dialed. It works internationally for businesses with call centers or employees in remote locations and can be paired with an interactive voice response (IVR) system or DID.
For example, if a customer calls your client or company’s support line, they will either be greeted by an IVR, or the DID will route the call immediately. The call will be forwarded to the first set of agents programmed to receive calls in the remote call forwarding arrangement. If the phone continues to ring past its timeout, the call will be forwarded to the next set of agents and continue until the call is answered. When the client or company prefers it, multiple phones can ring simultaneously to deliver the shortest wait times possible. Remote call forwarding prevents the caller from waiting in a long queue or needing to call back due to disconnection after ringing numerous times.
When to Use Remote Call Forwarding
Remote call forwarding can be valuable when properly used in a business environment. It can seamlessly hand off a call to the next available live representative, regardless of location, without interrupting the caller. Remote call forwarding is the ideal solution for companies that need to ensure calls are answered in a timely manner and can keep business operations going in an emergency or outage. It can also assist with improving wait times for companies with distributed remote workforces.
Business Continuity in an Emergency
Remote call forwarding can improve business continuity when your client or company’s office must close. The phone system can be programmed to automatically forward calls to an employee’s device in another office or a remote location. When callers dial the business phone number, one or more employees’ phones will ring to ensure the call is handled appropriately. The caller will receive service as they would when calling an on-site phone without knowing the call has been forwarded.
Failover for Network Outages
If your client or company’s workers are on-site and there is a network or power outage, remote call forwarding can ensure that calls are forwarded to another site or remote workers until the outage is resolved. It can also forward calls to an employee’s mobile device, allowing them to continue to take calls even if there is a network outage on-site.
Facilitate a Connected Remote Office
Whether your client or company is exploring a virtual or hybrid office environment, remote call forwarding can facilitate connecting several phones to a single phone number. Callers can continue to dial the business phone number, and an on-site or remote workforce can take the call from anywhere. It can help the company distribute calls over a large remote team and ensure callers receive a responsive experience.
According to an SQM Group study, the average customer will abandon a call after only two minutes and 36 seconds of waiting if they have had a positive or neutral experience navigating the IVR menu. Your client or company may request a solution if callers are waiting longer than two minutes for an answer from their remote agents or note large numbers of callers abandoning the call due to waiting times. If the business has recently switched to a remote office arrangement, implementing a remote call forwarding solution may improve wait times and reduce abandoned calls.
What Are the Benefits of Remote Call Forwarding for Business?
Whether you want to implement remote call forwarding as part of a business continuity plan or manage call times with a remote workforce, you can provide an advantage for your client or company. Remote call forwarding is easy to implement using a cloud-based phone system with little upfront costs and setup time. It offers the following benefits.
Remote call forwarding can increase availability when your client or business is experiencing an outage, higher call volumes, or an emergency situation. It can also be ideal for ensuring calls are taken in a timely manner when multiple remote employees or units are taking calls from the same inbound phone number. Remote call forwarding even works with mobile devices, allowing callers to quickly reach a representative, regardless of location and time.
You can define rules for your client or company’s inbound calls to ensure that callers receive satisfactory wait times when calls come in at reduced staffing hours or during outages.
Mobility and Flexibility
Remote call forwarding can ensure that calls are answered quickly in a remote office setting by forwarding calls to the next employee if they are not picked up. It can also be ideal for business continuity when multiple or all employees are off-site due to a site closure or outage.
Remote call forwarding allows callers to dial the same inbound number they typically use and reach multiple phones across various locations in a seamless calling experience. The service can forward calls to a mobile phone or softphone on a PC and maintain a similar level of quality. The VoIP or SIP application on the agent’s phone will alert them that a business-related inbound call is coming in.
Improves Customer Service
Implementing remote call forwarding can reduce caller wait times for an available agent and ensure their call is answered without needing to redial or be transferred to the right recipient. It also improves customer service by allowing the caller to reach remote agents in various locations without any additional charges. When a caller dials a toll-free or local number, it is forwarded to a DID within the business phone system and can be answered regardless of location.
With callers speaking a diverse range of languages and more businesses offering options for non-English speakers, remote call forwarding provides an easy solution. It allows your client or company to forward callers that choose a language other than English on the IVR prompt or dial a specific number for support in their native language to be forwarded to employees who speak their native language in the US or other parts of the world.
Remote call forwarding can help your client or company scale, allowing them to move into new geographic regions and serve more customers on a flexible budget. Businesses can take more inbound calls with fewer live representatives by forwarding the calls to an available recipient. Remote office environments also allow companies to find talent that may not be local, including agents that speak languages other than English.
Remote call forwarding can be a cost-effective method of providing fast and reliable customer service and business communication. With a cloud-based voice service, your client or company does not need any on-site infrastructure or devices like a PBX and can use existing devices like IP phones, mobile devices, or softphones from a PC or device connected to the internet. Without remote call forwarding from a cloud-based provider, it would be impossible for the company to forward calls to remote employees or locations without incurring a significant cost.
What Are the 7 Best Practices When Implementing Remote Call Forwarding?
While remote call forwarding can benefit a business, implementing it effectively can be challenging. We came up with seven best practices to make your implementation more smooth. You can deliver optimal benefits by following these best practices when implementing remote call forwarding features for your company or client.
1. Welcome Customers With a Brief Greeting and Brand Highlight
When callers reach your client or company’s IVR, a greeting and brief description of the business will ensure they are confident they have dialed the right phone number. Ensure each phone number has a consistent greeting that provides the company name, department, and essential information like business hours. The IVR greeting can also be an opportunity to make a good impression on new callers and highlight the benefits of your brand. Of course, you’ll want to leave the task of educating callers to the live representatives and keep the greeting short.
2. Make IVR Dialogues Short and Simple
When designing IVR dialogues for a remote call forwarding system, keep them clear and short to make them easy for a broad audience to understand. Callers want IVR interactions to be effortless and find a resolution to their problems as soon as possible. According to a Gartner survey, 9 out of 10 callers are likely to end the call if the IVR requires a high level of effort. That number drops to fewer than 1 in 10 callers ending the interaction if the same call is effortless.
Lengthy IVR dialogues can irritate callers and waste their time. In some cases, callers may even have to hang up and call back if they feel trapped in a confusing IVR dialogue.
3. Ensure IVR Information Is Accurate and Up-to-Date
Along with keeping IVR dialogues short and simple, ensure the information included in your greeting and IVR dialogue is accurate and up-to-date. For example, if the IVR informs the caller to call back during business hours but gives incorrect operating times, your client or company may lose business by frustrating callers. Ensure listed branch locations are updated when branches move and hours are accurate and updated for holidays.
4. Forward Calls Quickly If They Are Not Answered
The remote call forwarding system you implement for your client or business should quickly forward calls when they are not answered. Use a simultaneous ring in several locations to ensure the call is answered as quickly as possible. If the caller needs to wait before forwarding to the next available phone, keep the timeout values to several seconds to avoid making callers wait on a line that is not being picked up.
5. Forward Calls to Locations With More Staff or Fewer Calls
When you implement remote call forwarding for a client or company, forward calls to logical locations. For instance, if you are forwarding calls to an understaffed or high-volume location, they may be less likely to be picked up quickly and eventually be forwarded to another location. Instead, try to balance the call volume by forwarding calls to locations with fewer calls or more available staff.
6. Set Forwarding Based on Time Zone
If you are implementing remote call forwarding for a client or company with locations in various time zones, ensure that calls are forwarded only where the employees are available. While the time zone may not be a concern for businesses where employees work on a schedule synchronized to a single time zone, it can be a concern if employees work according to their specific time zone based on location.
7. Choose a Reliable Cloud-Based Communication Partner for Your Remote Call Forwarding Service
Your client or company’s remote call-forwarding capabilities will be ready for an emergency and available worldwide only if the cloud-based voice provider you choose has a reliable and resilient network. Find a voice partner that provides 24/7 uptime and over 99.99% reliability. Ensure that the partner offers remote call forwarding as part of the pricing plan you want to propose to your client or company and an international network that can serve its clients and remote workforce.
A resilient voice service will provide dynamic physical failover to navigate network outages and guarantee delivery to your client or company’s DIDs to ensure that callers will always reach the intended recipient. Research whether the voice SIP or VoIP provider has the reliability your client or business requires.
Implement Remote Call Forwarding With a Reliable Voice Platform
Remote call forwarding ensures inbound calls are picked up in a timely manner, improving customer satisfaction and reducing abandoned calls. It is ideal for businesses with remote office environments and can be vital to any business continuity plan during an emergency or outage. Remote call forwarding provides several benefits to businesses, but it is essential to follow best practices when implementing the service to ensure your client or company can use it effectively.
Flowroute is a cloud-based communication platform offering reliable VoIP and SIP services. Our resilient HyperNetwork™ features dynamic physical network failover, remote call forwarding, and call routing to ensure your client or company’s inbound calls reach their recipient with guaranteed reliability.
Flowroute can protect your business from outages and other emergencies with redundant networks and help remote workforces stay connected with rate centers worldwide. We provide 24/7 uptime and 99.999% reliability and scalability with flexible prices. Get started with reliable voice service from Flowroute.