What is Call Forwarding?
In today's increasingly mobile office environment, professionals need to be able to receive calls no matter where they are. Using the right service, a business can seamlessly route incoming calls to an employee's cell phone, allowing them to work from home or while on the road.
Call forwarding has evolved over the years. Today's services provide businesses with advanced call forwarding options that eliminate the need for callers to navigate complicated phone menus or leave voicemails.
It's important that businesses know about these options to make the best decisions for their users.
How Does Call Forwarding Benefit Businesses?
When many professionals think of call forwarding, they automatically recall the “call forwarding” buttons found on phones. But today's systems allow calls to be routed from a main system, which can often be accessed through a browser-based console offered by the service provider.
Here are some benefits of utilizing your phone system's call forwarding feature:
- Employees can be reached directly throughout the day, eliminating the need for callers to leave voicemails and wait for a return call.
- Call forwarding frees workers to leave their desks without worrying about missing an important phone call.
- If a member of a team is on vacation or in a meeting, call forwarding allows calls to be routed to another team member during that time.
- Advanced call forwarding systems allow calls to be routed to multiple phones at once. So an employee could have every call simultaneously ring their cell phone, home phone, and desk phone.
- With some systems, calls can be set up to advance through a specified set of lines before arriving at one where someone can respond.
For businesses searching for a call forwarding system, there are several options now available, each with its own benefits and pricing.
RingCentral specializes in advanced call-forwarding features, giving businesses the ability to manage how calls are handled. Plans start at $24.99 per month per user, with a free trial allowing companies the chance to try it out.Read more: RingCentral
Designed specifically for 800 numbers, Grasshopper provides call forwarding for both local and toll-free calls. Low-usage plans start at $12 per month but businesses with heavy call volumes will likely opt for one of Grasshopper’s larger plans, which have costs as high as $199 per month.Read more: Grasshopper
For only $5 a month per user, an employee has the ability to forward calls to another phone number. The limited features and low pricing of this service make it better suited to a one-person business or startup.
This popular service includes call forwarding in each of its business plans, which start at $14.99 per month per extension.
In addition to basic forwarding options, Phone.com offers forwarding based on Caller ID or the time of day a call comes in. Businesses can choose from a plan with no monthly fee and per-minute charges or a $19.99 per month plan that includes unlimited calls.
Despite its many benefits, call forwarding does have a couple of drawbacks, which mostly pose an inconvenience to the employee using it. These include:
- Temporary forwarding actions usually require some type of manual intervention on the part of the end-user. If that user forgets to turn the forwarding off, calls could come through while they are spending time with their family, or while they are away on vacation.
- With calls coming in when professionals are not at their desks, they may be unprepared to answer difficult questions, as they may not have the appropriate documents or a computer in front of them.