Call Forwarding & Follow Me Calling
Creating positive first impressions
Phone.com™ Virtual Office Call Forwarding gives you the power of control – to direct inbound calls to single or multiple phone numbers, including your home, office, car, PDA devices, cell phones, in fact any phone anywhere in the world. This allows you to create a positive first impression for every first time caller, not to mention repeat sales prospects and important customers.
Phone.com’s Follow Me Calling sub-feature of the Call Forwarding feature series, makes it possible for you to have important incoming calls forwarded to another phone number, or a series of alternative phone numbers programmed in order of importance. You determine the order, which phone number the caller bounces from and to, until the caller reaches you directly.
This improves the inbound phone call experience of your sales prospects, customers, colleagues and/or partners by saving them the time and effort of hanging up, searching for [your] other phone numbers, re-dialing alternative numbers, and so on. It makes everyone’s life easier and faster, as far as your company’s telephone communications are concerned.
Sales & Customer Support
Anyone who may be out of the office at any given time can see the advantages of this Virtual Office feature. However, many service-oriented businesses find Follow Me Calling particularly effective – namely professionals who spend a good deal of time on appointments in the field, or who travel frequently. For example, real estate sales reps. Real estate sales people must travel, often great distances, in order to show homes to potential buyers, or for related purposes – such as inspections, various house repair quotes, activities and inspections, and so on.
Small companies whose owners operate from the field to service customers, often program in 2 or 3 different numbers to enable customers to reach them after ringing one contact number after the other. Plumbers, electricians, AC repairmen, remote computer systems or office computer repair professionals often use the Call Forwarding Follow Me Calling feature to remain accessible when on the road or in the field on a job.
For sales calls (and what company does not depend on sales!) most small business owners and sales reps prefer to take a call than have it go into voicemail. They know that every time you allow a call to get away from you, of going into voicemail or simply hanging up, you run the risk of losing contact with the prospect, of possibly losing the “flow of the close”; and of having the prospect call a competitor. This we do not want.
As for existing customer support, or “CRM” (customer relationship management), as we call it, every business knows the danger of losing customers to “attrition”; to competitors. Difficulty getting through to live support at a company leads to increased returns or cancellations.
Every time a customer requires live support and finds themselves waiting for hours or even days for a returned call, you run the serious risk of a cancelation, or of a returned product — all out of frustration or annoyance at what the customer perceives as “poor” or “slow” service.
All because they couldn’t get though to a live support rep.
With Follow Me Calling in play, the odds are much better that troubled customers will get through to a live Help Desk , Tech or Support rep, rather than a voicemail. These customers don’t need voicemails. They need assistance.
Many small business owners are especially concerned with the image of their business, and prefer that customers or sales prospects call their main office number as a central hub location, to the avoidance of a scattered series of cell phones or home offices, when attempting to reach them or their employees. Having one central number creates a more professional image, generally speaking.
Small business owners also do not particularly care for their employees giving out their personal home numbers, home office numbers, or mobile numbers to sales prospects or customers. Providing one simple primary number for your business is a far more organized and professional way of presenting yourself to existing and potential customers.
The one central number that Call Forwards to a series of unlimited alternative numbers, as with Follow Me calling, projects a much better impression all the way around with the same voice messages, the same professional menus, and even the same polished on-hold music. Think of it as a overall image impression designed to impress first-time callers, sales prospects, and new customers who are forming their opinion of your company early on – often on the first call.
It’s very easy to “turn off” a prospect with disjointed communications, such as amateurish email presentation, or with a poorly trained, inefficient receptionist. Here, your virtual office, your virtual telephone system, is the virtual receptionist who creates callers first impressions. When first impressions are poor, we generally lose customers we never even knew we almost had! They simply go elsewhere, and we’re never the wiser.
Which is why business owners, particularly small business owners, are so often concerned with brand image, and the first impressions inbound callers receive when they call in for the very first time.
This frequently makes or breaks a new deal, a new subscriber, a new contract, or a new sale.
Too many scattered un-connected phone numbers can easily create a scattered, disconnected impression, as if there were no main office, or no one working full time in that office. Even if it were true, as with a company that works largely remotely, with a remote staff for the most part – one prefers not to give that impression anyway.
Some of the people in these types of service businesses claim that they would not know how to run their business without this feature, now that they are so accustomed to it!