You have our PBX and some extensions, and now your customers need to call in from outside your company. We've written this guide to help you make the most of Voipfone's cloud-hosted PBX call routing features, and to ensure your calls get to the right person at the right time.
The most simple routing option is DDI (Direct Dial In), where calls to your numbers are sent directly to individual extensions. You can have as many phone numbers as you like all routed to the same extension, or a different number for each extension so people can call in directly without having to go through a receptionist or switchboard.
Every Voipfone account is supplied with a free 056 phone number to get you started, but you can also choose from our range of UK local (geographic) or national (non-geographic) phone numbers.
Just relying on DDI quickly becomes unmanageable as the number of calls or the size of the organisation increases, so you may want to consider some of the options below.
If you get more calls to a number than one person can handle, you can create a group of extensions that will all ring together. Anyone in the group who is available can answer the call.
The call group feature can also be useful for staff who work from home as well as in the office - phones in both locations will ring with no need to remember to set diverts or call different numbers.
Sometimes you get so many calls that everyone in the group is already busy, and no-one else is available to answer. The solution is to add call queues. Customers will be held in your queue, listening to some interesting music (of your own choice, with our Custom Music on Hold feature). When someone in the group becomes free, they will answer the next person in line.
No-one likes being held in a queue, but a queue allows you to deal efficiently with calling peaks without losing your valued customers, and it projects a professional image of your business. Your customers know that their call will be answered eventually, without them having to keep calling back.
In a large organisation with multiple departments, you may want to have one main number, but send callers to different queues depending on the reason for their call. For this you will need our IVR Switchboard (IVR stands for Interactive Voice Response).
Callers to your business will hear a personalised greeting, followed by a series of customisable options (for example, "Press 1 for Sales, 2 for Accounts", etc). The caller is then routed to the most appropriate extension, group or queue.
We offer both a Single-Menu IVR Switchboard, with just a simple list of options, or the Multi-Menu IVR Switchboard, where the caller is taken through a series of menus. All Voipfone IVR Switchboards support the optional direct-dialling of extensions, and the upload of your own recorded greetings. You can even have your greetings recorded by our own professional voice artists.
You're all set up, your IVRs, queues and groups are running smoothly and then bang! Some staff are on holiday, others are off sick, and now it's lunch time and the calls are piling up. Time to call on the Voipfone PA!
Or you might be a small business owner that can't yet justify hiring a full time receptionist, but really need the professional image they can give you. Maybe you just need a quiet hour or two every now and then to concentrate on a business problem without the phone interrupting.
Our pay-per-call answering service uses our own award-winning customer service team to take your calls when you can't. Our team of assistants will never be late, at lunch, off sick or on holiday - there will always be someone available to answer your calls.
If you're going out but still need to receive an important call, you can divert your Voipfone calls to any number, anywhere. This is especially useful if you want to divert your calls to your mobile phone or to a colleague's office or friend's home.
Our free GeoDivert® app for iPhone and Android will even do this automatically - diverting calls from your extension to another number when you move away from your usual location.
Diverts can be used in other ways too. For example, you can overflow from one group or extension to another by setting diverts for when the call hasn't been answered or the line is busy.
We also offer a special divert called PSTN Failover, which sends calls to an alternate number if your phone stops registering with our network for any reason. So if your internet goes down or your power fails you don't need to lose incoming calls. We have written an article on business continuity and disaster recovery that you may find useful.
Our free business hours feature allows you can set the hours that your extensions and groups are available, so that when you are closed, calls go directly to voicemail or to another destination of your choosing.
You can set different times for each day of the week, so that if you have an early day closing or close over the weekend your phones can match your working days.
There is also a calendar that allows you to set special opening hours on specific dates such as bank holidays, or for a range of dates (for example if your company is closed for Christmas).
Time of day routing allows you to forward incoming calls to different destinations depending on the time, the day of the week, or specific dates.
It is different from our business hours feature as it controls the routing of calls as they arrive, instead of when a call is sent through to an extension or group.
Time of day routing is based on timetables. You create a timetable with a default destination for your calls, and then add time periods on each day of the week, or on specific dates, when you want your calls to go elsewhere. Once your timetable is complete, you assign it to one or more of your inbound phone numbers.
So far we've covered how to route your calls efficiently and effectively, but what if the call is from someone you don't care to hear from?
Unwanted calls from telesales and marketing organisations, fax machines or abusive individuals are becoming an increasing nuisance. It's particularly annoying if you get called regularly from anonymous, withheld and international numbers - once you're on their list it seems impossible to get off.
Well we have a solution - our call barring service allows you to filter out telesales and nuisance calls. It's included free with all of our ready-made plans, and is available for £3.00 per month on Voipfone Flex.
Finally, when all else fails; when someone calls at a crazy hour of the night and there really is no-one around to answer the phone, there is always voicemail.
With Voipfone voicemail, you can choose to be notified by email or SMS when a message arrives, and there is even the option to have the audio message attached to that email. You can then listen to it from your PC or smartphone from anywhere in the world at no extra cost.
Log in to your online control panel to configure your services. With Voipfone's online control panel you can manage your account in real time, from your PC anywhere in the world.