Put your best voice forward: call forwarding use cases & tips

Mike Butts profile image July 2, 2024 | 4 min read

Key Points

  • Call forwarding provides a more consistent customer experience, which leads to happy customers.
  • Use call forwarding to work around power and internet outages.
  • Avoid having to share your personal phone number with customers by forwarding office calls.

There are times in life when it’s wise not to be forward. When you’re interviewing for a job, for example. Or meeting your potential in-laws for the first time. Decorum is the smart course of action in such circumstances.

But when it comes to phone calls, knowing when and how to forward calls can be a real advantage. Here’s a primer on using call forwarding to make your business life easier—and boost customer service.

What is call forwarding?

Basically, it means rerouting incoming calls from one phone number to another. Once you’ve enabled call forwarding for business (a feature that all Ooma Office subscription plans include at no additional cost), you’re ready to step away from the office as needed without missing critical calls. Benefit number one is mobility.

Call forwarding gives you the flexibility to leave your office to see your daughter’s choral recital, for instance—something working parents of yesteryear probably would have had to forgo, much to their child’s disappointment. Just remember to step outside the auditorium to answer a forwarded call, to avoid dirty looks from other attendees. Even if you notice they’re surreptitiously texting during the performance. You’re someone who takes the high road.

Speaking of which, you may be on the road. We’ve all seen those images of people on the beach with their laptops (really?), but you may indeed be enjoying a well-earned vacation—and can still respond to business calls, thanks to call forwarding. The forwarded phone number maintains the professional perception that you’re still in the office. It’s one of many business tech tools that are a boon for small business owners.

How can I forward calls?

The actual process for forwarding calls will vary depending on your business phone service and the device you are using. For example, Ooma Office customers can forward calls directly from their desktop phone with star code 72 or through Ooma Office Manager, the online account management portal.

Whether close to home or in a far-flung locale, knowing how to call forward makes it easier for your team to do their jobs. Since they can forward calls to their cell phones, there’s no endless phone tag, so orders get placed faster, problems are resolved quickly, and there is far less frustration all around by being able to connect the first time, instead of leaving voicemails for each other, sometimes over the course of several days.

This increased efficiency translates into reduced costs for your business. Because your team members aren’t wasting time and energy on repeat calls, they can get busy planning the annual company offsite, which will take place somewhere with sea breezes, a superb chef and exceptional cell service for forwarded calls.

Call forward equals excellent CX

Now that your team can take calls anywhere, anytime, it obviously means a more consistent customer experience (CX)—and that’s key to a successful business. If your customers are happy, they’ll continue to do business with your brand, and tell others.

As marketing maven and bestselling business author Bob Burg asserts in the popular adage he coined, “All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust.” A business that knows how to forward calls helps build the “like” and “trust” factors with customers by being able to make them happier, easier.

Say you do business in both the U.S. and Portugal, and a customer has a question after your U.S. office closes. No worries. Forward calls to a customer service agent in your Lisbon office. Have your Portuguese office reciprocate by forwarding their after-hours calls to the U.S. customer service agent. What a pleasant surprise for your customers to get immediate support.

You can also arrange to forward calls to colleagues, on a schedule, for a certain time period, such as when you want to focus on returning calls. This works especially well if your staff knows about your call forward periods in advance. It’s akin to closing an office door for a meeting. When your team knows you’ll be busy between 3 and 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, they can share that info with customers to help them feel confident they’ll hear from you then.

Outsmarting outages

Perhaps one of the best use cases for call forwarding is as a workaround for power and internet outages. You know how disheartening it can be when you’re working on your office computer and a sudden power blip sends your document into the digital abyss, never to be retrieved. It’s equally frustrating, not to mention embarrassing, to lose customer calls because of outages.

Ooma Office has a feature that provides an outage safety net. It can forward incoming calls to an external number, like your cell phone. Once Ooma Office sees your desk phone is back up, calls will automatically ring your desk phone again. For info about setting up this feature, watch this brief video:

Protecting your privacy

In the digital age, privacy can be hard to come by. All anyone has to do is google an inquiry—whereas 20 years ago, “google” wasn’t even a verb!

With privacy at a premium, call forwarding helps protect your personal phone number, since it reroutes calls from your office line. No one needs to have your personal phone number when the call has been forwarded. One small step for a person, one giant leap for personal privacy.

If you’re ready to dial your business success up a notch, step forward into call forwarding. It’s the top way to put your best voice forward for your growing business. Learn about more phone system features for small business. All three Ooma Office plans begin with 50 business phone features.

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