When calling your business, your customers expect immediate help. Most callers won’t wait longer than 1 minute for an answer.
But staffing your organization to promptly answer every incoming call — no matter the time of day — would likely put you out of business.
Even if you can afford a full-time receptionist, what happens if they take a vacation, get sick or simply can’t get to the phone?
Setting up call diversion is an easy way to prevent unanswered calls and lost business when you step away from the phone.
What Is Call Diversion?
Call diversion, also known as call forwarding, is a feature that allows a phone owner to forward or redirect incoming calls to a landline, cell phone, voicemail message or a text messaging system.
This feature prevents callers from going to voicemail and increases your company’s availability to callers.
How Does Call Forwarding Work?
The goal of call forwarding is to prevent sending callers to voicemail and automatically redirect them to an open line. You can set up call diversion criteria to work in specific business instances.
Here are a few ways to use call forwarding:
- Forward unanswered calls: Want to avoid the black hole of business voicemail? Forward unanswered calls to a mobile phone or separate line so callers have another chance to reach your business.
- Divert calls when the line is busy: Avoid giving callers the busy signal by diverting calls to another phone number when the line is occupied.
- Enable fixed call forwarding: Set up forwarding during certain times (like after hours) or after a preset number of rings or seconds.
- Divert incoming calls to text messaging: You don’t have to send all incoming calls to another phone number. Tools like Numa step in to give callers the option to text your business when you’re busy or can’t get to the phone.
How to Enable Call Forwarding
Depending on your small business phone system, you can take a few routes to enable call forwarding. Traditional phone companies, such as Sprint, offer it as a service with your business account.
Newer organizations are also popping up with additional call diversion features. Numa, for example, allows you to divert incoming calls to text messaging.
Best of all, you don’t need a physical person to respond to incoming texts. Instead, the Numa virtual text assistant answers incoming requests for you or routes them to the correct person or department.
Both CallHippo and eVoice also offer the option to forward calls to one or more phone numbers.
Why Should You Set Up Call Forwarding?
Voicemail is the wasteland of business communication. 80% of people will hang up before leaving a message, and only 18% of people listen to voicemails from unknown numbers. Call diversion squashes the futile game of phone tag so everyone wins.
Here are a few ways all diversion can improve your operations:
- Avoid sending calls to voicemail and increase your phone availability. A staggering 62% of calls to businesses go unanswered. Call diversion allows you to answer more calls and generate more business as a result.
- Receive calls on your cell phone after hours. Want to stay accessible to callers even after you leave the office? Redirect business phone calls to your cell so callers can reach you anywhere.
- Personalize interactions even when you can’t pick up the phone. You can’t rely on voicemail to capture customers. AI-powered SMS assistants like Numa can elevate your customer experience when you’re unavailable to answer the phone.
- Manage variable call volume. Not every business can afford a pricey answering service. Divert calls to text messaging to scale your answering resources up or down as needed.
- Rescue calls when customers would prefer to text. By offering SMS-savvy callers the option to text your business, you can improve their experience (and your reputation).
How to Forward Calls to Text Messaging
Every missed call is a potential missed opportunity. By offering SMS options, your window of missed opportunity shrinks considerably.
Considering that 75% of Millennials and Gen Zers would rather text than talk over the phone, SMS should be core to your strategy.
Numa gives incoming callers the option to text your business, so you can answer more calls without the extra manpower.
The AI engine can answer customer questions immediately, compared to voicemail, which can take hours to respond.
Numa works with your existing landline phone and gives you one streamlined view of communication from the Numa app.
In 15 minutes, you can divert incoming calls to your existing business landline to text messaging and drastically improve the customer experience.
Want to see call diversion in action? Schedule your free Numa demo today.