What is a Call Forwarding Service?

Call forwarding is an advanced feature of telephony service that routes a call placed to one location to a telephone at a separate location. Customers of a call forwarding service are able to redirect domestic and international calls to a landline, mobile device, or even an enabled desktop computer. Virtual call forwarding services can be easily set up on cloud-based software that allows organizations to use one system to administer different locations. A call forwarding service also gives customers the ability to redirect calls to specific locations at set times of the day or days of the week, and to consolidate service providers.

Virtual Call Forwarding vs. PSTN Systems

The rise of voice over internet protocol, more commonly known as VoIP, gives businesses of all sizes affordable access to advanced calling features that were once available only to large corporations. VoIP sends and receives calls over the internet, which means systems can be set up and administered with web-based software, as opposed to the public switch telephone network (PSTN), which requires extensive and often expensive hardware for proper operation. Because VoIP systems are virtual, service can be activated within minutes, without a visit from an installer. By utilizing the internet, VoIP gives organizations the opportunity to create customized communications systems at a reduced cost.

How Are Call Forwarding Services Used?

Businesses use call forwarding to improve customer service and stay connected to clients around the clock. Traditionally, when an agent was not physically present to answer a telephone, inbound calls to that handset would either go unanswered or would divert to a voicemail box. Because PSTN systems require hardware upgrades in order to implement advanced features, organizations that operate on these systems can find it difficult to create cost-effective solutions for this customer service issue. In many cases the only affordable option on a PSTN network is to employ an outside answering service, which gives a caller human contact, but still requires another agent to return the call. VoIP based call forwarding; however, does not require hardware upgrades. Through cloud-based systems, companies can be sure that all inbound callers speak to an agent by diverting unanswered calls to a manned phone in the same building, or at a completely different location.

Call forwarding services can also be utilized by companies with an international customer base. The call forwarding service provider can give a business access to local telephone numbers in other countries, routing the inbound calls to those numbers to a domestic office. With a virtual call forwarding service, the caller is not aware their communication has been redirected to a different country. These systems are typically far more cost effective than setting up traditional foreign exchange lines (FX), and because the system uses the internet to route calls, customers can set up as many virtual telephone numbers as they require in order to do business around the world. Organizations can combine international telephone numbers with the advanced features of call forwarding to customize their phone service based upon their specific customer and workflow needs.