How to Forward Calls to an External Number


Forwarding calls is something that’s been possible for almost as long as phone calls have been—and yet, the way it is done keeps changing. Fortunately, most modern phone systems offer a simple way to forward calls to a different number. That way, you can keep up with business calls on the go or even make sure that your after-hours answering service gets the message when you’re off the clock.

The process is simple, really. Depending on what types of phones you’re using (desktop handsets, smartphones, VoIP, etc.), you’ll have a different set of steps to follow. However, the basic idea is the same across the board. For example, while there are generalized steps, brands like RingCentral, 8x8, Ooma, and even Microsoft have their own settings and tools to assist with this process, so you might want to consult your provider first. 

The standard forwarding process

If you want to forward calls, the easiest option is to use the star code:

  1. Dial *72 (star-seven-two) from any landline phone.
  2. When you hear the dial tone, type in the 10-digit phone number where the calls should be forwarded to.
  3. Then, simply press pound (#) or wait until there’s a response that the call forwarding service has been activated.
  4. End the call.
  5. If you’re not sure that it took, you can repeat the process to confirm that it worked. Then, your calls should come through to whatever number you desire.
  6. To stop forwarding calls, you can dial *73 (stars-seven-three) on most phones. As we mentioned, some companies use their own codes, and you can check with them to find out if theirs is different than the standard.

There’s another option some providers offer: forwarding calls conditionally. This can be great for when you don’t want your line to ring busy or if you don’t answer after so many rings. Some providers will offer this feature and have their own means for setting it up. Although you could always try the standard process first, if you want a more customized solution, you might want to discuss the procedures for call forwarding with your specific provider. 

The perks of forwarding calls

Forwarding calls can benefit you in several ways. As mentioned, you can use it to make sure that people don’t reach a busy signal, or even to make sure that you don’t miss a beat when you’re away from the desk. Modern call forwarding services and mobile phones make it easier than ever to take calls wherever, and however, you like. 

When you forward calls, you:

  • Increase your availability
  • Increase the availability of your staff or receptionist
  • Expand your company’s presence
  • Make it easier for everyone to travel
  • Look more professional 

Making sure that your business is always available can help you build better success, bring in more leads, and make sure that your audience never has to wait when they need you. You could even forward calls in a way that it will ring through to several numbers until someone answers so that your customers are never waiting on the phone. The ways that you can use this feature to improve your business are plentiful. 

When it comes to after-hours calls, call forwarding makes it easy for you to forget about calls outside of business hours. Set the call forwarding service based on your hours and make sure all after-hours calls are rerouted to an answering service that will address their needs promptly. From there, if you’re needed, the answering service can reach out to you and forward the call on the customer’s behalf. 

Should you forward business calls to your house?

This is mostly a question of personal preference, honestly. We’re firm believers in having a work-life balance and suggest forwarding to a mobile device and not the home landline phone. However, if you’re running a business and you need to stay in touch, you can certainly set the calls up to be forwarded to you at home. 

Perhaps you’ve got a home office. If that’s the case, set up a separate landline for that space. Then, when calls are forwarded, they won’t interrupt your home life and you won’t be expected to take work calls when you’re “at home” unless you’re in the office. 

Most people choose to forward calls to their mobile phones, and that’s a more acceptable option. It will ensure that you can always take calls when you’re needed, but that you can also separate your work and home life. Ultimately, it will be your decision, but make sure you consider all the elements before you make a move like this. 

Or, you could let someone else answer the phone and forget all about it

How great would it be if you only had to take the business calls that you wanted to take? What if someone else handled the call forwarding and all you had to do was worry about the clients at hand? Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone to pre-screen leads, schedule consultations, and help you grow your business while you’re busy running the business? 

When you partner with the virtual receptionists at, that’s exactly what you get, and so much more. We offer a total solution for 24/7 phone answering, live website chat, lead intake and scheduling, and so much more. We can even assist with your outreach campaigns and outbound sales so that you don’t have to worry about those, either. 

We’ll even forward calls that require your attention to ensure that your customers are always taken care of, no matter what they need. And as always, it comes with a custom strategy to manage it all. 

To learn more, schedule a consultation to discuss what the 24/7 virtual receptionists at can do for your business communications. You can also reach us at or (650) 727-6484. 

Business Education
Written by Sean Lund-Brown
Sean Lund-Brown is a current Marketing Assistant for A graduate from Metropolitan State University of Denver, Sean graduated with a BA in Music and an individualized degree in Teaching Vocal Pedagogy.

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