Turning on call forwarding or conditional call forwarding enables your customers, potential clients, or other stakeholders to reach someone from your team, even when you are out of the office or your phone system is overrun with calls.
Call forwarding provides an alternative to letting a call go to voicemail. This is important because many people don't want to an answering machine. They may hang up or leave incomplete contact information or details. There may also be other issues that make it difficult to return their call that could be alleviated if the call was answered.
Luckily, once you know how it works with your phone system at the office or on your smartphone, forwarding all your calls and forwarding calls that meet certain criteria — such as not being answered quickly — to another number is quick and easy.
When you forward all calls, any call that comes into your number is automatically forwarded to the number you enter during the call forwarding process. For most landline, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), cable, and cell phones, you can forward all calls by dialing a “star” code. Generally, the steps to forward all calls are:
1. Dial *72 on the phone you want to forward
2. Immediately follow that with the 10-digit phone number of the phone you want to forward the calls to
3. Wait to hear several beeps, and then the call will end
4. Make a test call to ensure your call forwarding worked (recommended)
In many cases, cell phone providers may have their own forwarding options, including using a dialed “star” code. This may differ from your office phone, so contact your phone provider if *72 doesn’t work. You can dial 6-1-1 from your cellphone to reach customer service for your carrier.
In some cases, you might also need to forward your calls when you do not have your phone with you or realize you do not have service. For this reason, it is a good idea to know how to use your cell phone carrier’s app to forward your calls. Many VoIP and cable phone systems also have online or app options for call forwarding.
(Example: 8x8 call forwarding rules options.)
In some cases, you may need help answering the phone, but not on every call. This can be accomplished through conditional call forwarding. There are several options for conditions when you might use this type of service. This includes:
All of these options forward calls to another number only when they meet the designated conditions. The method of turning on conditional call forwarding is similar to the process listed above; only the “star” codes are different.
To forward unanswered calls to another number instead of your voicemail box or answering machine, you would dial *68 and then the forwarding number on most phone systems. To forward only calls from select numbers, you would dial *63, then follow the directions to enter the numbers you want to forward and confirm where to forward them.
Some phone systems rely on different “star” codes or other methods to manage conditional call forwarding. Verizon, for example, utilizes *71 to forward busy and unanswered calls. You should always make a test phone call to ensure your forwarding works before relying on it if you do not use this option frequently.
Phone systems have another “star” code you will dial to turn off call forwarding. In most cases, you can turn off call forwarding by:
1. Dialing *73 from the phone you forwarded
2. Listening for the series of beeps and the call to end
Conditional forwarding uses *81 to end forwarding in most cases. As with the process to begin forwarding, this could vary depending on the service provider, or it may be possible through the carrier’s app.
At Smith.ai, we believe the best way to help businesses grow is to provide them with opportunities to delegate and automate. We can offer solutions to the nagging concerns, such as how to forward calls when you cannot answer them, as well as revolutionize the way you handle lead generation, sales, and more by helping you put the right smart systems in place.
Our 24/7 virtual receptionists may be a good option for you to keep your business communications open while you are away from the office. Some of our specific services that could benefit you include:
Learn more about the full menu of Smith.ai’s services, including plans and pricing, today. We provide free consultations and online chats, and we can walk you through our available plans and pricing. You can reach us now by calling (650) 727-6484, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or using the online chat feature. We can sign you up for our services as soon as today.
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