Small Businesses and Automatic Call Forwarding

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In today’s tough economic times many offices are working short staffed.  Without the appropriate number of staff to handle incoming calls, very often calls go unanswered.  Unanswered calls can mean lost appointments, lost sales, or frustrated existing customers.  Many callers will hang up after 4-5 rings.  If the call is from a possible new customer they may move on to the next business on the list.

One way to help take the pressure off existing staff, bring in new customers, and avoid upsetting existing customers is to hire an answering service to handle overflow calls.  Almost all phone carriers provide a service called Automatic Call Forwarding (ACF).  ACF allows for the calls to automatically be rerouted after a predetemined number of rings (usually 3-4).  For example: If the phone rings more then four times in the office the call is then transferred to the answering service.  The answering service then takes the call, asks the questions required, and sends back the information to the office in a predetermined manner (email, fax, sms text, etc.)  The office staff can now prioritize and call the callers back to set an appointment, make a sale, or handle a customer issue.  The monthly cost of hiring an answering service is significantly less then hiring and training a new employee.

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