Most answering service clients use call forwarding to route their calls to their service. Call forwarding is a smart, effective, and reliable method to send your calls to your answering service whenever you want them to answer your phone.
Call forwarding is also easy to use. It only takes a few seconds to activate call forwarding when you leave your office in the evening. And it takes even less time to deactivate call forwarding when you arrive in the morning.
The people who regularly turn on and off call forwarding learn to do it without even thinking. However, what happens if the person who regularly does this isn’t available? It may not be so quick or so easy for someone else to figure out. And this is especially true if your activation and deactivation process requires an extra step or two that the phone company’s standard instructions don’t cover.
Therefore you need to write down the steps to activate and deactivate call forwarding. Once you’ve done this, ask someone who’s never done it before to see if they can follow the written steps to turn on and then turn off call forwarding, without any prompting or assistance.
Based on that experience, fine-tune the instructions. Then repeat this process until you have it perfect. Now anyone in your office can easily follow the instructions to successfully activate and deactivate call forwarding.
Now that you have a set of can’t-miss steps to activate and deactivate call forwarding, prominently post this procedure next to your primary telephone in the office. Don’t leave this piece of paper laying loose on the desk, stuffed into a folder, or filed in the operations manual. Fasten it to your phone or right above it. Bonus points if you laminate it. This will make it look more important and less likely for someone to accidently throw it away.
Just because one person regularly handles activating call forwarding each evening and deactivating call forwarding each morning, doesn’t mean they’re always going to be available to do it. You may even have a backup person to handle this when the primary person isn’t there.
But what happens when neither one of them are in the office? During holidays, vacations, and special employee schedules, you’ll run into times when the people who’ve mastered call forwarding aren’t around to do it. That’s why we’ve gone through these steps to be prepared.
It may seem like a hassle to write out your call forwarding instructions and post it by the phone. But you’ll be glad you have it when it’s time to go home in the evening and there’s no one there who’s ever turned on call forwarding. Take these steps now, and save yourself aggravation later.
With a decades-long record of offering telephone answering service to the northwest region and across the United States, Redding Answering Service is committed to providing advanced, first-rate telephone answering service to your company. Let us help you maximize your communication effectiveness—at a cost-effective price—to drive bottom-line results. Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer who covers the answering service industry.