We have prepared a short instruction for those who don’t yet benefit from using extension numbers. These are the short numbers for forwarding phone calls directly to the right department. When a client calls your company, an IVR (interactive voice response) proposes him to dial a specific number to reach a correct department or a sales representative.
In this post we’ll tell you about the typical forwarding scheme we use for extension numbers and list the advantages it brings to our clients. We’ll also explain how to adjust this forwarding scheme. Moreover, you’ll learn other interesting ways of working with extension numbers that our clients use.
How an IVR with extension numbers work
Using an IVR, you don’t need to hire a special manager responsible for forwarding phone calls to different departments and specialists. The mechanism of using extension numbers is very simple:
- Clients call your company.
- An IVR proposes them to dial a specific number in order to call a department they need. This can be sales, purchasing or customer specialists.
- When clients dial the numbers they need, phone call goes directly to a right department or a call rep (if he has his own extension number).
When our clients implement an IVR, they choose the simplest way – a menu where each phone number is associated with an appropriate SIP number.
But sometimes our clients use multilevel forwarding schemes in order to make phone requests as detailed, as possible. This option is better when company deals with a big volume of inbound calls. This multi-level IVR allows to determine the purpose of a call before the conversation starts and forward it to a specialist who can give a professional advice.
How to adjust an IVR in Ringostat interface
Click on “Virtual PBX” in Ringostat`s menu. Then choose “Call forwarding” and follow the instruction:
- Create a new forwarding scheme if needed, or just press “+” in order to add a new call forwarding branch to an scheme that already exists.
- Press the button “Add location”, and you’ll see the additional fields to fill out.
- Choose “Extension numbers” in a “Call forwarding location”. Then choose a call forwarding type below.
- Next, you should fill out “Timeout in seconds” and “Call forwarding type” fields.
If you choose a sequential call forwarding type, here is an example of possible settings:
With parallel call forwarding all phone numbers you enter will receive phone call at the same time until someone accepts the call:
An IVR menu should be available during working hours only. Here is how you can adjust this in Ringostat interface:
More interesting ways of using extension numbers
1. Separate number for an accounting department
The uses of extensions described above aren’t unique, but popular. You can also provide your accounting department with a separate number, so that your employees and clients could contact it directly.
2. Provide your most important clients with personal managers
IVR is an important tool for negotiating with VIP accounts who have their dedicated manager in your company. Thus, the client can always directly contact with his specialist without standing in the general queue of calls.
Here you can implement a complex forwarding scheme. For example, your agents receive phone calls during working hours only, If the client calls on weekend, sales reps receive notifications on email or SMS. This is an important element of customer-oriented service, as it increases their loyalty and satisfaction.
3. Use IVR for calls from mobile phones
One of our clients implemented an IVR to their website’s mobile version. This required some coding, but the result paid off. When users enter the website from their mobile devices and press the call button, they also type extension numbers.
User doesn’t notice anything, but the company benefit from easy call forwarding. If talking about HTML code, it will look like this: <a href=”tel:380441234567,555″> +380 44 123 4567 </a>. Figures after comma here represent an extension number.
4. Hide your employee’s personal number
One more argument in favor of extension numbers is security. If you communicate with partners or clients, but you don’t want them to have your phone number, IVR is a nice solution. Thus, you can often exclude your phone number from the call forwarding chain.
If you receive a lot of inbound phone calls from different clients with different goals, extension numbers are just for you! This technology allows to automate call forwarding between departments and decrease the number of missed calls. It’s particularly important to handle calls from major clients in time.
Moreover, extension numbers are good tool for covering up your personal number. This approach allows to save all history for mobile operators and call recordings. Also you can set up a voicemail when a specific specialist can’t pick up a phone – for example, during lunch, off-hours or on weekends.
One more way to use extension numbers is providing a number for each of your departments. This will save time for your employees.