Have you missed any calls lately? If you’re a small business owner with a dedicated business line, it’s likely you have. Perhaps you had to run to the bank, pick up supplies or deliver an order. Or maybe calls tend to come at the end of the work day, when you and your employees have already headed home.
Until recently, the solution to missed calls was “call forwarding,” a telephony service that allowed users to redirect a telephone call to another destination. Call forwarding allows business owners to automatically send calls to their cell phone or home phone, so they can attend to customers whenever a need arises. However, call forwarding has its drawbacks, including:
Remembering to set it and un-set it every time you leave, which can be a hassle. Forget to disable it and you’ll be missing more calls than ever.
Keeping business owners “always on,” and preventing much-needed downtime. You might find yourself answering calls during dinnertime, your child’s soccer game, your favorite show and late at night. In other words, it can be a recipe for burnout.
Returning calls when call forwarding is on, means you either have to block your number, or risk exposing your personal phone number to clients and customers – which can make it harder to maintain boundaries between work time and personal time.
Luckily, new communications solutions like Cloudli’s TalkNText offer unified, mobile-first voice and Business Texting capabilities that give you all the benefits of call forwarding without the downsides. Here are a few ways your SMB might benefit from making the switch and turning call forwarding off for good:
Text Message Auto-Replies: When You Miss a Call or Text Message, Your App Texts the Customer Back
Voicemail has its place, but it may leave customers wondering if and when their message will be heard. What if right after the voicemail, your customers received a text response to their voice messages assuring them you had received their call and would respond promptly the next day, “within the hour,” or whatever time frame you determine is reasonable?
With TalkNText, you can set automated text replies right from a mobile app and customize those messages easily depending on the situation. It’s as easy as typing the message and adjusting a few settings. The next time you log into the TalkNText mobile app on your mobile device or computer, you can see all your messages and respond by phone or text.
Business Hours Setting: After Hours, Your App Handles the Response
Almost universally, small business owners struggle with work-life boundaries, so it helps to have technology that can intervene on your behalf. The business hours feature in TalkNText lets you establish your work hours and off-hours in the app and specify how calls and texts during each of those should be handled. During business hours, calls and text messages can ring to your smartphone, tablet and computer so you never miss a customer. But in the evening, you can instruct the app to send an automated text reply or have the call or message forwarded to an employee who’s delegated to that job. Either way, you can step away from the business and know your customer will be served appropriately.
Shared Numbers: When You’re Not Available, Your Employees Pick Up the Call
TalkNText lets you set your account to share numbers across multiple phones. That means when the phone rings and you’re not available, you’ll have backup from another team member.
With shared numbers, you’re not just forwarding a call; any employees you designate who log into the TalkNText app hear the ring and can answer the call, hear the message or respond to a text, even if they’re not in the business at the time. You determine who is included through a simple setting on the app.
Another perk: Shared numbers keep everyone in the loop on communications. Text and phone conversations are stored on the app, no matter who responded to the call, so you can go back later and review what was discussed, make sure the customers’ requests were handled and determine what next steps are required.
When you share numbers, you expand the reach of your business and improve your ability to serve customers whenever they have an order, question or concern.
Local Numbers: Customers Can Call a Local Number Even When Your Business Is Far Away
If you have your eye on new business in another city or country, you may want to have a local phone number customers can call or text, even though they’ll actually be reaching you at your home base. Thanks to VoIP technology, Cloudli can add another phone number localized for your business location, which gives you a local presence customers appreciate. Your TalkNText functionality extends to all your numbers, so you can still receive and respond to calls and texts, send auto-replies, share numbers and use all other features, even when your customers are around the world.
Business Phone Numbers: Place Calls from Your Business Number on Your Personal Mobile Device
With call forwarding, you may receive a call when you’re away from the office, and realize that you need to call back the customer. But if you’re placing that call from your mobile device, that customer is now seeing your personal mobile number – or may not answer the call if you decide to block your caller ID. TalkNText eliminates the need to share your personal number or block your caller ID. You can simply dial your call from the app on your personal mobile device, and the call will be delivered from your business number – even if you’re not in the office.
Moving Beyond Call Forwarding
Small business owners need smarter solutions to streamline customer communications so they can focus on providing great products and services – and growing their business. TalkNText is that smart alternative to call forwarding, designed specifically around the needs of SMBs like yours. It’s also extremely affordable, as little as $9/month per user.
Why not take TalkNText for a test drive with our free 30-day trial? You don’t have to cancel your current service or even enter a credit card, just create an account and you’re ready! Can we answer any questions or discuss your specific concerns? Reach out to one of our specialists today.