Virtual Office Featured Article
July 30, 2009Virtual Office Call Schedule
By Jessica Kostek, TMCnet Channel Editor
Many business professionals use their personal cell phones for business, as well as for regular, private use. However, when on vacation, for example, cell phone and smartphone users often don’t want to always be bothered with business-related calls. Though many cell phones are equipped with caller ID, the phone still rings, and we’re sometimes "guilted" into picking up the call.
With Phone.com's (News - Alert) Virtual Office, recipients will be able to see the number the caller is calling from, who the caller is and be able to decide whether to take the call or send it to voicemail.
The product also offers the ability to set up call schedules and after-hour greetings and have calls routed to a cell phone listed on a Virtual Office contact list or to the home office phone or even a colleague.
Call schedules allow users to set actions for each phone number entered into a Virtual Office system based on the day and time a call is received. A call received during business hours can be set to have a normal greeting while a call received after business hours can be set to have an “After-Hours Greeting.”
By setting up schedules, users can decide which phones will ring at what time, what day or even route specific callers to voicemail.
After-Hours Greetings are when callers dial a business’s Phone.com Virtual Office number outside of business hours, they are greeted with a after-hours menu, such as the following:
“Thanks for calling. We are unavailable at this time. Our business hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. If you know the extension number of the person you are trying to leave a message for, you may dial it now. Press 1 for sales. Press 2 for customer service. Press 3 for the billing department. Press 9 for our dial by name directory or stay on the line to leave a message.”
As part of Phone.com’s Virtual Office business phone service, customers are offered the dial-by-name directory feature. A computer-generated auto-attendant voice will ask callers to enter the first or last name of the person they’re seeking, and then will read the person’s name and extension for the caller.
Customers can also set the dial-by-name directory, and categorize it by last name or by first name. When a caller dials into the dial-by-name directory, they use their keypad to enter the first few letters of the party’s name, it’s that simple.
If there is a specific extension that a user doesn't want to include in the dial-by-name directory, the ability to opt out is available.
In order to provide caller’s access to the dial-by-name-directory, users should set a menu option or route the call via the call handling rules to the dial-by-name-directory.
Phone.com’s Virtual Office also has menu features to keep you and your business organized. Customize each menu by name, such as “Sales Menu” or “Main Menu.” Choose or customize the outgoing message your callers will hear when they reach your menu. Save your callers the time by adding the optional feature, Extension Dial with your menu. Extension Dial is if a caller knows your direct extension, they can dial it at anytime while the menu is playing.
Each menu also allows an invalid entry message in the event a caller dials a key that does not exist within an individual's options. The caller would then hear, “I’m sorry, I did not understand your selection. Please try again,” and is returned to the main menu.
Listen to a “live” menu demo by dialing 888-868-8674. To learn more about these exiting products visit Phone.com’s Web site or check out their channel, Virtual Office, on TMCnet.
Jessica Kostek is a channel editor for TMCnet, covering VoIP, CRM, call center and wireless technologies. To read more of Jessica’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
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