How does your business respond to phone calls? Maybe, like many others, you see them as a reliable source of high-quality leads. Or maybe, on an individual level, you see them as a disruption of work. Or maybe it’s both: inbound calls can be an important source of business, while also taking time away from other important tasks.
Call routing solutions provide a way to minimise the trade-offs. Whatever the specifics (which we’ll get into later), call routing systems allow businesses to manage calls more efficiently, cutting down on time spent handling calls, while improving customer satisfaction.
There are different types of inbound call routing, which each provide unique advantages beyond their common benefits. Before choosing how to set up your call routing, consider what your main challenge or objective is in terms of call handling. That way, you can pick the system that works best for you.
Time-based routing: Never leave a customer unanswered
This type of call routing directs calls from your business number to different answerpoints based on when the call is made. You can set combinations based on the day of the week and the time of day. For example, inbound calls can be forwarded to your office phone during business hours Monday to Friday. On weekends and outside business hours, they can be directed to a mobile phone instead.
Call routing best practices suggest pairing this type of routing with a live answering service. This way, you don’t need to personally take business calls while you’re not working. Instead, you can get back to them as soon as you’re in the office.
Location-based routing: Better business reach
Location-based routing directs calls to answerpoints based on where the call is coming from. You can choose how specific this is when setting it up. The broadest is country-wide (i.e. directing calls from across Australia to one answerpoint), followed by state-, region-, area- and exchange-based routing.
This type of routing works best for businesses operating in widely disparate areas. You can direct callers to the branch or office that’s closest to them, providing them a better overall experience. It can also be useful if you have branches that operate at different hours or follow different time zones.
Call splaying: Improve team productivity
Also called call distribution, this setup lets you redirect calls to up to 20 different lines according to a predetermined ratio (i.e. each phone is assigned a certain percentage of calls to receive). This way, multiple employees can split the responsibility of handling incoming calls based on their workload.
This setup can be especially useful for sales teams that want to share potential leads, or customer support departments that want to distribute calls proportionately to each of their staff members.
Call forwarding menus: Connect callers with the right people
A call forwarding menu, also called an interactive voice response (IVR) menu, provides pre-recorded prompts that allow users to connect to the appropriate department. Standard formats include “Press 1 for [Department A]. Press 2 for [Department B.]” and so on.
This type of call forwarding service is great for businesses that need to sort calls a lot. It removes the need to dedicate time to directing callers to people who can address their concerns. This can save your team a lot of time, especially if you have high incoming call volumes.
However, it’s important to keep call forwarding menus short and simple to preserve the quality of caller experience.
Set up call routing on your business phone number
Call routing is easy to set up—in fact, some virtual inbound numbers have call routing options packed into the service.
If you want to reduce call handling times while improving customer satisfaction, give us a call to set you up with a call routing system (and an inbound number to match, if you need one). Call us at 1300 50 10 50 or visit our site.