This article is part of a larger series on VoIP.
Remote call forwarding (RCF) is a telephony feature that lets you forward an incoming call to another preferred phone number. This capability helps businesses ensure that customers will be directed to an available agent when the called representative is unavailable. Those interested may find this functionality in most cloud-based voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) and telecommunications service providers, like RingCentral and AT&T.
Why Businesses Need Remote Call Forwarding
Remote call forwarding enables users to forward calls to any desired number from anywhere. This capability is unlike manual forwarding, which only allows you to set the forwarding number from the called phone. If you don’t want your business to be tied to on-location hardware, this functionality is worth checking out.
Want to ensure that your chosen platform has everything you need? Read our list of the top VoIP phone features for businesses.
Having this capability is a win-win both for businesses and customers as proper usage of remote call forwarding aids in addressing both their needs to connect. Apart from cost savings, compared to traditional PBX installations and setups on the business side, it also does not charge long-distance fees to callers.
Other Benefits of Remote Call Forwarding for Businesses
While remote call forwarding was originally a feature offered with some telephone services, virtual phone and VoIP platforms like Grasshopper also provide this capability. Activating this functionality can help businesses of all sizes ensure that customers can reach them when they need to.
Let’s discuss more in detail how remote call forwarding helps businesses below:
- Increased presence and availability: This call management tool lets you set call transfer rules when your office is closed or if your agent is unavailable. You can route calls to all available locations or representatives to ensure that your customers can reach your business at any time.
- Flexibility and enhanced productivity: A team’s productivity isn’t tied to their desks, as they can set call forwarding from anywhere. If you need to work remotely, you can forward calls made to your office number to your smartphone. This capability lets agents take important calls without having to be present in their office.
- Expanded reach: If your business has multiple branches, you can set up your remote call forwarding rules to ring all locations, which will stop once someone answers the call. Additionally, those assigned to a specific office can still answer calls, regardless of their current location, as if he or she is on-site.
- No expensive and complicated setup required: Unlike traditional private branch exchange (PBX) and business phone systems, cloud-based VoIP platforms with call forwarding features do not require a technical expert to set up costly on-site installations. Apart from cost savings, you can easily set up call forwarding rules on your own.
Learn more about what call forwarding is through our comprehensive article discussing its definition, provider-specific tutorials, and advantages and disadvantages.
How Remote Call Forwarding Works
How remote call forwarding works depends on the service provider. Most methodologies involve the input of a series of numbers through their remote devices. It typically consists of an access number, phone numbers (original call receiver and new call destination), personal identification number (PIN), and a service code.
For other providers, it can be set up directly in their software, such as their softphone, mobile app, or dashboard. Activating and deactivating it can be as easy as switching an on/off toggle, while others allow you to set up a business or after-hours call routing.
How to Forward Calls From Landline to Cell Phone Remotely
Activating the remote call forwarding (RCF) feature is as easy as dialing numbers, including the access number, phone number, PIN, service code, and call destination number.
While ways to activate this feature differ, the most common steps to enable remote call forwarding from landline to a cell phone include:
- Dialing an access number assigned by the provider
- Entering the landline phone number to be redirected to another device
- Keying in your specific PIN
- Pressing the service code for activation (e.g., *73 or 72#)
- Inputting the cell phone number where you want your calls to be forwarded to
Remote Call Forwarding Best Practices
To maximize RCF’s benefits, make sure it’s implemented efficiently. For instance, you can set it up in advance before heading out of the office. You must also ensure that the number you are forwarding calls to is reachable. You may be able to set up this feature, but it will be useless if, let’s say, the mobile phone that you set up for forwarded calls is unreachable due to spotty service.
Activating remote call forwarding isn’t enough at all times. You must look into its settings, including the time or day of the week. It would be best if you also didn’t let your callers wait long, so you must check its configuration to guarantee that their calls aren’t forwarded only after numerous rings.
If your business utilizes an interactive voice response (IVR), you must keep it sounding professional and updated to avoid confusing your callers. It would be best to keep in mind that the goal is to make your callers feel that you are always available for them by making the call forwarding process as smooth and fast as possible.
Looking for platform options to help manage your business calls? Read our list of the best business phone systems to determine which provider matches your needs.
Remote call forwarding is an excellent feature for businesses with multiple locations. With today’s increasing number of companies with remote workers, this feature helps agents manage calls anywhere. It also helps companies enhance brand presence and availability as it allows users to forward calls to available lines when they are unavailable.
Those interested may inquire about this feature from their VoIP or telephone service providers. Some, like AT&T, charge added fees for this capability, while others—such as RingCentral—include it in their subscription plans.