You know when you get a new stereo, and then months later, you figure out things that you didn’t even know it could do? It’s a lot better to know those tricks beforehand, which is why this article contains a variety of tricks and shortcuts that you can use with a virtual phone system to save yourself time, and unnecessary frustration.
Route Multiple Menu Options to the Same Phone
Not every business has a huge staff of people who are answering phones, wherein the standard structure of each department routing to a different person’s phone line does not apply. You may be the only person answering your phones, in fact, which means you will need a way to offer multiple options for different departments, using only one forwarding phone.
All you have to do is simply set your single phone number as the forwarding number for all of the menu options, giving the impression that you have a larger company with many departments—but they all route to the same phone.
Separate Menu Option that Routes to Voicemail
You can always set your system to forward callers to a voice mailbox when they call you and no one answers, but sometimes they just want to be sent straight to voicemail without speaking to anyone.
To accommodate this, you can create a separate menu option specifically for voicemail only, so that after a caller listens to your options, they can press a number and be sent directly to a voice mailbox and leave a message for you.
Set the Incoming Caller ID
Especially for those who are running their business from a cell phone, it’s important to know who is calling so that you can answer appropriately.
This is why you will probably want to set your incoming caller ID to display your main virtual number when a call comes in through your phone system, rather than just showing the caller’s phone number. Then you will be able to tell if it is a personal call or a business call.
Trim Your Recorded Audio Files
This is a useful tip to make your phone system sound seamless and professional for people calling your business. When recording audio files for the various greetings and announcements, many users of a virtual phone system will inadvertently record silence at the beginning or end of their audio files, causing confusion for the caller.
It also just doesn’t sound as smooth, and one greeting or announcement will not transition properly into the next. When you record an audio file for your system, be sure that you don’t leave any dead air before or after you speak on the recording.
Automatically Create Tickets from New Voice or Text Messages
This is a little-known trick that you can employ by setting up an automation with your phone system, in conjunction with a CRM or ticketing software. How it works, if you are a Talkroute user, is this:
Using email notifications for voicemail or text messaging, take the email address for your ticketing software such as Zendesk, and set it as the forwarding email address for your Talkroute voice mailbox(es) or text messaging. That way, every time you receive a new voicemail or text message, it will automatically create a new ticket in your ticketing platform from that message.
Setting Your Ring Timeout
Adjusting the ring time for your phones is a basic but frequently overlooked setting on your phone system. When setting up call forwarding to your phones, with a virtual phone system especially, you have to make sure that the ring timeout is set sufficiently to allow calls to connect with the main virtual number, and then connect to the forwarding phone’s network.
A ring timeout of at least 20 seconds is generally enough time for it to reach you and ring a couple of times. You will need to set and test it a few times, adjusting it accordingly by trial and error.
If these tips were helpful, or you have questions about how to use your Talkroute virtual phone system to its full potential, let us know in the comments! We love to hear your feedback about how the service is useful to your small business or startup. You can also send us a message @Talkroute on Twitter. Drop us a line!
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.