3 Ways to Forward Your Landline to a Cell Phone

As a business owner, you take important phone calls at the office. But you’re not always in the office. You’re meeting clients, attending events, and ducking out for lunch at school with the kids. So what do you do when an important call comes in on the business phone system and you’re not there to take it?

Believe it or not, there are lots of options for business owners who face this predicament. Most offices have a landline, and most business owners and managers have a smartphone. These two can easily work together to create a seamless system that reaches you where you are.

Having a landline at home might seem dated now. More than half of Americans have gone to wireless only homes, and the trend toward landline-free residences shows no signs of abating. As you probably expected, most people who still use landlines at home come from an older demographic. They’re typically empty-nesters, too. However, a large number of boomerang kids — those who moved back home after finishing college — also live in homes with landlines.

Middle- and- upper-class Americans are more likely to keep a landline while citizens in lower income brackets frequently rely entirely on their cell phones for both telephone service and internet. People with lower incomes also compose the least likely demographic to purchase a bundled service for cable, internet, and phone.

 

Keeping Up With Technology

 

The trend toward ditching the landline hasn’t moved as far as the office, though. Most businesses keep a stationary phone or phone system and a number exclusive to that phone. Businesses make this choice for many reasons. Call quality is one important consideration especially for companies that use three-way calling or that hold important meetings by phone. Marketability is another important consideration.

When it’s obvious that a company relies on cell phones for communication, prospective clients are prone to lump them together with major corporations or else to stereotype them as techies. If neither of those categories fits you, it can feel awkward. Finally, some companies feel more comfortable with the privacy and security of a landline.

For these and other reasons, landlines can be the right phone systems choice for a small business. Landlines prove problematic, however, when you’re on the road. If you’re a one-person operation, you manage a virtual team, or you attend many in-person meetings, you probably spend a lot of time out of the office and away from the phone. That means you need your calls forwarded to your cell phone.

So what are the ways you can forward your landline phone to your cell phone? Here are three good ones!

 
Forward the Calls By Hand

A Receptionist Can Forward the Calls By Hand

 

You can hire a full-time receptionist to answer the office phone, and he or she can forward calls to your cell phone the old-fashioned way when you’re out of the office.

 

Pros of the traditional receptionist model:

 

  • In a small business, a receptionist makes a great go-to person for customers and team members alike. Not only can this employee answer the phone, open the mail, and greet guests, but he or she can also maintain files, handle administrative duties, and schedule meetings. And a receptionist can forward your calls, of course.
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  • A receptionist can do more than forward calls, though. He or she can also screen them. Maybe you can’t take a call right when one comes in, but you’d like notification of who called, why, and when. A receptionist can handle that. Maybe you need a head’s up about the caller’s mood before you get on the phone with them. The receptionist can give you that. Or possibly, the call needs to go to a colleague of yours instead of you. The receptionist can skillfully redirect the caller.
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    Cons of the traditional receptionist model:

     

  • Many small businesses don’t have a line item in the budget for a full-time receptionist.
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  • Nearly everything a receptionist does can be automated.
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  • If you need someone to provide personal phone greetings, concierge services, or office management work, you can probably assign those tasks to another employee or outsource them to a firm. You can pay far less for those options than it will cost you to hire someone to man the phones full time, unless your business takes an extraordinary number of calls.
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    A skilled receptionist can add plenty of benefits to an organization, including serving as a call transferer. But at an average salary of more than $27,000 per year plus insurance and time off, those benefits don’t come cheaply. In addition, as a business owner, you likely need to invest your dollars in getting help with sales, marketing, product development, financial management, or even custodial services more than you need to spend money on a receptionist.

     
    Use the Star Code Option

    Use the Star Code Option

     

    A star code lets you send calls from a landline to a cell phone automatically. A specific code, usually *72, activates a call forwarding feature that sends the caller directly to the number you told the system. You can even activate call forwarding remotely if you need to.

     

    Pros of the star code option model:

     

  • It’s easy to do. You can enter the numbers on the dial pad in less than a minute and be on your way.
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  • It’s automated. That means it’s unlikely to fail and is cheap (usually, it’s free).
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  • The caller never knows the difference. The phone doesn’t announce that it’s forwarding the caller to a different number. It just does that.
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    Cons of the star code option model:

     

  • You may forget to turn off call forwarding, leaving you with customers and clients calling your cell at all hours of the day and night, while you’re on vacation, or during your otherwise-relaxing weekend.
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  • The landline will only forward to one cell number, so you may get calls intended for your colleagues or team members.
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    For a one-person operation, using star codes to forward calls can be a good idea, but as soon as you add a second staff member, even a part-timer, this approach gets complicated to handle and is insufficient for meeting your needs.

     
    Use a Virtual Phone System

    Use a Virtual Phone System

     

    What is a virtual phone system? It’s a cloud-based telecommunications system that lets you make or receive calls from anywhere using nothing more than your personal laptop or mobile device.

     

    Pros of the virtual phone system model:

     

  • A virtual phone system gives you flexibility and mobility that a landline-based system can never do. Wherever you are, your phone will ring. You don’t have to set up call forwarding each time you pop out of the office or remember to take it off when you come back in.
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  • You can send and receive text messages and emails as well as phone calls. Many customers prefer to text their vendors now instead of calling for every little thing. A virtual phone system lets you use your business number to receive text messages as well as calls.
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  • Many employees, especially people in sales, prefer to use their own phones for work. Bankers, retailers, healthcare workers, hospitality employees, and real estate agents feel the same way. A virtual phone system lets you do this.
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  • You don’t need to invest in additional hardware. A virtual phone system works with your existing mobile, home, & office phones so you never have to purchase, install, or maintain expensive equipment. It’s 100% virtual.
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  • Callers experience clear sound quality. Back in 2008, trying to talk to someone on a call routed through the internet could result in awful sound quality, but that’s a thing of the past now. A virtual phone system gives you amazing call clarity.
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  • You can enjoy 24/7 customer support. With a virtual phone system such as Talkroute, you don’t need to call your managed service provider or engage a specialized service. Just contact us if you have a problem. We’ll help you through it.
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  • Keep your business number separate from your personal number, but direct both to the same phone. This feature allows you to distinguish work calls from personal calls at a glance while still taking advantage of having just one phone.
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  • Pay no additional fees and make no commitments. With a virtual phone system, you don’t sign a contract that locks you into years with one company. Just pay from month to month and stop the service whenever you want to.
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    Cons of the virtual phone system model:

     

  • Some virtual phone systems rely exclusively on the quality of your internet service. Good internet? Good service. Slow internet? Maybe a virtual system is not the model for you. However, Talkroute connects calls via the carrier networks and doesn’t require the internet to establish a connection. This means calls are connected with the same level of quality and clarity regardless of your internet speeds.
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  • This system could be hacked more easily than a landline. If you are running a business with tight security on your ideas, you may want to talk to your technology-focused managed service provider, such as Talkroute, about any extra cybersecurity initiatives you should be running. Unless you work in one of the few specific verticals, this consideration will not be an issue.
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    For most business owners, a virtual phone system will provide the best quality service at the most affordable price, making phone calls easy to route and manage. How do you use a virtual phone system?

     

    How to Get Started Using a Virtual Phone System

     

    Start by signing up with a virtual phone system service such as Talkroute. You can either port an existing business number into the system, or you can pick a new one from our inventory of numbers. That number will serve as your main business phone number, but it will route to your cell phone. Your private number is always hidden, and the recipient will only see your business number on the caller ID when you call out.

    You can even set up a separate business voicemail and text service depending on which number the caller enters. Even better, you can make your phone sound like a professional system by adding features such as a call menu or music for on-hold time so your customers do not know they have reached your personal cell. Essentially, you are managing your business from your personal cell, and no one knows it but you. Great idea, huh? We thought so, too.

     
    Get Rid of Your Landline After All

    Why You Might Want to Get Rid of Your Landline After All

     

    For many businesses, keeping a landline is a good idea because it looks professional and helps separate business calls from personal ones. But if you opt to go with a virtual phone system, you don’t have to do that. This system gives you a separate business number, which you can pass on to customers and clients, even though it uses your cell phone. Plus, both incoming and outgoing calls show up on the screen as either your personal or your business number, whichever you choose.

    So by opting for a virtual phone system such as Talkroute, you could save yourself the cost of a landline. Once you crunch the numbers, you might discover that losing your landline would result in a much bigger savings than you could have guessed.

    As a small business owner, you want to appear professional while responding quickly to clients’ needs. That’s why using the right call forwarding system is important to your business’ success. So whether you decide to hire a receptionist, go with automated call forwarding, or invest in a virtual phone system, making the right choice is important.

     
     

    We hope that you enjoyed this article and that you will continue to join us as we help you grow your business! Our blog is 100% free and you don’t have to be a Talkroute customer to benefit from our materials. However, if you would like to try Talkroute's Virtual Phone System for free, you can sign up for a trial here. See you in a few days!

       

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    3 Ways to Forward Your Landline to a Cell Phone