This is the first post in a series of hosted VoIP feature spotlights. The Find Me / Follow Me feature of a hosted VoIP system provides users the ability to remain reachable for important phone calls from their clients despite being away from their office. There are several different ways this can be accomplished with a hosted VoIP solution.
Simultaneous Ring to Cell Phone – Many hosted VoIP providers offer the ability to ring the employee’s desk phone and cell phone simultaneously. This can be programmed in by the host provider so that the employee doesn’t have to engage and disengage the service from his or her phone. Thus, callers contacting the employee via the office phone number or extension will reach the employee regardless of the location.
The system delivers the calls simultaneously to both phones, but it typically takes the cell network a couple of rings to catch up. This delay is convenient, as it gives the employee a chance to pick up the desk phone before it hits the cell phone. If neither phone is answered, the call will be captured by the office phone’s voicemail.
Phone Forwarding Options – The physical VoIP phone can be programmed for several find me / follow me options. The phone can be forwarded to another number, whether it is an internal extension or external number. The phone will not ring when contacted, but will be rerouted to the destination of choice. You can also program the phone to call forward to another number if you are on the phone or don’t answer after so many rings.
Applications of this feature: Typically, find me / follow me options are for employees who are out of the office a lot but need to be in frequent contact with customers. Examples are sales and service personnel.
For example, a sales person may have their desk phone set for simultaneous ring to their cell phone. That way, they only have to give out their business number to customers, but they can be reachable at any time or location when customers call.
Another example would be a service associate who is routinely on the phone. If a call comes into that associate while he or she is on the phone, it can automatically route to another service employee or queue.
About the author: Mark Greim is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at sipVine, a provider of a variety of digital phone solutions and services. Mark has extensive experience working for start-up or entrepreneurial organizations and a passion for affordable, reliable, and purposeful technology solutions in those environments.