Phone.com: Your Virtual Phone Company - Page 2

By Gerry Blackwell
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Sophisticated Call Handling
Simply forwarding an extension to a telephone number is just the beginning of what you can do with Phone.com’s call-handling rules.

An auto attendant menu item could point to an extension that is just a voicemail box – or just a greeting. This allows you to use an extension to provide callers with pre-recorded information such as directions to your office or hours of operation.

One of Phone.com’s other nice differentiators is that you can use call handling rules to set up sophisticated schedules, find-me-follow-me schemes and multiple ring options – features that some other, but not all, virtual PBX services offer.

For example, if you spend time in two offices and in the car with a cell phone, and you never know where you’ll be at any given time, you can tell Phone.com to ring all three phones simultaneously – and answer whichever one you’re near.

Call-handling screen shot
Phone.com's call handling rules let you set up sophisticated schedules, find-me-follow-me schemes and multiple ring options.
(Click for larger image)

Or you can set up a find-me-follow-me rule. Phone.com will first forward the call to one number. If you don’t answer after a certain number of seconds, it rings another, then another, and so on until you answer or the rule tells it to go to voicemail.

You coul duse this feature to set up a company or departmental “hunt group” so that a call to a particular extension or a menu selection routes the call first to one person, then to another and another until it’s answered.

And you can combine either option with a schedule. Phone.com can follow one rule at one time of the day or week and different ones at others. You could have calls go to your home number in the evenings and on weekends, for example – or directly to voicemail – and to your main number during office hours.

Schedules work on your main Phone.com numbers too, so in the evening and on weekends you could answer with an after-hours message rather than the auto attendant.

A menu item can also point to a queue. The Queues function is another sophisticated feature not always found in virtual PBX services. It lets you set up a rudimentary virtual contact center and put callers on hold while Phone.com finds a live agent.

You can specify the greeting, the music callers will hear while on hold, the number of minutes they can be left on hold before being forwarded to voicemail and the phone numbers Phone.com will ring to find an agent.

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This article was originally published on February 28, 2008
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