In most systems, extensions are assigned to physical telephones. Employees have to be at their phones to receive calls. With VirtualPBX, extension numbers are assigned to people, and the people let the system know what phone (or phones) they want calls routed to. This is an important difference, and it gives our system tremendous power while giving your company tremendous flexibility.
In the hosted PBX system, calls can be routed to any phone, of any type, anywhere in the world. With VirtualPBX’s call routing service, incoming business calls can be taken by employees who telecommute from home offices, or by those who work in branch offices, without the need for extra hardware, expensive tie lines, or complex system configuration and management. And employees who travel or work from remote sites can automatically receive business calls on their cellular phones.
While employees can work from anywhere, the caller experience is unchanged and transferring calls is easy. Callers still dial the main number, they still hear your business’s custom greeting, and they still dial the same extension number or ACD queue. Calls are then routed to the phone number the employee has listed as the number where he or she wants to receive calls.
With follow-me calling, extension owners (employees) create a list of phone numbers where they might be reached, such as the number of the phone at their desk, their home office, or their cellular phone. One of these numbers will be set as the default number that the system sends every call.
If the employee enables follow-me, calls not answered at the default number will then be transferred to any other enabled numbers on the follow-me list, as the system attempts to “find” the employee and connect the call. If no one answers any of the numbers, callers are routed to the employee’s central voicemail.
With follow-me from VirtualPBX, you never have to miss an important call because you’re on the road. We can reach you in any location there is a phone.
Setup for follow-me is easy, and it’s done through our web-based management tool. You can change your number list, change the default number, enable or disable any of the numbers from taking calls, and more.
Because VirtualPBX is a hosted service, not a physical PBX, we can connect calls to any type of phone, over any kind of transport. Land lines, cellular phones, satellite phones, Voice-Over-IP (VoIP)—if you can receive standard telephone calls, we can reach you.
We don’t provide the phone or the connection; you will need to have a telephone, with a number that can be dialed through the public service telephone network. Example: while we can route calls to a VoIP phone system, we don’t provide VOIP service.
In-house PBX systems are not only expensive and difficult to maintain, they have limited connection capabilities. With premises equipment, connecting with outside employees or branch offices is either very expensive or impossible. Going virtual increases your options while reducing your costs.
Sometimes the caller you are speaking with needs to talk with someone else in the company. Most virtual phone systems can’t do call forwarding of any kind, and callers are required to call back in to the main number and ask for another extension. With VirtualPBX’s call routing and call forwarding services, you can transfer callers anywhere in the system: to another employee, to the operator, to an ACD queue, or to an outside number. You can even drop calls into your voicemail so callers can record their phone number, address, or other important information. The hosted PBX can also be configured to perform supervised call forwarding. When enabled, you can talk to the person at the other extension or outside number before you transfer the call.
Another example is our unique GeoRoute feature, which allows calls to be forwarded automatically to the right employee, ACD queue, or business location before it even gets answered – based on the location of the origination of the call. Here’s an example: Suppose you want to have calls from the western United States go to one sales agent, and those from the eastern part of the country go to someone else. With GeoRoute from VirtualPBX, we’ll monitor the caller ID of incoming calls and automatically route the calls based on area code. Want another example? Imagine a franchise operation that wants to publish one national toll-free number but wants calls automatically routed to the franchise that is closest to the caller. We can look at the area code and the exchange of the incoming call and make sure that the right franchise gets the call with no human intervention. There is no need for a central receptionist, and call charges don’t start until the call is answered, so expenses are kept low. In addition, the franchise headquarters doesn’t incur any expense from these calls, since they are completed at the franchise locations.
GeoRoute can be implemented in several ways. You can route calls based on just the area code, the area code and exchange, or the entire number. Also calls can be routed:
- Inside the answering system, transferring the call to an employee extension or ACD queue, or
- To a completely different PBX phone system, such as a remote branch office or a different business.
Some businesses want to route calls to an extension or ACD queue that is not a standard business function. Instead of wanting calls to go to a generic support queue, for example, the company might want the customer to enter their zip code or a product model number or other designator to determine who should answer the call. Our SelectRoute option lets route calls automatically based on a wide set of user inputs up to nine digits in length. Ask the user to spell out a product name, a company name, or an account number. The possibilities are limitless with VirtualPBX.
Mail-only extensions are used when you want to have callers receive a specialized pre-recorded message, but you don’t want anyone to answer the phone. For example, you might have a mail-only extension that callers can reach to get company business hours or driving directions. These reduced-cost extensions can be enabled to take voicemail messages which can then be forwarded by email to anyone in the company, or retrieved on the web. Alternatively, you can turn off the voicemail capability, and once the callers hear the mail extension’s message, they will be routed back to the auto-attendant.
A VirtualPBX user can have up to 4 phone numbers associated with their extension and each phone number can be set to ring for a different amount of time before the system tries the next number. A call routed to a cell phone overseas, for example, can be given more time for pickup than a call to a domestic land line, or support calls can be set to try an agent for a longer period of time than a sales call.