A cloud phone system offers 2 unique features to increase productivity in the workplace. Answering Rules allow you to decide how incoming calls are handled and Time Frames automate those rules no matter how much your schedule fluctuates.
Be More Focused & Accessible with Answering Rules
There are times when your work requires uninterrupted focus, and other times when you need to be accessible without being tied to your desk. Answering Rules help you to accomplish both while meeting the needs of your callers.
You get to decide how incoming calls to your extension are handled. There are system-wide Answering Rules set by your system administrator, but you’re also able to create and customize your own.
You can set many rules and determine their hierarchy, giving one precedence over another so your calls are handled appropriately in every possible scenario.
Answering Rules typically fall into 4 categories:
- Do Not Disturb
- Call Screening
- Call Forwarding
- Simultaneous Ring
Do Not Disturb
When you need to be focused without interruptions, Do Not Disturb is the rule for you! It’s also helpful if you’ll be heading out of town for a while and don’t want to take work-related phone calls. For users who work from home, Do Not Disturb can be helpful for maintaining work-life balance. Use this rule to designate work hours and make sure you get a full night of sleep and valuable time with family.
Call Screening requires callers to provide their name, allowing you to decide whether it’s a call you need to answer. When you’re not “on duty” but still need to be responsive to certain calls, this rule allows you to focus on the tasks and calls that have priority.
This category is a big part of the Answering Rules feature. You can forward your phone to different numbers or extensions depending on your availability status:
- On Active: When you’re dialing or your phone is ringing
- Busy: When you’re already on a call
- Unanswered: If the phone is not picked up within a certain number of rings
- Offline: When your device is not in service (such as when it’s unplugged or there’s a power outage)
- Always: Apply the rule regardless of the status of your phone
Call Forwarding really helps to increase productivity. For example, if you have a partner who helps you field calls, you can forward calls to their extension if yours is busy. Or if you’re working remotely or on a business trip, you can have calls forwarded directly to your hotel room phone. If your team will be in an all-day conference, calls can be forwarded to the conference room for the day.
Every call is answered so you never miss an opportunity.
The Simultaneous Ring option causes all the phones you have associated with the system to ring simultaneously. This rule is beneficial when you’re not always at your desk or in the office (e.g. tech support or emergency response personnel).
Consistent Productivity with Time Frames
Consistent productivity is difficult when your work hours fluctuate or your availability varies a lot. Business hours can change with the seasons or holidays, for example.
Don’t let those variations hinder your success. Time Frames automate your Answering Rules no matter how your schedule varies, adding value to your Rules.
How Time Frames Work
In most cases, your Time Frames will fall into 3 categories:
- Open Hours: such as 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday to Friday
- Holidays: days when your office will be closed
- Default: This Time Frame acts as a catch-all when no other rules are applied. It can be used for your closed hours.
Here’s an example of a situation where Time Frames are useful.
Let’s say you’ve arranged to work an extra hour Monday to Thursday during the summer so you can take Friday afternoons off and enjoy a longer weekend. You can create a Time Frame (maybe you’ll call it “Summer Hours”) selecting the days and hours you want your Answering Rules for the summer activated.
Each Answering Rule you create requires you to select a specific Time Frame during which that Rule applies. Answering Rules and Time Frames work together.
Take advantage of these 2 powerful phone features to help you get more done. Stay focused on what matters most. Never miss an important call. Set up your Answering Rules and Time Frames to increase your productivity.
Do you have questions about these features? Contact a SelectCom agent for more information.