Telephone Service Planning:
Every telephone service provider has a unique set of features designed to forward calls. These features are often never discussed with a customer when signing up for service but are necessary to have the ability from the carrier to redirect calls in the event of an outage. Many carriers simply will not be able to redirect calls if the proper features are not enabled as part of the feature set on the telephone service.
Below is a link to AT&T's Small Business website and their feature offerings for non-complex services. It may be helpful to get familiar with the lingo they use in reviewing your phone services.
The other key to being able to redirect your calls is knowing the activation procedures. Depending on the type of call forwarding options enabled, the activation procedures, special telephone numbers and PIN numbers need to be available to the administrator of the telephones to be effective.
Here are the steps...
Step 1. Do a 'Feature Audit
Confirm that you have the appropriate set of features to forward calls when an outage occurs.
Get a copy of your phone bill and see what features or package/bundle you are already paying for. Often, customers will have purchased features and never know what they are or how to use them.
On the bill is a customer service phone number. Most of our customers dread calling the phone company and having to spend the long wait times to speak with a customer service representative, but it is the only way to be able to confirm features and ask questions.
Step 2. Creating the ability
Most outage recovery plans include creating a system/procedure and a location of the information needed to be able to forward calls in the event of an outage. Each carrier can use different activation steps, so check with your carrier to know what to do. It is really important to know what codes to use or phone numbers to call with PIN numbers handy when activating call forwarding.
We have provided a form that we use in for our own customers to help with this step:Call Forwarding Form ? Simple Service #1
Step 3. Sending the calls to...?
Knowing where to send the calls when an outage occurs is also critical to surviving an outage. We've heard many customers say "I'll just forward calls to my cell phone if something goes wrong". The problem is that a cell phone can only handle one or two calls at a time, has basic voice mail coverage and may not be the right solution for your business.
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