When doing business outside of the U.S., it is essential to enlist the services of a reliable call-forwarding service. Getting the right calls to the right place at the right time is paramount for any enterprise, but when a business is international, routing incoming calls is even more difficult — and important. There are a slew of competing providers that offer call forwarding for businesses. But simply picking a number and hoping for the best is not enough. Follow this guide to getting the most out of international call forwarding.


Harness the Power of Features


The wonderful thing about modern call-forwarding services is the range of features that are included by the top providers. Features supercharge your forwarding system and make the entire experience better for your customers and more efficient for you. Get to know all of the features before you commit so you’re sure that nothing is omitted. Once you are up and running, take time to set the features up in a way that is customized to your business, your industry, your location and your customer base. Among the top features are:


  • Time-of-Day Calling: Send calls to different lines depending on when they’re made. This scheduling feature is great for getting around logistical snares associated with time zones. If a call is placed to your East Coast office after business closes at 5pm, set incoming calls to be forwarded to your West Coast location or to an employee’s mobile phone.
  • Sequential Dialing: Choose a sequence of several lines in order of preference. If the primary line is occupied or otherwise unavailable, incoming calls are then diverted to the second line, the third, and so on.
  • Simultaneous Dialing: Choose several numbers to receive incoming calls at the same time. If you have five people in your sales department, the phones of all five will ring when someone calls. As soon as one person answers, the other lines stop ringing. Both sequential and simultaneous dialing dramatically reduce or eliminate the chance of customers reaching a voicemail, a busy signal or and unmanned line.
  • International Ringback Tones: Ringback tones are what the customer hears while they’re waiting for someone to pick up. Ringback tones are different in many countries, and establishing yourself as a credible, global business requires you to get the right one in the right place.


What to Look For and What to Avoid


The provider you choose should never require any kind of initial payment, startup fee or activation fee. They should offer a free trial that lasts at least a week, in which you get to use the full service for free with no risk. The trial period should not be a pared-down or partial version of the actual service. You should not need to sign a contract or engage in a long-term commitment — service should be billed by the month and you should be able to cancel at any time for any reason without paying a cancellation fee.


Once you activate your account, you should be up and running in just a few moments. Finally, you should retain complete control over your account and settings at all times. You should be able to add and remove numbers, alter settings or engage and disengage features through a dashboard that is accessible from any computer or mobile device.