Global Call Forwarding (GCF) provides our clients with toll free numbers in over 140 countries. GCF forwards calls and maintains the lines for local access for business discussions and customer service requests. The process works as follows:
- Your existing or potential customers dial a toll free local number in their country.
- GFC’s forwarding service sends the calls to designated call centers or central offices.
- Your enterprise answers the call.
This toll free forwarding service assures easy-to-dial, high-quality communications in countries around the world, including those areas with poor telecommunication infrastructure.
Features Available with the International Call Forwarding Service
Customized Greeting – Tailor a customized greeting to give callers a great first impression. Many companies use the greeting to direct callers to the appropriate departments.
Select Country Forwarding – This feature is available with the Advanced IVR (interactive voice response) feature. This feature forwards calls based on the country of origin. For example, a call from France could reach a call center with someone who is a French speaker.
Time of Day Routing – This feature routes calls based on the time of day or the day of the week.
Sequential Forwarding – Sequential forwarding delivers calls down a list of predetermined numbers. This feature minimizes unanswered calls. The sequence can have four additional numbers.
Local Ringback Tones – This is the tone that callers hear while waiting for a connection. Forty unique ringtones from around the world are available.
Simultaneous Ringing – With simultaneous ringing, two or more phones ring simultaneously. The call connects to the first responder. This feature is highly useful for call centers.
Call Transfer – This feature places the incoming call on hold while the attendant dials a preprogrammed sequence to transfer the call anywhere around the world. The attendant can either brief the other department or transfer the call immediately.
Voicemail – Voice permits customers to reach your number 24/7. There is also a Voicemail to Email feature that sends an MP3 file of the voicemail to your email. Users can customize the Voicemail to Email feature with the Control Panel and send voicemails to two different email addresses.
Failover Forwarding – The failover forwarding feature allows businesses to program multiple numbers, Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) accounts, and Tier 1 carriers. If an incoming call is busy or does not connect, the feature forwards the call to the next number.
Forward Fax – This feature receives and forwards faxes to email as image files.
Customizable Application Programming Interface (API) – The Global Call Forwarding API has features to integrate GFC’s services with an enterprise’s business systems.
Advanced IVR/PBX – The Interactive Voice Response (IVR) feature provides a computer greeting to direct calls. Callers can use voice or telephone keypad responses. The feature also has a free Private Branch Exchange (PBX) service, a private telephone network that connects calls to individual extensions.
Account Management – This feature has a Customer Control Panel to manage the account and to change feature settings. Account Management is computer accessible, and it permits users to view invoices and call details.
Black and White Lists – This feature filters calls. It can accept or reject calls based on specific telephone numbers or area codes.
Optional Features – Three optional features are available: SMS Forwarding, Call Recording, and Rollover Minutes.
- SMS Forwarding sends incoming text messages to an email account. As of February 2018, there are 17 countries that are SMS capable.
- Call Recording automatically records incoming calls. This feature is useful for customer service, quality control, or liability concerns.
- Rollover Minutes – With rollover minutes, unused plan minutes roll over to the next month.
For more information on the rates and features of international call forwarding, please read the article, “Get International Call Forwarding at Global Call Forwarding”.
The State of the Customer Service Experience as of 2016
The Northridge Group, a management consulting firm, surveyed more than 1,000 United States consumers about customer service issues. A PDF document titled, “State of Customer Service Experience 2016” gives the survey results. The online survey took place in April 2016. The survey report considered differences in generation. The generations, as defined by The Pew Research Center were as follows:
- Millennials (ages 18 through 34)
- Gen-Xers (ages 35 through 50)
- Baby Boomers (ages 51 through 69)
- Silent Generation (ages 70 and above)
Consumers want greater connectivity to their brands, and they are willing to use several communications channels. However, the companies who respond inconsistently put their reputations and customers at risk. The following paragraphs outline the key highlights from the study.
Customer Effort: Less is More
Less customer effort results in increased customer loyalty. Forty-four percent of consumers reported that companies made it hard for them to get customer service. The phone (56%) was the easiest way to resolve issues while letters (30%) were the hardest.
Not ‘One and Done’
Fifty-five percent of consumers needed two or more communications channels to resolve issues. However, the phone was the most efficient method to resolve an issue. 60% of the time, the phone resolved issues with a single contact, 54% for online chat, 47% for web self-service, 43% for mobile app, 38% for letters, 36% for social media, 35% for text message, and 34% for emails.
Consumers want fast resolution of issues, and the younger they are, the less time they spend using a given communication method. Within 60 minutes, 40% of millennials switch communications channels, 31% of gen-x-ers, 19% of boomers, and 20% of the silent generation.
Hold the Phone
Telephone customer service meets expectations for 60% of consumers and exceeds expectations for 29% of consumers. When using the phone, 87% of contacts resulted in a response and an eventual resolution of issues. Ten percent of the time, the phone resulted in a response but no resolution, and 3% of the time, there was no response to the phone call.
Shall We Chat?
Online chat is gaining in popularity, especially for millennials, as 27% of them favor online chat for fast issue resolution. Eighteen percent of the consumers in the survey consider online chat as a viable alternative to the phone.
Social media is growing as a communication channel with 77% of consumers using it more than in 2015. However, 21% of those surveyed did not receive a response from their brand using social media or text.
Consumers Want to Connect with Companies
Eighty-one percent of consumers in the survey contacted customer service within the past year, and 58% went out of their way to purchase from companies with excellent customer service. In addition, 60% tell their friends and associates when they receive bad service.
- Telephone contact is the most effective method of providing customer service.
- The worldwide use of toll free numbers enables customers to reach your business quickly and easily.
- The features associated with toll free numbers and call forwarding help your customers have an excellent customer service experience.
- Grow your business using international toll free numbers for customer service.