Questions About Call Flows? Here’s a Primer!
Simply put, a Call Flow is an automated method of processing inbound calls. In general, call routing is an important component of taking your business to the next level — you can’t be wasting time on things that technology can do for you. Building out the right call flow process can be what levels you up!
Think of your Call Flow as an invisible assistant that is the first point of contact any caller will have with your company. A well-constructed Call Flow decides what happens for a caller – whether they’re sent to a real person or group of people to speak to, given relevant information, or prompted to leave a voicemail (for just a few examples!)
Importance of Call Flows
Everyone has been routed through Call Flow software, whether they know it or not. An obvious example is when you call a number and get an automated menu with options to select from. A less obvious example of a Call Flow can be as simple as a caller reaching a person after 5 rings, not realizing that multiple people had been notified, with the most available person answering. Rather than hitting a voicemail or being transferred, a Call Flow allowed the connection to feel seamless. Call Flows don’t just help your business’ bottom line, they also help customer experience.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably interested in implementing a Call Flow system at your business. Maybe you get a high volume of calls and desperately need to create an efficient system that doesn’t overload one group of employees, or you’re a smaller enterprise that doesn’t have the staff to consistently answer the phones. Either way, a Call Flow can and should be part of your strategy.
How do Call Flows Work?
Think of your Call Flow like a roadmap to help your callers get to where they need to go, in the least amount of time. It’s a set of instructions that automatically occur for an incoming phone call, and it can range from who a Caller is sent to, what information they’re given, even allowing them to add themselves to a DNC list. Essentially, Call Flows benefit both your business and the Caller by saving time and creating efficient processes that connect people to what they need.
Let’s say you have a billboard over Route 66 that gets tons of marketing traction. People are calling day and night, trying to reach you and your team. That phone number can point to a Call Flow that routes the calls in an efficient way.
At the same time, you have a mailer going to a more niche demographic, that you want to experience a different Call Flow. Easy! Different numbers can have different Call Flows. This allows for not only customized tracking of how phone numbers are performing, but also different Call Flow experiences depending on how the inbound caller found you.
An important reminder if you’re interested in Call Flows: the same Flows can be built for SMS text messages! Your inbound communication isn’t limited to just voice calls, and neither should your customizable Flow options. A quality Flow Builder should allow you to build out processes for SMS texts that function similarly to the Call Flows we’ve detailed.
Inbound Calls can be sent to:
- A specific person who fields all calls for that billboard,
- A Group of people who can be simultaneously rung, or rung in a specific order,
- A pre-recorded greeting with relevant information,
- The option to add themselves to a DNC list,
- An IVR menu that has a combination of options, depending on the time of day, availability of staff, needs of the Caller, and more!
The Benefits of Call Flows
The benefits of Call Flows become obvious once you understand how they work.
- Save on labor costs by not needing a live person to route calls to certain departments or give out basic information that could be pre-recorded.
- Intentional customization of who receives the first call – maybe your highest performing agent or a specialist, depending on the number.
- Ensure inbound leads get a live agent answer as quickly as possible, avoiding a game of phone tag.
- Allow for initial information about a caller to be established quickly (EX: if they press 1 because they have a house to sell, or press 3 to be added to a DNC list) so time isn’t wasted on cold leads
Let’s look at an example Call Flow, so you can get a sense visually of how your customers are routed. This Call Flow diagram shows the call routing process for a caller:
Even in this example, there are further ways to customize your Call Flow, including the number of rings / length of time the Caller spends waiting for an answer. The average caller will start to get impatient after four rings — in this Call Flow you can implement very short ring cycles for Dave and your simultaneous ring group, or you can insert a short message after Dave doesn’t pick up, explaining that another party is being attempted.
The point of Call Flows is to help your Agents and your Callers, at the same time. Every customization you implement is going to be unique to you, your business, and your demographic. Get creative with how you use Call Flows to increase revenue, save time and re-focus your efforts on what really needs your time and attention.
smrtPhone’s Best in Class Call Flow Options
smrtPhone Call Flows are free with any smrtPhone subscription, and you get additional features once you level up to smrtPhone Pro. Not only that, the Call Flow editor is extremely user-friendly so non-technical users can learn and adapt quickly to the drop-and-drag format. Call Flows are intuitive and easy to use.
Here’s an overview of smrtPhone’s Call Flow options:
- Dial Applet – Ring a User or Group of users
- Round Robin – Ring to a Group one at a time
- IVR Phone Menu – Present options to your caller
- Voicemail – Message Inbox, individual or shared – record straight from the app or upload your own
- Greeting – A recorded message that plays (such as listing hours of operation)
- Business Hours – Determine if different actions/routing should happen at different times of day/days of the week
- DNC – Gives your callers the power to “unsubscribe” or “opt-out” from your calls and texts
- Hangup – Disconnects the call
There are so many creative and unique ways to build out a Call Flow and improve your workflow process — so many that we couldn’t possibly cover them all here. It can be as simple or complex as your business needs.
Check out smrtPhone’s documentation to go in depth on how Call Flows can help your business, and sign up today for a free trial of smrtPhone. We offer free demos for new clients, and live customer support every weekday from 9am-9pm, ET.