Why would I ever close my lines?

March 11th, 2014

Two of the many features of the SwitchboardFREE service is the ability to set open and close hours as well as the Quick Close function.

A lot of the enquiries we field on support often boils down to whether the line is open or closed. Either people have set the wrong opening hours and are not getting their calls or maybe they have accidentally closed their SwitchboardFREE lines and of course the phones remain silent. When this happens people sometimes wonder why we have this feature at all.

Here’s why:


What happens when I close my lines?

The first thing to understand is closing your lines doesn’t mean ignoring your customers, quit the opposite.

When your lines are closed your customers hear an out of hours message (which is fully customisable) telling them that the lines are closed and, depending on your out of hours message, when they will be able to get in contact with you. From this point your customers can either leave you a voicemail or hang up.

Whatever they decide to do you will be notified instantly that you have missed a call either by email or via push notification from one of our mobile apps; if the caller has left a voicemail we will send you that as well. This means that you can call your customers back as soon as you are available.


What are the benefits of closing my lines?

Customers are fickle creatures. It can take years to earn their loyalty and build a good relationship with them but only a single moment to upset them and send them seeking out your competitors. One of the main ways to keep your customers is to improve your customer relations and one of the key ways to improve your customer relations is to be up front with them.

Closing your lines will mean that your customers know exactly where they stand as soon as they call. If you haven’t closed your lines then your customers will be left on hold until someone picks up the phone on your end of the line. If there is no one there to answer the phone then your customers are going to be on hold for a long time and if this happens they aren’t going to be happy. One bad experience like this can overwrite years of good will that you have built up with your customers.

Be up front with your customers, let them know where they stand and they will reward you for it by remaining happy and sticking with you. Also, if your lines are closed yet you have a few minutes free to return a missed call, your customers will be impressed that you are going above and beyond for them.


When should I use Quick Close?

We recommend that all of our customers set their open and close times to take the effort out of having to open and close your lines manually. If these are set right then most of the time you never need to worry about this.

However, there are times when you aren’t in a position to answer your phones within your normal opening hours and this is where you use the Quick Close feature. You don’t have to make a change to your normal open/close times, you simply press Quick Close to close your lines with a single click. Once you have finished whatever it is that has taken you away from the phone reactivate your lines by turning the Quick Close off.

It is a simple process but it can be invaluable for your business.