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Published in Customer service phone numbers
Setting up a helpline with volunteers is quite a job: incoming phone calls need to be transferred perfectly if you want to offer a confidential conversation and a listening ear.
What are the requirements for such a helpline and what actions should you take to set it up successfully? Let's go through them step by step:
A volunteer line helps people solve problems or offers a listening ear so that people can talk about their problem. Some examples of volunteer lines are phone numbers where people can listen and talk about financial problems, mental health, divorce, if they have lost a loved one or if they need a good conversation.
Often these helplines are manned by expert volunteers who offer a listening ear in their spare time. These volunteers must be able to empathise with others and show understanding in all kinds of situations. These helplines are often available every working day, sometimes also at weekends or at night.
Especially emotionally, a helpline can demand a lot from volunteers. Therefore, it is nice if the technology around the helpline runs smoothly day and night.
Thanks to the user-friendliness and the many telephone functions of our Interactive Voice Response system (IVR), you set up the helpline the way you want so that the volunteers can fully focus on the calls with the right technology and the caller can tell their story.
You can, of course, set up a helpline with your local phone number. This will give you a strong local feel which is not always desirable if you want to attract a national audience. That's why we recommend a national phone number. With a national phone number, anyone can call you at local cost from anywhere in the country.
A 0800 number is free for callers which means the call costs are for your account.
If you don't want a free or paid helpline but want callers to be able to call at normal rates, choose a national number. We have a long list of available phone numbers that you can capture right away.
Now that the number is yours, you need to go on our telephony platform to set up where the phone should ring when someone calls. These end destinations can be the volunteers' landline or mobile numbers. Or the home phone. Or an app of ours that they install on the computer.
This way, we make everyone part of the call team and you have a virtual call centre.
On our team page, each employee can set whether they are available to answer calls at that time. This way, our computer knows exactly to whom transfer is possible at that moment.
Your helpline is now optimally accessible. This technique works for 1 to as many as 250 people and is the same technique used for emergency numbers that must also be reachable at night, such as transplant lines.
By now, you have an easy-to-remember number for your helpline that connects callers to available volunteers. But what about when all the staff are busy? Thanks to Belfabriek's handy phone features, you can prepare your number for this.
For example, you can record a welcome text with the opening hours and update it when you are not available. With a drop-down menu, you give callers options to choose from so they can be put through to the right colleague immediately. And with a call queue, you put callers on hold when it gets busy. If the queue gets too long, you can set it up so that callers are asked to leave a message on the digital telephone answering machine.
Do you have specific requirements? Then your own developer can build a perfect customised solution with our telephony API (Application Programming Interface).
As you can see, setting up a hotline is quite doable. At Belfabriek, it is possible to start small and grow bigger and bigger. In fact, all our clients get access to the same features, which means you can also expand your number over time. Do you still have questions about setting up a volunteer line? We will gladly give you more information or start up your helpline !
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