Knowledge Base - What is the difference between Call Forwarding, Find Me, and Follow Me?

There are 3 features which are part of the phones and phone system which are inter-related and have similar abilities - there are some important differences and some overlap you might want to be aware of so you can determine the best strategy for your use.

Call Forwarding (on the phone)

Setting Call Forwarding, using the "cfwd" button on your phone, causes your office phone to not ring and the call to be forwarded to another phone. If the call is internal, regardless of the ring time, the caller will return to your voicemail. If the forward is external, there is a possibility that the caller would be presented with the voicemail on the destination phone or a busy signal or a cellular unavailable warning.

This is a side effect of the system called, and is not something under our control, and sometimes this is undesirable.

But it is the easiest option to configure for quick / short term use and allows you to change the number directly from the phone each time you use it.

If the phone loses power though, this option does not continue to work.

Call Forwarding (feature codes)

Call Forwarding can also be set by feature codes (also known as "star codes"). This type of forwarding is set on the phone switch and persists even if the phone loses power. The disadvantage of this method is that the call forward does not display on the phone itself. Once set, there is no indication the phone is forwarded. It must be turned off with the corresponding feature code.

Follow Me

Follow Me uses a stored number to enable "simultaneous ring" or "twinning". The setting in Phone Opts, or through a feature code, or set by Client Services, causes an external number or additional extension to ring when your primary extension is called.

PLEASE NOTE: During COVID-19, the cellular networks are experiencing high load. Please use Find Me not Follow Me if at all possible, to reduce load on the cellular networks. Reducing cell congestion may save someone's life.

A feature code on your phone (*21) - enables you to turn on / off this feature.

Additionally, a Follow Me button can be added to some phones so you can visually see the status of the Follow Me setting.

Cell phone networks often exhibit delays finding your phone. You can experience this delay when you call your cell phone from another cell phone - you might hear a ring or two or a period of silence before your cell phone starts ringing. This delay is part of the cell phone network - an alternative to resolve this might be using a soft phone on your smart phone. Using follow me might require extending your ring time to enable the cell phone to ring long enough to ensure you have time to answer it. Remember to turn follow me off when not in use.

Find Me

Find Me is similar to Follow Me and even shares the same stored number, but differs when the additional / external phone is called. With Find Me, an option is enabled in your office phone voicemail that allows callers to push a button (the number 1) to ring you on your cell during your voicemail greeting.

Your voicemail greeting could tell people about this option so that anyone can reach you on your cell. By informing the callers of the option, they will possibly be more patient with the longer ring times associated with some cellular carriers.

Additionally, by choosing not to mention this option in your greeting, you can choose to mention the option only to select people. This way only people who you would want to have reach you on your cell phone can.

Any mention of the follow me option should be made in the standard greeting only. Callers attempting to use Find Me will be returned to your busy greeting if you do not answer your cell phone.

The busy greeting will not allow the caller to use Find Me - this prevents your Find Me from ringing your cell phone while you are on a call at your desk.

Sample Greetings:

UNAVAILABLE: Hi, I'm please leave me a message but if your call is of an urgent nature, please press 1 to use Find Me - the system will attempt to reach me on my cell. If we don't connect you will be returned to voicemail to leave me a message.

BUSY: Hi, I'm sorry, but I'm on another line or your attempt to use Find Me didn't connect. Please leave me a message and I'll return your call as soon as I can.


Follow Me & Find Me together?

Follow Me & Find Me can be enabled at the same time - when your extension is dialled, Follow Me would attempt simultaneous ring of your cell phone. If you didn't answer / the call would be directed to voicemail, the caller could press 1 to invoke Find Me which would attempt to ring your cell phone a second time.

Applies To

All Products

Related Articles

How do I use Call Forwarding? [Cisco]

Message Center (Voicemail) to Email Options

How do I use Call Forwarding? [Yealink]