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Organize teams and look bigger with phone extensions.

Reach different departments with simple extension numbers.

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What are phone extensions?

As a part of a business phone system, a phone extension is a short number that can be dialed to reach an employee or department within an organization.

Phone extensions are used when people call the main number of a business, or when transferring calls internally.

Organizations set up their phone extension numbers to reflect logical segments of their team, such as different departments and internal lines like conference rooms.

Phone extensions are managed from the organization’s phone system, which is known as a Private Branch Exchange (PBX). PBX phone systems provide voicemail, call forwarding, and calling features for phone extensions.

Benefits of phone extensions

As an essential feature of a VoIP phone system, some people might not be aware of its perks. Phone extensions let you:

  • Transfer calls easily. Instead of dialing 10-digit phone numbers, you can dial just two to six digits.

  • Avoid misdialing. Skip the hassle of landlines by providing a seamless customer experience.

  • Reach departments. As your company grows, speak with sales and customer service teams.

  • Eliminate confusion. Don't guess. Extensions let you forward calls to any cell phone you want.

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How to set up phone extensions

Setting up phone number extensions with Nextiva is easy. You always have control over your team's extensions.

  1. Sign in to the Nextiva Voice Portal as an administrator.
  2. Hover over Users at the top, and select Manage Users.
  3. Click the pencil icon next to the user you want to change.
  4. Scroll down and click to expand the Phone Number section.
  5. You can adjust the user's telephone number and extension. The extension may automatically change to the last four digits of the phone number, so you may need to switch it back.
  6. When finished, click the Save button.

For more information about managing your business phone number settings, please read this support article.

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Eric Siu "We love Nextiva's reliability and features like call pop, free online faxing, auto attendant, IVR and call routing. It gives us the appearance of a bigger, more polished business." Eric Siu CEO, Single Grain
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Phone extensions FAQs

For employees sharing the same business phone system, they should be able to pick up their handset and dial the extension number, and the call will be connected.

With a VoIP softphone calling app, you can dial the extension or tap the user from your contacts to be connected.

We recommend setting up your phone number extensions to be four digits long. This phone feature will help avoid issues with speed dial and placing outgoing calls with area codes.

Yes, one of the best aspects of having a phone extension is that it allows employees to share the same business phone service and stay connected. They won't need to divulge personal cell phone numbers. They can dial each other from the company's name directory.

Phone extensions follow the employee with whatever phone they're using, including desk phones and softphones.

If they're taking time off, they can also forward their extensions to an extension of a supervisor or a colleague on their behalf. It's a better option than coming back to a full voicemail box.

Phone extensions are similar to virtual phone numbers, but they serve different purposes.

Virtual phone numbers generally refer to phone numbers that receive incoming calls from the public. Phone extensions are used to direct phone calls to a specific user, team, or department.

Phone extensions and phone numbers are always "virtual" since neither of them is hard-coded to a user. They exist within the logic of a PBX to direct calls to different people. Sometimes called virtual or internal phone numbers, phone extensions function within the office phone system such as a cloud PBX.

Traditional phone service doesn't provide unlimited extensions without additional telecom equipment.

You can save time calling toll-free phone numbers that require extensions or passcodes with your smartphone. One little-known trick is to store a special number to your contacts.

When you add a phone number to your contacts, hold down the asterisk (*) key until you’re able to select a comma. After the comma, enter the desired phone extension. One comma is equivalent to waiting two seconds, so you may want to add two of them together to avoid dialing too quickly.

This feature is perfect for dialing through auto attendants and conference call services. The next time you call from your contacts, the phone digits will be entered automatically.

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