In today’s mobile world, people expect to get someone when they call. Getting no answer is frustrating.
If you run a small business or are an entrepreneur, you want every sale you can get. That means being available at all times – during meetings, after hours, even when you’re pruning the shrubbery. And some companies need to have around-the-clock service hours for existing customers. Any advantage you have over your customers can give you a leg up in the marketplace.
That’s why so many small businesses are turning to virtual phone systems for their telecommunications needs. These phone systems, which live in the cloud and work using the Internet, give business owners a “virtual” phone number that they can configure to do what they want.
What a virtual phone system does
Using a mobile app, they can program the phone number to either take a voicemail or forward to their cellphone (or another phone). It’s best to forward the call, though; according to recent studies, 80 percent of callers will hang up before leaving a voicemail. They’d rather talk to someone.
Other features include:
- Faxing – sending and receiving
- Multiple extensions (Press 1 for billing, press 2 for sales, etc.)
Some phone systems even have a virtual assistant, which, based on where you are, can either forward calls to multiple phone numbers or send it to voicemail. If the person does leave a voicemail, many systems will transcribe that voicemail into a text message so you can read your message instead of listening to it. This comes in handy when you’re in meetings, and listening to your voicemail is not an option. You can then step out to answer the phone call if it’s urgent, or even text back an answer if the person is using a cellphone.
Your best productivity app
But virtual phone systems offer so much more than portability. They make your life more productive. Need to send a message to your customers who call in asking for the same information? Don’t field those calls; you can configure a 24/7 hotline to inform customers of important information such as business closings, directions to your business or special promotions.
On vacation, and your spouse absolutely refuses to let you answer the phone? Use call forwarding to forward all calls to another employee who’s on call. (You can then sneak away and call your employee to see what calls they have received. Hehe.)
With virtual phone systems, you never have to worry about missing another call. Your number goes wherever you go, and you can always keep your business number and your personal number separate.