Virtual Phone Systems for Small Business

Your communication tools help run your organization smoothly. When competition is tough, the way you interact with your customers can determine the fate of your company. If you don’t provide top-notch customer service, your customers will have no reason to prefer your organization over your competitor’s. That is why you need to invest in the best communication technology. And when it comes to advanced communication tools, the virtual phone is by far the best. Even small businesses can afford a virtual phone system. It isn’t expensive and requires much less maintenance.

The virtual phone system is ideal for enterprises that cannot afford to invest in an expensive phone system.

 

Features of Virtual Phone Systems

Auto Attendant

A virtual phone system comes with an auto attendant. When customers call your number, the auto attendant will greet them and direct them to press an extension number.

Call Forwarding

When the caller presses an extension number, the call will be immediately forwarded to the appropriate department or person.

Call Queue

If a human agent is not immediately available to attend the forwarded call, the virtual phone system will keep the call in a queue and play hold music.

ACD Call Routing

You can set your own rules for call forwarding.

Voicemail Service

A standard virtual phone system comes with several voicemail boxes. You can share them among your departments. Or you can use them for personal extensions.

Internet Fax Service

A virtual phone system can also act as your Internet fax machine. It can send and receive fax messages from a computer or laptop.

Internet Control Panel

You can manage your virtual phone system from an internet control panel. Using the control panel, you can check your messages, run call reports, and change settings.

Call Screening and Blocking

This feature allows you to control who can contact you through the virtual phone. Using the call blocking feature, you can block calls from specific numbers. There are many call screening options too.

Popular Virtual Phone Systems

There are quite a few outstanding virtual phone systems that can easily meet your organization’s communication needs. Most of these systems are affordable and can be used easily.

Two of the most popular virtual phone systems are Grasshopper and Ring Central:

Grasshopper

Grasshopper is a virtual telephone company that offers excellent service. They do not offer a free trial, but there is a 30-day money back guarantee. So, you can try the service risk free. The Grasshopper virtual phone system is built for entrepreneurs. It lets you use local or toll free numbers and supports unlimited extensions for employees and departments.

Features include:

• Customized greeting.
• Unlimited call handling.
• Name directory.
• Hold music (You can upload your own music files).
• Voicemails via email.
• Call forwarding and screening.
• Conference calls.

Read Grasshopper’s full review.

 

RingCentral

RingCentral is a VoIP service built for small businesses. It supports unlimited phone calls and fax messages from your existing or a RingCentral phone.

RingCentral does not offer a free trial, but there is a 30-day money back guarantee. It offers complete communication solutions for small and medium businesses. Other supported features include call queues, flexible answering rules, and a dial-by-name directory.

Features include:

• Auto-receptionist.
• Advanced call forwarding.
• Dial-by-name directory.
• Local, toll-free or vanity phone numbers for fax and voice.
• Mobile Apps for Android, iPhone, and iPad.
• Unlimited business SMS and conferencing .

Read RingCentral’s full review.

 

Why Do Small Businesses Prefer Virtual Phone Systems

1. Affordability

Virtual phone systems are affordable. That makes them ideal for small and medium sized businesses that cannot afford to make a huge initial investment. These systems can be installed and operated without much technical knowledge. This reduces the overall cost of running an organization.

2. Require less maintenance

Virtual telephone systems boast of advanced communication technology, and yet they can be operated easily. Also, they require less maintenance. That means minimal manpower is required to run the system.

3. Customized greetings

You can add customized greetings and welcome notes. When customers call your number, they will hear these greetings. Virtual phone systems also support advanced features like call divert and call transfer.

4. Enhanced image

A phone system that supports all of these features will easily enhance the public image of your business.

5. 24 x 7 availability

A virtual phone system makes your service available round the clock. It also allows employees to connect with one another irrespective of their physical location.

6. Free add-ons

Add-ons are free. When you use an ordinary phone system, you will have to pay for the additional features.

7. Advanced features

As your business expands, your call center will need to handle a large number of calls. One way of simplifying this process is to instruct callers to press specific numbers to reach the appropriate department. You can use an auto recorder to give instructions to the customer. You can assign specific numbers to specific departments. So, for example, if ‘one’ is the number assigned to the billing department, a customer who dials that extension upon hearing the auto recorder instruction will be directed to the billing department. Traditional phone systems have been offering these services for quite some time. Virtual phone systems also offer these services at a negligible cost.

8. Extensions for employees

Using a virtual phone system, you can also allow customers to communicate with a particular employee within the business. It is also possible to integrate different communication devices. Employees can, for example, access phone and fax messages through the virtual phone system.

9. Run your business with a mobile phone

Calls can be forwarded to your mobile phones and hence you can work from anywhere.

10. Internet based

Virtual phone systems are internet-based. The internet has already established itself as a reliable medium of communication.

 

Conclusion

When you use a virtual telephone system you don’t necessarily have to be in office or at your desk to attend calls. A virtual phone system ensures that all calls to your number are handled professionally and forwarded to the appropriate person or department.  You can attend calls at your desk or on the go.

Thanks to virtual phone systems, the features and functionalities that were once only affordable to large organizations are now accessible to small and medium sized organizations. Your calls will be routed to you regardless of your location. This supports a flexible work schedule. And because of additional features like voicemail alerts via SMS and email you can rest assured that you will never miss a call again.

 

 

 

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