When you first started your small business, it’s unlikely that you gave much effort to put up a phone system, if at all. You’re not alone: just one of the 25+ startup checklists we looked at online while researching this piece mentioned phone systems, and it was at the bottom of the priority list.
This isn’t entirely unexpected. In 2013, more than three-quarters of small enterprises had four or fewer employees. Using individual mobile phones makes sense with such a tiny crew. However, when those firms expand in terms of both personnel and clients, a more complex, yet inexpensive, phone system becomes necessary. After all, you wouldn’t want to miss even one call, would you? This is where the virtual phone system comes into play.
What is a Virtual Phone Service, and how does it work?
Business phone systems have provided more than just a phone on every desk for decades. Modern phone systems have altered the way organizations communicate with their customers, partners, and inside their own walls, from voicemail to call routing, call forwarding, and conference calling. The cost of an in-house phone system, on the other hand, was prohibitive for many small enterprises. Apart from the expense of the equipment (including phones), the expense of administering, troubleshooting, and maintaining a system was considerable. What’s the end result? Small enterprises might now get reliable business phone services at a lesser cost.
A Virtual Phone Service’s Common Features
Here’s a rundown of some of the most prevalent virtual phone- which is just like Google voice alternative such as Mightycall’s features:
Create as many local direct-dial and vanity 800 numbers as you need or advertise one primary number (warning: more numbers can mean a higher cost). You can usually customize your caller ID so that the person you’re phoning sees your company’s name.
Self-serve menus and virtual receptionists – Offer a menu with alternatives such as an extension directory, location, and company hours, or greet callers with a professional welcome and then send them on their way.
Call routing – Use automation rules that you can adjust on the fly to help your callers reach the proper person. With features like group queuing and simultaneous ringing, you can decide who gets the call and get your calls on the road with “follow-me” capabilities that route all calls to your mobile device. You may also set up screening criteria so that urgent calls get to voicemail and less important calls go to voicemail.
Other phone features – Call transfer, call parking, caller ID, call waiting, and do not disturb are all available with most virtual phone services. Some even do call blocking and call announcing (i.e., they ask the caller to speak their name, record it, and then play it back for you before you receive the call).
Allow customers to call you by clicking a button on your website.
Calling a conference – It’s like an online get-together where you can get some work done.
Faxes – Get faxes delivered to your inbox via email.
Voicemail – Consider more than just the ability to receive a voicemail. Many virtual phone providers will send you a recording of your voicemails through email, which you may listen to right away.
Account administration — With an easy-to-use web dashboard, you can change, manage, and monitor your phone system. There are no complicated systems to handle, and there is no hardware to deal with.
Unusual Characteristics of a Virtual Phone Service
Attendant on the spot – Nothing beats having a real person answer your phone when it comes to business. You can provide that experience without having to hire a receptionist with several virtual phone services.
Voicemail transcriptions — Receiving a recording of each voicemail through email is convenient, but you can’t listen to one while in a meeting. That’s where having your voicemail converted into text comes in useful.
Call reversal – Need to go out of the workplace while on the phone? Call flip allows you to transfer a call to your mobile device and continue speaking while on the move.
Web and video conferencing – Some virtual phone services allow you to host web and videoconferences whenever you want. Integrating your virtual phone service with commonly used applications allows you to create effective workflows.
Call recording – Some virtual phone providers include this capability if you need to record a call for legal or training purposes.
The best way to stay updated with the latest technology is to compare the plans and pricing from different providers Most of them would give you discounts for the same services. You just need to choose the one which best fits your requirements.