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One of the most essential things for your business is a phone line. If your business does not have a way for customers or clients to contact them or communicate with them, it can be very difficult to do business on even the smallest level no matter how big or small the company is. An uptick in businesses switching their infrastructure to accommodate remote workers has meant switching to virtual phone systems. According to Tech.co, 70 percent of workers around the globe work remotely at least once a week. Due to COVID-19, those numbers are rising. If you are unsure what virtual phone systems are or how your business can benefit from them, here is everything you need to know.
What Are Virtual Phone Systems?
Virtual phone systems are set up similar to phone apps you use on your smartphones. As opposed to using a phone server, you will have an online administration app to manage your company’s numbers and menu system that routes calls to the right person either over the internet or through your phone’s standard phone network. Essentially, your calls are in the cloud. This saves time and space since the virtual phone systems wipe out the need for a physical server and tons of miles of cable. Virtual phone systems allow you or your employees to work from anywhere, able to make phone calls from a personal smartphone.
Some virtual phone systems, like Call Cowboy Power Dialer, provide you with features like auto-dialing and text reply, toll-free, local, virtual, vanity and VoIP numbers for your business, call tracking, interactive voice response, and predictive dialer.
Why Are They Beneficial?
With virtual phone systems, you can take your desk with you. They allow you to work from anywhere as calls are instantly routed to your cell phone. Gone are the days of being tied to the office, you might even be able to get rid of your office assistant. Some virtual phone systems allow you to screen calls, making sure your time out of the office is not inundated with calls.
They also give your business a professional appearance, whether you are a small business, start-up, or an entrepreneur, this is an easy way to give your company a professional image. Virtual phone systems can easily grow with your company. Some systems have an unlimited amount of extensions, meaning no matter how many employees you bring on they can ensure that they have access to the system. Lastly, virtual phone systems are the most cost-effective. Since everything is on the cloud, you do not need to spend money on hardware and software. At a lower cost in the long-run, they can offer you several features that enable you to run your business to its fullest potential. Below are a few features that could come with a virtual phone system.
This is a software system that allows smoother outbound calling. It enables you to make a cold call while protecting your personal phone number. Once a call is finished, the system will automatically dial the next lead. Usually, the auto-dialing app is available for Android or iOS smartphones as well as a desktop app, making it easy to use. If you do not want to use the app and want to make a call directly off your smartphone, that option is available for you too. You are allowed unlimited inbound and outbound calls, as well as the ability to track calls. When using this feature, you also have the option of SMS text as well.
Auto Text Reply
This is a great tool to use to increase productivity and make sure nothing falls through the cracks. The auto text reply feature allows you to create a customized automated SMS message when an inbound SMS message is received. Depending on the keywords mentioned in that message, an automated response with the customized message is sent. This feature saves you time and allows for excellent customer and sales service. Instead of paying for sales and customer support representatives, this feature through a virtual phone system can be one way you can save money.
Business Phone Number
Every company needs a business phone number. Fusing your business line with your personal line can be tricky and confusing. A virtual phone system can provide you with a business phone number using a local direct inward dialing number, or a virtual number. When calls are made to this number, they will be forwarded to the virtual phone system allowing you to pick up the call from a cell phone from anywhere you have cell phone service. These numbers are typically toll-free, though you can get a local number, vanity number, or a virtual phone number.
A business phone number can come with additional features like voicemail transcription, customized greetings, call forwarding, call transferring, multi-call handling, and inbound call control, business texts, call reporting, call analytics, extensions, predictive dialing, and call tracking, just to name a few.
These numbers are associated with certain area codes in cities. Local numbers are beneficial because customers and clients are more likely to answer and call back numbers they might recognize if you are making cold calls.
Toll-free numbers allow anyone to call your number without having to pay any phone charges as the cost of the call will fall on your business. These area codes are typically 800, 888, 877, 855, and 844.
These numbers are a subset of toll-free numbers, but with a twist. Vanity numbers use a set of numbers accompanied by a phrase that could help potential customers or clients remember your business’ number. The letters make it simpler to commit to memory. Vanity numbers are usually the name of the business or industry. This is great for brand recognition. They are also good for giving your business a more professional look
Virtual phone systems do not only handle the obvious phone calls and call forwarding. They can also help with marketing through call tracking. This is a type of marketing analysis that involves the use of call tools to figure out how many of your inbound calls were a result of your relevant marketing campaigns. Call metric data, like the geographic location, is gathered and recorded. Using a dynamic number insertion software, which will set up different phone numbers for all of your campaigns making it easier to track.
Interactive Voice Response
If you are a small business but want to be taken as seriously as a big business, you can implement a cloud-based interactive voice response system. When you receive an inbound call, the caller will be given a series of options to choose from. When they enter an extension, the caller will automatically be directed to the other person or department at that extension. This is a perfect way to ensure you are giving excellent customer service, reduce transfer errors, look professional, and reduce operating costs instead of having to hire an office assistant.
This is an advanced way to ensure you are reaching your clients at the most opportune time. Using metrics, it will automatically dial multiple numbers at the same time from your calling list. The metrics help to better predict the perfect moment when those you are calling are not on another call and available to talk. You are able to do this through the virtual phone system app, directly from your mobile phone, or on a desk phone PBX system.
Predictive dialing can majorly improve lead dialing productivity. Your contacts are dialed all at once and will only connect you to those that answer first. Now you do not have to waste time on the phone and you can spend more time doing the important stuff. You can also use this to monitor and gather data from your calls. This is also something you can access from anywhere since this dialer system is used on the cloud.
How Can You Implement It?
Now that you know the ends and outs of virtual phone systems and how they work, you may we wondering how you can implement this technology in your own company for your business. There are a few options. Some virtual phone systems, like Call Cowboy, allow you to choose a subscription plan. It is no contract, meaning you can cancel at any time. You do not have to commit to three, six, or 12 months of service. If you try it out and you find out it does not work for you, you have the freedom to stop. Some subscription plans can cost as low as $20 while other plans can go as high as $89. Each plan comes with different features that allow you to work from anywhere, taking business calls like the professional you are.
Virtual phone systems are a great way to increase productivity outside the office, a great way to save money, and can give your business that professional appearance.