Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Virtual Phone System helps Entrepreneurs Refocus on their Business

Time is probably the most important and valuable asset of an entrepreneur. Small business owners and entrepreneurs need to wear many hats and their involvement is necessary in almost every aspect of their business. At times, this can get so overwhelming that an entrepreneur begins to lose track of his actual business intentions.  If you ever find yourself trapped in such a situation, there’s only one thing that you can do - remove some tasks from your plate. 

A virtual phone for healthy communication

 For a small business owner and entrepreneur, maintaining constant and healthy communication with customers, prospects, partners and employees can be a daunting task. He does not have time to answer each and every call; neither can he allow calls to go unanswered.  A virtual phone system can be the right solution to his problem.

A virtual phone has some amazing features that help small company owners and entrepreneurs build a healthy communication culture. It is extremely affordable and is a true friend for every small and new business owner.

Auto attendant to answer, greet and forward calls

An entrepreneur receives tons of calls every day. Not every call is critical for a business. But how do you know which ones are? Must you answer each one to determine which are important and which are not? Using the auto attendant feature of a virtual phone, an entrepreneur can answer his callers with customizable messages 24x7.  An auto attendant practically removes the need for a receptionist in an office. It works as a virtual receptionist around the clock including weekends and holidays - answering and routing callers.

An auto attendant often interacts first with your customers, even before you. So, it’s important that you make it sound smart and professional.

Sift and answer calls

Once the auto attendant forwards a call, you can screen the call before answering it. You can use Call Screen & Announce to know who’s on the line. You can either answer the call or forward the call to the voicemail box. A caller can leave a message at the voicemail box. You are informed of every voicemail immediately either by text to your cell phone or by email. Voicemails can also be read in email or can be listened to through a link in the email. This allows an entrepreneur to manage all his communications from one place.

For mobile workers

A virtual phone system also helps entrepreneurs overcome the communication challenges of their mobile workforce. People now go mobile or work remotely for various reasons. A virtual phone allows mobile workers to work away from the office and yet stay professional and make their communication strong and effective. A virtual phone can be used with any phone, even with a cell phone! It does not need any hardware, software or installation.

A virtual phone also allows entrepreneurs and mobile workers to send fax online - faxing without a fax machine. Moreover, virtual phones are compatible with most smart phones including iPhone and Android.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Call Forwarding Service is Important for the Success of a Business

A business phone number is an asset for a business. It is the gateway for customers to reach the business. Hence it is important that every call that a business receives on its business number should be promptly answered. Missing a single call on this number can prove to be expensive for a business. Just answering all the calls on this number is not enough. The calls should be answered professionally to create a perfect image of the business. But is it possible for a business owner to answer calls every time, especially if he is a new business owner? The answer of course is no. In such cases, an entrepreneur can use the advanced call forwarding service of a virtual phone system.

Advanced Call Forwarding

The call forwarding service of a virtual phone service provider helps entrepreneurs to stay connected with their customers, prospects and employees all the time. It is more powerful and professional than call redirect or call divert feature. When a caller dials the business number of a company, the auto attendant answers the call (if the company is using a virtual phone) and tries to connect the call to the right person. If the first number the user has provided to the phone system rings out, the auto attendant of the virtual phone tries forwarding the call to other phone numbers. This is known as Follow-Me-Find-Me.

Using Follow-Me-Find-Me
Follow-Me-Find-Me is an advanced call forwarding service that tracks entrepreneurs on more than one phone number to deliver a call and minimize the risks of missing a call. To use this service, an entrepreneur has to provide the phone numbers of his choice to the phone system. The first number obviously should be his mobile number; the second can be his home phone number and so on. When an entrepreneur does not answer a call on his mobile number, the auto attendant forwards the call to the home phone and other numbers according to the order of submission.

Using Call Screening and Do Not Disturb

An entrepreneur can also specify the day and time when he wants to receive calls on which number. This is extremely helpful for mobile entrepreneurs. Further, a virtual phone also allows screening a call before answering it. Alternately, entrepreneurs can also keep his phone in Do Not Disturb mode if he does not wish to receive calls and until he becomes available to answer calls.

Call Screen and Announce

Call Screen and Announce is an extremely useful time saving feature that can be used along with the call forwarding service. Entrepreneurs can enable Call Screen and Announce on any extension that is using call forwarding and ask the caller to record their name. Now when the virtual phone connects the call, instead of directly connecting it to the caller, he can hear the name of the caller announced and decide if he wants to answer the call or not.  This feature allows entrepreneurs to speak to people they want to and divert others to the voicemail box. Entrepreneurs can be flexible and turn this feature on or off according to their business needs.    

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Get 800 Numbers for Your Business – NOW!

Right connections can give a business a new direction. For example, 800 numbers – these numbers show a business a whole new way and direction. Successful marketers and business owners acknowledge that providing an affordable and convenient way for customers to reach them is their top priority and this is why toll free numbers are a necessity. 800 numbers not only make phone calls for customers free and convenient but they also make a business look professional, stable and credible. While looking for toll free numbers entrepreneurs need to be sure of one thing – these numbers now have prefixes other than “800”. The new list of toll free prefixes includes 888, 877, 866 and the latest 855.

Nationwide Access within Budget

If a business does not have 800 number services and is looking to get one, this is just the perfect time. The deregulation of 1800 numbers by FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has given rise to fierce competition amongst different service providers. This has paved the way for businesses to access affordable toll free numbers throughout the US and Canada. Service providers offer flexible and affordable plans and packages and there’s no reason why a small business or a start-up should not use this number service.

Relevant for Every Business

The new toll free prefixes are developed in order to cater to the needs of businesses. More and more businesses are opting for these numbers. Small businesses, home based businesses and online marketers are also interested in using these numbers. As a result, there has been a dearth of this number. To avoid situations like this and to encourage the use of 800 numbers among businesses, FCC has released a new set of toll free prefix – 855.

How These Numbers Help a Business to Grow

When a business uses a number of this kind, its customers and prospects feel comfortable in calling them and inquiring about their products/services. This is because they are not worried about the phone bill that they have to pay.

800 numbers also play an important role in customer service. When a customer is calling a business for some help or with a complaint it is unwise to charge the caller, especially if the caller has a complaint. Moreover, using one such number in the contact information of a business convinces a customer about the service he can expect post purchase of the product/service.

Using 1 800 phone numbers is probably the simplest and cheapest way of making a business look professional and credible. As soon as a customer spots one such number in the contact information of a business, he/she finds the business to be credible and stable.

800 numbers hold testimony to this fact - only a credible and professional organization can plan for a free phone service for his customers.

Vanity 800 number is a special kind of 1 800 number that makes a phone number memorable. These numbers contain a combination of letters and numbers that closely relate the phone number to the business it is associated with. These numbers are more successful in marketing and marketing campaigns than a numeric toll free number.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

3 Ways a Virtual Telephone Helps a Business Grow

Launching one’s own business isn’t easy. It requires a lot of sacrifice, constant work, and relentless effort. Not just anyone can be an entrepreneur. One who succeeds must have put in hard work and have managed multiple responsibilities simultaneously. When a start-up is just about to take-off or even when you are operating a business successfully an entrepreneur needs to devote some time for networking, pitching to potential clients or for polishing his presentations. But these cannot be done at the expense of compromising business communication. Thanks to a virtual telephone an entrepreneur  can remain connected with clients, vendors and partners even when he is not able to answer their calls immediately all the time.

Puts an Entrepreneur in a Commanding Position

A virtual telephone puts a business in a commanding position. Rather than relying on the cell phone for all business communication, entrepreneurs can now use a fully fledged virtual PBX (Private Branch Exchange) system for their business, which streamlines their communication system. Entrepreneurs can also use a toll free number as his business number to project a professional and credible image. Moreover, features of a virtual phone including call forwarding, voicemail box and virtual fax help to build an image of professionalism and credibility.

Keeps an Entrepreneur Connected - Always

Another perk for using a virtual telephone is that it gives businesses mobility. A business is no longer strictly limited within the office.  An entrepreneur can actually carry his office with him. This is especially important for a busy entrepreneur who is always on the go. A virtual phone makes him more confident and allows him to answer calls and faxes even when he is traveling. The advanced call forwarding feature of a virtual phone system allows you to forward calls to cell phone, home phone and office phone. He can also use call screen and announce before he answers a call. Call screen helps him to differentiate important calls from those that are not so important.

If an entrepreneur finds a call to be really important he can answer it instantly else he can forward it to the voicemail box to answer the call at his convenience. A virtual telephone immediate notifies him of a voicemail either through an email or by sending text to his cell phone thereby minimizing chances of missed calls and hence missed business opportunities.

Provides Highly Scalable Solutions

Service providers offer multiple flexible plans to cater to the needs of every entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs are not required to sign any contract for using this phone service. Moreover, they can also enjoy a free trial. A virtual telephone is highly scalable. It actually grows with a business. So an entrepreneur can start with the basic plan and change to other advanced plans once his business starts growing and so are his needs. The scalability of virtual phones is another important feature that makes it just perfect for a small business. From small businesses, start-up companies, home based businesses to big corporations – this phone system is relevant for all.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Why Should an Entrepreneur Change His Phone System to Virtual Phone?

If a business is looking for a new phone system, something that is affordable and yet has all the features of a traditional phone system, a virtual phone system is the answer. More businesses are opting for this phone system than ever before which has given rise to many speculations regarding the advantages and benefits of this phone system. The advantages of a virtual telephone are many and one of the greatest advantages is that it can be used with any existing telephone connection.

Advanced Additional Features

In addition to the advanced features of a phone system, a virtual phone also has certain other features that give it an extra edge over a traditional phone system. Features including online fax, Do not Disturb and Follow-Me-Find-Me help a small entrepreneur to do his business successfully in a competitive business environment. These features minimize the chances of calls going unanswered thereby boosting sales.

Advanced Call Forwarding

If an entrepreneur is looking for an all-inclusive communication system at an affordable price, a virtual phone is more than perfect. It offers scalable solutions for all business communication needs. A virtual telephone can forward calls to more than one phone number. This ensures that an entrepreneur is in touch with his customers all the time and also ensures that he does not miss any important business calls.

An entrepreneur can supply more than one phone number to his virtual phone system and can also mention the order in which he wants the calls to be forwarded. He should use his cell phone number as the first number of his choice and then can use his home phone number, business phone number and other phone numbers. A virtual telephone tries delivering a call first to the cell phone. If it does not find him then it tries delivering the call to his home phone or business phone. It basically hunts him down to deliver a call. This is known as Follow-Me-Find-Me.

Using Voicemail Box

If a caller could not talk to the entrepreneur, a virtual phone forwards the call to the voicemail box.  A caller can leave a message at the voicemail box and he can reply to the caller at his convenience. The phone system subscriber is properly informed of the arrival of every voicemail. So there are fewer chances of voice messages going unanswered. Voicemail can also be read in email. The email usually has a link where the entrepreneur can just click to listen to the voicemail. Alternatively, if an entrepreneur is busy and cannot answer calls, he can keep his phone in Do Not Disturb mode until he becomes available.

Online Faxing
A virtual phone can also be used for faxing.  Using a virtual telephone, it is possible to send and receive fax without using a fax machine. A virtual telephone allows faxing via an online interface. Also known as virtual faxing, this is the simplest, easiest and fastest way of faxing as compared to traditional faxing.  It is also cost effective and is environmentally friendly. More importantly, it ensures delivery of faxes on time anywhere.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Virtual Phone Service Can Give a Small Business Greater Reach

Large businesses usually use a phone system to connect with their customers as well as employees. Small businesses can also use a phone system to function like one of those big guys. Small entrepreneurs can benefit from a virtual phone service that practically mimics the set-up of big businesses. A virtual telephone actually makes a big difference to a small business. It is one of the deciding factors for differentiating between getting clients and retaining clients.

Professionalism Using Technology

Most people prefer to talk to an actual person before they pay money for a particular product or service and a virtual phone service allows a small business to enjoy the same professional set-up, which is generally reserved for big businesses. One of the major advantages for using a virtual phone system is the fact that it allows its users to work from any location and receive voice messages and even faxes online. This advanced technology, even allows answering calls when you are on the go and out of the office.

Find the Right Service Provider

A virtual phone service allows answering calls promptly. Customers are answered using professional greetings and are quickly connected to the right person or department. A virtual phone system is an asset for businesses of any size. It expedites and resolves customer’s issues and needs faster. While there are many virtual phone service providers, finding the one who offers the best features is most important for a small business.

The Ideal Pair

Once you have decided to use a virtual phone system, it is important to find a provider who can help you not only with a virtual phone service, but also with other services including toll free number service.  These two, a virtual phone and a toll free number, in fact go hand in hand. One complements the other.  You can use a toll free number to create multiple extensions, advertise your business and attract more sales.

When a customer dials your toll free number, he is professionally greeted by the auto attendant, the auto attendant forwards the call (either to the right person or to the voicemail box) and the caller can leave a voicemail if the right person is not available to answer the call. Every voicemail box subscriber is properly notified thereby reducing chances of lost business opportunities.

Exploring the Benefits of a Toll Free Number

A toll free number is especially important for the marketing and promotional activity of a business. Research has shown that these numbers are highly successful in generating customer response. First, because they do not charge their caller and second these numbers make a business look more credible and trustworthy. Credibility is the most important thing necessary for the success of a small business and a toll free number can help in achieving it easily.

Fax on Demand

This is another incredible feature of a virtual phone service. It allows users to use their virtual phone for faxing. It does not need a fax machine, a telephone connection or a scanner and paper. Faxes are sent via an online interface. Fax on demand is more cost effective, faster and smarter than traditional faxing.

Monday, May 27, 2013

A Virtual Phone for Home Business Owners

A virtual phone system, also known as virtual PBX is a wonderful solution for home based businesses. The communication needs of a home based business are the same as a big business. In fact, at times small and home based businesses need to communicate more with customers than their larger counterparts. The need for routing the vendors and customers of a home business is same as that of a big company, but in a home based business, it is often difficult to answer calls all the time. This is because a home business is usually like a one-man army. You are the owner and you take care of marketing, sales, accounting and every other aspects of a business.

Most Viable Alternative

The advanced features of a virtual phone including auto attendant, call forwarding, voicemail and online fax can help a home business grow. You can also use a toll free number for the convenience of customers. Though the communication needs of businesses are the same, the unique circumstances of a home office make it necessary to get the right phone system. Home offices are usually too small to accommodate a fully fledged PBX. Moreover, home businesses also operate within limited financial margins. For home entrepreneurs, a virtual PBX is the most practical alternative.

Easy to Use

A virtual phone is usually hosted by service providers. You do not need to buy any new hardware or software. You also do not need to get a new telephone connection. It can be used with any of your existing cell phone or home landlines.  There is also no need for any training. You can easily use it with your existing phone connection.  This is a huge benefit for small businesses as well.

Call Screening
When home entrepreneurs use a virtual phone for their business, callers are not able to recognize any difference. It seems like they are calling a big company and not a home business. The auto attendant answers the call and forwards the call the same way as in a big enterprise. It can also forward it to your voicemail box, if you are not able to answer it. Since a home business owner needs to do a lot of things in a short time, he can screen a call on his virtual telephone before actually answering it.

Call Forwarding

Call forwarding is perhaps the most important feature for home business owners. Incoming calls can be routed to a cell phone, home landline or other phone numbers according to the choice of users. You can also specify the day and time when you wish to receive calls on a particular number. A virtual phone can forward calls according to your choice. This reduces chances of calls going unattended. But if you fail to answer a call for any reason, the virtual PBX system forwards it to your voicemail box.

Voicemail Box

You are notified via email and text message on your cell phone as soon as a new voicemail arrives in the voicemail box. A virtual phone also allows reading a voicemail through email so that you can manage all your communications from one place.