How you handle your business telecommunications can be a conundrum to many business owners. Do you opt for a traditional in-office business line and chain yourself to your desk? Do you use your private cell, putting yourself through the hassle of managing both business and personal calls on a single device? Or do you go to the expense of purchasing a separate phone or adding another line? Not to mention, if you have employees taking calls, how do you set them up for success?
Luckily, there’s a better option that can meet all your needs: a virtual phone system. Read on for more information about virtual phones and five ways they might provide a solution to your business telecommunication needs.
What Is a Virtual Business Phone?
A virtual business phone is a cloud-based internet phone service that allows you and your employees to take calls from wherever you are, on any device you wish. All you need to get started is reliable Wi-Fi access and any hardware you choose to use. This can include a traditional desk phone, cell phone, computer, conferencing system or tablet device. The flexibility, ease of use and cost efficiency of virtual phone systems makes them a perfect choice for small business owners. Here are more ways a virtual business phone can work for you.
5 Reasons to Switch to a Virtual Phone System for Small Business
1. Seamless Transition to Remote Work
More people are working remotely than ever before. Business owners who find themselves with a remote workforce in 2020 need a solution that works for their whole team. You can now easily and effectively build an entirely virtual office, and a virtual phone system is a key element that will drive success. As long as employees have access to Wi-Fi and a connected device, they can take calls from home or anywhere else. A virtual business phone empowers your employees to work more productively and efficiently and ensures they are able to meet your customers’ needs, wherever they are. Similarly, digital nomads and solopreneurs can enjoy the freedom and flexibility a virtual phone provides, all while ensuring their business and personal calls never overlap.
2. Reinforce Your Brand…Wherever You Are
You put your logo on your website, on business cards and on emails, but if your business phone isn’t branded, you’re missing an opportunity. Branding is key to any business, and a virtual phone system will give your business a more professional tone while increasing brand awareness. Many providers offer features like customized messaging, hold music and vanity numbers, so your callers always know exactly who they’re reaching. Vanity numbers (e.g., 1-800-BIZ-LINE) are a great option for advertising, billboards and business cards.
3. DIY Your Telecommunications Strategy
There's no need to get into a runaround with the phone company when you can do it all yourself with a virtual phone system. There are no cables to run, no hardware to purchase, no installation and very minimal startup time. Once you decide on a provider and purchase your plan, you’ll be able to manage your account directly from their portal, adding employees, setting up features and getting your business on the road to better, clearer communications with clients.
4. Protect Yourself and Your Employees
Privacy is paramount these days, and if you’re using your personal phone for business purposes, that privacy is at stake. As a business owner, you also have an obligation to help protect the privacy of your employees. Virtual phone systems help you do that by keeping your (and your employees’) data and personal information safe. Just as you might invest in cybersecurity to protect your digital assets, investing in a virtual business phone helps protect you from scammers, hackers and phishers, and reduce the amount of robocalls you’d receive if using your personal number.
5. Respect Your Time…and Theirs
Maintaining a work/life balance when you’re a small business owner is challenging at the best of times, and if you’re always available on your personal line, it becomes even more difficult. Conversely, ignoring business calls when they come in at inconvenient times, or always sending callers to voicemail will quickly alienate them and make them feel you (and your company) are inaccessible. Virtual phone systems allow you to program away time strategically. Callers can be forwarded to another employee who will be available to chat with them, or they can select from an employee directory. Voicemails can be customized to let customers know your availability and turnaround time for a return call, and hold messages can be customized with business hours, wait time and queue status. A virtual phone system helps you prioritize your personal time while still prioritizing your customers’ needs and expectations.
In this day and age, there is no need for a traditional, hard-wired phone service. But there is a need for flexible, accessible virtual phone systems you can integrate yourself. We've partnered with Grasshopper to help you reduce hassle, reduce costs and increase your efficiency with a virtual phone system. Grasshopper makes it easy and affordable to add a virtual phone system to your personal phone and they even provide 24/7 support. You can be on your way to having a professional and safe business phone line in no time.
Wendi is a freelance writer based in Indianapolis, IN, with over a decade of experience writing for a variety of industries from healthcare to manufacturing to nonprofit. When she isn't working on solutions for her clients, she can be found spending time with her kids and husband, working in the garden or doing more writing (of the fiction variety).