1. Trim the Fat & Lower Your Cost
Have you considered switching from a traditional phone company to a virtual phone system? A virtual phone service like Talkroute is most likely going to be much less expensive than using one of the main phone carriers that you may be using right now. Many of these suggestions are of course for businesses that run out of a separate office, but you can use most of the same principles by applying them to your home business, too.
Business phone systems can get pricey very quickly, but thankfully the traditional providers are not the only option you have at your disposal. Switching to a virtual phone service provider can save a business a lot of money by eliminating the need for additional phone hardware and network equipment because you can simply use the phones you already have. Traditional providers also tend to charge a lot more than a virtual provider, in general.
2. Eliminate Confusion
Less is always more when it comes to business infrastructure, which is where a virtual phone system excels. Not only do you gain a lot more value when you go virtual, but you also cut down on the complexity of your phone system by using an online interface to manage everything while eliminating the need to understand network infrastructure.
3. No Additional Equipment
When you switch to a virtual provider like Talkroute, there is nothing additional that you need to buy. The system only needs your existing phones to send calls to and utilizes their existing networks—cellular, landline, etc.—to connect calls. You won’t need any new phones or network hardware for the system to work.
A good phone system also gives you the ability to access all of the various features of your system and change anything that you need to change. During the period of time when you are first setting everything up, as well as later on when you need to make periodic changes as your business grows, or for whatever reason, it’s important that you can access every aspect of your phone system to make sure it’s functioning exactly how you need it to function. Traditional phone systems unfortunately do not include these necessary customizations.
4. Streamline Organization
Using a virtual system, you can set everything up exactly the way you want it, and no more complicated than you need it to be. Set it to route calls only to the right people or departments, at the right times, and even create preferences for each user.
The sky is pretty much the limit for the ways you can organize your system with a virtual phone number. If you just want to have a completely standard setup in which your number only rings a single phone—which can be any kind of phone, landline, cell phone, etc.—then you can do that, too, as if it were any other phone with a regular number. The point is that you have a lot more options with a virtual phone system.
5. Run the Business from Your Cell
Do you have a new startup, or just don’t have an immediate need to move beyond using your cell phone to field business calls? Then you’re well-suited for a virtual phone system because you can design a professional phone system with all kinds of features that doesn’t require anything more than a single cell phone.
6. Run Multiple Businesses from a Single Phone
Your growth will never be limited with a virtual system. The system grows with you, and you can even run multiple businesses from the same phone if you prefer by simply configuring your control panel to route calls as needed for each of your businesses.
There are a variety of ways in which you can route your calls for each of your businesses, and keep in mind that the settings can be different for each business number if you like. You don’t need multiple accounts, either, because you can have multiple phone numbers on a single account. Think of this virtual system as a traditional phone system on steroids. Utilize any of the professional features that are included with your account for your system, and set them to function exactly the same for each business—or totally independently for each.
7. Add a Call Menu, Even Using Only a Single Phone
Adding a call menu to your phone, A.K.A. an auto attendant or IVR, is one of the greatest ways to make your business sound professional, and you don’t need an expensive system to have that feature. Not all virtual providers offer this, but many like Talkroute let you add a call menu no matter what phone or phones you currently have.
Remember that, to the customer who is calling you, it will sound just like any other business or even large corporation that has an automated call menu; so, to add this feature when you’re running your business from a single cell phone can completely transform the way you handle calls.
8. Receive Multiple Incoming Calls Simultaneously
It would be nice if your business only received one call at a time, but that of course isn’t always the case. At times, you will inevitably get multiple calls coming in at the same time, meaning you’re going to need provisions in place to manage all of them so that no one hangs up before you can take care of them. The focus of this post is to give you a few ways to professionally handle all of those simultaneous calls.
This is something for which businesses used to have to pay a pretty penny, but many virtual providers now give you the ability to handle as many incoming calls as you can throw at it, at the same time. This capability is invaluable, especially in unexpected high-volume periods.
9. Give Employees Proper Extensions Without the High Cost
You can also give everyone in your organization their own extension so that callers may reach them directly if needed; otherwise, extensions can be assigned to various departments, as well. Another feature that doesn’t require a big, expensive traditional phone system.
10. Manage Your Phone System Online with Ease
One of the best things about utilizing a virtual phone system is that you can configure and change any of your settings at any time without contacting your provider. Any change you need to make can be done 24 hours a day, right from your online dashboard.
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.