If you have never heard of a cloud-hosted phone system, or a cloud-hosted PBX, and you’re a business owner, then it’s definitely something that you should give a try. Also known as a cloud-based, or virtual phone system, it can change the way you manage calls for the better and make it far more simple.
Below, you’ll find 8 ways that this type of system can make a very positive change in your small business.
1. Cut Down Your Phone Bill
The big phone companies charge way more for an on-site office phone system than you will pay for a cloud-hosted system. A provider like Verizon or Comcast can definitely build a PBX for your business, possibly using the phones you currently have, but they may need to send in technicians to set it up at a not-so-modest price.
Using a virtual service provider to set up a cloud-hosted PBX is much less expensive and way less of a hassle. Using Talkroute, as an example, there is no custom install necessary because it’s a virtual service, and it takes very little time to set up.
You can definitely utilize any cell, landline, or other phones which you already have, as long as they already have active service. The best part is that there is no additional equipment needed; that is, no hardware is needed except for your existing phones, keeping your cost down even more.
2. Run Your Business from Anywhere
Again, you can use all types of phones you already use, but it’s also no problem to take your business on the road and handle all your business calls and messages from your cell. You can literally run your whole business from a single smartphone if you want to.
If you work out of an office and your home, you can take calls there, as well as from your cell phone when you have to leave. You won’t be tied down to your desk anymore, and that is obviously an important factor for business owners.
3. Manage Your Phone System from Anywhere
With a cloud-based system, you will have an online dashboard that has all of your functions and settings contained in it. So, to manage your phone system, all you need to do is log into your account and access the control panel from your online dashboard. You change or adjust everything in your system there and access it from any device; use a desktop computer, a tablet, or your smartphone from a mobile browser.
Among the things you can adjust are: add or remove forwarding phones; change call menu / menu option settings; add, remove, or change voice mailboxes; adjust hours of operation for the system.
4. Better Call Quality
If you’re at all familiar with VoIP phone systems, or if you currently use one for your office, then you know that they rely on your Internet connection for all of your calls. This can be an issue at times because, first of all, if your connection is poor or employees are using up too much bandwidth at any given moment, that means that the audio and connection quality of your calls is going to be diminished significantly.
This is why VoIP systems usually require that you have a dedicated Internet line for the phone system, which means that you are probably going to need to buy expensive equipment to ensure call quality is never impaired.
Talkroute is not a VoIP service, so it never relies on your Internet connection for the phones; it instead connects calls using the existing networks of your phones–cellular or wired network. This results in a far better and more reliable call quality.
5. Go from a Phone to a Professional Phone System
You may currently only have one, or a couple of phones to handle all of your business calls, which is fine; however, this means that you probably have zero professional call management features.
When you add a cloud-hosted system, all your different phones can utilize the system, which allows them to have a call menu, for example, so that callers can press the number of the option they need (each option may all route to the same actual phone, if you like). That’s a great way to properly screen and track your calls.
Another great pro feature you’ll have is business caller ID. When you call out from your cell or home phone, it shows your business number on the outgoing caller ID, hiding your private number. Inversely, customers dial your business number to reach you instead of dialing your personal number.
6. Business Voicemail
You can stop using your personal voicemail for the business, which can be problematic due to a few factors, such as a limited message capacity and inappropriate voicemail greeting. Personal voicemail that comes with your cell phone was not designed for business.
This is why the business-grade voicemail that comes with your virtual phone system is so much better because it is specifically designed to professionally handle your business messages. You get high-capacity mailboxes, multiple mailboxes for different employees, and you can also record and set a separate voicemail greeting for business calls.
7. Give Your Callers On-Hold Music
When someone calls your business, instead of just hearing it ring with a standard tone (you can keep that ringing tone if you prefer), the caller can hear music while they wait for their call to be answered.
Use whatever music you choose, or even record a custom message such as a promotional message for callers on hold. It’s just another way to make your phone system sound more professional.
8. Make Your Business Sound More Professional
When someone calls into your business, it’s always a plus if everything sounds to them like they’re calling an established company. Using a cloud-hosted platform to run your phones, you can add, as we’ve mentioned, things like a call menu (auto attendant), on-hold music, business voicemail, and other pro features.
Even if you are running your entire business using only a single cell phone, you can turn it into a professional phone system. Your callers will never know that you only have one cell phone. The greatest thing about it is that it not only sounds professional to callers; it actually is a professional phone system suited for a business of any size.
If you’re a very small business currently, the virtual phone system will grow with you because you can always move to a different tier with Talkroute as you get higher volume and add employees, etc. All of the features you have with a cloud-hosted phone system are extremely useful to you for call management, as well as reassuring and helpful to your callers.
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.