If you find yourself dreaming of a virtual receptionist because you’re staying glued to one location in order to avoid missing important calls – you may want to look into virtual phone services. They would be a great addition to your virtual office, and can simplify the way you connect with your clients and team members. All while experiencing dozens of additional benefits along the way.
What are Virtual Telephone Services?
A virtual telephone system is a cloud based phone system. It’s a type of phone service that allows you to receive and make phone calls or texts using an internet connection. When you use this cloud-based system, you’ll get a virtual phone number that’s tied to an account — rather than a device or location — which means accessing your business number is as easy as signing onto a desktop, web, or mobile app with an internet connection.
Virtual phone systems combine the best of traditional landlines—secure lines and clear call quality—with the mobility and flexibility of modern web applications. It allows virtual phone system providers to offer a variety of features to businesses compared to traditional systems, which pretty much limit the service they can provide to a single location.
Examples of features include: you can choose an area code outside where you live or a toll-free number for your business phone number, share phone number access with teammates, integrate your phone system with your CRM, and access real-time analytics to get insight on your calls.
How do they work?
Virtual phone systems use a technology called Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to connect you to callers or call recipients – acting as your virtual receptionist.
Virtual phone numbers rely on the internet instead of a phone company or cell tower to provide coverage, which is how it allows users to be reached by either phone or computer. It also allows you to change the device you use in real time. For example, if you only want to be available on your mobile phone at certain times, you can route all calls you receive during work hours to a virtual phone line.
Instead of buying a bunch of new desk phones and networking equipment, virtual telephone systems allow you to create a professional phone system by downloading a desktop app to your PC and by routing calls through your smartphone.
Once you’re up and running, you can add every member of your team to the system so that calls are routed to whichever desktops and phones you like, cell or landline.
Benefits of Virtual Telephone Services
Take advantage of the top benefits that telephone services have to offer.
Work anywhere you want
A virtual telephone service will give your team a lot more flexibility. You can make and receive calls whether you’re at your desk or on the go. For example, if someone in your company is going to be away and needs to be reachable by phone but doesn’t want to give out their personal cell number, you could assign a virtual number to their cell phone.
Virtual phone numbers are also beneficial for companies with multiple office locations. Instead of a phone ringing in one office, incoming calls will be automatically sent to phones in each office.
Building fully remote teams is possible with cloud phone systems since all you need is an internet connection to keep everyone in the loop. Your team members can jump on whatever device is most convenient for them at any given time.
Integrate it with your marketing campaigns
Track key customer metrics through your virtual phone line. Many CRM systems let you assign a unique number to a specific campaign, so you’ll know if someone is calling for that campaign based on the number alone. This data can be helpful in evaluating the effectiveness of a campaign.
Improve collaboration and workflow
Traditional phone systems only allow you to connect with your team through basic features such as call transfers and call forwarding — but that’s about it. Beyond that, phone communication ends up being a solo venture.
Virtual phone systems can immerse your team in a fully collaborative environment and therefore providing better workflow and productivity. For example, you can easily reach out to your team members via call or text, or you can share contacts along with important notes for context.
Expanding to new markets
Traditional phone lines are tied to geographic locations, so when a customer sees an incoming call from a number that is outside their area code this could be enough cause for them to not pick up. So if you are looking to expand your business to new markets in different locations, a virtual phone service could help with this problem. For example if you want to attract people within the Toronto area, having a phone number attached to that location will be beneficial.
Additionally, if you’re taking your business abroad, virtual phone systems tend to offer far lower long-distance rates than traditional business phones.
Virtual phone lines can save your business thousands of dollars in telephone and equipment charges. Since they are 100% digital, virtual phone lines require no hardware, equipment, installation or maintenance.
You also won’t have any need to hire anyone to take your calls because the phone service will be your virtual receptionist.
How do you know you need a virtual phone service?
Here are some key considerations to take into account when deciding if a virtual phone service is right for your objectives.
Every small business owner will have unique needs for their business, and virtual phone systems can offer a wide variety of features that may or may not suit those needs. Make a prioritized list of must-have and nice-to-have features for your business.
Here are some features you could look for:
- SMS and MMS messaging
- Virtual mailbox- Mail forwarding or redirecting client mail weekly
- Business hour settings
- Call recording
- Business app integrations
- Custom greetings for your voicemail box
- Caller ID
Your business needs will grow over time. So it is important to choose a provider that can offer you features that will not only meet your current requirements, but that can provide you with additional benefits in the future if needed.
For example, how many phone numbers will you need? How many team members will need to use the phone to communicate with customers? Will you be making a lot of international calls? And what advanced phone functionalities will help your team continue to thrive?
Along with virtual office services, Telesec offers virtual phone and answering services to meet your business’s growing needs. See how they can help you today.