How to Setup a Basic Virtual Phone System
When you are running a small business, you want to make sure you have a solid telecommunications system. Many companies opt for a VoIP business phone service plan because there are no extra wires or installation hassles. You can make your company appear larger and handle customers around the world with ease, and all that is necessary is any type of phone (be it landline or mobile device). In addition, this business phone service takes less than an hour to set up.
Step One: Selecting a Plan
The first step in setting up VoIP for your business is to select the plan and phone system you need. As a small business, it is important to keep your costs low to help maximize your profits. However, you need to also make sure that the system you select is reliable because you do not want to be dropping calls. There are many VoIP companies that offer you the ability to tailor your service plan to have features that you need, and going with a plan that offers a hosted service gives you the ability to forgo installation.
Step Two: Deciding on a Number
Once you have decided upon the number of phone lines needed, its time to choose numbers. There are three methods you can go with VoIP numbers, similar to traditional phone service plans. You can let the hosting company randomly select a number for you, or you can choose or create a unique number, or port your own phone number from previous vendor for free. This number will then be forwarded to any phone that you decide to use.
You may want both a local and a toll-free number, or you can simply use a toll-free or vanity number that everyone will easily remember. The options are vast, so look at the price plans available and decide what works for your company. If you are an existing company, it is advised that you maintain your current phone number so customers can reach you without having to remember a new number (or re-program their phone).
Step Three: Add Extensions if Desired
Even small business phone service plans should have a starting menu when customers call. With VoIP, the start menu includes reaching a person directly using a name directory. However, you can divide your company into departments and allow customers to direct their calls. This adds to the perception of your company, as the more departments you offer, the larger the company appears. Just remember that if you have your customers jumping through hoops to talk to a live person, they may disconnect the call and you will lose a sale.
Step Four: Make a Recording
When it comes to creating a recording for your answering service, you want to consider who does the voice. You have the option of paying for a professional recording, or you can have someone in your company make the message. The voice customers hear on the phone will give them an immediate perception of the company, and you want to make sure that it is easy to understand. Professional recordings often give customers the perception of a large corporation, while recordings done by an employee offer the perception of a small, friendly organization.
Once you have finished creating a menu and adding custom recordings, you are ready to start taking phone calls. In addition to standard calls, Virtual Phone System lines can be used traditional fax machines via ATA, allowing you to completely manage your telecommunications virtually. You will not have to wait for the phone company technician to come and make installations, allowing you to concentrate on getting your business up and running.