The Benefits of Virtual Phone Systems Explained
For any to be successful, communication between it and its customers and among team member needs to seamless. If you are having issues with dropped calls, a lack of internet and mobile features, or expensive hardware, it’s probably time that you considered investing in a virtual phone system.
Virtual Phone System: What Is It?
Virtual phone system, also known as virtual private branch exchange or VPBX, are communication platforms designed for businesses that need a variety of messaging and call services, such as voicemail, extensions, fax, and call routing.
The main difference between virtual phone systems and traditional systems is you do not have to buy new phones for team members or install clunky hardware. VPBX systems are entirely virtual and work well with existing infrastructure, that is your current hard line and even mobile phones.
If your business relies on Skype or personal phones, a virtual phone system can prove to be a convenient and affordable way to optimize your organization’s communications. Many virtual phone systems are designed for small businesses to help them reduce telephone costs.
VPBX or VoIP?
VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol is a popular alternative to conventional phone systems, led by applications like Skype. Voice over Internet Protocol provides over-the-internet calling rather than over PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network), which a majority of traditional phones use.
While VoIP is considerably cheaper, it requires broadband internet connectivity. Virtual Phone Systems, on the other hand, use the Public Switched Telephone Network. Some service providers offer both services, which is a good thing for those who’d to have PSTN and Internet functionality.
Factors To Consider When Choosing a Virtual Private Branch Exchange System
Choosing a suitable provider can be rather tricky considering that there are so many service providers out there offering Virtual Phone Systems and other phone platforms. Furthermore, each service provider has different strengths and specialties that need to be considered before making a decision.
Some top brands – like CenturyLink, FiOS, and EarthLink – do offer business plans; however, most of these plans involve hardware installation and are usually lean towards providing Internet services.
Here are seven factors to consider when searching for a virtual private branch exchange that suits your needs.
1. Business Size/Type
Considering that your business is your lifeline, it is essential that the phone system you choose caters to your needs and style. The good thing is that there are programs and package for businesses of all sizes and shapes.
For example, Nextiva is renowned for working well with start-ups and small businesses. Larger businesses would prefer RingCentral or Virtual PBX. If most of your employees, and that includes you, work on the road, consider working with a company like Phone.com which specializes in mobile phones.
If your business has several specialized divisions within it or is multifaceted, you might want to consider using extensions. By simply adding a few extra digits after your business’ number, it becomes possible to route calls to specific employees or departments.
Irrespective of how complex your organization becomes, the flexibility extensions offer should help ensure that your customers call the right people. Consider working with service providers like Virtual PBX or Grasshopper that offer unlimited extensions in their package deals.
No one wants to deal with disorienting technical details and complicated interfaces. You need a streamlined and straightforward phone system that lets you make calls, allowing you to keep your organization running without too much hassle.
Grasshopper is an excellent option for beginners looking for a minimalist interface and a handful of features. If you are looking for a provider with an array of useful features and an easy to learn design, then check out RingCentral.
4. Customer Service
It is essential to ensure that the company you choose has your back when in need of support. Consider how easy it is to reach them when you need help?
If you consider yourself inexperienced, Nextiva is a great choice. The service provider takes pride in itself for maintaining strong and healthy relations with its customers and always has representatives at your beck and call.
5. Disaster Recovery
One great thing about virtual private branch exchange systems is that they allow businesses to continue operating even after your business has experienced a disaster like a fire or a flood. By having a routing plan set up, you should be able to reroute your Virtual Phone System to use mobile or home numbers.
Such a plan, used in conjunction with a reliable data backup system, can help keep your start-up open even after disaster strikes. Virtual private branch exchange systems have a comprehensive parachute system that is always ready to keep your company operating even during and after an emergency.
Do not let that phone bill milk your business dry. Before hiring any service provider, make sure to investigate them to see if the package they are offering is affordable and if it provides what you need.
If your business uses very few minutes on calls, you might want to consider taking on a pay-per-minute plan like that offered by Grasshopper. Companies that spend a lot of time on calls and messages should consider getting an unlimited plan like that offered by Phone.com
7. Automated Call Distribution
Most service-oriented companies need telephone support capability. It can sometimes be very frustrating when you call a company and are put on hold for quite some time as your call is tossed from one representative to the other. Most people usually end up hanging up in frustration. As a business, you do not want that.
A quality ACD or automated call distribution provides customers a streamlined service, so any time they call, they get connected to the people they want to talk to, fast. Virtual PBX is well-known for its reliable and feature-rich ACD system.