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How to Select the Right Virtual Phone System
Businesses face fierce competition. In order to keep up with competitors and the fast pace set by the business world, it is vital to keep your company up to date with the latest in innovations in communication and connectivity. Keeping in touch with customers, and even more importantly, letting your customers keep in touch with you, means you can not afford to miss important phone calls.
Missed calls or email messages inadvertently sent to the junk folder could mean the loss of an existing customer or failing to connect with a new one. If your current business phone system isn’t able to keep you connected with current and potential clients, it is time to upgrade to the twenty first century with a virtual phone system.
The big question is how to select the right virtual phone system for your needs. Choosing the right system for your business can mean the difference between struggling to keep your head above water and enjoying a profitable year.
Phone systems used in large corporations are very complicated, require a trained technician to install and maintain, and cost a small fortune to set up and use. A virtual phone system doesn’t need any of that. You can have your system up and running in no time at all, and in most cases there is no extra equipment to buy. However, some systems will only work with phones provided by the company, so that could be a big deciding factor when choosing the right provider for you.
What to Look For
Virtual phone service providers are not all the same. The business is very competitive, and companies try to offer similar services, but when you dig a little deeper, you realize that some are more targeted to certain businesses while others are more geared towards other types of customers. So, the first thing you need to do is check out the various companies, and then decide what features you need for your business.
Now, that might sound backwards. Usually you would pinpoint your needs and then find a company that can fill those needs. However, if you are new to virtual phone systems, you can’t imagine all they have to offer. You may discover many fascinating features you didn’t even know existed.
What You Want
You want a high quality service provider with little to zero down time and high quality phone service. The main features offered by most phone system providers include:
• Auto-attendant. An automated receptionist that handles incoming calls in a very professional manner. You decide how calls will be handled, and the message can be customized to portray your company image.
• Dial an extension. Callers will be presented with a menu where they can choose which department they wish to contact.
• Dial a name. Callers can enter the first or last name of the person they wish to speak with, and the call will be directed to that person’s extension.
• Call forwarding. If you will be away from the main phone or the office, you can have calls forwarded to any number you wish.
• Music on hold. When customers have to be put on hold, you can program the system to play music. The selection of music is vast. What ever type of tunes you are into, chances are the company has it on their list.
• Message on hold. Music is great, but why not use this valuable time to promote a new product, an upcoming sale or generate excitement about an event you are hosting or sponsoring? Messages can be updated as often as you like, and you don’t have to be computer genius to change the message.
• Easy to use. Setting up your system to operate just the way you like is simple and straightforward. If you do run into difficulties, customer support is always ready and able to help.
The top virtual phone service providers include RingCentral and Virtual PBX.
RingCentral has plans starting at only $9.99 per month. They offer instant activation, and don’t require any additional hardware or long term contracts. It is one of the easiest systems to get your business in the league of the big corporations, plus you get internet fax services, as well.
Virtual PBX has many plans to choose from, so you pay for as much as you need. The system requires special VoIP phones, which are included with the phone plan. At $32.99 per month for just one user, the plan may sound expensive at first glance, but when you consider everything that’s included, you will see it is a very good deal. Your flat rate includes unlimited minutes and free calls within the US and Canada, one thousand toll free minutes, and much more. Prices per user decrease the more users you add to the plan.
When choosing the right communication solution for your business, it all boils down to a great balance between advanced features, affordable rates, superior call clarity and reliable operation. Take your time to analyze the features to make sure you get exactly what you need. Take a look at the top 10 phone systems.