18 Great Ways to Grow Your Business with a Virtual Phone SystemBusinesses are continually finding new and effective ways to utilize additional and newer phone services to enhance profitability and a virtual phone system is one of them. While not requiring any additional hardware, you can use new software programs and switches housed away from your office, but totally control the system. Here is how you can use existing or newer digital phone services to start or expand your business.
1. Use a Toll Free Number to Get More Customers
The main reason why you should have your own dedicated toll-free number is credibility. Having your own toll-free number shows people that you are a real company willing to make it easy for customers to reach you.
Having a toll-free number boosts your accessibility and can be the difference between calling you versus the competition. Toll-free numbers are a great way to get national reach even for the smallest businesses. Though your business may not be close to your target customers, it does not mean you have to move your office.
2. Use A Single Phone Number Instead of Three Numbers
A phone system offers you the benefits of a single toll-free or local business number to make things ultra-simple for you and for anyone trying to reach you. There is no need to give out 3 different numbers (your office, fax, and cell phone) to people anymore.
Clients, colleagues, and friends will rest assured knowing they can always reach you by merely dialing your single telephone system phone number. And if you can't take the call, voicemail allows you to easily take and manage messages.
3. Promote Your Business While Customers Are on Hold
A business phone system allows you to create your own on-hold commercial.
With a phone call system you can go well beyond music on-hold and actually promote your business while callers are waiting to be connected to speak to you or your representative. On-hold commercials offer a great opportunity to take advantage of any short lull in activity to provide callers with additional information about your products or services.
4. Send and Receive Faxes 24/7 Without a Fax Machine
Sending and receiving faxes got a lot easier, less wasteful and faster. Now you can send and receive faxes around the clock without having to use a fax machine or pay for a separate dedicated fax line.
With a telephone system, you can send or receive faxes any time of the day or night using just your email program or your online account's back office. You no longer need to list a separate fax number on your business card or in your other advertising.
Plus, a virtual phone system will notify you immediately via email and/or text message, when you receive an incoming fax. You can then view your fax online through a link in your email notification or even have it forwarded to another fax machine, if you need to. There is no need to waste paper or toner for cover pages, unwanted text or any of the fax, if it's not required. You can save the fax in your online inbox or to a PDF document.
5. Save Money on Advertising with Ad Tracking Software
One of the most important things for any small business without a multimillion dollar advertising budget is the ability to easily track the results of your ads and determine your return on investment. Advertising needs to be accountable and there is a simple and convenient way for you to that.
Simply include your phone system number, along with an ad tracking code, in your ads. Then remind callers to mention the tracking code number whenever they call in. When ad tracking is activated within your back office callers will be prompted to provide the ad code before they can continue. After they key in the code they will be directed to your greeting.
6. Increase your Sales with 24-hour Recorded Message Hotlines
If you are not using 24-hour recorded messages in your business, you are leaving a pile of money on the table. Toll-free 24-hour recorded messages are so powerful because:
1) They are toll free. Since the caller doesn't have to spend anything to call your "hotline," it significantly increases the likelihood that they will call. Studies have shown that using a toll-free number in your advertising gets vastly greater response, than when just using a local number.
2) Recorded messages work for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: it will still be working for you, while you attend to other business.
3) You can use a toll-free 24-hour recorded message for a huge variety of marketing tasks - especially for capturing leads. Toll-Free 24-hour recorded messages are great for:
4) hosting audio overviews of products and services
5) giving office location and hours
6) showcasing testimonials
7) providing information in multiple languages.
In fact, most of ad respondents would rather listen to a free recorded message than talk to a real person. Once your prospect has listened to your customized message your phone system can direct them to leave their contact information, so you can follow up with them later.
Prospects can even press 0 to speak with you directly at anytime while listening to your recording if call forwarding is turned on. This feature gives you the ability to speak to a hot qualified prospect immediately, presuming you are available.
7. Showcase and Gather Testimonials
Sincere testimonials from your satisfied customers are worth their weight in gold for any business. Prospects want to know whom they can trust and hearing positive comments directly from others who have used the product or service is awesome.
With a business telephone system you can now capture and present those valuable testimonials to prospects at the touch of a button 24 hours a day. For example, customers can be asked to call a particular extension to record their testimonial. You can then publish that "testimonial hotline" extension in advertisements and mailings to prospects. They can then call in and listen to testimonials from happy customers.
8. Hold Your Own Phone Conferences
Holding your own conference calls is a breeze with your phone system bridge line. With virtual conference table conference calls are easy to schedule and they can be held at times that are convenient to all concerned. Your conference call bridge line comes complete with its own telephone number, which participants simply dial in order to attend the meeting.
Now you'll have a simple tool that allows team members located in remote areas to have easy access to meetings. Hold teleconferences for training and other purposes. You can even use it for informational meetings to acquaint prospects with certain aspects of your product or business.
9. Improve Your Yellow Pages Presence with a Toll Free Number
Make your yellow page or other advertising stand out from the crowd as the preferred ad that customers will read and to which they respond. A change that requires very little extra work on your part is to simply add your toll-free number along with a brief call to action telling them what they will hear when they call.
You can even set up a dedicated number specifically for your yellow page or other online ad. Then when the customer calls you can direct them to a specific mailbox where they will hear the marketing information or other information you have prepared for them.
One of the best uses of this technique is to offer a free report in exchange for their contact information. They simply leave their name and address (or email address) and you send them the free report. This is a great way to build a highly targeted mailing list just through the use of your normal advertising. This same technique can be used with newspaper, magazine or even classified ads.
10. Train New Staff and Increase Productivity
You can record any and every conversation that takes place between you and your clients. You'll have an archived bank of recorded calls that you can listen to over and over for quality control. Once you've finished recording your call, you'll get immediate access to your recordings via email or online in the recording archive section.
In addition, you'll have a ready-made training tool - one that ensures that newer employees will quickly become productive members of your team so you can:
* maintain top-shelf customer service
* keep track of how well your salespeople are handling incoming calls
* improve customer relations and tune in easily to your customers' most pressing needs.
11. Distribute Incoming Calls Among Your Team with Automated Call Distribution
Thanks to automated call distribution, you can now ensure that each member of your team receives an equal number of calls each day. This feature is especially handy if you have a sales team and want to distribute incoming phone leads evenly among your team members to avoid overload and create a level playing field.
In addition, multiple callers can be on-hold while waiting to connect to the next available representative. You can even set up your extension so team members have time to finish details from the last call before their phone rings again.
You can also customize the amount of time for each separate queue and announce to your callers how many others are in line ahead of them so they can choose whether to remain on-hold or call back later. Further, you can get detailed reports showing how many calls each of your team members are taking per day and the average length of each call.
12. Use Surveys to Find Out What's on Your Customers' and Prospects' Minds
Whenever you can find out just what it is your customers and clients are thinking, you are ten steps ahead of your competitors. And with a phone system survey tool, you'll be able to find out what they're thinking without having to pay for focus groups or other expensive marketing ploys.
This handy survey tool allows you to record multiple questions - each followed by a beep - in order to record an answer from the caller. A phone call system then can combine your questions into one voice mail message which prospects, customers, and clients will hear. There is no limit to the number of questions you can ask. This is great for developing customer-centered approach in your marketing and service.
13. Let Your Site Visitors Call You Quickly
With a click-to-call feature, people from anywhere in the country can reach your toll free number.
With a simple addition of HTML code, you'll have an easy-to-find button icon or text link embedded in your website, email signatures, online ads, or any other online document. What's more, you can set up your click-to-call so it routes calls to any phone or series of phone numbers in a fixed or rotating order.
When a client or prospect clicks on your click-to-call link, a pop-up box will open on their computer. The caller merely enter their phone number, clicks the call button, and phone system calls them. When the caller answers, telephone system dials the number you have pre-configured to connect the caller to you. If you are unavailable, the caller will be forwarded to voice mail.
14. Send Important Documents to Customers 24/7 with Fax On-Demand
Now there is a simple way to give your customers around-the-clock access to important printed documents. With fax on-demand feature, you can create your own library of documents that callers can get via fax delivery instantly.
Customers merely call in to your special fax on-demand extension, where they will hear a brief description of your library's documents. At that point, they need only input their fax number and the fax on-demand tool immediately and automatically calls that number and sends them the information you have uploaded to that particular extension.
15. Telecommute Easily with a Business Phone System
As more and more employees work in varied home locations away from the main office, having a tool to keep a dispersed team connected within one phone system becomes increasingly important. With phone system telecommuters' home phones can appear to be connected directly into the main office phone.
Avoid the possible mix up that can occur by having to give out home phone numbers while keeping your team's privacy intact. Callers need not even know where a telecommuting partner is located.
16. Use a Telephone System to Track Your Pay-per-Click Advertising
If you use pay-per-click advertising for any aspect of your business, you will find that phone system can help you reap huge. When prospects click on your pay-per-click advertisement they will be taken to your website. After reading your marketing message some may decide to call you.
By linking specific sets of keywords from you pay-per-click ads to your ad tracker, you will be able to tell which keywords are getting the best response. Similarly, you can also link specific sets of keywords to separate toll-free numbers. By keeping close track of your response numbers, you'll be better informed as to which ads are working and which ads are not.
17. Rent your Properties Faster and Get Better Tenants
With 24-hour hotlines you can weed out unqualified renters with a recorded message that describes the qualifications you are looking for in a tenant. By using this method, you will eliminate "tire kickers" and unqualified people calling you to ask about the property.
24-hour recorded message hotlines for real estate make so much sense. They save you incredible amounts of time and energy, while performing the work of an army of professionals.
18. Hire Your Next Superstar and Profit with Record Messages
One of the many benefits of 24-hour recorded messages is what they can do to help you hire great employees. Now you can save time and minimize your aggravation in the hiring process by using 24-hour recorded messages to inform and screen applicants.
The beauty of this model is that when prospects call, they can listen to the information and determine whether or not they are truly interested in and qualified for the position. If they are not interested or qualified, they need not waste your time, nor do you need to waste theirs with a useless conversation.
As you can see, overall, you can get great business results by using a phone system creatively.