Archive for July 24, 2014

How to Find the Best Place to Buy an 800 Number for Your Business

If you are in the market for an 800 number, then you likely realize that there are dozens upon dozens of companies out there offering them. How do you find the best company? There are some things that you should look for, which include the ability to try out the services, a company that will allow you to take your number with you if you switch providers, and even one that provides you with all of the other services you will need to expand.

Free Trial

The first thing that you will want to consider before you purchase your 800 number is whether or not you will receive a free trial with your service. After all, you don’t want to pay for anything before you are sure it will fit your needs, and a free trial is always a better choice than a money-back guarantee. You will also want to make sure that you won’t be forced into signing a long-term contract since what is right for your company right now may not be what’s best for you down the road.

Portable Number

Some of the providers out there make it incredibly difficult to port your 800 number if you decide to change companies in the future. The Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, allows for this to occur, but individual companies have the right to charge you a fee to bring your number over. The only toll free telephone number that cannot be ported is a shared number which is typically a vanity number that is shared by several businesses in the same niche or industry. In this case, the provider actually owns the number and is only leasing a part of it.

Price and Options

Of course, one of the most important things to consider when you are choosing a provider is the price you will pay for not only your monthly service, but also your installation and other related items. With a virtual phone system, there is no installation of hardware and no software to download. There are no phone lines to run, no equipment to buy, and no hefty installation fees that will appear on your first billing statement. As far as monthly fees go, you will want to find a provider that offers a package that fits your needs on a month-to-month basis.

Flexible and Expandable

Finally, you will want to make sure that the service you receive from your provider of choice is flexible and expandable. If you decide you don’t need a certain 800 number after a couple of months, you should not be charged to turn it off. What’s more, if you decide you want to add 10 or even 20 numbers at some point as your business grows, you should be able to do so at the drop of a hat.

These are the criteria that you should consider when you are choosing the best place to buy your 800 number. Consider what you are getting for your money and whether or not a contract is required, and the rest of the decisions should be simpler.

 

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A Virtual Phone System is the Perfect Solution for People on the Go

While there are some business owners out there who can manage things from a single location, that isn’t true for most of us. The truth is that most company owners are always on the go, whether they are meeting with their clients or spending time with their families. A virtual phone system is a great way to keep you in touch while you are away from the office or even while you are away from home as it comes with a feature known as call forwarding.

How it Works

With call forwarding, the idea is that the number you chose through your virtual phone system provider can be transferred to any other number you choose. This way, if you want to leave the office and go home for the night, a few mouse clicks is all it takes to send that number to your home phone. If you will be leaving for a conference or even on vacation, you can send that number to your cellphone. Even if you will be spending some time in a hotel room, you can often forward all of your calls right to your desk.

Always Available

Nothing is more frustrating to an existing or a potential customer than not being able to reach someone regarding a product or a service. When the phone rings and rings, people will often not wait until you are back at the phone; they will generally just contact the next business in the phone book that can provide them with what they want or need. As such, a virtual phone system is necessary if you want to keep your customers happy.

No More Voicemail

Though there are times when it might be perfectly acceptable to send your callers to voicemail – such as in the middle of the night – it is best avoided most of the time. The truth is that the majority of consumers have one of two major problems with their calls being answered by voicemail. The first is that it is incredibly impersonal and the second is that they are not sure that their calls will be returned promptly, if at all. With a virtual phone system, you can arrange it so that there is always someone available to answer, at least during business hours.

Increase Employee Mobility

There are all kinds of instances in which employees may also need to be mobile and these systems allow individuals to take their own personal extensions with them, too. For instance, if you are running a bakery and a client asks you to deliver 20 dozen donuts, the employee who is making that delivery is never out of touch with his or her clients – or you, for that matter. It makes things simpler and ensures that your company network remains intact at all times.

Anyone who is on the go, whether it is work or home related, can certainly enjoy all of the benefits that a virtual phone system and the call forwarding feature can provide. When your customers can always reach someone, you are providing better customer service and you will inevitably enjoy a higher level of success.