In today's marketplace, perception often equals success. Customers seeking the right fit for their business needs have more options than ever before and it is important to offer stand-out customer service and unique features to capture and retain customer loyalty.
It is easy for a local or regional business to get trapped by the mindset that it is too expensive to serve national or international customers, or even to provide efficient customer service to their local clientele, but with recent advances in technology it becomes possible to offer award-winning customer service while expanding nationally and even internationally at local calling rates.
A virtual PBX, or a virtual "private branch exchange", allows a business of any size to have all of the same big expensive phone system features but at a fraction of the cost and with no additional hardware. Many companies now employ a virtual phone service for call handling. These systems are extremely flexible and customizable however, the standard set up will have the caller being greeted with a recorded message that gives them options to choose from where they will then be routed to the appropriate department or person. There are numerous reasons for a company to incorporate a virtual phone service into their communications but three features really stand out.
First, because a virtual phone service is managed through a network server, it offers automatic upgrades. There is no need to hire a phone service company to come in and manually update the system. The upgrade is sent to the central server, which in turn affects each and every system on the network. In the past, older PBX systems required hardware installation, but virtual phone services manage themselves via a computer software program which controls the implementation and features of the system.
Second, virtual phone services offer a wide range of flexibility. Features such as call forwarding allow for its users to receive calls anywhere in the world. The virtual phone service will answer the call and can reroute it to a cell phone, another office phone, or even a VoIP phone. Essentially, the system can be configured to work at any location without having to be manually moved, and can be inexpensively upgraded as the business grows.
Third, the cost of a virtual phone service is minimal, which makes it a good choice for any start up, or even a large corporation trying to save money. When implementing a virtual phone service many companies will offer a free trial, no start-up fees, no contracts, and no cancellation fees as incentives. These incentives allow a company to get their feet wet and explore all that the service has to offer. Maintenance costs are very low as well, since the all fixes and upgrades will be made automatically by the provider. Once again, this unique feature eliminates the need for human intervention, which eliminates the manpower hours of a service tech.
Aside from these three major features, it's worth noting that virtual phone services offer a variety of mix-and-match features, from basic functionality all the way up through voice mail, call forwarding, addition or deletion of extensions, call record, and automatic call distribution (ACD), a premium feature that ensures the most efficient handling of waiting callers. In this way virtual phone services are highly adaptable and easy to modify as a business's needs change.
There are certain standard features that any basic virtual phone service package should offer a business, and while perks may differ slightly between providers, a simple internet search will yield the basics of what any quality provider should include at different service levels. For instance, any system should come with a free phone number, but will often differ in the number of extensions provided with that number, and extra extensions will be available for an additional charge. Some providers will also offer included monthly minutes with the plans.
A virtual phone service can manage phone lines for employees working at multiple locations, and is able to handle the phone needs for small and large companies alike. And because it is virtual, it is able to offer businesses more flexibility and features at a fraction of the cost of a standard business phone system.