As a business owner, you’re always on the lookout for new ways to reduce costs, increase brand awareness and grow. But with so many services and products vying for your attention, how do you decide which ones are worth the investment? A virtual phone number offers a range of business benefits and does not require a significant investment of time or money. Check out our top five reasons why a virtual phone number for business should be top of your list of “must-haves”.
- Never Miss an Important Business Call
The number of start-ups has reached record levels in recent years and many entrepreneurs begin running their enterprise from home. Funding is a major concern for new businesses and most owners have to set up on a small budget, so removing the cost of renting premises makes sense. However, there are some corners you should not cut when running a small business. Using a personal mobile number as the main business number may seem like an economical choice, but relying on one mobile device seriously limits the communication capabilities of a business.
If the mobile network goes down or a fault occurs with the handset, customers and prospects will be unable to reach you. Even if there are no such incidents, there will be times when you are unavailable and calls go unanswered. This will result in frustrated customers and lost business.
A virtual telephone number allows you to divert calls to any device you choose. The business is not reliant on one piece of hardware. Advanced features such as auto-attendant, divert on busy and voicemail allow consumers to reach a business 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Customers receive a consistently high standard of service and you never miss an important business call.
- Reduce Costs
Getting a virtual phone number can save a business considerable amounts of money. Calls to certain numbers, such as international numbers, are likely to be much more cost-effective with a virtual number provider than with a traditionally based carrier. Costs are also reduced for the customer. If you select a local business number for a target location, consumers in that area will pay the local rate even if the call routes to a national or international number.
A virtual business number does not require any specific hardware; it works with existing devices. Your virtual phone system will operate in the cloud and route calls to selected devices — such as a mobile phone, desktop computer or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system. There are no expensive set-up or maintenance costs.
- Improve Credibility and Brand Reputation
Running a business via a personal mobile phone not only makes it vulnerable to communication system failures, but it also looks unprofessional. Potential customers will be dissuaded from calling a personal mobile number as it makes the business appear untrustworthy and small-scale. Even if your business is a start-up, it’s important to convey to customers and prospects that it is reliable and you have the necessary expertise to meet their needs.
There are several types of virtual phone numbers, including toll-free numbers, local numbers, national numbers and international numbers, to name a few. You can even create a bespoke “vanity number”, such as 0800-BUILDER, that will help promote the business and drive customers your way. Virtual numbers boost the credibility of a business in several ways:
National numbers such as 0871 can establish a national reputation for your business even if you’re operating out of a bedroom. Consumers are more likely to trust a company that appears established enough to have a national reach. As a bonus, these numbers can even turn a profit as customers pay a higher rate for their call.
Local numbers that use the area code for a specific location allow a business to establish a local presence in a target area without the need to set up premises. Many people search for services or product providers in their local area, e.g. “plumbers in London” and are more likely to reach out to local companies.
Toll-free numbers suggest a business is invested in providing excellent customer service. Consumers are more likely to make a free call than one they have to pay for. Offering a toll-free number for customer service, support lines or inbound sales will enhance the business reputation.
- Manage Business on the Go
Why restrict yourself to working in one location when you could have the freedom to handle business from anywhere in the world? A virtual number is not tied to a particular device — unlike a mobile or landline number. There is no need for a traditional phone line. You can route calls to wherever you choose. Most entrepreneurs start a business to be their own boss and give themselves the ultimate flexibility and control to manage their work as they see fit. A virtual number offers the ultimate flexibility.
It’s easy to route calls to a mobile phone, to other members of staff or voicemail. With Time of Day Routing, calls automatically divert to any chosen number at set times. Perhaps you want to send all calls to your mobile in the evening and voicemail during the weekend?
A virtual number also allows staff to work flexibly. Route incoming sales to the relevant team members even if they are working remotely from home. Remote working is an increasingly popular “work perk” that attracts top talent and increases employee retention.
- Promote a Healthy Work-Life Balance
Business owner burnout is on the rise and this is often due to long work hours and feeling overwhelmed. Technology is sometimes blamed for making people feel they should be constantly available — responding to emails on mobile phones and taking calls on holiday. However, if used wisely, it can also promote a healthy work-life balance.
Using a personal mobile number to run a business means there is no separation between work and personal lives. Getting a virtual business phone number allows business owners to control when they are available to work and when they need some downtime. Set up the business phone system to route calls to voicemail or another staff member outside of your chosen work hours. Advanced call routing makes it easy to set up a routing plan that ensures work calls are confined to work hours and you’re not interrupted during free time.
A virtual phone number for business is a savvy investment. It involves minimal time, money or effort to set up and maintain yet it can deliver considerable business benefits.
Take a look at the range of virtual numbers available at City Numbers and learn about the additional incoming call features that could transform your business. Contact us to discuss your requirements today.