While this topic may seem a little out of place on a marketing and design blog, we feel it may be of service to many of the small business owners we work with everyday. That being said, here are four steps for small businesses to implement a cloud-based phone system.
1. Pick a virtual phone provider.
In our experience Grasshopper has been very easy to work with. RingCentral is another provider of virtual phone services we have heard a lot about. Most virtual phone providers offer similar features such as:
- 1 free number
- Unlimited extensions
- Custom main greeting
- Virtual Fax service
- Call forwarding
- Mobile apps
2. Set up your account with your mobile phone.
Most of us carry around our mobile phones all day, and part of switching to a cloud-based phone solution is just using your mobile phone even more. The set up is easy – just create an account and pay the fee (typically much less than traditional phone service) and then choose either a toll free or local number.
3. Add your employees and departments.
Once you have your account and phone number set up all you have to do is assign extensions to your employees and/or departments. This whole process is very simple across providers and gives you the power to manage your business’ entire phone system right from a web browser.
4. Set up the auto attendant.
Every provider of virtual phone services has some version of the auto-attendant which can be though of as as the operator in more traditional phone systems. After you have set up your extensions/departments setting up the auto-attendant is fairly easy. First record a professional greeting such as:
“Thank you for calling SLO Design Solutions, your partner in online success. If you know who you are trying to reach please enter there extension now, otherwise here is a list of people who may be able to help: For technical support, please press one. For customer service and sales please press two. Thank you for calling SLO Design Solutions, have a great day!”
Having a virtual phone set up can be a great asset to a small business when used correctly. We have heard time and time again from clients that having a cloud based phone system has allowed them to break out of box created by traditional phone service. Have any additional advice for small businesses? We would love to hear your comments below.