What is a Virtual Phone Number?
Back in the day every phone number was tied geographically to communicate from a specific area (the green boxes in your neighborhood) to the phone company. But mobile devices challenged that infrastructure long ago. But we keep moving further and further into purely digital communications. Geography, especially in-country, Your office might still have an on-site PBX that takes and routes calls.
Virtual phone number removes geographic limitations, so you can route calls to/from anywhere. It is also a digital native. This allows businesses to manage numbers and extensions from a cloud portal, which is accessible anywhere with Internet. You can see the uses when there is no work office to go to. But it also means that communications gain all the flexibility of software, opening an incredible assortment of communications tools for your teams.
1. Teams are more productive with one consistent collaborative toolset
Cloud apps are nice on a person-to-person basis. But they lose security and cohesiveness as groups increase in size. Think about how important it is for everyone to have the same email address. This allows employees to gain immediate trust with each other versus external addresses. Which fuels productivity and cohesion. Meanwhile, employees only need to learn one email toolset to be productive. We take these things for granted with email, but the same principles apply to any form of communication.
Using disparate services can accomplish the necessities, but it often causes confusion behind the scenes, as employees discuss which tool to use, and need to learn and relearn how to do the same things. What’s more, collaborative tools like web conferencing, screen sharing, recording features, etc. are more complicated than email. In fact most organizations do not get the most from VoIP Collaborative Tools. But having one toolset tied to a virtual phone network increases trust, communication, and productivity.
2. Easy to extend virtual network to mobile phones
One of the most significant differences from your typical office phone is that virtual phones can extend the network so that anyone can tap in, regardless of location or device. You might already know this, but many do not. Extend your virtual phone to any mobile device, so that employees can send and receive business calls direct to their mobile.
3. Automated incoming call routing with automated attendant
This one might sound like a perk, but companies that take significant call volumes can save an incredible amount of time while delivering superior customer service with this one virtual feature. Automated attendants answer the phone immediately and present a menu for incoming callers, so the call is directed to the appropriate department.
Of course, we have all had poor experiences with auto attendants as well. It is well worth the effort to set up this service so that your callers quickly find the service they are looking for. Many SMBs do not find it challenging to set-up a system that helps them and their customers.
One advantage that adds simplicity for the customer is practically limitless extensions. You can set up a unique extension for each sales page of your website, so that the appropriate department or professional receives the call, completely bypassing the auto attendant altogether. Web visitors hit a button, which sends them immediately to sales, and the service automatically dials the first available agent. We walk our customers through these features all the time.
4. Virtual phone connects to IT to automate menial work
Because virtual phone numbers are managed in the cloud, they benefit from the latest technology — without the need to manage, maintain, or upgrade software. And once the phone is virtual, it can easily connect with a wide assortment of tools. These might be everything from Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to management and analytics tools that come standard with your virtual phone system.
A few of the most common capabilities include:
- Macro analytics on the fly: Know how many calls came in, how long they take, who received them, etc. Pair this with advertising campaigns, discounts, and events.
- Integrate caller ID with databases to access contextual information for each caller, bringing this information to the attention of your customer service representative so that the caller doesn’t need to “explain themselves” 5 times to get their case resolved.
Better customer experience with large potential to improve
By now we hope you have a sense of how virtual phones allow you to benefit your organization in terms of efficiency, while also benefiting the service your customers receive. But the future is even more exciting. The capabilities described here are the low-hanging fruit now, but new features are developed every month that drive further benefits for virtual phone-driven businesses.
The recent migration to virtual offices has occurred due to temporary circumstances, but due to the many benefits of virtual phones, we suspect (and hope) that many companies will embrace the change.
Convinced yet? If you have any questions about migrating to a virtual phone system please give us a call!
David J. Binkowski
I have worked with Convergence Solutions on several projects over the past 15 years. They are always extremely professional, knowledgeable and quick to respond to any issues. Highly recommend!
Why Convergence Cloud
The telecom industry is moving too slowly. Why nickle-and-dime you over minutes when it’s all just data?
Convergence Cloud delivers unlimited local or long-distance minutes. Every one of our plans are inclusive with no additional items costs.
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As a Denver business, we are in the neighborhood to support you as much or as little as you need. If VoIP is new to you, our service representatives can take you through the process, so you know your communications will go uninterrupted.