Four Reasons Phone Systems for Startups Are Still Needed
In this article we cover:
- why phone interaction is still necessary;
- advantages of using a virtual phone number for entrepreneurs;
- how to manage multichannel communication;
- MightyCall’s options for efficient customer support.
Virtual phone numbers for startups: still a necessity
A virtual phone system allows to answer and manage telephone calls without a dedicated line or associated expensive equipment. Therefore, the advantages of professional phone systems are no longer restricted to large companies with hundreds of employees and considerable communication budgets. With an easily customizable feature package providing adequate flexibility to your existing setup, you are free to choose the options you require (call forwarding, auto-receptionist, voice menu, toll-free calls, etc.) And why do you need it? Because it brings profits!
What’s that all about
Why would a budding business need a business phone number when we have emails, text messengers and social networks? Voice communication remains indispensable when it comes to providing fast responses with a personal touch. According to recent surveys, 75% of customers think that calling is the most reliable way to get an immediate response. Furthermore, an American Express survey points out that 46% of people prefer phone calls when they want to discuss a serious issue with a customer support service.
Some clients are reluctant to use text messaging because plain text looks impersonal and lacks empathy. A voice conversation is a face-to-face dialogue by its nature. It implies that this particular company representative will take care of the matter in question with all due respect and responsibility. On the contrary, the overall impression of an email is that it can be easily ignored or “get lost” in a haystack of similar notes. It means that if you are unable to provide high-quality voice support, a certain portion of useful client interaction will be lost. But you will never know about it: according to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, only 1 out of 26 dissatisfied customers bothers to leave a complaint, most of them will just forget about your company once and for all.
So what’s that all about? In the end, it’s all about getting larger revenues with lesser investment. Now and then we tend to forget that voice calls are still a habitual and convenient method of communication for many people. Here are 8 reasons to get a virtual phone number and a dedicated communication system.
Customers consider you trustworthy
As mentioned above, bigger companies widely use fully-fledged communication systems. There’s a good reason for it, and here’s an illustrative example: people will hardly take you seriously if you have a free email account or a website hosted for free. Similarly, the mere absence of a business number puts you in a lower position as “not up to standard”. A good deal of people are reluctant to contact a company with an unfamiliar area code as opposed to those starting with 800 or 888. Moreover, a professional voice greeting (unavailable for mobiles) boosts initial credit of the callers. It becomes easier to convert them into customers during the conversation. Even if you work alone, upon the first call people will perceive your startup business as a larger reliable enterprise.
People praise your efforts to save their time
In many circumstances an immediate response is desirable if not vital. Some 44% of clients opted to switch to a rivaling business because of inadequate customer support. The major reasons are long on-hold times, inability to reach the manager, multiple switching to other operators and unfriendliness.
Indeed, even waiting for a several hours after sending an email to tech support can be frustrating. More so if you have opted for a voice call. It is not just about pleasing your customers, it’s about running the business seriously. Changing delivery details in time or making amendments to an order saves lots of trouble both for your company and the client. In case of emergency ― when personal attention is especially valued ― ability to be in touch is crucial. What’s more, with such features as scheduled call forwarding and voicemail, virtual telephone systems ensure that you are ever-accessible.
No calls are lost
A thing that most entrepreneurs initially disregard is their privacy. At the beginning of their business endeavor, it’s OK for them to publish personal mobile/landline numbers as business contacts. While it does marginally cut communication overheads, there are numerous flaws.
To start with, you will not probably be happy to get a late-night call even from the most valued client. In fact, it is a difficult situation. If you opt to answer this 3am call, you’ll hardly have time to gather your thoughts and provide adequate assistance promptly. If you don’t ― the client will think you’re ignore him/her. In both cases your business will be seen as unprofessional and thus unreliable.
To address this problem, virtual phone number providers like MightyCall offer a virtual receptionist. A pleasant voice will greet your client and then suggest leaving a voicemail or requesting a call-back. If neither is required, it will simply explain why you cannot answer now and when you’ll be able to do so.
Additionally, a typical sim-card can only process up to three simultaneous incoming calls. The result is obvious: instead of a sales surge due to a masterfully designed promotion campaign or an enticing special offer, you’ll get only a fraction of possible clients and a whole bunch of annoyed people. A virtual phone number elegantly mitigates this by the aforementioned auto-receptionist and ability to redirect incoming calls to your partners on the fly.
Your privacy is safe
Privacy is closely connected with personal contact data. Revealing them in promotional materials can be unsafe ― the world is filled with frauds of all sorts. Your unscrupulous rivals may decide to block your line with persistent automated calls, or you could become a target for phone spamming with robotic messages. Just imagine the impact you’ll have to endure in case you are forced to abandon your current number. Just say goodbye to all previously-issued advertisements and business cards.
In never happens with virtual phone numbers. The line is up regardless of the number of incoming calls while enhanced blacklist functionality enables you to filter out undesirable callers. As a bonus, such systems as MightyCall let you set up specific greeting and forwarding options for VIP callers in case you have several top priority partners among dozens of ordinary clients.
In their desire to please the customers, companies try to introduce as many interaction channels as possible. While it is a feasible business practice to increase accessibility, 65% of users find inconsistent service across multiple channels frustrating. That’s why it is recommended to offer only those interaction options which you are able to maintain. But how to decide which of the channels to prioritize?
Web-based services are immensely popular these days. Flexibility and usability combined with laconic design promise an excellent user experience. Want to request a call-back? To text a sales manager? To make a free VoIP call? Everything is at your disposal through website widgets. Another trend is social media. It helps to promote your goods and services among the millions of users worldwide. If extremely lucky, you can even create a fandom around your goods! There is a fair chance that some of the netizens are more comfortable to use their social network capabilities for interaction.
Pave this quicksand
While the multichannel world looks like a cornucopia of opportunities, it also poses a challenge. Managing all the requests coming via different channels with equal proficiency is not easy. While larger businesses can afford to hire a dedicated team, what should a sole entrepreneur do? Apart from cutting your communication options, the only solution is efficient time management. A special mobile application combined with advanced phone system features is a powerful tool for keeping your contacts in check.
A number of virtual phone number providers offer such apps. A good example is MightyCall’s Mobile App. Essentially, it allows to aggregate all the incoming calls/messages/requests on one hand-held device. The Activity Queue feature displays all the incoming calls, call-back requests, emails, relevant tweets and messages from the associated social networks and website widgets. This highly-customizable environment labels these “activities” with an appropriate urgency level (for instance, a call-back request requires a 2-hour reaction time while an email can wait a little longer). Therefore, you are able to allocate the precious time efficiently instead of being buried in the multichannel quicksand. And if you do have a team, you can redirect calls to your co-workers and assign them tasks on the fly.
All for one and one for all
In contrast to personal ones, a virtual phone number is a powerful boost for your user-interaction team’s performance. Multiple program extensions ensure that all your team members remain connected without additional costs. Conference calls make an impromptu business meeting a breeze and dynamic tasks management guarantees that no task remains neglected.
For a small business owner and a team leader the statistics feature is a useful assessment tool. Thus, with MightyCall, you can opt for the recorded conversation to be sent to your email for analysis. You can study the response times, number of calls per operator, answered/unanswered calls ratio and much more. Accordingly, it will enable you to make an informed judgment on which team member to praise and whom to offer additional training.
That being said, a business virtual phone system is truly a communicational Swiss Army knife. Subscribe to a virtual phone service and protect your privacy, enhance interaction capabilities, improve your teamwork, get explicit statistics, provide timely product support ― the list goes on. Most of the providers offer low-cost virtual number solutions with a customizable set of features. Such systems are easy to deploy and operate; no costly equipment is needed. Just use your existing devices and port your current phone numbers whenever you want. Perfect scalability becomes an additional advantage: when your business gets large enough to require extra options, add them at your own discretion.
And among the sea of choices, consider subscribing to MightyCall virtual phone system. It offers a free trial period to evaluate its functionality.