In this article we cover:
- Why hosted call-processing systems are better than conventional PBXs;
- How an internet phone service works;
- Top 7 ways a virtual phone number helps a small business;
- How MightyCall gets you connected.
Top 7 things which make cloud call-processing a better alternative
Sooner or later during the course of its growth, every small business company faces a number of typical communications problems. Providing quality customer interaction in volumes appropriate for a growing business requires more than just a couple of people with mobile phones. On the other hand, even a basic call-processing system greatly increases efficiency and creates an impression of professionalism. The number of options is quite limited: you can subscribe to a virtual phone number, get a business account with your telecom provider, install a fully-fledged on-premises system and that’s about all. While other options are still feasible and offer certain advantages, a cloud-based phone service shines when it comes to price/quality ratio.
Why seek alternatives to traditional telecom solutions?
The majority of people tend to keep to their habitual way of doing things. When a new problem arises, they are likely to implement familiar instruments for solving it. It goes like: “For years I’ve been using this mobile carrier. Now my requirements have changed, so let’s switch to a business account.” This approach is quite feasible: a person keeps his/her contact number (probably already used in marketing), he/she is sure of the service quality and tech support level and ― the most significant thing ― he/she doesn’t have to study alternative options. However, the disadvantages by far outweigh any possible pluses.
While it’s true that a standard telephone provider such as Verizon can offer you lots of bells and whistles, their actual aim is to bind you with a long-term (typically, a two-year) contract. The price per month (about $55) seems acceptable, but how can you be 100% sure that your demands will remain the same next year? In the best possible scenario, your business will grow, requiring even more sophisticated features and better performance. But the contract is already signed and the terms aren’t amendable: you’ll have to involve third-party services to enhance your communications further, or outsource part of the load.
In the worst-case scenario, a company might shrink, move or switch to another market niche. An unfortunate business owner will end up with a bunch of features he doesn’t need anymore, but has to pay for. Technological progress also doesn’t stand still: within a couple of years, a more suitable solution might appear, but inability to break the contract will bar you from using these cutting-edge features.
Furthermore, a conventional telecom provider will often require deploying certain equipment on your territory. Things like music-on-hold modules, phone switching systems or IP PBXs are often purchased and installed at a client’s expense. Naturally, they require regular maintenance. And in case some key element breaks up, the entire communicational system will crumble. You’re forced to take urgent ― often costly ― measures, not to mention revenues lost due to inability to receive calls.
A virtual phone system is the best option to consider
To sum up, conventional phone system solutions provided by large telecom corporations are used either by extremely stable and profitable businesses, or by those who aren’t aware of the alternatives. Speaking of alternatives, fully-managed, cloud-based virtual call-processing systems are not merely more affordable, they’re usually richer in terms of features. For instance, a $20 MightyCall basic rating plan offers a wider variety of options and better compatibility with no on-premises equipment required.
A hosted phone system is saving your money from the very start, because instead of buying and deploying new infrastructure, it’s possible to use what’s already there ― softphones, mobile phones, landlines ― connected to a single virtual phone number. And if you already have a business number, there’s no need to change it ― full porting is supported.
However, if the quality of such systems is comparable to a conventional PBX, then why do hosted phone system providers charge less? Because they can easily do so to get the edge over competitors. In technical terms, an internet phone service is Software as a Service (SaaS) offered to thousands of customers over the internet. The service is shared, so the costs of using it are also shared. In contrast to telecoms that utilize on-premises devices and lines to deliver their services, a virtual service provider uses its own assets to process calls and route them to endpoints.
As a result, you’re free to add to or remove phones from a virtual phone system by changing account settings ― conventional PBXs often require a certified telecom technician to do the job. Virtual systems are also easily scalable: a typical rating plan is only valid for one month, so you can switch to another one when the term expires. What’s more, some providers offer the possibility to add or remove certain features on-the-fly. Furthermore, unlike a rigid telecom contract, if you decide to cancel your subscription, there’s no early termination fee; MightyCall, for instance, has a 30-day money back guarantee.
A rating plan usually includes a certain number of pre-paid inbound/outbound talk minutes and messages. In case you exceed this number, extra minutes are charged according to a pay-as-you-go model. This ensures your business will never end up disconnected. It’s also extremely useful for initial evaluation ―there’s no need to calculate the expected call load, just subscribe to the most likely option and give it a try. In its web-based dashboard, MightyCall provides a handy tool to study all your communication analytics, so you can amend your strategy in the future.
Another little-known option is an ability to freeze your service for a tiny token payment. It will come in handy if you want to take a month or two off from business without losing a virtual phone number and all associated configurations. When you return, it’s possible to get started just where you stopped. Needless to say, telecom companies don’t offer such features (or charge much more if they do).
7 Benefits of a small business internet phone service
- Stable communications presence. Providing as many ways to contact you as possible shows that you respect your customers. On the other hand, with limited staff it is quite hard to monitor all the channels efficiently. A cloud call-processing system allows to access everything from one place: it’s possible to forward all the calls (mobile, VoIP, landline) to a single device, e.g. a cellphone. MightyCall also offers social networks and website integration, while its Click-to-Call widget allows your site visitors to contact you via VoIP and send messages directly from their computers.
- Advanced call routing. All your call-processing can be managed through a central web-based dashboard, so you can customize call routing any time you want. The changes take place immediately. Forward calls to certain team members or groups during certain hours or days of the week, prohibit call routing from blacklisted numbers or create special rules for VIP customers, ring multiple phones simultaneously or establish a logical sequence ― the flexibility of the system lets you tailor it to your specific business needs. What’s more, with MightyCall’s mobile application it’s possible to redirect calls to your team members and assign tasks on-the-fly.
- Call recording is not a standard feature on most traditional business phone systems, while it can be easily done by virtual phone service providers. Call recording enables you to record calls and share them with others. It may become useful if you need to train your new staff on how to treat certain callers, solve typical issues, conduct official inquiries, etc. For an additional fee, the provider can even transcribe your calls and send them to your email as text, because reading takes much less time than listening. Additionally, it is a powerful marketing tool: via a voice menu it’s not hard to ask your customers to leave a testimonial concerning your business. With the callers’ consent, you can publish these audio files or citations on your website and use them for promotion.
- Maximize per line efficiency. A virtual phone system enables you to utilize a single inbound phone line at 100% capacity, so you won’t have to connect any additional ones. Firstly, the customizable call-routing algorithm will automatically ring a smartphone, a landline and a softphone all at the same time, or in a desired sequence. Secondly, a call queue lets callers wait for a response listening to on-hold music instead of hearing a ‘busy’ tone. Thirdly, unlimited extensions allow to connect all your team members in a consistent manner, and in case of VoIP, they don’t even need a line, because an internet connection is likely to be present anyway.
- Timely updates and upgrades. In contrast to telecom systems which require an on-site IT expert to install upgrades, a cloud service is fully managed offsite by the provider. You don’t need any hardware, so no firmware upgrades are required. As for software, any update is applied automatically without disrupting your operations. Virtual systems are constantly evolving: new features are appearing while bugs are being fixed. As a result, you will never end up with an obsolete system as it may easily happen with a conventional on-premises setup.
- Multiple channels of communication are converged. Traditional phone systems don’t work with internet-based technology, which is currently on the rise. It may lead to losing a part of your clientele, because some of your customers find messages more convenient than calls and VoIP technology is undoubtedly cheaper for them. A virtual phone system can consolidate your voice, email, SMS, and social media channels in one place, making it easy to stay on top of it all without using any third-party software.
- Mask your private number. Instead of publishing your personal contacts on business cards and marketing materials, consider getting a virtual phone number. With improved convenience of providing only a single contact for being accessible through multiple devices, you’ll enjoy enhanced privacy. It’s always a good idea to keep business separated from private life, and an advanced hosted phone system will assist you in this.
Stay connected with MightyCall
With its extensive expertise in business communication, MightyCall is considered one of the best virtual number solutions available on the market. MightyCall offers all the features mentioned above and even more. We keep our pricing affordable for budding entrepreneurs and small business owners, while our reliability, safety and flexibility are on par with telecom giants (and even exceed them in some ways). MightyCall is a good way to start optimizing your business interaction layout, and you won’t have to migrate as you grow ― just activate additional features and lines according to your needs. MightyCall ― an affordable professional solution to power up your accessibility.