In 2020, communicating with customers became even more of a priority for businesses.
Small businesses saw some of the greatest losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, 45% of small businesses had earned less than half of their regular revenue as of October 2020.
For many small businesses, staying in touch with customers and maintaining relationships was essential to staying afloat in the crisis.
In 2021, one of the best tools to help your business better communicate with customers is a virtual phone system. Here are the best virtual phone systems that you can start using for your business.
Key Features in the Best Virtual Phone Systems
There’s a lot to consider when you’re choosing a virtual phone system. Each system comes with a unique set of features and each system is designed to meet different needs.
So how do you know whether you’re getting the right system that matches your business’s needs?
It helps to know what features are industry standard. In 2021, most virtual phone systems will include features such as:
- Call forwarding
- Call routing
- Call recording
- CRM integration
- Call analytics reporting
- Toll-free/local/vanity number selection
There are various virtual phone systems that go above and beyond these standard features. For small businesses, it’s important to make sure your virtual system at least includes these core features.
How to Choose the Right Virtual Phone System
What are the biggest needs in your small business call management?
Answering this question will help you determine what the most important unique features are, aside from the standard ones.
If your business uses various work apps, you may want a virtual phone system that includes integrations with those work apps.
Or, if you need to hold meetings with clients, there are phone systems that include web conferencing features. Some other general factors to consider are:
- Call quality
- Range of features
Understanding your business’s unique workflow will help you determine what system will best fit your needs.
Price is one of the most important factors, but it’s not the only one you should consider. Whatever virtual phone system you choose, be sure to consider the system’s range of features and workflow convenience.
What Is a VoIP System?
A virtual phone system allows users to make calls from any device IP connectivity.
VoIP stands for “Voice over Internet Protocol” and they allow you to make calls via the internet using any device that uses data or network connectivity.
For this reason, VoIP is sometimes called broadband or IP telephony. VoIP converts your voice into a digital signal that transmits via the internet.
How Does it Work?
Users can make calls from devices such as computers or VoIP phones. There’s also the option to connect a traditional telephone to a phone adapter that converts signals over the internet.
Phone adapters connect traditional phones to a network in the same way that a modem connects a computer to a network.
Because VoIP operates on network connectivity, users can also make wireless calls after connecting to hot-spots.
If you’re constantly on the go, a VoIP allows you to manage your business calls regardless of location. The only requirement is a strong network.
VoIP is often a better alternative to hybrid phone systems or PBX systems, which require server hardware and technical support.
Although businesses use these, VoIP systems are more ideal for small businesses. Since VoIP systems are largely cloud-based, they eliminate the need for this hardware and the maintenance costs that come with it.
Common Problems With Virtual Phone Systems
Free systems like Google Voice can offer a good launching pad. However, Google Voice lacks an array of standard must-have features that most paid virtual phone systems include.
Instead of using these tools, it’s entirely possible to find virtual systems with affordable basic plans. Most basic plans cost over $15 per user, per month.
Not all virtual phone systems are created equal, so here are some standout systems that have unique advantages over others.
Systems With Detailed Analytics
Analytics help you measure the success of your call management. They’re essential to improving the overall process and creating insights about your customer experience.
A virtual phone system should report basic metrics such as call duration. It should also record the routing channels and forwarding channels for each call.
Depending on your business needs, it may be better to find a lower cost for a basic plan that has metered minutes. Or, you could find a plan that doesn’t limit your calling minutes.
A Balanced Virtual Phone System
It’s hard to find the right virtual phone system that suits all of your needs. That’s why it’s important to focus on the key features you need and the return on investment you expect from the platform.
Based on price alone, Phone.com offers one of the best plans. Users who just need a basic phone system can get started for $11.99 per month for each user.
Most platforms charge anything upwards of $15.99 for basic plans that include only some of the standard features.
However, Phone.com provides users with over 50 call features with just the basic plan. In addition to the standard features, these 50 features include unique features to help you expand your call management.
Unique Phone.com Features
Number porting is a special feature that many other virtual phone systems don’t include. Not all systems allow you to keep the same number you’ve used for business.
However, Phone.com allows users to continue using their local, toll-free, or international numbers. In addition, there are no port-in fees for businesses that want to keep their numbers.
Text-to-Greeting is a unique feature that offers customizable audio messages which you can send to customers. These come with sound effects and automated voicings to read the texts.
Phone.com also provides instant Email Notifications whenever users receive a voicemail. The email includes an audio file of the voicemail so you can listen to it as you receive the email and forward it easily.
Fax compatibility is another feature that can be an unexpected advantage. If you’ve used faxing for your business in the past, you can integrate your fax machine with Phone.com to continue using it.
These are just a few out of the 50 standout features.
Choosing From the Best Virtual Phone Systems
Although these are some of the best virtual phone systems of 2021, you’ll need to choose the one that’s best for your small business.
A virtual phone system should integrate with your workflow and automate certain parts of it.
At Phone.com, we’re committed to helping you better communicate with your customers through call management. To see if Phone.com is right for your business, you can request a demo today.