Remote work is the new paradigm. Despite forecasts that workers would be back in offices post-pandemic, the ability to work remotely remains a significant consideration for those seeking employment. Once employees proved that they could not only conduct business as usual remotely but often be more productive in doing so, there was little appetite to go back into the office. That trend shows no sign of slowing down and may even increase as we step into 2023.
A remote workforce requires reliable communication between both the employees and customers of a business. For small businesses, a virtual phone system can make a professional impression and provide a competitive advantage by giving customers reliable, consistent service from anywhere — whether from an office, home, a coworking space, or on the road.
As more businesses move toward hiring remote employees and working remotely, a virtual phone system provides a seamless, reliable, and versatile communication solution. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the kinds of virtual phone solutions your business can benefit from, regardless of your business size or industry.
What Is A Virtual Phone System?
A virtual phone system enables calls over the internet. It is cloud-based, so it doesn’t rely on wiring like traditional phone systems. A virtual phone system is easy and flexible to use, as calls can be made or received on computers, tablets, or mobile apps. Since they don’t require the hardware or lines of traditional PBX systems, they can be set up quickly.
A VoIP phone system can integrate with other business software, such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, to enable placing outgoing calls instantly and from anywhere. Incoming calls can be seamlessly routed to one or more phone numbers, whether individual employees or departments, so there are no missed calls to stall progress or frustrate customers. The right system is also:
- Economical. The cost of a VoIP phone system can be one-quarter to one-half of that of a traditional PBX system, making it ideal for smaller businesses.
- Flexible. Forward calls to employees no matter where they are, designate business hours, and adjust schedules to better inform and serve customers and facilitate remote team collaboration.
- High-quality. No more shouting, “can you hear me?” on calls when you’re in the field. Over today’s internet connections, HD audio delivers clear communication, preventing misunderstandings and allowing your team to resolve issues quickly and efficiently.
- Fully-featured. You don’t have to have an enterprise phone system to have the features of one. Choose greetings, automated attendants, and hold music for a professional presentation and enhanced customer service.
- Quickly implemented. – Because you aren’t dependent on a lot of hardware or phone line installations, you can implement your virtual phone system after choosing your phone number using your computer, mobile device, or IP desk phone.
In short, a virtual phone system offers more advanced features, flexibility, and scalability at a lower cost than a traditional phone system, with a much lighter footprint.
Essential Virtual Phone Solutions for Remote Work
Though companies that provide remote work opportunities are at a clear advantage when it comes to gaining today’s talented employees, they must take care to ensure their employees have the support they need. It’s not only vital for collaboration and customer service, but it goes a long way toward employee satisfaction.
Communication that keeps your operations running smoothly with a hybrid or remote workforce requires solutions that serve a variety of business needs. Whether using voice, text, or video, virtual phone solutions are no longer optional for successful remote work.
Each company, even if they are in the same industry, can have different needs. A virtual phone platform with numerous features makes the right solution even more valuable, as it facilitates easy customization for each situation. Being able to pick the services that you need means you never have to pay for a preset solution with features you don’t need or want. Next, we’ll illustrate three different phone solutions customized to support remote workers in a variety of business situations.
The Office With an Outdated Phone System
The problem – A small business on a limited budget has a legacy analog phone system and disparate software applications, which completely inhibits remote work.
The solution – Enable the use of existing phones while adding seamless integration of applications to the network so that they are accessible remotely.
The features –
- Analog phones connect to your network with an Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA) to enable the use of VoIP.
- An Application Integration tool integrates your applications, enabling click-to-dial, screen pops, and call tracking from your browser.
- My.Phone.com lets your workforce handle calls, texts, fax, voicemail, and video meetings from any internet-connected device.
- Video Meeting capabilities let your remote team members collaborate quickly, easily, and effectively.
- Click-to-Call lets your customers request a return call by entering their phone number on your website.
A virtual phone system can modernize your entire business and work environment with minimal effort, giving your business a professional edge and improving productivity and communication.
The Multi-Agent Insurance Brokerage
The problem – Multiple agents in a small but busy office need an economical, scalable, and secure way to service their clients from anywhere, at any time.
The solution – Provide notifications and a visual record of incoming calls and voice messages while maintaining HIPAA compliance.
The features –
- Business Phone Numbers keep your mobile number private while presenting a seamless business presence, even if you are on the road.
- Call Notifications keep you informed so you can follow up immediately.
- HIPAA Compliant phone calling and video conferencing keep everything secure.
- Fax-from-Phone lets you securely transmit sensitive information to and from customers or medical providers.
- Dial-by-Name Directory gives callers the agent extension so they can reach them directly.
Businesses that need solutions for time-sensitive or other sensitive information can benefit from the features offered by the right VoIP system partner, keeping their business running smoothly from any location.
The Retailer Expanding Into International Sales
The problem – A small, national retailer is expanding into a global market for the first time and needs to make and receive international calls in the most reliable, economical way.
The solution – Enable international numbers and provide a mobile app to accommodate multiple time zones and make communication with customers, suppliers, and vendors easy from anywhere.
The features –
- International Calling allows you to reach numbers in the United Kingdom, Puerto Rico, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Israel, and iNUM global numbers at U.S. local rates.
- Number Porting lets you move an existing business number that may be identifiable for your business from your current carrier, whether it is toll-free, international, or local, without a port-in fee.
- Call Logs detail all incoming, outgoing, or missed calls made to your chosen numbers so you never fail to follow up with your customers or vendors.
- Mobile Apps let you handle calls to and from your chosen business phone number using your mobile carrier.
- Schedules enable customer calls to be greeted and routed differently based on the time of day, important when international customers are calling outside of your customer service hours.
Customize a Cost-Effective Virtual Phone Solution To Support Your Remote Workforce
The great resignation is a wake-up call to businesses slow to recognize that today’s workers are no longer satisfied with business as usual. In the last few years, employees of organizations in a variety of types and sizes have found that they could do more work in less time with fewer interruptions when they didn’t have to commute to a crowded office.
They realized that they could have more control over their work/life balance by working remotely, and that trend is still on the rise. Now companies everywhere are finding that they must provide the infrastructure that enables remote working so that they can attract, retain, and support their workforce.
The good news is that your small business can update its technology with enterprise features quickly and at an economical price. Even new companies with limited resources can have the professional presentation and flexibility of an enterprise phone system by implementing a virtual phone solution.
Phone.com lets you provide service to your customers from anywhere at any time, collaborate with your remote team, and transmit documents securely, all while having access to best-in-class support for your system. Get started today so you can have your virtual phone system up and running tomorrow.