Your virtual phone system can be used to support your core business priorities, including business growth. There are three key areas in which you need your small business communications to be as flexible and as agile as possible: during installation or start-up of the new business (or new technology implementation), as your business grows, and when planning and recovering from disaster.
Once you make your decision to use a virtual phone system to support your business objectives, you will want to get up and running as quickly as possible. Systems that are “fully hosted,” but require specialized software installations or specifically dedicated hardware may take days or even weeks to get through the necessary needs assessments, purchase cycles, and configurations. Web-based hosted systems, by contrast, can usually be completely set-up with identical or more features in days, if not hours.
In addition, since the up-front investment in web-hosted phone systems are low, making the switch is extremely low-risk. You can sign up now and be up and running with your full-featured virtual phone system this afternoon. If you don’t feel you’re reaping the benefits you’d anticipated, you can request a full refund of any fees you’ve paid by the end of the month.
2. Business Growth
Your business needs can shift quickly, and when they do, you need your tools to shift with you — effortlessly, cleanly, and with solid support to back you up. Having a phone system as agile as your company means instant access to basic configuration changes that you can manage yourself — without relying on your vendor to make changes or upgrades that can cause days of delay. It means having the ability to add features to your system as they become available or you identify new business needs and opportunities — without incurring downtime for your employees while they wait for upgrades or training. Finally, it means being able to react quickly to unexpected hurdles, such as business interruptions from natural or man-made disasters. The best hosted phone systems help you manage all of these challenges and more, without faltering.
Would offering flexible hours or telecommuting arrangements better suit your organization, but you don’t know how to add remote workers to your current business model? With a hosted, web-based phone system, your team can sit in Duluth, Portland, Tallahassee, or in a home office down the street and have access to exactly the same phone features as you do at your desk. Plus, they’ll be integrally connected to the members who sit on-site. (With detailed phone activity reports, you get even better real-time insight into their productivity than you receive from your traditional office phone system!)
If your business is already largely mobile, with key employees in the field and a stationary dispatcher to manually forward and distribute incoming calls, a virtual phone system may be the answer. The right hosted phone system can reduce, or even eliminate, the need for an office-based dispatcher. Calls can be answered using an auto attendant, preventing irritating hold delays and multiple transfers as the off-site employee is located.
Need the flexibility to recruit talented phone agents from across the country? Simplify your life by minimizing the need for remote software installations and hands-on training. Be ready for an unexpectedly successful direct mail campaign that increases your need for inside sales agents. Make sure your phone system provider isn’t going to make you wait a week for additional extensions, capacity upgrades, or training. The downtime associated with increasing capacity can cost you many sales leads.
3. Disaster Planning and Recovery
Consider how your system will help you get up and running in the case of a major disaster or business disruption. How quickly and from where will you be able to restore your communications and customer service? To some small businesses disaster preparedness may seem a distant priority. Having a robust communications system and fail-over plans allows your company to manage both regional disasters and daily chaos equally effectively.
Imagine trying to stem the contagion of flu season by letting people work from home. This is possible if your telecommunications system allows them be as productive as they are in the office. In the face of natural disasters, a robust, well-designed and fully hosted telephone system can help restart operations quickly after crippling storms. Be ready to handle the needs of customers and clients by including your virtual phone system in your disaster recovery planning.
If you’re ready to see how you can grow your business with the support of a virtual phone system, try Halloo. Halloo Communications, Inc., is a leading provider of hosted communication services for businesses, help desks, and contact centers. Our innovative solutions provide instant ROI with intelligent call routing, agent and supervisor consoles for dynamic call management, monitoring and recording, as well as unified messaging abilities. Halloo service plans deliver high-profile call system features for a wide range of organizations and operating budgets.