How a Virtual Phone System Changed My Home Business

When I first started my home-based cleaning business, I had a handful of clients whom I could count on. However, as time went by and my clientele grew larger, it became difficult to manage my telephone calls. A virtual phone system changed all of this, and now I am able to enjoy a larger client base than ever before—and I make more money as a result.

In The Beginning
When my business first got off the ground, there were so many expenses to contend with that I did not even consider adding a second telephone line at home, much less a virtual phone system. I used the existing telephone number—the same number on which my husband and children receive telephone calls—to take my business calls. When there were only a handful of clients, this was acceptable; these clients were friends and family members who did not mind the hustle and bustle of the household and were not shocked when my six-year-old daughter answered the phone. However, as the business grew, it became evident that something needed to change.

The Saturday that Changed it All
I can distinctly remember a particular client whom I will call Mr. Smith. He was an elderly gentleman who had lost his wife several years earlier, and he had hired me to come into his home once per week for light cleaning and laundry duties. After having been to Mr. Smith’s home on several occasions, he began to call every now and then with something extra that he needed to have done, and this worked well up until the Saturday that changed my business forever. Mr. Smith called at about 10 o’clock that morning, but since I was in the shower, my daughter answered the telephone. Mr. Smith was unable to communicate with her clearly, and as a result, he disconnected the call with her.

The First Lost Client
I called Mr. Smith back immediately, but he was frustrated with his previous experience with my daughter and stated that he needed someone who was more professional to handle his cleaning needs. This was the first client I had ever lost and his words certainly stung, especially when my daughter had meant no harm. That day, I began researching the rates for adding a second line of service—a private line for the business—when I stumbled across an article for a virtual phone system. I was intrigued by this, but at the same time, I was a little put-off. After all, how could something so inexpensive be so effective?

The New Telephone Line
Since the installation fees associated with adding a line of service were non-existent and the monthly cost was affordable, I decided to go ahead and purchase the virtual phone system. Within just a few hours, everything I needed had been downloaded to my computer and I was ready to go. I was extremely shocked by how easy the interface was to navigate, and the auto attendant feature added that level of professionalism that clients like Mr. Smith would have appreciated. To this day, I have not lost another customer due to inferior communications, and I can easily forward calls from my virtual telephone to my mobile phone when I cannot be at home to take them.

While I can certainly understand the need to save money wherever possible when starting or running a home business, I can assure you that a virtual phone system will save you time and money in your ventures. As a matter of fact, it may even help you make more money than you ever thought possible.

Virtual Phone System

Virtual Phone System – The Secret to a Successful Home Business

There are many things to consider when it comes to running a successful home business, but communication with clients and customers is one of the most important. A virtual phone system is a great way to ensure that home business owners are never out of reach, even when they are not at home.

Always Available
The great thing about using a virtual phone system is that it allows the business owner to always be available to their clients and customers. While it may be important to set regular business hours and stick to them, it may not be feasible for the business owner to stay near the home telephone waiting for calls to come through. The virtual phone allows users to forward calls to mobile devices or other locations with just a few clicks of the mouse, and this is important for people who are always on the go. This way, running a business and a household at the same time becomes much easier, and business owners are less stressed and more productive.

Better Organization
One of the difficulties associated with running a small business from home is staying organized in the wake of household schedules and business schedules. Juggling telephone calls from schools, clients, customers, doctors and more can certainly become a hassle, particularly if all of the calls are coming in to the same telephone number. With a virtual phone system, it is easier for business owners to set up secondary telephone numbers, and this helps calls remain better organized. The desktop application makes it easier to check voicemails and view the calls that came in to each individual telephone number.

Call Management
Running a small business from home can be extremely difficult during busy periods, particularly when there is only the business owner to handle the call volume. A virtual phone system provides plenty of features that help with call management; everything from an auto attendant to information hotlines can make communication easier in the long run. When a call cannot be answered right away, the virtual voicemail system will pick it up and provide the business owner with a notification. This voicemail can be checked via any telephone at all or even through the desktop interface. Calls can be easily prioritized, and those calls that require immediate responses can be handled.

Cost Effectiveness
There are many different options available for handling communications needs in a home-based business, but none are as cost-effective as a virtual phone system. A single landline is expensive enough, but when a second is added to suit the needs of the business, the cost can grow exponentially. Jacks must be installed, hardware must be purchased, and expensive monthly fees are imposed. Virtual telephones do not require the purchase of any additional equipment, and the monthly fees are much less than those associated with typical landline services.

All in all, enjoying a successful home-based business comes from combining excellent products or services with great customer service. The quality of customer service provided has much to do with the type of communications selected, and a virtual phone system is always a fantastic choice.

iTeleCenter Welcomes Technisch Creative as a New Client

iTeleCenter welcomes Technisch Creative to its extensive list of satisfied customers. The company, an award-winning event management and production company from Lansing, Michigan, implemented iTeleCenter’s virtual phone system to fulfill its business communications needs.

Technisch Creative provides a variety of event management, technical direction and creative design to corporations, associations, government and charitable organizations. They strive to be the best at what they do and regularly surpass the standard of customer service. They believe that life is more than making a profit which is evident in the active role they take in their community, through investment of personal time and energy in local charitable groups and hospitality industry organizations. Their event planning and management style truly reflect the fact that they do what they love and love what they do.

They selected their business number from a list of available 1800 numbers. iTeleCenter enables them to advertise one toll free number and forward incoming calls directly to employees’ cell phones as well as to their warehouse. The system also allows them to seamlessly transfer calls between employees or departments without having to implement an expensive PBX system or install any equipment in their offices. It allows them to stay on-the-go and not be tied to an office. Their on-hold greetings have been recorded to promote their services while callers wait to be connected.

Prior to implementing iTeleCenter, Technisch Creative faced the issue of not always being available to their clients. Their business now appears as the large and professional company that it is while the system helps them track calls and manage their clients better. iTeleCenter’s online fax capabilities allows them to easily send and receive signed contracts while eliminating the need to be physically present at a fax machine. The personalized greetings, call forwarding, and message notification system are all key features they now rely on.

iTeleCenter applauds Technisch Creative’s commitment to community and looks forward to a long, successful relationship with them.

About iTeleCenter
iTeleCenter was founded in 1992 by entrepreneur Paul Champaneria who wanted to build a company that catered to the needs of virtual companies, direct salespeople, affiliate marketers, real estate professionals, and all forms of home-based or small businesses. iTeleCenter is a virtual phone system that provides individuals with the ability to utilize toll free phone numbers, locally based numbers, or vanity numbers, with call forwarding and voicemail that make professional life a little easier. With the best in customer care and service, along with the latest and most innovative features, it’s a must have for professionals who want to compete on a regional or national level, whether it’s a one-man operation or a million-dollar corporation.

Use a Virtual Phone to Keep Your Personal Numbers out of the Public Eye

If you are charged with the task of running a business, then chances are that you understand the need to be available to your employees, clients and customers during certain times. With a virtual phone, you can do just that—without allowing anyone to see your private home or mobile telephone numbers.

Important Business Calls from Employees
Although it is certainly wise to allow certain business employees to have access to the business owner’s personal telephone numbers, this information should only be provided on a need-to-know basis. After all, many industries experience a high rate of employee turnover, and if every employee had the business owner’s telephone number, there would likely be issues with disgruntled ex-employees calling to express their displeasure. With a virtual phone, the business owner can program his or her personal telephone number into the system blindly; employees can still contact the owner when the need arises, but the actual telephone number is kept hidden from view.

Customer Complaints
Regardless of how effectively and efficiently a business is run, some customer complaints are to be expected. In most situations, it certainly pays to have a trained set of individuals standing by to handle the resolution of customer issues. As these calls are escalated, however, it may fall upon the business owner’s shoulders to handle the complaint. Thankfully, these callers can be transferred to any telephone number with a virtual phone, whether it is in-house or even the owner’s personal home or mobile number, without that number being revealed to the caller. This ensures that customer complaints are handled according to the business’s chain of command.

Returning Telephone Calls
A virtual phone also provides the business with plenty of effective voicemail services when calls simply cannot be answered right away; this may occur when calls come in after regular business hours or even when the call volume is high. Thankfully, business owners and even employees can return important telephone calls from their personal home or mobile telephones without revealing their numbers. This is because a virtual phone system allows employees to check their voicemail messages wherever they are and shows the business telephone number on the intended party’s caller ID instead of the personal telephone number.

Handling After-Hours Calls
Sometimes, a business is required to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This is especially true if the business provides emergency services such as plumbing or the repair of electrical systems. In this case, the business will usually designate an on-call employee who is responsible for handling any incoming business calls after hours; a virtual phone can be programmed to send these calls to the designated caller automatically. This way, there is always someone available to handle those emergency telephone calls, but their privacy is never compromised.

Any business owner or employee who is scheduled with the task of answering the telephone or returning customer calls while away from the office likely understands the importance of keeping their personal telephone numbers private. With a virtual phone, there are plenty of services available to help businesses do just that.

Virtual Phone Systems are an Affordable Business Phone Solution

As many business owners know, running a business is a time-consuming endeavor that leaves little time for answering telephones and routing calls. Though hiring a secretary is always an option, virtual phone systems are often much more affordable and efficient.

Virtual Phone Systems vs. Employees

When the number of telephone calls coming into a business exceeds the current employees’ capabilities, many business owners consider hiring a secretary to handle the load. Though this is a wonderful option and brings a sense of personality into the office, it can certainly be expensive and employees are not without their downfalls. The average salary for a secretary in a small business is between $40,000 and $60,000 per year—far more than what a business would pay for access to virtual telephone systems that are packed full of features designed to keep the business running smoothly on a daily basis. They cannot call in sick and they will never need to take a leave of absence for personal issues.

Reduction in Supplies and Equipment

The supplies and equipment that are needed to run a small business can certainly become expensive over time; paper for copy machines, toner for the fax machine and even the purchase of additional telephone lines to handle the load of calls are very expensive endeavors. Thankfully, the features and nature of a virtual phone system can help to reduce many of these costs. Virtual fax is a great alternative to the purchase of a stand-alone fax machine and all of the supplies necessary to keep it running. Also, choosing multiple virtual telephone numbers that are not necessarily attached to a separate telephone line can save thousands of dollars per year on telephone company costs alone.

Organization and Productivity

As many employees know, the constant shuffling of papers, emails and telephone calls can certainly be a hassle. In fact, the lack of organization associated with these things can affect productivity negatively and sometimes even result in the failure of a business. A virtual phone system is a great way for business owners to provide all of the necessary office applications at each employee’s fingertips; the ability to send an email, review a fax and return a telephone call from a single desktop application keeps everything organized and virtually stress-free, allowing employees to focus on the things that are necessary for keeping the business alive and guaranteeing its success.

Virtual Telephones vs. Multiple Telephone Lines

Before the days of virtual telephone systems, business owners were often forced to purchase and pay for multiple telephone lines through a standard landline company. This often required re-wiring and the addition of telephone jacks in multiple rooms, both of which are costly and lengthy endeavors. Even after the work is completed, business owners are required to pay for each telephone line—and all of its features—on a monthly basis. On the other hand, a virtual system includes everything necessary for proper call handling at one low rate which can be paid monthly, quarterly or even annually.

There are many reasons why business owners should consider the use of virtual phone systems—especially when it comes to saving money. They are much more affordable options than paying for multiple telephone lines and features or even hiring a secretary to handle business calls.

Virtual Phone Systems

Small Businesses can Benefit from Virtual Phone Systems

When it comes to starting a small business, owners and proprietors often have their hands full with marketing and customer service, leaving little time for managing telephone calls. Virtual phone systems take the guesswork out of answering telephones, routing calls and retrieving voicemail, freeing up valuable time and employee resources.

Save Time

Running a business is no easy feat; there are products to make and order, bills to pay, taxes to be concerned with and employees to hire and monitor. When business owners and their employees are forced to answer each and every incoming telephone call without discretion, they are often bombarded with sales calls and solicitations that can take them away from their necessary duties. Virtual telephone systems are packed with features like call screening and filtering that will prevent these nuisances and allow employees to focus on the more important parts of their jobs, saving precious time and resources and ultimately leading to an increase in revenue.

Increase Productivity

When employees are forced to hover over fax machines or spend hours filtering through their voicemail messages, they are often missing out on opportunities to be directly involved with the business. Virtual phone systems allow employees to receive all of their faxes, emails and voicemails in one desktop application. New technology allows these individuals to view all of their messages at-a-glance and easily determine which ones need an immediate response and which can wait for callbacks, increasing overall productivity and helping employees better manage their time in the office. In fact, these virtual phone systems are more affordable and cost-effective than any of their alternatives.

Reduce Stress

Employees who are forced to deal with never-ending telephone calls and a barrage of email and voicemail messages often find themselves stressed out and unable to handle their workloads. This is because consumers in general enjoy one-on-one attention and outstanding customer service, regardless of how many contacts it takes to get it. When customers can call into a business and be immediately routed to the correct department through a virtual phone system, it reduces stress for both the customer and the employee handling the call, resulting in a more streamlined experience that is efficient and productive on all fronts.

Bolster Customer Service

When clients and customers who call into a business are placed on hold or transferred frequently, they often become upset and feel that the company is unable to efficiently handle their requests. This often happens with landline telephone systems as transfers and holds must be performed in-house instead of virtually. Virtual phone systems help boost customer service by playing a friendly reminder that the call will be answered as soon as possible and streamlining transfers when they are necessary. Many of these systems are even able to capture a caller’s telephone number so they can be immediately contacted if the call drops or is otherwise disconnected.

Running a small business is no easy feat, and the products and services in use should work to help reduce stress and increase productivity—not the other way around. Virtual phone systems are by far the most affordable and convenient way for business owners to improve communications between their customers and employees, whether via telephone, email or even fax.

How Can a Virtual Phone System Improve Your Company’s Image?

Image is everything, and that holds especially true for companies. Clients will only go to a company that has a strong positive image, and therefore everything needs to be done to maintain that image. Using a virtual phone system can help bolster a company’s efficiency and project an image of competence to its clients.

How It Works

A virtual phone system is very similar to using a landline. You still make your phone calls to designated numbers, and people can easily call you. The difference is that an online provider holds the phone system itself. One number is assigned to the company, and any employees can utilize that one number. All the company needs to provide are the numbers they want to forward calls to, while the virtual phone system provider maintains the hardware and services off-site. Phone messages are sent to an email account that can be accessed by company members, thereby eliminating any missed messages from clients.

Helping Employees

A virtual phone system is very beneficial to a company’s employees. Perhaps the most helpful aspect is the ability for a worker to be employed anywhere in the US or Canada, and still be able to work from one unified phone number. That one phone number can be set up with an extension for each employee. Calls to each extension can be forwarded to any landline or mobile phone number, meaning employees can make and receive calls from any location and have their personal information stay private. This will help employees be able to work from home and be with their families.

Helping Customers

A virtual phone system is also of great benefit to your company’s customers. Nobody likes to get a busy signal when calling up a business. The virtual phone system will be able to access any available employee, no matter where he or she is located. This will help to ensure a live person can answer a customer’s call. An automated menu can be set up to ensure the customer reaches someone who is able to answer his or her question. In addition, in case there is ever a moment when no one is able to answer a call, a system can be set up to alert employees when a voice mail has been left. This will help customers receive a reply to their queries in a prompt manner.

Improving the Company Image

Personal communication and efficient responses to questions and concerns will convey an attitude of competence to your customers. Customers will feel that their business is appreciated when a company takes the time to speak with them and quickly respond to their inquiries. A virtual phone system helps to facilitate that communication and present the positive image that your company wants to convey.

As your company strives to serve its customers better, it is a wise decision to consider using a virtual phone system to aid in your communication efforts. It will help your employees and your customers, and improve your image as a company that takes care of its clients.

Virtual Phone Systems

Let a Virtual Phone System Fulfill Your Business Communications Needs

Communication is paramount to having a successful business. People are driven by communication, so a business needs to have a means of communicating efficiently with its customers. A virtual phone system can help to facilitate communication at all levels of your business.

A virtual phone system is quite easy to set up. First, you will need to choose a service provider. There are many virtual phone provider services out there, so do your research to find one that is reputable, reliable, and offers good assurances on maintaining your quality of service. Once you have chosen your service provider you will be given a local or toll free phone number for your system and your provider will manage all the hardware. All that your company needs to do is set up extensions for your employees.

Receiving phone calls with your virtual phone system is just as easy as it was before. Your customers will call your business number, and the system will make sure they are connected to an employee. One option in your system is to utilize an auto attendant with an automated menu. The automated menu will ensure the phone call is forwarded to the right department, and to an employee who will have the answers they are looking for. Any customer will want prompt and knowledgeable information, so having an automated menu that gets them to the right employee for their question is a good idea for facilitating effective communication.

One of the highlights of using a virtual phone system is having all your company’s phones use one phone number. This means that any employee making an outgoing call will appear to be using the central number. Your employees can therefore make their calls from home or while out with their families, knowing that their private location and personal information will not be divulged to the customers they are calling. This will help your employees feel appreciated, as they can work while away from the office and not feel that their privacy is being invaded, and will let your customers know that no matter how far apart your employees may be, the company is still a united business.

No matter how efficient your virtual phone system may be, at some point it is likely that your customers will not be able to reach a live representative and must leave a message detailing their concerns. It is important that your company is able to answer messages quickly, gaining the customer’s reassurance that you care about their questions. Messages on a virtual phone system can be sent to an email account that any employee can access. An alert system can also be set up to let people in the company know when a message has been left, ensuring a quick answer.

Businesses are built through effective communication with customers. A company cannot grow without customers to keep returning for its products and services, and customers will not use a company that does not clearly and knowledgeably communicate with them. A virtual phone system can help aid in a business’s communication efforts.

What a Virtual Phone System is and how it works?

Are you wondering what a Virtual Phone System is and how it works?

Basically you get phone number to advertise and people call that number. But instead of the ringing directly to a specific landline or a cell phone it rings into a Virtual Phone System and you get to control how the system handle the calls. To learn more watch the video below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XitoxZKAcnI

Vanity Numbers

Vanity Numbers Enhance the Visibility of Your Company

While no business should ever be without a phone line, it is also important to ensure that they make use of the correct phone service to ensure that they are receiving as much exposure for their business as possible. This includes making use of vanity numbers which are easy to remember and leave the customer with a memorable impression of your business.

Give Customers Something to Remember

By making use of vanity numbers, your customers will no longer have to remember to dial a specific number. Instead, they will simply need to remember the vanity number or name that is associated with your business. Not only will this bring in more business for you, but it will also ensure that new clients also remember your contact details over those of your competitors. This is a win-win situation for your business because of the fact that it will bring in more calls, which in turn will result in more sales and higher profits. New and existing customers will also find it easier to remember a single vanity number rather than a whole list of alternative contact numbers for a single business.

Enjoy Increased Sales and Higher Profits with Vanity Numbers

Studies have shown that vanity numbers normally rake in up to 15 times higher in sales conversion than regular phone numbers. In business terms, more sales result in higher profits, which is a good thing for any business. By making use of vanity numbers, it will also increase your word of mouth advertising levels which are one of the best forms of free advertising that any business could ask for. Vanity numbers also give a business a more professional as well as a national image which also results in increased sales and profits. By placing advertising which contains vanity numbers, you will also ensure that your advertising is remembered by far more people than that which has regular contact numbers on it.

Give Your Business the Credibility It Deserves

By making use of vanity numbers, you will not only ensure that people remember your contact details but your business will also get the credibility it deserves. Vanity numbers will make your business look a lot more professional than those with regular toll free numbers. This will also result in an increase in sales and exposure for your business. In most cases, vanity numbers are toll free which means that your clients are more likely to make use of your business because of the fact that the call won’t cost them anything. With the amount of competition that abounds in the business world today, you need to do everything possible to ensure that your business is as well-marketed and advertised as possible.

By making use of vanity numbers, you can ensure that your business gets the credibility and advertising exposure it deserves. Your business will definitely stand head and shoulders above its competitors when you take the all-important step and make use of a personalized vanity number.