Hosted Telephone Systems (aka Virtual PBX/Hosted PBX) are leveling the business playing field enabling small businesses to also have a state-of-art telecommunications system like their larger counterparts. These systems have a low initial investment and provide an all the bells and whistles that were once out of reach of the home-based business owner.
Traditionally, telephone systems (aka PBX) were a large investment that was out of reach of the small business owner, out of this world thinking for the home based business owner. With a hosted solution, the only initial investment will be that of the telephone sets only, an investment that all businesses, be it large or small had to pay for if they wanted a telephone.
The solution provides the lower cost of ownership similar to that of a hosted web server. If you were to ask a business owner to put up a website, they would automatically ask their web/techie friend to set one up somewhere. On the other hand, they can purchase a dedicated web server, subscribe to a dedicated internet, and host it themselves, as logically it is much ‘cheaper’ to do things yourself. With this scenario, it is very easy to see that having someone else host your web, and now telephone services are much more reliable and allow you to concentrate on what is important to you – selling your products and services.
The advantages of having a business telephone system are endless, but the key areas that small businesses can benefit right away are in the customer service and sales department. How many calls do small businesses take that are not revenue generating activities? With a phone system, all non-generating calls can be directed to a specific person and/or mailbox.
Also, marketing experts say your company image is the number one reason to hire a graphic and a web designer. These professionals ensure your small business will ‘look’ bigger than they are. But how does your business ‘sound’ when your customer calls into the phone number listed on your website or business card? Can the customer tell that you are driving on the freeway? Does it go to your personal mailbox?
Hosted telephone systems provide your company with a professional ‘sound’ when a customer calls into your customer. As simple as having an auto-attendant greeting all your callers with the name of your company, and asking them if they know their parties extension, and if not, it goes to reception. Sure as a small business owner, you may not have a receptionist (yet), but when you tell your customer that you are taking all the calls that day – you ‘look’ and now ‘sound’ professional.
Another key advantage of the solution allows for telecommuting. Home based businesses are striving now, and allowing your assistant or technician to work from home lowers your monthly cost, and also lowers greenhouse effects. Now if you press 1 for technical support, the call gets forwarded to technician Joe who sits across the city in his home office. Or when ‘0’ is pressed, your assistant who is a virtual assistant takes your cal and emails you the message.
Aside from the obvious features and benefits of a hosted telephone system, small businesses can benefit the most from this new technology that was once only reserved for the large corporations.