Entrepreneurs must understand their businesses’ unique communications needs in order to find the best possible phone service options. While much of the ins and outs of business can be handled over the Internet these days, the truth of the matter is that some matters must be conducted over the phone. Employees, partners and customers are all important components of the business relationship, and entrepreneurs who know how to communicate effectively with them will get ahead of the pack.
From voicemail to web conferencing, toll-free phone numbers to call following and conference calling to voice-to-text transcription, there are lots of options when it comes to phone service for entrepreneurs. The following primer will highlight some of the phone service providers, as well as the various features they offer, that entrepreneurs might want to consider if they haven’t done so already.
Phone.com insists that its service offers the easiest means of obtaining flexible, low-cost virtual office phone service that entrepreneurs can use to stay connected with their teams. The service offers a toll-free number, option to add unlimited calling users where users get a separate username and password to manage their settings, a business number that entrepreneurs can use to connect their team, custom greeting, advanced call routing, option to connect with their mobile phones, and more.
The Vonage Small Business Premium Unlimited option offers, among other things, unlimited local and long distance in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico; calls to landlines in France, Spain, Italy, the UK and Ireland; extensions app for Android and iPhone smartphones that enable users to make calls via the Vonage network over Wi-Fi, 3G or 4G; dedicated fax line with 500 minutes of outgoing fax service and unlimited incoming faxes; voicemail; caller ID; anonymous call block; and three-way calling.
Google Voice offers entrepreneurs a local phone number that can be used to call as many as half a dozen other phones at the same time. The service offers international call options at competitive rates, voice-to-text transcription, call recording, voicemails and more. Its ability to unify communications through one phone number might be its best selling point.
Skype is arguably the best-known option when it comes to Voice over Internet Protocol providers. Entrepreneurs can save money by calling and conferencing with other Skype at no cost to reduce costs associated with calling via mobiles and landlines. They can also share information and ideas with teammates using instant messaging, group video and file sharing; use Skype To Go in order to call customers and colleagues from their mobile or landline; use call forwarding to receive Skype calls when offline; access in excess of 1 million wireless hotspots globally via Skype WiFi; and more.
Grasshopper, which bills itself as the entrepreneur’s phone system, allows entrepreneurs to pick a number for their businesses; record a custom main greeting; add workers and departments as required; and receive calls, voicemails and faxes from anywhere. The company offers unlimited extensions, on hold music, unlimited call handling, conference calling, call forwarding, call screening and more. Entrepreneurs can also get voicemails and faxes via email.
Line2 Pro helps entrepreneurs to equip their company with an auto attendant that guides callers through the various options at their disposal to get the information they need. Workers can also access their business phone line anywhere via any device. Call history, voicemail and texts will be kept in synch across all devices. Entrepreneurs will be able to cut costs by calling and texting over Wi-Fi, which means no more troubling roaming charges.
Freedom800 offers entrepreneurs a toll-free number for their companies, the ability to customize the service to fit their businesses; multiple extensions for automated call routing; the ability to send voicemails and faxes to email; and the option to combine their existing mobile and home/office phones with Freedom800’s cloud-based phone service.
Phone service for entrepreneurs is a serious matter since the ability to communicate with workers, partners and customers is obviously paramount to success in the business world. There are lots of choices available whether in terms of business phone service providers or in terms of features. Entrepreneurs need to carefully assess their options and decide what best fits their particular corporate goals and objectives.