10 reasons why Hosted PBX phone systems are ideal for sole traders
Many of us think of medium to larger sized businesses when we think of Hosted PBX phone systems—busy offices with lots of people and lots of phones. But the truth is that these systems provide a LOT more than just multiple telephones and extensions.
A Hosted PBX phone system provides a long list of benefits, most of which are ideal for sole traders and small business. They can help you to build your business and make life a little easier along the way. And for around the same monthly price as you’re probably paying for a single business landline service, you get much, much, much more!
1. A mobile landline!
Keep in touch with people even when you’re not working in your regular office. All of the smarts are built into your telephone handset, so you can plug it into any suitable high-speed Internet connection to make and receive calls from home, client sites, hot desks ... even the family holiday house!
2. Know why (or who) people are calling before you answer the phone
Many businesses use multiple phone numbers: for example you may be running a number of separate businesses (e.g. web designer, SEO expert, web site hosting); or you may use different numbers for separate marketing channels (e.g. local paper, yellow pages, Internet advertising). The display panel on your Hosted PBX phone can show you a user-assigned description for each incoming call, so that you can answer calls using the correct business name, or know in advance which advertisement someone is calling about.
3. Queue your incoming calls at busy times
No more busy signals if calls come in while you’re already on the phone. Callers can automatically be placed on hold (in your call queue), with their call being immediately connected through to you as soon as you’re available. You can even play custom information or promotional messages to them while they’re waiting.
4. Make your business look more professional
You can use a Call Forwarding IVR menu (e.g. For sales, press 1; For support, press 2) to create the impression that there are multiple people working at your business. These options can ring your phone and ALSO external phone numbers. That means that if you out-source some services (e.g. accounting), you can also provide options that connect callers directly to your out-source providers.
5. Automatic email notifications
Receive an automatic email notification every time someone leaves a voice message. You even receive an email notification for callers who hang up without leaving a message, including the date and time of the call plus the caller’s phone number (if Caller ID is not blocked). This can help you to follow up on sales leads while they’re still warm and convert some of those missed calls into sales!
6. Record both sides of the conversation
Automatic call recording provides a number of benefits, including the recording of verbal contracts; reducing the possibility of disputes (with an official record of what is said in every call); and monitoring the success of your marketing campaigns (What questions did people ask? What were their expectations? What factors lead to calls converting to sales?).
7. Automatic call forwarding
Any calls that come in after hours can automatically be forwarded to a second phone number (e.g. live answering service) using the Hosted PBX phone system’s time and day-based routing. Calls can also be automatically forwarded to a second number during business hours at times when you can’t answer your phone or you’re already on another call.
8. Get detailed reporting for all incoming and outgoing calls
Call records show details including the date, time and length of ALL calls you make and receive (including unanswered calls). This can help you to measure the effectiveness of your different marketing channels, plus provide an audit trail showing all communications with individual customers. You can even get information about callers while they’re still on the phone.
9. Make changes to your system in real timeYou can log in to Alltel’s SmartConnect® self-management web portal at any time to make instant changes to your system. Going to be away from the office for a few hours (or a few days)? It’s fast and easy (and free!) to redirect all incoming calls to your mobile phone or live answering service.
10. Plus you save lots of money!
Get big business features for a small business price plus low VoIP call rates. Plans start from just $30 a month, and include all of the above features as standard. And once your business starts growing, you've got a phone system in place that makes it easy to add extensions.