Today businesses have more options that ever when it comes to phone service. While it is still vital to give customers a way to call your company, how you receive those calls is up to you.
Smart Phone – Some small businesses at their start use a cell phone for all business calls. This can be extremely convenient but there are a couple things to consider. First, it is important to know what the customer sees on the other end. If they see your name or your business name, they will know who is calling and who they have called. This is important in the days of screening calls. This also means that someone who calls you has your cell phone. If at a later date you install a business line, those customers who have always called your cell phone won’t want to change that habit.
Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) – A newer service on the market today is Voice Over Internet Protocol or VoIP. This service uses the internet vs. phone lines to transmit your calls. It means your phone calls are converted to a digital signal which opens up many possibilities. For instance, with a digital signal, voice mails can be forwarded to your email. Your phone number can be forwarded to whatever device you happen to be near.
Fax – Fax service is on its way out but has not disappeared just yet. Many businesses have gotten rid of their bulky fax machine and subscribe to an on-line fax service. This service gives you a toll free fax number that routes the documents to as many email addresses as you like. Others use the fax capability built into their copy machines.
Video Conferencing – As business travel becomes more and more expensive and takes key people out of the office, more and more businesses are turning to video conferencing solutions. These little-to-no-cost solutions allow you to speak to people outside your office through a video camera and get work done as if you were in the same room. They do require access to a video camera but most laptops have one built in. You can purchase a stand-alone camera from Logitech for under $100. Skype is a great service used all over the world for calls to one individual. If you want multiple people, you have to pay for the service. Google Hangouts allows you to invite as many people you like for free.