Traditionally there has been no love lost between big and small businesses. There are a number of reasons for this. Small businesses have frequently been pushed out by their larger competitors. Big businesses have larger budgets to use for advertising. Big businesses have access to technology that allows them more efficiency. Big businesses have the budget for staff to delegate tasks and responsibilities to. Regardless of how small businesses feel about their bigger competition there is a lot that they can learn from them. Many times acting like a big business can increase efficiency and project the image that the small business is looking to achieve. And they don't have to look any further than their phone system to get started.
1. Act bigger by using a dial by name directory. Many big companies use this tool for a reason. It cuts down the time a receptionist has to spend directing calls and it also allows the caller to choose the extension themselves if the receptionist is not available. A virtual PBX will give a small business the ability to do this without the huge expense of a standard phone system that would traditionally support this functionality. It really doesn't matter if you have two employees or twenty. The end result is the same - a more efficient and customer service oriented phone system.
2. Have the ability to direct and redirect calls. A big business will use a large PBX that will allow the receptionist to direct calls to the appropriate person in the appropriate place. Even if a small business only has a few employees, they should be able to direct callers to those employees easily and seamlessly. A virtual PBX will allow them to do this. A virtual PBX has even more flexible call routing and call redirect features than a traditional PBX. This functionality will allow small businesses to direct the caller to the appropriate person whether they are there in the office with them or not. As one example, many small businesses are forgoing the traditional office space and working outside the box. In this case, they will not have a central phone system to work with. A virtual PBX will allow them to redirect calls to employees wherever they are. They don't want to be telling the caller that they can reach the person they are looking for by dialing another phone number.
3. A small business can act bigger by tracking what is happening on their phone system. Today a big business phone system is most likely going to have reporting capabilities for their incoming calls. They use it to track calls, monitor usage, check when the busiest time of day for calls is, gather information on where calls are coming from to help target advertising better, and more. A small business should be doing the same. A virtual PBX will allow them to have the reporting, get all the same benefits and without a huge investment in the hardware of a standard PBX.
4. Record incoming calls. Anyone who has made any amount of calls into a large company will be familiar with the phrase, "Calls may be monitored or recorded." Big businesses will record calls to help train new employees, help current employees hone their customer service skills, see where they might streamline communications, as well as protect themselves in case of false claims. A small business should be recording their calls too. A virtual PBX will allow them to do that and reap the same benefits as a big business.
5. Act big with a professional main menu greeting. Larger companies use main menu recordings to greet their callers for a number of reasons. One simple reason is that it tells the caller whether or not they have reached the right place without the receptionist having to speak to them. Two, it sets a tone and projects the image that the business would like to present. Small businesses can use a virtual PBX to take advantage of the main menu greeting for the same purposes. It increases efficiency in their phone system and presents an image for that small business. Many small businesses would like to sound bigger than they are while others would just like to sound more professional. Still other businesses would like to weave in a little more of the company's personality when greeting their callers. Using a main menu recording will allow them to do any of those things.
A small business will usually have nothing but disdain for their larger competition. However, there are many cues that they can take from them that will help their own business succeed. Many of those cues come just from looking at how they utilize their phone system. A big business will have the ability to direct calls to different employees or departments with ease whether that is using a dial by name directory, a receptionist or straight from the main menu. They will be able to track and record calls coming in and project an image of their choice to their callers. A small business can also do all of these things by utilizing a virtual PBX.
Brandi Cummings, an expert author on the unique issues facing small and home based businesses, recommends checking out www.Freedom800.com a leading virtual PBX provider.