What Virtual PBX Can Do for a Small Business
A virtual PBX provider hosts your phone service’s infrastructure in their data center and delivers the service over the Internet. Because of the reach of the Internet, that service can go anywhere. With a virtual PBX, you can take your phone services on the road, to your home, to other company sites as well as your office. That gives your business greater flexibility and reach. There are well-established financial and operational benefits to a hosted service, but the business benefits are just as important.
Improved office communications
Choosing a virtual PBX solution reduces your infrastructure costs and can give you a platform for migrating to an advanced communication platform.
Providers may bundle additional services with a virtual PBX, offering you features that can improve productivity, collaboration, and customer service. For example, you could take advantage of a feature like “Find Me Follow Me” that automatically rings another phone if the main extension isn’t answered. Another feature that improves productivity is unified messaging. Unified messaging brings your voicemail, instant messages, and email into a single inbox to improve access.
Enhanced customer service
Virtual PBX solutions provide an immediate customer service benefit by delivering an efficient approach to handling incoming calls. Callers receive a professional greeting and a menu of options such as sales, production, or technical support. The virtual PBX then routes the call to the designated department or employee.
You won’t need to hire a receptionist and calls will reach any employee, even if they are working from home or away from the office. A simple portal makes it easy to assign or change current ‘extensions’ for each employee if they are promoted or leave the company. This makes employees more contactable and ensures that customers always reach the right contact.
You can also take advantage of features including messaging, call forwarding, voicemail, and call waiting. Virtual PBX can also integrate with business applications like Microsoft Outlook or customer relationship management systems.
Single number for all your phones
With virtual PBX, you can give customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders a single contact number for all members of your business. That way, contacts don’t have to remember a list of different office, mobile, or home numbers.
Assured business continuity
If problems occur at the office, like a power outage, fire, or another natural disaster, you won’t lose communications. Because the virtual PBX is in the cloud, you can work outside the office if necessary with full access to your office communications.
Support for mobile working
Virtual PBX gives employees who are often out of the office the freedom to make and receive calls from their work line. Calls can be forwarded to a smartphone or other device, making it an extension of their office communication system.
Increased productivity at home
With a virtual PBX solution employees can work from home with access to the same phone services they would have in the office. They can connect to the virtual PBX via an Internet connection using laptops, smartphones, tablets, or their home phone. Remote workers can also stay in contact because the virtual PBX can forward all calls to their chosen extension.
Working from home gives employees greater flexibility to choose where and how to work while maintaining productivity. This level of productivity is important in recruiting and retaining employees. It can also reduce real estate costs. Employees working from home may only need occasional hot-desking facilities rather than full office services.
Improved inter-site communications
For businesses with multiple sites, a virtual PBX provider can enable full IP services at each site, with the additional benefits of centralized management and free calls between sites. Because communications are now centralized, locations do not have to set up and manage infrastructure on their own site, reducing equipment and support costs.
Simplifying inter-site communications can help improve business efficiency by supporting regular reporting and collaboration. Sites can schedule regular daily conference calls to review the day’s business or discuss new business opportunities. Holding weekly or monthly meetings via conference calls can save time and travel costs, compared to meetings on site.
Building a virtual business
For many small companies, the easiest way to grow is to set up a virtual business. You can work with contractors based in other areas, use outsourced suppliers, and establish a market presence in a location without being there.
It’s a low-cost way to create an operation that gives customers the impression of a larger, established business. Virtual team members are likely to have their own contact numbers on various office or home phones and mobile devices. However, with a virtual PBX in place, your virtual team can access the main business phone service, receive calls from customers, and remain in contact with other employees.
Local offices without a physical presence
If you want to increase business in a specific city or region and give prospects the impression they are dealing with a local business, you can allocate virtual numbers to these locations.
When local customers dial the virtual numbers, calls are forwarded to the PBX for distribution to appropriate team members. The customer only pays a local rate, which improves convenience. This means you could set up virtual offices in New York, San Francisco, London, or any other location without being there.
Grow with virtual PBX
The other major advantage of a cloud-based solution like virtual PBX is that it can grow with your business. The PBX is scalable, so if you hire new team members or outgrow your current capacity, you can make changes without the delay and disruption of installing new lines. That makes virtual PBX a flexible solution for a business that is growing rapidly or operating in volatile markets.