Eureka! You’ve got a fabulous idea for a new company and can’t wait to get things up and running. As a virtual receptionist service for small businesses, we know that there’s a lot of work that goes into building one from scratch, even before you open your doors; not least among them is choosing your phone service. Hearing your phone ring with potential clients will be a thrill but telephony may not be your specialty. To take some of the headache out of picking a phone system, we put together a few questions you may want to mull over when considering which out of the myriad of options is right for your budding business.
Do you need a local number, a toll-free number, or both?
If your customers are locally based, or are based in a certain area code, you may want a local number. If you deal with customers nationally, a toll-free number may be more appealing. Ruby clients are welcome to publish the toll-free number we assign them; we cover any charges associated with the number, and at the end of service you may take it with you.
Do you need a physical phone installed?
You may not need a landline if you will be maintaining a virtual office. Remote call forwarding lines or number hosting services may suffice.
Will you have more than one employee?
You may be flying solo to start, but looking to the future couldn’t hurt. It’s handy to have a central, published number that your customers can call to reach anyone in your business. If you have a physical phone line installed, you will most likely be able to add lines through your service provider in the future. However, if you’ve opted not to have a landline and end up hiring additional employees, you could set up an auto attendant to route calls or step up your customer service by forwarding your number to a live virtual receptionist service like Ruby. That way, your new employees don’t have to give out their direct number which could lead to problems if they’re out on vacation or someone else takes over their responsibilities. With a centralized number, your callers will always reach someone who can direct them to the most appropriate person.
Who will answer your phone?
Many soloprenuers answer their own phones, but perhaps it won’t set your company up for success. You may be in meetings or away from your desk and calls will have to go to an impersonal voicemail system. And when potential clients do reach you, they may wonder why the CEO is playing double duty as receptionist. Every phone call is an opportunity: an opportunity to set a great first impression for your business, an opportunity to WOW a current client, an opportunity to make a meaningful connection. Whether you answer your calls yourself, have in-house staff to help, or hire a service like Ruby, being prompt, friendly, and professional will always make a splash.
There are lots of factors to consider when choosing a phone service, and we would be happy to help in any way we can. Do you have other questions? Tweet us @callruby!