To succeed in today’s competitive landscape, your small business has to stay lean, scrappy, and resourceful. That includes finding free resources whenever possible, especially when it comes to one of your most important customer acquisition channels—your business phone!
Below are some valuable free phone solutions that should enhance your customer communications, professionalize your business image, and, of course, save on costs!
Exploring free business number solutions
Virtual phone service providers
Virtual phone service providers offer free business phone numbers with limited call minutes and basic call management features.
These numbers can serve as an excellent starting point for small businesses on a tight budget. Customers can later upgrade to a paid version that unlocks additional call minutes and features.
Google Voice offers free phone numbers for businesses and individuals alike.
How does it work? Users sign up with their existing phone number and link it to their Google Voice number, which they can advertise to others. When someone calls the Google number, it can be forwarded to the linked personal or office phone.
Google Voice even provides voicemail transcription, call screening, and free or low-cost international call rates.
WhatsApp Business/Facebook Messenger
Savvy businesses use social media platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to leverage their phone features.
With WhatsApp, users can register for a WhatsApp Business Account to sync with their existing business number, migrate another line to the business platform, or register a 1-800 number.
With Facebook Messenger, customers can simply use the built-in call feature!
Setting up and customizing your free business phone number
The process of setting up a free business phone number depends on the service you plan to use, but the general steps are all pretty straightforward:
- Choose the virtual phone service provider or a platform that best matches your needs
- Sign up and input your business’s details
- Select a phone number, if applicable (Note: some providers let you choose the area code)
- Link the new number to your existing number, if needed
- Complete the verification process, when prompted
Personalizing your phone greeting
Most platforms allow users to set custom greetings, so take advantage of this feature if offered.
Adding a personalized greeting or voicemail lets callers know they’ve called the right business, establishes a rapport that you can build on later, and can convey important information, such as business hours, your website’s URL, or whatever else you want to tell them!
Integrating your business number with other tools
Many virtual phone systems offer options to integrate with email and/or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) programs.
This is a huge time-saver in the long run because it allows you to capture details or have call records sent directly to an email. Ultimately, these integrations pay off through more consistent communications—and more efficient customer management!
Leveraging your free business phone number for success
Engaging with customers using your new business number
Congratulations, you’ve set up your business number! Now, don’t let it just sit there—start using it to engage with customers!
Learn about the various features your service provider offers and test them all out.
For instance, if you’ve signed up with WhatsApp Business, you have a direct line of communication with customers via a device they carry around all the time. Fire off some texts to entice them with promotions, discount offers, or news about your products and services.
The importance of call tracking and data analysis
If you’re not tracking calls, you’re missing out on invaluable insights into customer behavior.
Use tracking tools such as CallRail to capture (and later analyze) caller data to learn such things as peak caller times and which marketing channels and campaigns are most effective. This will help you quickly refine your strategies, saving time, effort, and money.
Scalability as your business grows
Most free business phone solutions are made to scale.
And one of your business goals should be to scale, too! So it makes sense to pick a provider that offers upgraded paid versions with more features, better integration capabilities, and extra line options. That way, when the time comes, it’ll be a breeze to expand your phone capabilities as your business grows!
Get the most out of your business phone with Ruby!
No matter which type of business phone number you select, you’ll need someone there to answer those calls when they come in!
Ruby is here to ensure your callers connect with a real person, 24/7/365. Our virtual receptionists are trained and ready to delight customers and qualify over the phone leads while seamlessly sounding like a member of your in-house team. Plus, we help you make the most out of your new business number with flexible porting and customization options!
Want to see how it works? Reach out today and we’ll walk you through how to make the most out of your business phone!