Phone Numbers and Virtual Phone Services for Small Businesses

Phone Numbers and Virtual Phone Services for Small Businesses

We can help with Phone Numbers and Virtual Phone Services for Small Businesses here at Bigfoot.Marketing.

Poor Phone Answering Habits Make You Lose Money

At Bigfoot.Marketing, we work with lots of small businesses and many that are start-ups.  We are always working with some new businesses here.

If you are serious about business, in most cases you will either need to be answering your phone or having someone answer it for you.  Or, you may choose to hire a service and outsource your phone answering services.

Your Business Phone Priorities

You will be spending money and time trying to get your phone to ring.  If you don't have your phone policies created and your phone number properly setup to follow those policies, you are going to miss some opportunities for new business.

As a fledgling new business, you may opt to use your existing mobile number.  As your business grows, you should be growing in your lead management program, which includes how your phone is answered routinely as a part of following up on leads for new business as well as taking good care of your current clients.

Step 1: Make sure your phone number works.

This may sound silly to list, but if you were to ask me if I have ever worked with clients that had published business phone numbers and were even actively marketing their businesses with those published (and not working) numbers, sadly, the answer is "YES."

I have used many phone numbers for my varying business ventures and brands and I have been HORRIFIED more than once myself to discover that I've had a number published that was no longer working.  Someone found an old web page that had a number that I had used in the past via a search engine query and it didn't work.

So, the more numbers you use, the more likely you are to have this problem.

Regardless, start by calling your own number using a different phone or have someone else call the number as a favor and make sure it works.

Step 2: Answer your Phone Professionally

If using Your Personal Phone for Business

If you are using your personal phone for business, I strongly suggest that you do one of the following:

  1. Answer using your business name
  2. Get a unique number with a call announcement (details about this phone service follow in Step 4 below)

Your friends and family will recognize your voice and they will usually be aware of your business enterprise.  If they are not, they will be when you answer your phone in the name of your business!

Write a Phone Answering Script

Take a few moments to whip out a script that you can follow until it becomes a habit.  This is especially important if your business enterprise is brand new.

Something like: "Thank for calling BUSINESS NAME, this is MY NAME.  How may I help you?"

Step 3: Setup your voicemail to reflect your business.

Once you know the phone number that you intend to use for your business is working, be sure to properly setup your voice mail.

Record a Personal Greeting

If you leave the generic greeting, it will be a computer generated voice telling callers that number --- --- ---- is not available and then "leave a message after the tone."

MOST PEOPLE will simply hang up and NOT leave a message.  Is that what you want?

They will be afraid they have reached the wrong number.  Most often, they won't call again.  Some may double-check your phone number and call again and then discover that your business means so little to you that you have not even taken the time to record a personal greeting.

If using Your Personal Phone for Business

If you are using your personal phone for business, record your personal greeting telling callers something like this: "Thank you for calling BUSINESS NAME and MY NAME.  Please leave a brief message and include your phone number and I will call you back as soon as I can, usually within 24 hours."

Step 4: Get a Dedicated Business Phone Number

Option 1: You can get a dedicated VIRTUAL business phone number and POINT it to your existing personal number.  Service providers will typically have an option that will alert you that your business phone number is being called when you answer the call.

This alert is AUDIBLE, so when you answer your phone, you know what business the phone call is intended for.  This is called a "call alert", "number ID" or a "call announcement".

For example, you get a number to use for your business and POINT it (or set the ring-to number) to be your mobile phone.  When the call comes in, you hear your selected greeting first, announcing the call is for your business.  This way, you can use your existing phone and number to answer your business calls professionally.

When someone calls your personal number, you do not hear this recording or announcement, so you can simply answer "hello" or "this is NAME" as you ordinarily would answer any of your personal phone calls.

We are now using a sophisticated phone system for the corporation, but I have used another provider (and still do) for Bigfoot.Marketing and other brands that are independent of the corporation.

You may use the link below to get a toll free number for your business (as low as $2/mo) or local numbers (as low as $5/mo).

Option 2: Hire a company (call services provider) to professionally answer your phone for you.  Services can range from simple answering services to full customer sales and support.  Bigfoot.Marketing can provide complete phone answering services for you.

We can answer your phone in your name, have the calls recorded, answer your client's questions, schedule your appointments, provide webmaster support, chat support and more.

Option 3: Get a physical phone number / line for your business.  This is only being done by larger companies that typically have several on-site employees answering the phone.

We Can Setup For You

We will do a complete, custom setup for you for $100.  Get in touch.

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