Get a Toll Free Number for Your Ecommerce Store

marketing-strategies-426545_640All right, let’s talk for a minute about toll-free numbers. Like I mentioned before, people get all freaked out when they hear “toll-free number”, they think, “Wow this is going to be this expensive, huge, challenging set-up that’s going to take a week or two or three” and that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s super cheap and super simple. Activation happens instantly, you have the entered number the same day.

Credibility and Perception

Now the main reason you want a toll-free number isn’t necessarily so you can sit and answer the phone all day. Really, the biggest benefit to getting a toll-free number is to be able to display it on your website. It instantly adds credibility and trust to your users. As soon as they get to your site, if they see an 800 number displayed on the template of your Ecommerce store, instantly, whether they realize it or not, subconsciously they think “This is a credible, trustworthy place that I should feel secure giving my credit card number to.”

Of all the trust graphics, which is what we call basically anything you display on your store that increases the trust of the visitors. Of all the trust graphics, an 800 number is probably the biggest conversion improvement trust graphic you can display. It really gives that established, trustworthy company feel to all your websites, and like I mentioned before, you can actually use your 1-800 number for all your Ecommerce stores. So this is a small expense that you have to incur for this first store that you can use for all your upcoming stores.

So, like I said, you don’t necessarily need to man the phone all day. What we generally do and what we recommend is put a nice professional voicemail message for your customers that basically says something along the lines of “Thank you for calling our customer service department, we’re currently assisting other customers. Please leave your name, phone number and a detailed message and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.” So anybody that goes to voicemail just gets the perception, they get the idea that you’re really busy, you’re a successful store and if they seem like they are interested in ordering you can call them back. If their question is totally irrelevant and you don’t think there’s any chance they’re going to order, you can brush it off and not even return the call if you don’t want to.

During regular business hours, during the middle of the day when we’re at our computer or whatever, we do try to answer the phone because you will get some orders over the phone that you may not have gotten if you hadn’t answered the phone. So it is recommended to try and answer it during the day, but again you don’t need to feel like you’re a slave to your 800 number.

Recommendations for Toll Free Numbers

Now, we have a recommendation for an 800 number service and they’re called Global Call Forwarding and we feel the same way about Global Call Forwarding for 800 numbers as we feel about HostGator for hosting. We’ve been using Global Call Forwarding for several years now. 100% reliable, super cheap, great customer service, easy to configure, very professional set-up. Their basic plan — their lowest plan is $14.99 a month and again you can use that for all your stores. That includes, I believe, a 100 minutes, which should do you just fine for your first couple months. Once you start getting more traffic and sales and you’re getting more calls and using more minutes, you can step-up to the next plan which is what we use. And I believe that’s $29.99 a month and it includes like a thousand minutes, so that should be plenty of minutes for you, no matter how many stores you get. If you’re needing more than a thousand a month, you’re doing really well and that’s going to be the least of your problems is needing more 800 number minutes.

Now the cool thing about Global Call Forwarding is it’s so customizable, you can set it up to when your customer calls it says your business name, it gives them hold music, you can have it ring multiple phones simultaneously, you can have it ring your cellphone, your home phone, your Skype number whatever it might be. You can have it ring multiple numbers at the same time, or you can do a sequential order type thing where it rings your cellphone twice, and then your home phone twice and then your Skype number twice and then go to voicemail. It’s fully customizable so within their simple control panel you can set up business hours, off hours, you can even set it up to Follow me. You can create a rule, that’s basically the Follow me rule and whenever you’re taking off, leaving home for a while and you don’t want to miss customer calls you can change the Follow me rule and it will ring your cell while you’re gone.

What we do is, we actually have a Skype phone number on our computer and when we get an 800 number, we answer it with our Skype and then we can use our headset and talk to the customer while we continue to work on whatever we need to work on. So it keeps our hands free and we can do whatever we need to while we talk to the customer on the headset and that works great.

If you look below, there’s links to a couple good articles. One is to help you configure your Global Call Forwarding account and do all those cool things I just told you about and then the other one is how to use Global Call Forwarding with your Skype number which is what we do and what we recommend. So check those out.

That really does it for 800 numbers. The sign-up to start your two week free trial with Global Call Forwarding is actually below this video. Again this is something you can wait on, if you’re on a super tight budget, you can list your actual personal home or cell number for now or no number at all on your web store for now. But as soon as you can afford it, and if you can afford it today, we recommend getting an 800 number as soon as possible, because it will increase your conversion rate.

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Most small businesses weak on phones

A majority of Americans use their cell phone at least once a day, and an increasing number of small businesses and startups are employing mobile devices for business purposes.

However, even with this increase in use, a surprising number of small businesses have yet to tap into the benefits a mobile strategy can bring, particularly considering the cost and mobility benefits new technology services offer, such as a virtual phone system.

According to a recently released Small Business Mobile Survey by Web.com, more than 61 percent of companies surveyed have no clear mobile strategy in place. Conversely, nearly 70 percent of SMBs said they believe mobile marketing is the key to business growth within the next five years.

“With more and more consumers specifically searching for local businesses on their mobile device, it is imperative that small businesses invest in a mobile presence,” chairman and CEO of Web.com David Brown said in a press release.

This is especially pertinent given that nearly half of Americans are using smartphones. In February 2012, research from the Pew Internet and American Life Project showed 45 percent of U.S. cell phone owners have an internet-enabled device, CNN reported.

This development can give businesses that utilize cloud services such as a virtual phone system the ability to incorporate professional features like call forwarding or call recording.

Small businesses that incorporate a virtual phone system from a provider such as United World Telecom or Onebox gain the advantages of a professional phone system without the high cost and need to install hardware. Benefits include a professional greeting, extensions, call forwarding, call recording, voicemail to email, and more.

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Three Ways A Mobile App Can Make You More Efficient

2015-06-16_1209A recent survey of customers shows that 71% use a mobile phone most frequently to conduct business. These days, there is a mobile app for almost anything you can think of. There are now over 400,000 apps for just the iPhone according to the latest numbers from Apple. Trying to determine which apps are right for you can be a difficult and time consuming process. Finding apps that are actually useful for you can be even more challenging, and costly. In this post, I will show how the eVoice mobile app can be a useful tool in managing your communications efficiently.

When a Product Team develops a mobile app, one of the primary goals is to provide customers with a simple and useful way to access some of the most popular features of the service. One of the key benefits of a service like eVoice is the ability to maintain a professional image at all times, no matter where you are answering or making international phone calls.

Many customers are consultants, freelancers, self-employed, or entrepreneurs trying to run a business by themselves or with just a few employees. Hiring a full-time, or even part-time, employee to answer and direct calls simply isn’t in the budget for many of these businesses. While there are “Live Receptionist” services that are less expensive than hiring a receptionist, they can still cost more than 10 times the amount of a virtual phone number.

eVoice acts as a “virtual receptionist” that answers inbound calls, professionally greets callers, and automatically routes calls to any phone. Here are some situations where the free mobile app for your iPhone, Android, or BlackBerry device becomes especially useful.

1. Make outbound calls from your virtual phone number.

Let’s say you have a client, Matt, that you call on a regular basis. Matt is very busy and only accepts calls from numbers he recognizes, and he has your virtual phone number listed in his contacts. You have left your office early to visit the dentist. While you are in the waiting room, you read a voicemail message (yes, I said read – more on that in #2) that indicates Matt needs to hear from you about an important transaction. Matt is an important client and you want to get in touch right away, but Matt might not answer a call from your personal cell phone. However, with the eVoice mobile app you can place an outbound call using your virtual phone number. Matt will recognize the number, even though you are calling from your personal cell phone, and you just provided great service to an important client.

2. Manage your voicemail messages more effectively.

Natalie works as a successful wedding photographer. She gets a lot of phone calls from prospective clients with contact information, and also from wedding magazine sales reps asking her to advertise. Because she is often working a shoot or meeting with clients, most of her callers get forwarded to voicemail. The eVoice virtual phone number she uses as her business number includes voicemail transcriptions. Within seconds of getting a new voicemail, the message is transcribed to text and sent to her mobile app. Natalie can now quickly read the voicemail message on her phone. This is beneficial in several ways. First, it saves her the time of having to call in and retrieve messages via the phone. Time that is better spent attending to her business. Second, it allows her to organize messages and search transcriptions. That way, if she needs to reference the important information in a previous message; she can search for text in a message or even organize messages into folders for clients and vendors. The last benefit is related to #1. The mobile app provides call back functionality for voicemail messages and transcriptions. Simply select “Call Back” from the mobile app, and it will place a call to the caller id number used when the message was left.

3. Speed Dial.

The mobile app contains a speed dial section that allows you to easily add numbers to your list of important contacts. This feature also syncs with your online account management settings so that you can make changes on your phone and change or update them at a later time on your PC.

These are just some ways that the eVoice mobile app can be used to maintain your business image. Please feel free to share with us how eVoice is helping your business, or tell us what other mobile apps you find helpful.

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Call Forwarding Telephone Numbers Serve Small Businesses Well

Call forwarding phone numbers are easy to obtain, provide instant business benefits

If you run a business out of your home, at some point you’re going to both want and need a toll-free phone number. It’s a given. You really can’t be available to a wide range of customers, appear professional, and be service-oriented unless you have one.

At the point that you begin investigating your options, you’ll probably do a search on the internet, and then become overwhelmed with choices – companies touting how their services are better than any of their competition.
So what’s important when you do your search, and are ready to sign up with a provider? Keep your eyes out for the following benefits, as they will be important when gaining a call forwarding number:

  • You will want your own private number, and not just an extension.
  • Sign on with a service that doesn’t require you to have a dedicated line. Your toll free number can ring on your existing phone line.
  • Make sure your customers will not ever get a busy signal. Your service should automatically route calls to one of your other numbers or go to voicemail.
  • See whether your call forwarding number will be yours to keep, even if you change services.

Consider getting a call forwarding number from Global Call Forwarding to increase attention and make your company memorable! The benefits of getting a call forwarding phone number are great, as you will appear even more competent, professional and accessible. Finding the right provider will help you make the switch with ease.

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Total Telecom Solutions

AirWalk’s unique product line combines the design innovation of the next generation of IP-based Radio Access Networks with the simplicity and usability required by operators, resulting in solutions that outperform legacy equipment.

AirWalk’s call forwarding solutions have proven to raise the bar for network performance and efficiency in a number of ways:

  • Reduce CAPEX equipment costs by utilizing an all IP system
  • Reduce OPEX and deployment costs by offering compact, easy to install systems
  • Improve time to market by reducing deployment costs
  • Improve system performance by reducing latency

A full line of products are available to accommodate every network expansion need including the emerging femtocell market, the established macrocell market, and special network projects.

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