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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