Our Methodology for Identifying the Best Virtual Phone Number Providers
Cloud computing has impacted businesses like nothing before in history. All of a sudden you can automate pretty much any part of the working process or move it online where it’s safer. After VPS hosting and press release distribution services, the time has come for phone customer support to get automated.
The main reason for getting a virtual phone line is offloading the traffic from one phone to your whole support team. Redirecting the caller to a specific department or person not only streamlines your support service, but it makes your customers happy and more likely to continue using your products or services for many years to come. Cutting down on those wait times and number of transfers is what many customers consider good service, thus what we look for first in these apps.
Once your business picks up, the number of callers will increase. A good virtual business phone number app should offer call queueing, keeping the customers waiting in line and the system ready to transfer the call once there’s a free line.
Automation is another significant feature we look for. It’s fine if a service only features manual call transfers, but that’s not enough anymore to stand out from the crowd. These systems can become your new virtual reception, routing customers much faster than any human can.
Lastly, there’s the matter of monitoring business phone calls. This has become an integral part of many virtual phone services and it’s a highly requested feature by call centers, so we’ve included it in our requirements. Both monitoring and recording are a must, but if the service also offers reporting tools and other metrics, it’s a big plus in our book.
Phone Number Selection
Since we’re potentially getting several phone numbers, it’s important to not be limited to just local numbers. Instead, we’re looking for both variety and quantity. The number and type of phone numbers you can get is often a deal breaker with these services. The best virtual phone number service should offer both local and international phone numbers, but also vanity and toll-free numbers. The latter can really make your company look more professional and are often requested by business owners.
It should go without saying that the quality of phone calls is important if you don’t want to lose customers. A bad connection could lead to mishearing crucial information on both ends, which can lead to even more problems for both customers and your company. We take into account how stable the connection is when assessing this criterion.
The importance of saving a few pennies here and there shouldn’t be overlooked. Therefore, we try to find the most affordable virtual phone number service that provides good value. We compare the plans – if there are more than one on offer – look at how well the pricing is scaled from the basic to the most premium plan, and find which is the best choice. We also take a look at any extra fees and optional add-ons, of course comparing them to the competition.
Additionally, we evaluate any discounts that the company offers, whether they’re for purchasing annual licenses or combo deals. Free trials are highly appreciated, too, as are generous refund policies. In short, we look for the best virtual phone number service provider in terms of value and consumer-friendliness.
When you’re just starting to learn how to manage your calls online, you’re bound to have some questions about the brand new service you’ve just subscribed to. Maybe some part of the UI isn’t 100% clear to your coworkers, or you’re having an issue setting up a particular feature. Whatever the case, you’ll need an expert’s help, and it’s even better if that help comes directly from the company whose product you’re using.
That’s why the top virtual phone number providers need to have solid customer support platforms. This includes knowledgeable, friendly staff, different avenues of contact, short waiting times, and a good knowledge base where the user can browse for solutions on their own.
Our Picks: The Best Virtual Phone Number Services
Benefits of Using a Virtual Business Phone System
You might still be wondering why you would even use a virtual instead of an analogue phone. Isn’t it simpler, faster, and even cheaper? That may have been the case in the past, but in recent years, a serious company should switch to an online phone if they plan to include a phone number as one point of contact with their customers. Here are some of the reasons virtual US numbers are such a hot commodity right now.
The phone rings, you answer it. End of story, right? True, but if you get a hold of the best virtual phone number, you can do that and much more. These services have evolved way beyond what a landline can offer. Yes, you can still make and receive phone calls, but you also get a whole set of management tools that help spread the workload and direct the customer to the exact department they need.
These systems work like a receptionist, automating the process of transferring a caller to a specific department or person so they can solve their problems faster. You can have a waiting queue, hundreds of operators answering the same phone number, automatic responses, and more. The best virtual phone number provider can provide you with dozens of productivity tools. Some of them may even be able to integrate into the systems you might already be using.
There’s also the matter of leaving a better impression on your clients and customers. Getting a few easy-to-remember 1-800 numbers and offering customers the chance to call you for free when they have issues with the product – it all adds up to a better company image.
You know the line “this phone call might be recorded” when you call customer support? Call centers record calls through virtual phones for several reasons, but most often as a legal precaution. They pick the best virtual phone system based on whether it can monitor and record the calls or not.
This is mostly for legal reasons. Whether for their own safety or if requested by law, call centers record their calls. That way, any issue that may arise will be documented, hence why you’ll always see this feature listed in virtual phone companies’ offers.
Another reason these services record calls is simply for employee training. A manager of a call center can evaluate the productivity of their employees by listening to either live or recorded calls.
When we talk about the best virtual phone number, we always mention the pricing. Today, a small business that deals with a lot of phone calls is better off getting an internet phone than a landline. These services can easily save you hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars a month, since many offer unlimited calls and texts. Compared to cell phone plans, these services are usually a steal and you can even use them on your mobile phone, so it’s a win-win situation.
How do I get a virtual phone number?
Getting the best virtual phone number for small business requires just a quick signup with one of the companies that offer these kinds of services. In most cases, your virtual phone will be ready to go in a matter of minutes and you can carry your existing phone number, so you’re not cutting off the service to your customers.
Are virtual phone numbers safe?
Yes, Wi-Fi calling and managing phone calls through a virtual phone is very safe. Most modern platforms that offer this service employ strong encryption, protecting all the data stored in the system, including your address books.
Why would someone use a VoIP number?
Compared to a regular landline, the best virtual business phone is not limited to just one device, or even a single location. When you get a virtual phone, you can use it anywhere in the world as long as you have internet access. There’s pretty much nothing more convenient than that when it comes to making business calls.
What is the best 1-800 number service?
Many companies today offer a 1-800 number or 800 number when you sign up for their virtual phone services. As we’ve mentioned in our article, there are five companies that provide the best virtual phone number today. These are Grasshopper, 8×8, RingCentral, Nextiva, and Phone.com.