Owning a small business used to mean that you couldn’t afford an 800 number. Not so anymore. These days it is just as easy to get an 800 number for your small business as it is to have the electric turned on for your small business.
Having an 800 number is great way to attract new customers and entice more people to call you which will hopefully lead to an increase in sales and your bottom line. The best part is the 800 number you choose will not cost you an arm and a leg anymore.
With the invention of what is known as a virtual 800 number it is no longer necessary to have a main phone line that routes all the calls to various extensions throughout the office. In fact, you don’t even have to have all the extensions in the same office, city, state, or country for that matter. Here is how a virtual 800 number works and how you go about getting one for your small business:
o Choose a service provider: Start by conducting an online search for ‘virtual 800 number service provider’ and what you will get is a number of different companies who all offer similar services at similar prices. You need to take some time to go through the different companies and decide which one is the one you want to use for your 800 number needs.
o Choose a number: This is done with the 800 number service provider and can be done in one of two ways. You can let the 800 number service provider choose a random 800 number to assign you or for a few dollars more you can choose a vanity number such as 800-DOG-TOYS.
o Set up extensions: A virtual 800 number will act as your personal switchboard operator. When a customer calls in they will hear a recorded voice that prompts them to push a certain extension in order to reach the department or party of their choice. These extensions are set up ahead of time by you. You can designate any phone to be an extension and the person calling in is none the wiser. One extension can be your mobile phone, while another extension can be an office line. So long as it is a phone, an extension can be plugged into it. You can also switch the designation of the extensions as your needs and travels change.
o Check messages: If you do miss a call you will have a pre-recorded message play letting the person know that you will call them back as soon as possible. You can check your messages from any phone or have the 800 number service provider e-mail you the message, fax you the message, or even send it to your iPhone or other portable device.