The breadth of cloud-based telephone solutions offered to the small business and startup communities has grown exponentially over the past 18 months.
They range from on-demand computer infrastructure applications, to purpose built offerings like web-based cloud telephony solutions.
“However, 70 percent of all small businesses with a website do not have a business phone number. Web telephony solutions offer a unique opportunity for them to adopt a professional phone presence, and implement capabilities that will enable them to increase call management functionality, and customer service interactions,” said Bryan Goode, CEO of Infratel
“Similar to other cloud-based applications, web telephony solutions enable a small business to create a professional look and feel without large time or cost investments in technology, providing the opportunity to compete with more established counterparts in their respective industry,” he adds.
Experts report that when a small business is first starting out, it is often on a shoestring budget and its leaders cannot afford to implement the physical technologies and services that their larger counterparts use.
By taking advantage of cloud based telephony solutions a small business just starting out can establish a professional web and voice presence for interacting with prospects and customers for a small fee, instead of spending thousands of dollars in hardware acquisition costs and IT consultants.
These solutions also allow businesses to portray a more professional look and feel to their potential and current clients and partners, improving operations by increasing productivity and professional appearance, helping them to achieve a quick, maximum return on their technology investment.
Infratel’s Goode says there are good reasons to choose a smart telephone solution:
- They offer cost savings to small businesses and startups that have little to no money to invest in IT
- Web-based telephony solutions are easy to use and implement, benefiting small businesses or startups that typically have limited IT support
- With the advancement of communication technologies, web-based telephony solutions can be strategic assets that a business can leverage to create new communication channels with prospects and customers
- They allow a small or home office business to portray a more professional presence when dealing with customers (professional phone number, call cues, call routing to mobile devices, etc.)
Goode offers these suggestions on how to choose a telephone system during the start-up phase and beyond.
- Small businesses leaders should be looking for solutions that create an easy-to-use repeatable process for them and their customers, reducing the likelihood of inefficiencies or failure to reach maximum ROI
- Is it related to your core business? (Is the solution something your current customer base will use? Will it improve your business’ functionality and collaboration capabilities? Will it improve the customer experience?)
- Is this solution offering you the ability to communicate externally with customers and internally within your team easier than before?
- Is the solution enabling your small business to save money?
- Is the solution being purchased through a trusted source that the small business can depend on?
Goode says, “When choosing a telephony solution it is paramount that companies find one that will create an easy-to-use reputable product for their customers that offers a small business a maximum ROI on their technology investment.
He adds. “Today, we see small businesses and startups choosing the web telephony solutions that will best improve their core business’ functionality. Whether that it is creating more efficient ways to route and manage inbound inquiries, improve project management and coordination across geographies, or increase contact management (CRM) capabilities to keep customer records organized, the most imperative thing is that solution helps a business to improve its day-to-day operations at a low affordable cost. “
Goode can be reached at email@example.com.