Few would argue that the primary goals of a virtual PBX are to provide a small business owner with a professional telephone answering service and to reduce the costs associated with other useful telephone services. But in developing and marketing today’s virtual office services, many companies have masked these fundamental goals by offering a laundry list of ‘fantastic’ features that may detract consumers from determining which services they really need. As savvy consumers and business owners, however, it is our obligation to see through these marketing ploys, so that we don’t overpay for services we really won’t use.
Still, while many virtual PBX features may seem extraneous, there are some ‘extras’ that can be surprisingly useful. Here are 5 virtual office features that can contribute greatly to the professionalism and efficiency of any small business.
- Call recording. Even if you think that you’ll never need to record a call, you may be amazed at how useful this feature can be when making verbal agreements- and making sure that they are implemented properly.
- Calling cards. You may not be traveling a lot (or at all) for business right now, but even for the once a year that you go on vacation, having the ability to use your virtual PBX service from anywhere can really be useful, and can save you money on your travel phone bills.
- Call logs. While you may not be concerned about using your call logs to keep track of your minute usage, call logs can be useful for looking up lost or misplaced phone number of people that have called in- or that you’ve called and need to contact again.
- Call handling rules. Sure, it’s nice to forget about work when you’re away from your desk. Unfortunately, small business owners often don’t have that luxury, as a missed call can mean lost business. When set up properly on your virtual PBX, call handling rules enable you to reroute your business calls to your cell phone, your home phone, or any other phone that you desire, so that you are always available when your clients need you.
- Email and SMS voicemail delivery. It may be easy to press the play button on your answering machine, but that requires standing near the machine. With email voicemail delivery, you can receive messages from your virtual office service wherever you have internet access, which is incredibly convenient for small business owners who don’t spend much time sitting at their desk.