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Hosted PBX, Is It Right For You?

"Order Now!" "Your Business Will Fail If You Don't Have This New Technology!" "Your Competition Has This Tool, Why Don't You?" Does any of this sound familiar? Does it make you cringe? It seems to be impossible to keep up with all the new trends in business today. It's hard to know which trends are just flash in the pan gimmicks and which are valuable tools that your business can actually benefit from. It's important to do your research. Find out what these tools can do for you and make sure it is right for your business. One of these recent trends is the hosted PBX service. These "virtual" phone systems can automatically answer, screen and route all incoming calls to your office, home and/or cell phone. Although they have been on the market for some time now, hosted PBXs have recently been getting the attention of more and more small and medium sized businesses. Is this technology right for your business?

What Can It Do For Me?
First you have to ask yourself, "How will my business benefit from a hosted PBX?" A hosted PBX service has many different aspects that a business owner can take advantage of. A good service will have numerous different features and packages that can help your business project a more professional image and boost productivity. Here are 4 basic features of most hosted PBX services. See if they can benefit your business.

1 - 800 - Toll Free Number
90% of Americans report using a toll free number and studies show that using a toll free number in your advertising can increase your response by 30%. So the first advantage to your business using an "800" number with your hosted PBX is that consumers will call you before they call the company with a local number. If your company only does business in your direct local market, and you want to keep it that way, then you may still benefit from a toll free number. People generally see a company with a toll free number as a larger and more established business. Simply by having a toll free number, you boost your professional image and instill confidence in your callers.

You Got Them To Call, Now Answer The Phone!
"Follow Me" call forwarding is the backbone of a hosted PBX service. If you have a toll free number you're inviting people to call you. With follow me call forwarding, you can route calls that come into your hosted PBX to any local phone number or numbers you wish. You can have calls transferred to your office phone, home phone, cell phone or any combination of these numbers until the service finds you. You can even program a hosted PBX to call different phone numbers at different times of the day, or even days of the week. The system will announce itself to you so that you know it is a call coming from your toll free number. Most importantly you can be available to your callers wherever you go. You don't have to worry about missing a call from Mr. Next Big Client while you are out to lunch. Or better yet, you don't have to miss your lunch because you are waiting for Mrs. Big Client to return your call.

Connecting You and Your Team
Multiple voicemail boxes can play an important part in how your hosted PBX directs callers. If you have multiple employees, you can assign each one their own mailbox. Each mailbox acts as its own voice mail system. It comes with its own extension, outgoing voicemail message, call forwarding settings, and delivery of messages. The hosted PBX service automatically answers all incoming calls and directs the caller to press the extension of the person they would like to speak to or give them the option of listening to a list of extensions. It doesn't matter if all your employees work in the same office or in different offices in different locations. They can even work out of their own homes and the caller will never know they are being transferred anywhere outside of the office. If you are a one man band, but you want to project the image of a small orchestra, this can be achieved using your multiple voicemail extensions. For example you can create a mailbox for a Sales department, Technical Support department and Billing department. A hosted PBX system will automatically answer all your incoming calls and route callers to the appropriate department. Unbeknownst to the caller, all three extensions are transferred to you at your local number. With multiple mailboxes you can create an image of a single office as well as further project that professional image that you started by having a toll free number.

Your Voice System At Your Fingertips
One of the advantages of having a hosted PBX is having your entire voice system at your fingertips. Web based access provides a window to your system giving you real time control of your communications. Features will vary depending on the company, but most web based applications allow you to control each mailbox on your system, view caller id captures, change system and mailbox settings such as call forwarding numbers and times as well as running reports to view call usage and trends. Another advantage of web based access is the ability to check voice and fax messages online or have them sent to any email address you wish. Of course, you can still check your messages by phone as well. Web based access isn't just a convenient and time saving tool, it is also a very productive one. For example you could run a report to see if the call volume increased after a specific ad campaign was released or see which day of the week is the busiest for customer service. The applications are endless.

When trying to decide if the latest tools are right for your business, make sure to ask the important questions. How will it benefit me and my business? Will it boost my productivity? Will it increase my professional image and boost customer confidence? Will it help me to be more successful? If the answer is "yes" to any of these questions then it is definitely a tool that you need to look into integrating into your business.

Find out more about how a toll free hosted pbx system can help you project a professional image, be more productive, and build credibility with your clients.

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