No more “lines.” No required hardware. Virtual phone numbers give your business an advantage.
So, what is a phone number?
Not to get too philosophical about this, but what IS a phone number? A phone number used to be connected to a specific line, a representation of something tangible and fixed. These days, with technological advancements and the infinitesimal capabilities of the internet, your phone number merely represents a set of routing instructions rather than a single line. In other words, your phone number is more abstract than literal…but what does this really mean?
Your unique phone number routes calls to you. With a basic personal phone, this is a simple A-to-B situation – your friend keys in your phone number, and this lets the carrier know your phones should be connected. A conversation can begin! But long gone are the days in which a physical line is connecting us to these numbers. For business owners especially, this opens up many more strategic opportunities than old fashioned A-to-B conversations.
Limitless Inbound Options
Consider an intermediary between A and B: smrtPhone, a cloud-based phone system, can receive the call and then help you customize the instructions from there. You get to decide how a call is received by you or your employees, which gives you ultimate flexibility.
It’s up to you where a call goes, whether it be to a group, a series of recipients, or a voicemail. For a more bespoke experience, you can create your own IVR phone menu and callers can select for themselves where they want to be routed. Or try a logic tree, where other team members are attempted if one person doesn’t respond, until a voicemail is triggered. You can even shorten the amount of time a phone “rings,” so your caller isn’t waiting a long time. The possibilities are nearly endless!
With flexible call flows, the instructions are programmed by you, in a way that fits your business needs, without being bound by the expectations of what a phone number used to do.
Think of phone numbers as a programming language, and smrtPhone allows you to be the programmer.
Streamlined Outbound Calling
We covered some of the incoming calling options, now let’s cover the time-saving hacks of smrtPhone’s outbound opportunities.
Since all of your phone numbers are available via a quick dropdown menu, you can pick and choose which phone number to use for each call. For businesses with multi-region clients and prospects, it can be important to use specific area codes. Quickly select the phone number that you want to show up on a Caller ID, making your call strategies more intentional, personal and efficient.
Or, consider this example: you have a list of people to call, but the likelihood of someone picking up is low, maybe 25%. With smrtPhone’s power dialer, smrtDialer, You can call four contacts at once, from the same phone number, and be ready to respond to anyone who picks up. You’re using up less of your precious time, increasing the efficiency of your calls, and saving money in the process. Of course, calling four numbers at once allows for the chance that two or more people answer at the same time. No worries! smrtPhone lets you program a response that informs the lead you’ll call right back and then ensures you dial them as soon as you’re freed from the first connected call.
smrtDialer allows you to queue up calls so that a new call starts the moment the previous call ends. With many CRMs, you have to make manual decisions such as clicking on a phone number, copying and pasting numbers into a dialer, or saving call recordings. It feels like you’re constantly pressing buttons to make it all happen. With smrtDialer, your administrator sets up queues for employees at the beginning of the day, and the calls make themselves. This saves time, allows you to focus on the actual conversations, and it dramatically increases the amount of calls you can make in a day – something that would not be possible without virtual phone numbers.
Calls Unbound by Phones!
Another major advancement in making and receiving calls is the idea that you don’t even need a phone to do it. When you have a phone number via smrtPhone, your dialer is anywhere your browser is. Your phone numbers are cloud-based in nature, not necessarily tied to a cell or landline phone. Sure, you can still make and receive calls from your phone via the smrtPhone Mobile App, but you can also do so from your computer.
Better yet, your browser and app activities are all synced and seamless – whatever calls you make from one dialer will be seen from all of your access options.
smrtPhone’s Chrome Dialer is an additional tool allows you to make and receive calls from any webpage, at any time. You don’t have to hunt for and open your smrtPhone tab; a simple drop down banner can be quickly accessed with all of your contacts, no matter what site you’re on. Anywhere you have Chrome, you have a quick and easy phone dialer.
And remember that you always have a softphone available to you, too! By downloading the smrtPhone app onto your mobile phone, all of your purchased phone numbers are available to be used – you’re not bound to using the number associated with your mobile phone.
It used to be true that if you were on your phone, you were only reachable in one place at a time. That’s simply no longer true. Each user gets to determine where they can be reached: the smrtPhone Web App tab, the Chrome Dialer or the Mobile App. It’s also up to you to turn off those dialers as you see fit – if you only want to be reached by your browser at work, or your phone on the go, that’s up to you!
And don’t forget – texts are unbound by phones, too! Texts can obviously be received in all the same places as calls (web, phone, mobile app) but did you know that incoming texts can also be routed to multiple people, or group inboxes? Let’s say you want a question about billing to go to your entire accounting team: texts can be read or answered by multiple people, and you have the option to respond from wherever you are, even if your phone isn’t right by your side.
If Phone Numbers Aren’t Real… Can They Be Faked?
Unfortunately with every technological advancement comes people who will abuse it.
As we established, phone numbers are a set of instructions, and some people use those instructions to engage in call spoofing, where the displayed Caller ID information is intentionally different from who is actually calling. This is often done by robocallers, sometimes mimicking other business or government agency numbers, and it decreases recipients’ trust when answering the phone.
To combat this issue, smrtPhone offers STIR/SHAKEN to their clients, via the Trust Center, in order to call out with certified caller ID. STIR/SHAKEN is a set of protocols that verifies the ID displayed is indeed the phone number being used, and is the new industry standard for legitimate businesses that use VOIP software.
More Flexibility = Better Customer Experience
Hopefully everyone’s understanding of phone numbers is beginning to evolve, and the idea of not being bound by lines or a one-number-per person mentality frees you up to build an optimal phone experience that closes more deals.
Ultimately, customer experience benefits greatly from these advancements, as does efficiency and time management on behalf of the caller. Forget what you thought you knew about phone numbers – even, potentially, the phone! – as you use smrtPhone to build out your inbound and outbound calling strategies. Learn more here about how to sign up for a smrtPhone Trial!