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Branding the Voice Channel: 5 Mistakes to Avoid With Virtual Numbers

Posted by Erica Berry

May 10, 2018 10:51:14 AM

To survive in today's fast-paced business world, companies need to stand out. While some leaders are focusing on ways to differentiate their brands online through social media, content marketing, and other digital marketing efforts, smart businesses are also nurturing their voice channel. Having a brand-appropriate phone presence gives your business a personal voice.

The telephone is an old-world communications medium, but customers, clients, and partners expect businesses to have a voice channel, and for that channel to reflect the professionalism of the business's brand. Simply listing a phone number isn't enough to get your "voice presence" across the right way. Neglecting your voice channel can have a negative impact on your brand image, causing customers to question your professionalism and potentially shift their business elsewhere. 

Here are 5 mistakes small business make when it comes to their phone service, and ways to avoid them...


1. Voice Greeting Not Brand-Aligned

Small business owners often don’t have the resources or the need for a sophisticated phone system, so they rely on personal cell phones to connect with team members and customers. While combining work and personal lines does save money, it can backfire when it comes to your brand image. If a customer, client, or business partner calls your personal cell phone number and reaches you at a bad time (like during happy hour) or is forwarded to a personal message (like, “Hey, it’s Jim. I never listen to voicemail so I probably won’t call you back!”), they probably won’t be impressed – or worse, never call back.

2. Forgettable Number Makes Business Look Smaller Than Intended

Choosing a business phone number with repeating digits or a pattern not only makes it easy for your customers to remember, but can also impact perception -- a brand that has invested in its voice channel feels more established and professional. Utilizing a toll-free number (e.g., virtual number) can also help small businesses appear larger and more credible, even if it’s just you and a small team working from home.

3. Choosing the Wrong Area Code Can Cost Your Business

Trying to sell over a wide geographic region can be difficult if you’re calling or offering phone support from an out of area number. Customers are more likely to answer incoming local numbers and are also more likely to do business with local businesses. Choosing area codes within your target geographic region or using a toll free number sends a certain signal about your business goals and could help your conversion rate. You can easily obtain multiple virtual numbers so you have a presence in more than one geographic area.

4. Lack of Extensions May Confuse, Irritate Callers

Telling callers that they need to dial a different phone number for their billing or support inquiry because you don't have extensions can confuse, irritate, or even anger callers -- deterring them from calling back. By utilizing a phone system with extensions to route incoming calls to other departments or offering a touchtone menu, you can provide convenient, professional service while also freeing up your own time!

5. Missing Messages & Slow Response Times Reflects Poorly on Your Brand

No one likes listening to voicemails, but what good is a message if you never retrieve it? Choosing a business phone service that offers voicemail transcription makes it easier to manage and view voice messages, ensuring you can help customers when they need it. Responsiveness is key to your brand's reputation. It's much faster to review a voicemail transcription than to find the time (or remember!) to listen to the voicemail. Voicemail transcription helps you get back to the customer faster, earning your brand top marks for customer service.

Having the best social media or email campaigns will not help if your voice channel is out of order. All businesses that rely on voice communications in any way must consider their phone presence to ensure that this element of their brand matches their overall business goals and image.

Have you employed any interesting voice channel techniques to support your business brand? Do you use virtual numbers in your voice presence strategy? Share your comments, questions and challenges with us in the comments below or on our social media channels –  Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.


Topics: Telecommunication Trends, Virtual Phone System, Mobility, Mobile Productivity, Small Business Productivity, Improve Your Business

Real Estate Agents: Cloud Communications Apps are Valuable

Posted by Ian LeWinter

May 10, 2018 10:41:58 AM

We’re all familiar with the old adage that the three most important aspects of real estate are location, location and of course…location. Of course, we would never be so bold as to dismiss this tried-and-true idiom, but we do have a little something to add. 

Real Estate Cloud Communications

As a self-employed real estate agent, you probably spend much of your time running from open houses to apartment showings all over town. Working in a service industry also means you have to devote your full attention to each client and can’t afford to answer calls or listen to voicemail messages during an appointment. 

But as an independent contractor that barely has time to sit down during the day, maintaining a brick-and-mortar office doesn’t make much sense. So how can you ensure you don’t miss important communications about a client’s newly accepted offer or a great new property just coming on the market?

A cloud communications application can help you keep in touch with clients and project a big business presence even if you don’t want to spend money on physical office space or a legacy phone system. Top-shelf services offer a company-specific phone number that rings to your mobile number so there is no need to give out personal contact information. Additionally, a cloud communications application can also provide:    

  • Business-class voicemail-to-email functionality
  • Easy-to-configure professional greetings
  • Extensions for different departments, even if each department is only you
  • Settings that can be accessed and adjusted via the Internet

We’d like to reiterate that it is not our intention to rebuff one of the principle tenets of the real estate industry, but rather to add our own little touch. A cloud-based small business phone system can’t improve a property’s locale, but it can certainly help with your business communications as you move from location to location.

Maybe location is the key after all.


Topics: Voice Communication, Telecommunication Trends, Voxox, Cloud Phone, Mobility, Business Phone Number

Give Your Startup an Edge with a Small Business Virtual Phone System

Posted by John Lee

May 10, 2018 10:38:04 AM

With over 627,000 businesses opening in the United States each year, entrepreneurs and self-starters are faced with the pressure to stand out to potential customers. It’s crucial to the survival of young startups to take advantage of any tools or services that could give them the leg up over their competitors. A virtual phone system like Cloud Phone can streamline communications and improve efficiency, all while saving time, space, and money.

Startup_small business virtual phone

Business impression plays a fundamental role when running a startup, and a missed call could exhibit unprofessionalism and send a message of unreliability to potential customers. With a virtual phone system, you can avoid unnecessary downtime and be up and running in a flash. There’s no complicated set-up that requires a technician and no need to purchase and maintain any hardware. You could focus your attention growing your business and driving revenue, without having to worry about calls not being forwarded or answered.

Another hurdle several startup businesses face is working with costly and limited office space. Having a workforce large enough to serve your customer base has traditionally meant renting or buying an office that can accommodate your employees and office equipment. With the cost of renting out a workplace location and paying for traditional phone services, a small business budget could take a substantial blow. However, with a virtual phone system, you don’t need to worry about office space or being locked onto a desk phone. You could run your business from anywhere and communicate with your team and customers while out on the field. By taking advantage of the growing telecommuting trend and eliminating the need to be tied down to a desk, your startup stays connected, sounds professional, and saves money.

Contact us to learn more about our small business virtual phone system and discover how to get the most out of your communication. Leave a comment below or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google+.


Topics: Telecommunication Trends, Cloud Phone, Virtual Phone System, Cost-Effective Solution, Mobile Productivity, Small Business Productivity, Improve Your Business

Virtual Numbers: 10 Frequently Asked Questions, Answered! (Part 1)

Posted by Erica Berry

May 10, 2018 10:36:23 AM

Virtual numbers have some powerful features that can help you convey a professional image and drum up business. From giving the impression you’re a local business in more than one region, to creating the perception of a larger corporation overall, to keeping your personal and work lines separate, virtual numbers allow you to create the type of "phone presence" that your business needs to succeed—without breaking the bank.

If you’re not savvy to all the ways virtual numbers can improve your business communications, or even what a virtual number is, read on for answers to all your burning questions…


1. What is a virtual number?

A virtual number is a telephone number (or "DID") that is not directly associated with a calling device or telephone line. Typically, virtual numbers forward incoming calls to pre-set mobile, landline or VoIP phone numbers that are associated with specific calling devices. Business professionals can opt to have one or many virtual numbers route to a single phone or multiple phones, based on their business needs.

2. How does a virtual number work?

Once you choose your virtual numbers, you must set them to route to phone numbers that are directly linked to a calling device, such as your cell phone. The virtual number provider typically has a portal for the set-up process. With Cloud Phone, for example, this takes less than a couple of minutes to set up.

Once the virtual number is set to forward to your calling device of choice, callers will be able to reach you through that number at that device. If you don't pick up the call, they typically will be routed to a separate voicemail that you can set up with the appropriate message, based on the goals of your virtual number strategy.  Some services, like Cloud Phone, also offer voicemail transcription for virtual numbers to make retrieving voicemails as easy as possible.

3. How do I make calls from my virtual number?

It's also possible to make a call from a virtual number. Some services will allow you to dial the virtual number and then, when prompted, dial the number of the person you’d like to call. Another option that may be offered through your virtual number provider is "web call back" where you enter both numbers into a web form and the two calls are bridged together instantly to create an outgoing phone call. The recipient will see your virtual number on their caller ID – just like any other call.

4. Why do I need a virtual number?

Having a separate phone number (or numbers) for your business can be essential to maintaining a professional image, but carrying around two mobile devices or being tied to a desk just isn’t convenient or cost-effective for many types of businesses. A virtual phone number lets you stay connected on business matters, while still keeping your personal communication on the same device. Also, you can gain strategic benefits through virtual numbers. For example, when selecting numbers to represent your business, you can choose phone numbers with area codes you want to do business in to help you build relationships with customers and potential clients in those areas. You can also opt for toll free numbers if there is no regional benefit to you, but you'd like the number to be memorable and professional.

From looking bigger to appearing local, virtual numbers can give you the edge your business needs to grow. Here are some additional resources on the benefits of virtual numbers for business:

Make Your Small Business Look Bigger With Virtual Numbers

4 Reasons You May Want a Virtual Number


Topics: Voice Communication, Telecommunication Trends, Cloud Phone, Business Phone Number, Small Business Productivity, Improve Your Business

Stacking up Your Customer Trust with a Small Business Phone Service

Posted by Ian LeWinter

May 10, 2018 10:35:39 AM

Over the past several years, business experts have increasingly touted the idea that trust has evolved from a feeling to a crucial element in business. Depending on the level of service they provide to consumers, businesses either stockpile customer trust in bundles or begin to lose it until almost nothing remains.

The numbers support this assertion. For example, according to a Zendesk survey, 39 percent of customers continue to avoid vendors for two years after a bad customer service experience. Furthermore, 48 percent said they had recommended that others not buy products or services after having a bad customer experience. What these numbers illustrate is that a reduction in consumer faith in a company is directly correlated with revenue loss. 

One of the ways businesses can simultaneously increase trust and provide a better customer experience is by getting a company-specific, local small business phone number from a small business phone service. First, if you are a small business owner at a trade show passing out business cards, you don’t want to have to give your personal cell phone number out to potential customers. Your trustworthiness may be in question from the beginning, decreasing the chances of generating new business with that prospect.

Additionally, if you have employees spreading the word about your product in targeted locations throughout the country, each of them can also adopt a local number that gives your company a local feel. 

What some small or microbusiness owners may not know, however, is that these small business numbers are available with little hassle and almost no setup time. With best-in-class technology, all you have to do is enter your mobile phone number into a little box on the web and you are ready to go.

When it comes to trust, you’re either putting it in the bank or spending frivolously in a way almost certain to come back to bite you—saving seems like the better option.  


Topics: Telecommunication Trends, Cloud Phone, Cost-Effective Solution, Small Business Productivity, Improve Your Business

Three Steps to a Successful BYOD Strategy

Posted by Ron Kinkade

May 10, 2018 10:34:36 AM

As more employees use their personal devices for work-related purposes—known now as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)—the benefits and potential pitfalls of this trend are being debated. But the reality is that many workers are simply adopting the policy without asking anybody and companies are finding out on the fly that BYOD is now a part of their workplace environment.


If you have decided to embrace BYOD for your business—or if some of your employees have made the choice for you—there are a few key points to keep in mind: 

Adopt device agnostic technology
The point of BYOD is to give workers the chance to work on whatever device they feel comfortable with, thus increasing productivity. The strategy doesn’t make a lot of sense if your employees can’t access the information they need from a wide variety of devices. Consider a cloud-based phone service, for instance, that allows employees to access information from a laptop, smartphone or tablet. 

Establish best practices
Oftentimes, security issues and information breaches are the result of employees who simply aren’t aware of the risks inherent in accessing private, company information on a company device. Make sure workers understand their responsibilities with regard to guarding any device they have used for work and the importance of strong password protection.

Start a dialogue
If your workers are in favor of brining their own device, have an open conversation about their expectations for privacy. At some point, you may need to adopt monitoring solutions to protect your information and the quickest way to start workplace trouble is to do it without talking to employees first.

BYOD can provide companies with major benefits, from employee satisfaction to reduced expenses for company devices. If you take the necessary steps toward a successful policy, your company can reap those rewards. Now you are on your way!


Topics: Telecommunication Trends, Small Business Productivity

Virtual Phone Systems: The Perfect Tool for IT Consultants

Posted by Ian LeWinter

May 10, 2018 10:33:57 AM

Whether you are new in the field or a seasoned professional, working as an IT consultant presents a unique set of challenges. This line of work rarely conforms to a 9 to 5 schedule and because networks and computers are now an integral part of so many businesses and homes, customers seem increasingly demanding.

With this in mind, consultants need to equip themselves with the proper tools to successfully juggle the needs of all of their customers. One such tool is a small business virtual phone, which can be extraordinarily useful in helping you meet the challenges you face. Here’s how:


Stay reachable

Whether it's a concern about costly downtime or a fear of losing important data, computer problems can evoke an incredible sense of panic from customers. These issues don’t always crop up during traditional business hours, but many times they need to be resolved quickly. With a virtual business-specific phone number, you stay reachable at all times without giving your personal cell number to clients. This is crucial to achieving a better work-life balance.

Look professional 

Projecting an aura of professionalism is critical even for small and microbusinesses with limited resources. A small business virtual phone provides the features of a legacy system—digital text greetings, extensions, auto attendants and more—without all the hardware and complexity. This way, when a new corporate prospect calls while you are busy on another job, the potential client forms a good first impression.

Conserve your cash

As any independent consultants knows, maintaining a trim budget is critical to success because company expenses come out of your pocket. Renting an office and paying for a legacy PBX system can eat away at money that would be better used on new equipment or expanding your client base. A small business virtual phone like Cloud Phone by Voxox, can help slash your overhead and boost profit.

Even for tech wizards like you, a convenient solution like a virtual phone can help you operate more efficiently and as you know, everybody needs a little help sometimes. 

Have any questions or stories? Leave a comment below or reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google+.


Topics: Telecommunication Trends, Cloud Phone, Cost-Effective Solution, Business Phone Number, Small Business Productivity, Improve Your Business

6 Ways to Use Virtual Numbers When You are a Business of One

Posted by Erica Berry

May 10, 2018 10:33:05 AM

Virtual numbers come with many perks for small businesses, ranging from professional features to the convenience of on-the-go communications and cost savings. But what if you're a solo entrepreneur -- any reason to use virtual numbers for a business of one?  Yes. Virtual numbers can offer a slew of ways to overcome logistical and financial obstacles, which were once impossible and impractical for solo business owners to tackle.  Want a “VIP” line or a department directory? You can easily do it all yourself by employing a virtual number strategy. Here are six handy ways to use virtual numbers to enhance your business communications:

CP_Office copy.png

  1. Product-Specific Phone Numbers

Assigning a different phone number to each of your products or services gives you the opportunity to customize voicemail for those callers, thereby creating a resource that provides clear and concise messages that are relevant to your customers. Say you run a few Etsy shops – one sells necklaces, one homemade keepsake boxes, and the other painted flower pots. While you could put the same phone number as a contact on all three shop pages, providing a different number for each will allow you to set up separate voicemails with the shop names and relevant information about your various products. Customers who call will get a better customer experience than if you were to lump all the info into a single voicemail message. Plus not having to pick up the phone to answer general questions saves you and your callers time, while also providing the sense of a bigger company (more on this below!).

  1. "Departments" for Your Solo Business

For some businesses it makes a lot of sense to create a call directory for "departments" even if all calls go directly to you.  For example, imagine you've just learned from a survey that the top reasons customers call your antique shop is to inquire about sales opportunities, online orders, billing, and shipping. To help get them the answers they need you’ve decided to set up a calling directory, allowing the caller to dial a one digit extension for each area of expertise, all of which ring to your cell – and they’re never the wiser! Having different departments presents the professional appearance of a larger company while also indicating to you why someone is calling. Your callers will appreciate the direct service and you’ll love the big business feel – without the clunky corporate phone system.

  1. Emergency and/or VIP Access

Creating an emergency and/or VIP line is an easy way to provide clients with a direct number reserved for urgent matters. Since you can link as many virtual phone numbers to one phone as you like, this is a great way to use them. Perhaps you're a social media specialist who works out of your home office managing social pages for a few local high-end merchants, sometimes your attention is needed at a moment’s notice. While you’re not always on your email or checking Facebook notifications, your phone is always in your pocket. Perhaps your client calls to tell you that an offer has to be taken down ASAP due to merchandise not longer being available – allowing you to answer that VIP phone call at any time and save the day for your client goes a long way. You'll know this is a “must answer” call and will show your clients you take their business seriously. Plus, your VIP clients will get that top of the line feel, even if they never use it.  

  1. Conference Calls

If you have clients in multiple locations and need to chat, or want to collaborate on a project with people across the globe, you'll need to get them all on the line at once. Picture an online store for organic coffee beans and high-end coffee accessories. The owner wants a good friend with international trade expertise to be on a call with a potential coffee bean supplier. Thanks to the virtual nature of cloud technology and the ability to conference call from a cell with just a tap of a button, the location of the business owner in New Hampshire, the colleague in California, and the supplier in Mexico is not a problem at all.  Getting all the info in one call without having to consult and call back allows everyone to make a decision together and move on to the next project. They don't have to know you're working from home in your workout gear, but they’ll be impressed by your professional communication method.

  1. Faxing 

You're wrapping up a new business contract, and while most of your clients welcome email, one of your clients wants to send you a copy of the signed contract via fax – and they want to start pronto. If you have a fax-enabled virtual number for your business, this scenario becomes effortless as the new client can simply send the fax to your business number and you will receive the document via email. The client will be happy and faxing to your virtual number won’t cost you any extra time or money.

Faxing might seem outdated, but when you need to send a fax, going out to track down a fax machine is just too time-consuming and inconvenient.  

  1. Built-in Notes via Voicemail Transcription

You’re in the cab on the way to the airport for a mini vacation and don’t have a pen or paper – but you just had the best idea on how to share your new ebook. You don’t want to forget so you grab the phone, call your business number and leave a voicemail with a detailed description of your plan. A few days later when you’re back to work in your home office, you read the email transcription and are reminded of your idea, allowing you to execute quickly, without having to rehash the details.

If your virtual number service has professional-quality voicemail transcription enabled then your important voicemails can instantly turn into detailed notes with phone numbers, to-dos, etc. And what’s most convenient is that all these voice notes will be translated to an email and sent to you to keep on file. Much better than the scattered, scribbled on or lost papers, you can save your important transcribed messages in your email until you choose to delete them.

Virtual numbers are more than just for phone calls. They can help solo-preneurs get creative and help their businesses thrive, providing professional features and convenience, all at a practical price. Do you use your virtual number in a unique way? We’d love to hear about it. Share your ideas with us in the comments below or on social media –FacebookTwitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.


Topics: Telecommunication Trends, Cloud Phone, Virtual Phone System, Improve Your Business

5 SMB Tools That Save You Time

Posted by Erica Berry

May 10, 2018 10:32:57 AM

When you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur, time is money, so wasting time just isn’t an option. If you are looking for tools that will help you handle all aspects of your business, from the mundane to the must-do, you’re looking in the right place.

iPhone SMB Tool

New cloud-based software, apps and mobile technology built for all aspects of small business operations are the perfect solution to increase productivity and get more done in less time. They allow you to run your business like an enterprise, without the high price-tag. Here are our top picks for SMB tools that can save you time:


Virtual numbers, like those available through Voxox Cloud Phone, are convenient for small business owners and entrepreneurs who don't have a receptionist or the time to sit in an office and field phone calls. It’s like having a professional phone service right in your pocket! Phone calls to your business number (virtual number you select) are simply routed to your cell phone. Virtual numbers can come with flexible features like call forwarding, faxing capabilities, extension options, and auto assistant, to name a few - so make sure you check with the service provider to see what perks are available with their virtual numbers solution.


Meeting with clients and business partners can be stressful, so using an app like Waze to make sure that you're never late for meetings and don't waste time in traffic can be very useful. Even Uber can be a great time saver when it comes to transportation. Set up a pick up time, plug in your destination, and pay all in just a few clicks -- plus, you won't have to worry about parking!


We all like to get paid, but creating invoices and expense reports are rarely at the top of our to-do list. Luckily, there are apps and software that make it easy to keep track of incoming and outgoing funds – TouchSuite, ZenPayroll and Xero are a few of our faves. Xero, for example, let's you send professional invoices, accept payment, track sales and income, create expense reports, and reimburse employees all from an app you can access from both your computer and mobile device -- perfect for those on-the-go. 


Marketing is essential to growing your business, but without a dedicated marketing team it can be a lot of work and not something most business owners can dedicate time to. Automation apps and services, like Hootsuite, MailChimp and WordPress, have given us the ability to schedule social media posts, newsletters, mailings, blogs, etc. ahead of time, rather than having to stop everything and hit the "send" button, saving small business owners countless hours each week. 


Online scheduling tools like Calendly are not only convenient for customers and clients, they are also a time-saver for busy business owners and employees. Body shops, hair stylists, nail salons -- basically any business that runs by appointment-- can benefit from an automated scheduling system that allows customers to see what times are available and claim a spot without ever calling into your business, holding up the phone line or even worse, taking up your or your employees’ time. 

Do you have a favorite tool that allows you to devote more time to your most important projects? Share with us on social media –  FacebookTwitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.


Topics: iPhone, Telecommunication Trends, Android, Mobility, Small Business Productivity, Improve Your Business

The Five 'Ds' You Need for Startup Success

Posted by Ian LeWinter

May 10, 2018 10:32:24 AM

Starting your own business can be thrilling, nerve-wracking, and terrifying—all at once. While no secret formula for guaranteed success exists, common characteristics are pervasive in many of these startups and the entrepreneurs who created them. Here are a few:



Most new businesses have limited resources and have to disperse them with great care. Don’t waste money printing 5,000 business cards for two employees operating a company from a living room and don’t waste cash on a complex, legacy phone system when a small business virtual phone has everything you’ll need.


You are going to learn pretty quickly that once you have even a bit of success, it’s going to be difficult to do everything yourself. You have to be able to delegate work and trust that it will get done correctly and to do that, you have to make the right hires. Don’t skimp on background checks and the interview process  so that you can be as close to 100 percent sure about a candidate before making a commitment.


A strong work ethic is important in any job but is particularly pervasive in founders of new businesses. You have to be willing to put in some long days but also have the focus to know where your energy needs to be directed at any given time.


It’s a near certainty that you are going to hit some hiccups as a startup and that some sacrifices will be necessary. Although the most successful startups have created billionaires, initially founders and CEOs don’t rake in the big bucks. In fact, 66 percent of Silicon Valley founders pay themselves less than $50,000 per year. But if you truly believe in what you are selling, after a few years of modest earning you may find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.


OK fine: We cheated a little here. But adaptability is so important we couldn’t leave it out. To achieve startup success, you have to be flexible in your approach to product development, branding strategy and pretty much anything else. No business plan goes 100 percent perfectly; the key is making sound adjustments as you go.

Have another ‘D’ that’s essential for startups? Let us know in the comment section! 


Topics: Telecommunication Trends, Cloud Phone, Business Phone Number, Small Business Productivity, Improve Your Business