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Using your personal number for work can be hugely counterproductive and limiting. Just as you have a website, email address and social media for your business, you also need a new mobile number exclusively for business use.
A new mobile number can save you money, help you reach more customers and address customer queries with ease. In this article, we will explain how to choose your new mobile number, the key benefits and features you should look for and how to integrate it into your business operations.
Searching for a small business phone system can be challenging. If you’ve been running your business with your personal number, it’s natural to wonder why you need a new mobile number. After all, your customers and colleagues know your number and you’ve been using it all this time in your offline and online marketing.
Secondly, what deters small businesses from getting a new mobile number is the perceived expense. If you have to get an additional number from your provider, surely you would be doubling your phone bills. Not to mention the need for another phone, unless you have a double-SIM device.
The other issue relates to complexity. Few business owners are willing to install a complicated business phone system with its associated hardware and maintenance.
Finally, which technology should you choose? Should you go for a landline phone? Or, should you get a new mobile number from your current provider? Among all the available small business phone systems, which one can serve your needs while saving costs?
A second-line app built for small businesses is your ideal business number. Also called virtual numbers, cloud phones or softphones, these can give your business a new mobile number in a few quick steps. Since it’s SaaS, all you have to do is download the app, import your contacts and get started.
Your new mobile number will work on your existing phone, there is no need for a second device.
Getting a new mobile number for your business is easy. Search for virtual number providers that specialise in your category and offer domain-specific features and affordable pricing. If you’re a small business or freelancer, you won’t be in need of contact centre solutions or multi-device operational management.
Secondly, while you could go for a free new mobile number, remember that these are for personal use and don’t come with business tools. They suffer from sketchy customer support and don’t have adequate safety protocols.
You should also look for second-line apps that have transparent subscription plans without any hidden costs. The system should be easy to use and remote-friendly and should offer a free trial for you and your team to try its features and customer support.
Using a business phone app as your new mobile number can help you to grow in the following ways:
A new mobile number for business shows that you run a professional operation that respects its customers. It makes it easy to share your numbers on business directories and forums. If you’re selling your product or service in another country, you can get a local number to become more trustworthy in that market.
A dedicated business number makes it easy for your customers to reach you. Their calls won’t get mixed up with your personal calls. There will be fewer missed calls and greater customer satisfaction. Virtual numbers such as Chalkboard also allow you to automate your messaging with message templates.
You can share your new mobile number on social media pages, your website and marketing collateral, which will increase your marketing reach. Business numbers like Chalkboard empower you with group broadcasts to share your marketing messages with customers. You also get a centralised phonebook to build a customer database.
With a business phone app as your new mobile number, you’ll be able to hold meaningful and contextual conversations with your customers. You can target them via their previous interactions with your business and send relevant messages. Chalkboard gives you a shared inbox that helps your team members address customer queries as a team.
These are the features small businesses should look for when getting a second-line app as their new mobile number.
Virtual phone number apps allow you to organise your personal and professional contacts into different groups. This will make it easy to identify missed calls and look for contextual information.
If you get a call during your off-hours or when you’re driving or are in a meeting, auto-reply will send a pre-written message to the caller explaining why you can’t take the call, when you’ll be back in the office and who they can reach in the meanwhile.
With number sharing, if you can’t answer a call, someone else on your team will be able to. This makes sure that all calls are answered, which will improve the reputation of your business.
With caller ID, you can identify the individual or organisation that’s calling you. This helps you prioritise the call. When used with number sharing, it can increase the speed of your customer service.
Cost-efficient texting at scale can be a significant differentiator in your marketing. Your new mobile number should empower you to organise your customers into groups and reach them in one go.
These are some of the ways in which small, independent businesses and freelancers are using virtual phone systems to grow their businesses.
In marketing: Small businesses use their customer database to send texts with promotional offers and exclusive discounts.
For credibility: Digital service providers use virtual numbers as local phone numbers to appear credible to their customers in foreign countries.
In sales campaigns: Independent businesses use virtual numbers as toll-free numbers to solicit queries or during seasonal sales periods.
To unify teams: Service providers with distributed teams unify their workforces using remote-friendly virtual phone systems.
In customer service: By allowing multiple individuals to answer phone calls, small businesses are improving their customer service.
For specific queries: E-commerce firms share virtual numbers for specific concerns such as order-related queries.
Follow these practices to integrate your new mobile number into your business operations.
If you’re getting a virtual number for the first time, everyone will need time to get used to the new system. So, if you have a marketing campaign or an office expansion coming up, get your number weeks in advance.
Once you select your business tools and get used to the dashboard, you can share your new mobile number on social media pages, your website, online business directories and marketing collateral. When you share your new number, remember to mention your business hours.
If you’ve been using your personal number for a while, expect business calls to come into that number for some more time. Don’t stop taking those calls as some customers may not be aware of your new mobile number.
It’s important to use all relevant features simultaneously instead of trying them out one by one. You need voicemail, call greetings, broadcast SMS, message templates, call blocking, call forwarding and number sharing to work at the same time to gain compounded returns.
With Chalkboard, this is how you get started with your new mobile number:
A new mobile number for business can streamline your communication, save costs, help scale marketing, improve customer service and give you a better work-life balance. To make the most of it, you need to choose a virtual phone number that’s designed for small, ambitious businesses.
Looking for a cost-effective calling app? Here’s a detailed guide to help you make the right choice.
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