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Erica Berry

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Virtual Numbers: 10 Frequently Asked Questions, Answered! (Part 2)

Posted by Erica Berry

May 10, 2018 10:53:30 AM

Our two-part blog series on virtual phone numbers continues as we answer more frequently asked questions. Read on to understand the benefits that a virtual number could have on your small business! 

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5. Do I need any special software or equipment to make it work?

Virtual numbers work exactly the same as any other phone number – once you set up forwarding through your virtual numbers provider, all you need is your existing phone! 

6. Can I forward multiple virtual numbers to a single calling device?

You can get as many virtual numbers as you want and they’ll all reach you at the phone of your choice.

7. Can I forward a single virtual number to multiple calling devices?

Yes! Typically, when you're setting up call forwarding, you can indicate that you'd like the call to forward to multiple phone numbers that are associated with specific calling devices (e.g., your cell phone, desk phone, home phone, softphone on your computer, etc.), either sequentially or simultaneously.

8. What happens if I don’t answer?

If you miss a call to your virtual number, the caller will be forwarded to your virtual number voicemail box. You can customize this voicemail greeting to reflect your brand and provide callers with more information about your business.

9. What features come with a virtual number?

The beauty of virtual numbers isn't just convenience and cost-savings, it's also the advanced features you get that go beyond your typical mobile phone features. Each virtual numbers provider has a slightly different list of features, but just to give you an idea, here's the Cloud Phone list:

  • Auto Attendant
  • Call Forwarding
  • Call Screening
  • Extensions / Users
  • Fax (Inbound)
  • International Call Forwarding
  • Local Phone Number
  • Management Portal
  • Outbound Calling
  • Professional Greetings
  • Reach Me Anywhere
  • Toll Free Numbers
  • Voicemail
  • Voicemail Transcription

10. Can I still use my regular phone number? 

Yes, of course! Your regular phone number will function just the same as always –if not better. Now that you have a virtual number to field your business calls, you can keep your cell phone number private and make your voicemail greeting as goofy as you’d like. 

Now that you’ve got the virtual numbers FAQ, you have all the information you need to put your business on the path to communications success. Do you currently use virtual numbers for your small business? Or, do you have any questions on how to get your business set up with a virtual number? Post in the comments below or connect with us on social media – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

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

5 Ways Virtual Numbers Can Keep Your Team Productive During the Summer

Posted by Erica Berry

May 10, 2018 10:53:23 AM

With warm weather and sunshine enticing you and your team to play hooky, summer months can be some of the least productive of the year. Thoughts of travelling, hitting the beach and enjoying the outdoors can leave employees feeling unmotivated and drained. So why not let them fulfill their summertime dreams, all while keeping productivity up? You can with virtual numbers.

Technology and mobile gadgets allow us to travel and work from anywhere, all while keeping in touch with globally dispersed teams. Virtual numbers are a convenient and inexpensive way to take important work-related calls with you while you’re on-the-go – and maybe even allow you to extend your vacation!

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Here are 5 ways your team can use virtual numbers (and all the features that come with them) to keep productivity up during the summer months.... and still enjoy the sunshine

1. Call Forwarding

If you want to work outdoors and won’t be around the office, call forwarding lets you take calls straight to your cell and avoid the risk of missing an important call.

2. Call Screening

Maintaining a professional image is essential for building rapport with clients, and that means giving out your cellphone number, no matter how dedicated it may seem, can backfire. By receiving work calls to your business’ virtual number, you will know when you’re fielding a business call – and if you’re not prepared to answer, just send it to voicemail – saving you face in case they caught you waist deep in margaritas! 

3. International Extensions

If you are planning to travel out of the country, you can set a 3 digit extension to follow you no matter where you are in the world. Say you're based in California and are planning to go to Belize on a family trip. As a business owner you're not able to unplug for too long, and luckily Belize has only a 1 hour time difference from your usual work day hours. You can set your virtual number to forward to your hotel or a local cell phone you rented, and the caller (who is dialing your main business line and extension will be able to reach you (if you want them to!). A great way to balance work and play and make the kids happy to stay abroad longer.

4. Voicemail

If a caller ends up at your voicemail, for whatever reason, they won’t be the wiser that they called a virtual number linked to your cell phone – as they’ll be prompted to leave a message by your custom, professional voicemail greeting. And you can easily and quickly pick up the voicemail, no matter where you are.

5. Voicemail Transcription

Listening to a voicemail isn’t always easy, especially when your cell service isn’t strong. But voicemail transcription lets you read your voicemails via email or text – so as long as you can grab a wifi signal you’ll be in the loop.

If you’re feeling a summer slump in workplace productivity or are looking for ways to avoid it all together, provide your team with the tool they need to succeed – a virtual number! With the right service, set-up is easy and because the benefits of virtual numbers go far beyond mobility, you’ll be reaping the rewards all year long. 

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Topics: Cloud Phone, Virtual Phone System, Mobile Productivity, Business Phone Number, Small Business Productivity, Improve Your Business

5 Steps to Micro-Business Social Media Success

Posted by Erica Berry

May 10, 2018 10:52:50 AM

You took the plunge and started your own micro-business (i.e., a business that operates on a very small scale with just one or a handful of employees). You’ve created a logo, launched your website and set up a Facebook page, but now what? There are a thousand questions running through your head: should my business also be on Twitter? What about Instagram? How should I use my newly founded social pages to build brand awareness and gain clients while also running my company?

We get it, effectively using social media to market your business can be hard. Between decoding social media jargon, managing ads, organic reach and sharing relevant content across your social channels, there’s not a whole lot of time left to manage your business. However, there are ways to achieve social media success – even if you are a one or few-person micro-business.

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Here are five steps to help your business’ social media channels work for you:

1. Stay focused

There are dozens of social media outlets, but putting your energy into one or two that best fit your business goals will gain you more than spreading yourself too thin. If you’re not sure where you fit in, find out where you clients hang out. Are they on LinkedIn, Twitter or Snapchat? Go where your ideal clients are – and be patient!

2. Complete your profile

Each social network has its own way of displaying profile information, but regardless of what format your bio comes in, it’s important to fill out all applicable aspects of your social profile – especially your contact info! While many of us do not want to share our personal phone numbers on our social media profiles, we do want clients to be able to get in touch. This is the perfect opportunity to use your Cloud Phone number. Your followers will know how to get in touch with you via phone, if they like, and your cell phone privacy is still intact – it’s a win-win!

3. Develop Street Cred

Having a social media presence means more than just having a page on Facebook and an Insta account. You also need followers – and you get them by being interesting, relevant and engaging. Invite influential people and industry leaders to Like your page, create compelling graphics, geotag when necessary and use all of the features social networks have to offer like hashtags and events.

4. Work Smarter

Content takes time to develop, so why do entrepreneurs continue to write blogs, create videos and take photos that they only share once? Because they often don't realize all the ways they can effectively leverage and disseminate content. Take a blog post for example, there are so many ways to cross-promote it: share the link on Facebook, create a promo image and share with the link on Instagram, create tweets from the content, etc. Use hashtags or @ mentions when applicable to broaden your reach and if you’re still in a bind for time, try sharing tools like Hootsuite that let you schedule posts in advance.

5. Drive traffic to your site

Your website is the hub of your business, but social is where people go to talk about it. When sharing deals, photos, events, etc. on your social pages, be sure to direct readers to your website for more information. This will increase traffic to your site, allow your readers to learn more about you (because they’re already on your site) and if you track analytics you can find what your clients are most interested in!

By using these five strategies you can develop an engaged social community and manage your micro-business – all within a day’s work and on a shoestring budget. Do you currently use any tools to help manage your social pages? Or are you struggling to keep us? Share your tips and your stressers in the comments below.

Topics: Small Business Productivity

5 Benefits of Virtual Phone Numbers for Small Business Owners

Posted by Erica Berry

May 10, 2018 10:52:28 AM

For entrepreneurs like yourself, every hour of the day is dedicated to growing your company and every dollar earned is reinvested. With so much on your plate, having an inexpensive and professional way to manage communications for your growing business can be a life-saver. 

Enter: virtual phone numbers.

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Virtual phone numbers can help you control your "phone presence" in an affordable, convenient way. This is why small-business owners everywhere are turning to them to maintain a professional image and keep money in the bank. Here are 5 benefits of virtual phone numbers:

1. Keep business and personal communications separate.

Sometimes you just don't want people you don't know very well to have your personal cell phone number. This is particularly true when you want to publish a phone number for your business online. (Who'd want their cell digits floating around the web?!) A virtual number lets you have a dedicated phone number for your business contacts that's separate from the direct cell number your friends and family use—all from one device. Also, when placing a call from your virtual number, the person on the other end sees your business line as the caller ID.

2. Consistent branding for your business.

Maintaining a professional and consistent image across all your communications is key to business success. Customers may think of you differently if they get a "Hey, this is Bob. Leave a message!" versus "You've reached Robert Smith Financial Advisers...". Now that you have a separate business line, you can create a custom message for your clients, letting them know they’ve reached your business, rather than your personal cell—giving you the professional edge you’ve been craving.

3. More features than your cell phone number. 

With virtual phone numbers, you typically get additional features, such as call forwarding, SMS and email notifications, advanced customization of your settings, advanced conferencing capabilities, etc. With business solutions, like Cloud Phone, you can also get simple extensions for employees (anywhere in the world!), voicemail transcription, and a ton of other useful features that you wouldn't necessarily get when using your personal cellphone to field business calls.

4. No dedicated hardware. 

Talk about flexibility and cost-effectiveness! Virtual phone numbers can work with your mobile phone and your employees' mobiles, so you don't have to pay for an expensive premise-based business phone system or extra phones to stay connected.

5. Toll free virtual numbers. 

Think the toll free number is a thing of the past? No way. The ability to make your business line a toll free number is a great way to expand your business and reach new markets.

If you want to increase efficiency, promote a professional image of yourself, and make it simpler for friends, family and business contacts to connect with you, consider adding a virtual phone number to your business profile. 

Have questions about how to add a virtual number or want to share how virtual phone numbers have improved your business communications? Comment below or connect with us on social media – FacebookTwitterGoogle+.

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Topics: Virtual Phone System, Small Business Productivity, Improve Your Business

3 Communication Mistakes SMBs Make (and How Virtual Numbers Can Fix Them)

Posted by Erica Berry

May 10, 2018 10:51:51 AM

Owning a small business is filled with challenges and those challenges sometimes lead to making the wrong decisions. No matter if you're just starting out or have been in business for years, making mistakes is all part of the learning curve—but a big part of being an entrepreneur is finding a way to put those experiences to good use.

When it comes to business communications, small businesses often struggle simply because they are using outdated technologies. If you're one of the thousands who can't seem to get your phone communications right, check out these three common communication mistakes and how fixing them with virtual numbers will not only save you money, but also can improve your communications and customer perception.

SMB_communication



Mistake #1: Paying too much for multiple lines

As a small business owner, you may be paying for extra phone equipment and plans for all your vital employees.

You're on the right track as far as having a dedicated phone line for your workers, which makes your business image more professional. But having to pay for extra phones and phone plans also hikes up your IT budget, and it means your employees have to manage multiple calling devices.

Virtual numbers let you drop all the heavy equipment and rely solely on the devices you and your team already own, since any calls to your business number go straight to any phone you'd like.
What's even better is that you'll only have to carry one device. Here's to 2015 tech at its finest!

Mistake #2: Using out of area phone numbers

When setting up shop in a new town, advertising with or calling clients from an out of area phone number is a clear sign that you're either a brand new business with no street cred, or an out of towner who can't be trusted. While these assumptions may or may not be true, using a virtual number with a local area code gives your business an automatic in with the locals.

Plus, if you have multiple locations or highly mobile staff, you can purchase numbers in a slew of area codes so you can appear local, no matter where you actually are.

Mistake #3: Not utilizing advanced features

If you’re like most small business owners, you're busy—so busy that you haven't taken 30 seconds to properly set up your voicemail or customize your phone settings. Well, to be honest you probably haven't done those things because you're still relying on land lines or your mobile carrier's phone service instead of virtual numbers.

Not only can virtual numbers, and all the advanced features that come with them—such as call forwarding, conferencing, voicemail transcription, and more—help you provide better communications for your customers and team members, but they also give the appearance of a larger business. Even if your small business has just a few employees, you have the ability to make your business look as large as you desire, as your auto attendant can route callers to individual extensions or departments such as sales, customer service, and billing.

Once you make the switch and take control of your business communications, these mistakes will be a thing of the past. Roadbumps are just part of the entreprenural experience, the real test is how you use them to better your business!

What are your biggest communications mistakes? Tell us how you virtual numbers have helped you succeed.

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Topics: Virtual Phone System, Cost-Effective Solution, Improve Your Business

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...

iphone_Branding_Voice_girl

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.

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

Entrepreneur Travel Tips: How to Avoid International Roaming Charges While Traveling Abroad

Posted by Erica Berry

May 10, 2018 10:49:08 AM

Last week we wrote about the convenience of having a virtual PBX service in your pocket when you travel. From on-the-go account management to call recording and much more, most virtual PBX services have a slew of travel-friendly features for entrepreneurs. This week we are talking about travel features that help keep costs down-- specifically: avoiding those pesky international roaming charges on your mobile phone.

Traditional business phone systems are not so easy to manage once you leave the confines of your office and roaming charges on mobile can rack up in no time. A virtual PBX service provides several ways to stay in touch without extra charges or being tied to a landline—despite the fact it works directly through your mobile phone.

Here are a few creative ways to use your virtual PBX service to keep in touch with business contacts while enjoying a little R&R and keeping costs low:

1. Forward business calls to your hotel room number

While on vacation, why not take a little vacation from your cell? You can set up your virtual number to forward calls to your hotel room phone. If you're expecting a business call, it's a great way to eliminate any chance of roaming charges, especially if you don't have WiFi or your connection is down. Setting up call forwarding to your room’s landline is a sure way to keep your entrepreneurial ventures uninterrupted while also being able to enjoy all that this world has to offer when you're off the clock. This can also work with extensions for your work colleagues when they are traveling!

2. Check voicemail without roaming charges

Not only is visual voicemail convenient for those who don’t want to (or simply don’t have time to) listen to multiple voicemails, it’s also available to view over WiFi—which means if you can pick up a WiFi signal you can read it for free through an app, assuming the virtual PBX service provider offers this feature (Cloud Phone does!). An added bonus is that visual voicemail lets you reference the call’s information without having to go back and sift through your old messages.

3. Voicemail transcription

Similar to the perk above, you can connect to WiFi and retrieve your transcribed voicemails via email or you can also get texts with voicemail transcriptions, if you so choose. Best part: you can then forward the voicemail transcriptions to your business partners or colleagues back home! After all, you can’t be expected to take care of everything.

4. Conference calling via WiFi

Sometimes meetings just can’t wait, even if you’re in the middle of enjoying a pina colada. That’s where conference calling comes in. Find a quiet space (away from the tiki bar), connect to WiFi and dial in the gang —it’s that easy! Make sure your virtual PBX service provider has a solid conference calling feature. Voxox Cloud Phone, for example, will let you conference in 5 people through the Cloud Phone app.  

5. Professional greeting 

Say you forgot to record an out-of-office voicemail greeting before you went abroad. With a virtual PBX service, you can easily swap your greeting anywhere you are via mobile app -- no need to call your business number and incur roaming charges. You can change your greeting as many times as you need based on your fluctuating travel schedule and availability, all without roaming!

Leaving soon? No problem! If you already use a virtual PBX service, then just make sure you have the service's mobile app on your smartphone and you're all set. When you get to your destination you can manage your settings, forward calls to your hotel number, etc. If you haven't signed up yet, check out Cloud Phone! There's a 30 day free trial, so all the more savings. Some texting is included for free with your bundled plan, so savings there too. After a few easy steps, you’ll be ready to hit the beach – or wherever you choose to go – all with your business contacts in the palm of your hand.

Topics: Virtual Phone System, international travel, visual voicemail, virtual pbx, roaming charges

What is a Toll Free Number and How Does it Work?

Posted by Erica Berry

May 10, 2018 10:48:14 AM

Think toll free numbers are just for large enterprises or call centers? The reality is they can be an indispensable business asset for companies of all sizes – even a one- or two-person startup. Beyond providing customers and prospects with a free and convenient way to call your company, a toll free number offers a long list of benefits, such as brand recognition and credibility, and are a great way to expand your business into new markets.

If you’re a small business owner and haven’t cashed in on this inexpensive business asset simply because you didn't think it was easy to obtain a toll free number or because you aren’t clear on how a toll free number could help your business, read on.

Toll_Free_Woman

What is a toll free number?

A toll free number is a telephone number with special area codes (such as 800, 888, 877 and 866) that allow callers to dial your business without incurring any cost – making it an ideal form of communication for all types of businesses. Whether you run an e-commerce website or a flower shop, any business that requires customers to call in to make a purchase, connect with customer support, or inquire about a service can benefit from a toll free number.

Generally, toll free numbers are issued on a first come, first served basis, but going the extra mile for your customers and choosing a memorable number – like one with repeating digits or patterns – could make an impact on your call volume, sales and ROI. After all, making it easy for customers to contact your business is key to keeping them happy, which directly impacts your bottom line!     

Benefits of a toll free number

Toll free numbers can be extremely valuable to businesses looking to project a professional image. They not only provide your business brand with recognition and credibility, but they can also enhance your company’s perceived size and image – among other things. Here are a few ways toll free numbers can benefit your business: 

1. Appear larger than life.

Until recently, toll free numbers were most frequently used by enterprise level corporations or call centers, which is why having a toll free number – even if you’re working from your home office—can give the impression that you have a much larger operation. 

2. No location? No problem.

With a toll free number, location is obsolete. So whether you’re working from home or relocating your brick and mortar, you and your team can be reached simply by forwarding calls to your cell phone or any phone of your choice. Plus, if you're on the move, having a toll free number through a service like Cloud Phone lets you take all your important calls without being tied to a desk.

3. Improve privacy.

Not only does the added convenience of forwarding calls from your toll free number to your cell mean you don’t have to juggle multiple phones – it also means you no longer have to give out your personal number. Keeping personal and business calls separate is vital to maintaining a professional image for your business.

4. Virtual hub.

Many small businesses these days have remote workers, with no central office and no secretary to direct calls or take messages. With the right setup, a toll free number can act as a hub for your business calls – directing incoming calls to different “departments” or team members, as well as a message center. All it takes is a virtual assistant!

Does your small business have a toll free number? How does it benefit your business? Share your story with other small business owners and entrepreneurs by commenting here or on our social networks – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+.

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Topics: Voice Communication, Cloud Phone, Cost-Effective Solution, Toll Free Number, Small Business Productivity, Improve Your Business

Need a Business Phone System for Your Food Truck Business? A Virtual Phone Service is the Answer!

Posted by Erica Berry

May 10, 2018 10:47:46 AM

Because food trucks are on wheels, foodie entrepreneurs on the go have the ability to travel anywhere the road may take them –even if it’s out of their local area. With food truck popularity on the rise all across the country, limiting yourself to dishing out grub in one place may hurt your selling potential, but you know the local food movement is also a crowd pleaser. So how can you use business phone technology to help you plunge into new markets while also staying relevant to those who want that local feel? Try a virtual business phone system.

Green Minivan Near Brown Wooden Crate and Brown Food Truck

Typically, virtual business phone systems offer both toll free numbers and local phone numbers so you can accommodate both local and widespread markets. Your clients will be able to easily reach you (aka to track you down for some lunch!) and they'll never need to know where your company originated –unless that's part of your marketing, of course. Maine lobster rolls, anyone?

To get started, you just sign up for a virtual phone service (for example, Voxox Cloud Phone!). From there you can choose what you want –local number(s), toll free number(s), or both. What’s even better is that all these numbers ring directly to your cell phone, or any phone you choose.

Here are a few ways to use a combination of both local phone numbers and toll free numbers to bring your growing food truck business to the next level.

Local Phone Number

Numbers with local area codes are a great way to establish yourself in markets where a recognized local presence is needed to reach customers. With Voxox Cloud Phone, for example, there is no limit on the quantity of virtual numbers you can add to your account, and you receive between 1 to 25 local or toll free numbers at no additional cost with your monthly subscription, depending on your plan.

Below are some useful features for mobile businesses, like food trucks.

1. Custom Voicemail

Don’t you cringe when you call a business and receive a generic voicemail? So do we. That’s why we think it’s so important for companies of all sizes to create a custom voicemail for their business line. Not only can you identify your business, but sharing useful information –like your weekly scheduled whereabouts or hints on where your clients can find you –will save you time from returning phone calls also keep your hungry suitors in the know. Here are a few more tips on crafting the perfect voicemail

Pro Tip: You can also create a custom voicemail with a toll free number!

2. Business SMS

Texting isn’t just for friends anymore. Customers today expect text support and in the food truck business this can be a huge bonus! Texting your client list your whereabouts, or providing text clues is an impactful way to interact with your followers and a fun way to attract new ones.

Pro Tip: Toll free numbers can also support SMS!

3. Marketing Tool

If you're marketing a product from a specific area, using an area code from that location could be to your advantage. Think a taco cart in San Diego and a lobster roll truck from Maine. Imagine if these two were switched –lobsters from San Diego and tacos from Maine. The hype may not be as well received. Use your phone number to your advantage!

Toll Free Number

Toll free numbers can be super handy for food trucks (and similar mobile businesses!) expanding their presence beyond select local markets.

1. National Presence

Toll free numbers are a great way to expand your business so you can reach new markets and instantly sound more established and credible. Whether you have a fleet of food trucks or are a one engine show, a toll free number will make give your clients the sense you’re a solid organization—and a central number to reach your team.

2. Memorable Number

Not all toll free numbers are created equally. A catchy or easy to remember sequence can be a lifesaver for clients who want to reach you fast.

3. Marketing Tool

Whether you’re using only a toll free number or a combo of toll free and local, displaying your toll free number on your marketing materials (truck, business cards, menus, etc.) is an easy way to stay relevant while you travel.

Putting the power of both a local phone number and a toll free number behind your food truck is a solid win for your business communications. Now go ahead and get started! If you need some more pointers, connect with us by commenting here or on our social channels -- we're happy to help!

Topics: Virtual Phone System, Local Number, Business Call Routing, Improve Your Business

Voicemail Transcription: Milestones in the History of a Modern Convenience

Posted by Erica Berry

May 10, 2018 10:47:04 AM

Voicemail transcription is a modern day convenience. Not only does it allow users to easily read, manage and delete voicemail messages, it also saves time and reduces stress about missing out on important info. While the days of scrambling to jot down dates and numbers are long gone, there was a time when even traditional voicemail seemed liked a luxury. 

Here's a brief history of voicemail and the development of voicemail transcription: 

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1877– The first public records describing voice recording were reported in a New York newspaper and the Scientific American in November of 1877, with the announcement of the phonograph by Thomas A. Edison, saying "the object was to record telephone messages and transmit them again by telephone." (Source: Wiki)

1877– In December of 1877, Edison applied for a patent and demonstrated the machine recording and playing "Mary Had a Little Lamb” and other popular tunes at the time. (Source: Wiki)

1914– Edison's phonograph business included a dictating machine (the Ediphone) and the Telescribe, a machine combining the phonograph and the telephone, which recorded both sides of telephone conversations. (Source: recording-history.org)

1970's– Judah Klausner pioneered several patents central to voicemail transcription while doing work on early PDA technologies for his company Klausner Technologies. (Source: digitaltrends.com)

1974– The mid 1970's saw the introduction of a simple, pager/beeper that was generally offered in conjunction with answering services that handled busy, no-answer overloads and after hours calls for businesses and professionals. Rather than recording a voice call, operators manually transcribed the caller's message, sent a page alert or "beep" and when the party called back, an operator dictated the message. (Source: Wiki)

1976– Robin Elkins, a blues-rock saxophonist, invented what became an important backbone to voicemail—a digital/analog storage technology—while trying to figure out a better way to record his music. His invention found a duel use, allowing paging and telecom companies to handle client messages electronically. Operators recorded a 5-6 second message which was delivered automatically when the client called the answering service. (Source: Gawker)

1979– The first modern day voicemail application was invented by Gordon Matthews. When he was on a business trip, he became frustrated that he was playing telephone tag while trying to contact the office. After the incident, he mentioned to his wife that he needed to invent a telephony system where people can send each other recorded messages and voicemail was born! (Source: Wiki)

1980– The term voicemail was coined and trademarked, but eventually became a generic name for all automated voice services. (Source: Wiki)

2000– Voicemail had become a ubiquitous feature on phone systems serving companies, cellular and residential subscribers. (Source: Wiki)


2007– Voicemail transcription was introduced to mobile users by Apple's iPhone. (Source: Wiki)


2007– Access to voicemail transcription from email or web browser through a third-party application was introduced by YouMail, a multi-platform visual voicemail service for mobile phones. By storing voicemail in the cloud rather than the mobile carrier's network, users were also able to access it through any web browser or by e-mail. (Source: Wiki)

2011– In January of 2011, Voxox consumer app launched voicemail transcription – the first ever to be integrated into a desktop messenger style application. (Source: voxox.com)


2014– Voxox Cloud Phone, a virtual PBX Service for one-10 person businesses, added voicemail transcription to its services on July 24, 2014 (Source: voxox.com

Do you use voicemail transcription? Tell us why you love voicemail transcription and how it helps you keep your messages (and life!) organized – Twitter and Facebook.

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Topics: Voice Communication, VoIP, Cloud Phone, Mobile Productivity, Small Business Productivity