Posted on August 18, 2010 by Paul Hammond
If you’ve called a customer using your home phone or cell phone, then you’ve probably had them call you back on that same phone number — they just redial the caller ID left on their phone. Suddenly your personal phone is your new “business” number. It’s like having people visit your home when they should be going to your office or store. What a pain. But all is not lost. By using Virtual PBX, you have a way to show your company phone number on outbound calls without having to reveal the number from which you’re calling. Convenience and privacy all in the same call!
This feature is called “Virtual Calling Card”. It’s perfect for calling from a cell phone, a friend’s house, a hotel, or even a pay phone…if you can still find one that works! And you don’t need to keep track of special code numbers and dialing strings – you just dial yourself. This feature is accessed by logging into the phone system over the phone. Some of our customers are unfamiliar with this feature or think it’s harder to use than it really is. Truthfully, it does take a few steps — call into your Virtual PBX phone number, press #, enter your extension number followed by #, then enter your phone password follow by #. Realistically, all of that can be accomplished via a speed dial on your phone. There is an alternate way to log into your phone system by pressing the CallBack button on the Call Routing tab.
Once you are logged into the system over the phone, you press 3 to make an outbound call. The system will ask you to enter the phone number you wish to dial. That’s all there is to it. Once you enter the phone number, the system will dial, showing your Virtual PBX phone number as the caller ID to your call recipient. So not only is this convenient, but it’s also secure as you’re not showing your personal phone number when you call your customers, vendors, or contacts.
You do need to make sure that your system is set to show your Virtual PBX phone number on outbound calls. This is the default setting, so unless you changed it, it should be fine. That setting is edited under the Advanced Configuration settings of the Auto-Attendant.
Also, if you have multiple Virtual PBX phone numbers, you can show any one of those on your outbound calls. A beautiful thing! Just make sure to dial into the system using the number that you want to show on your caller ID. So this feature is not just convenient and secure, but also flexible!
So now you and your personnel use your Virtual PBX to make a bunch of outbound calls. How do you know who called whom? You can track all of your outbound calls using the Extension Outbound Call Report. This report shows the date, time, extension numbers, extension owner caller ID, duration of the call, and the phone number of the party dialed. This is a great report if extension owners use the Virtual Calling Card feature to make customer call backs to customers or vendors. It’s great detail, but it’s also great for accountability.
With the Virtual Calling Card feature from Virtual PBX, not only can you show whichever Virtual PBX company phone number you wish in the caller ID when you make your outbound calls, but you also get the satisfaction of NOT having your personal contact phone number show up on caller ID displays of your customers, vendors, and business contacts. It’s convenience, flexibility, and personal protection at the same time.
Posted on June 30, 2009 by Paul Hammond
Your phone system. It’s something that you probably don’t think about very much. In fact it’s probably something that you take for granted. A lot. As an entrepreneur, small business owner, or a corporate fugitive just starting out, you’re (almost always) more preoccupied with issues that you’ve deemed more important. You’re accustomed to using your cell phone as your primary business line; and while you’ve put in a dedicated phone line or two in your home office it’s not exactly one of those things that you put that much thought into. Moreover, if you’ve always worked for someone else that phone (and all the related hardware behind it) has been an item that has “always been there”.
Until it’s not.
After a while, having just a cell phone is no longer the most convenient aspect of your business because being at the instant beck and call of all of your customers isn’t especially conducive to your sanity. That second phone line you put in is now intermittently picked up by your kids, which doesn’t send the greatest image of professionalism. And the idea of rushing to a phone every time it rings simply causes too many interruptions. If you’ve experienced any or all of the above, perhaps even in one day, you might arrive at the conclusion that you really do need to be responsible for your own phone system. Unfortunately, the task of implementing the right solution is just plain daunting and, at best, supremely frustrating.
And why is that? Because telephony is filled with a plethora of acronyms and terminology that can be confounding – even the choice of what kind of phone to purchase is migraine-inducing. POTS, SIP or VoIP? Single-line, multi-line, wireless, or soft phone? Hosted PBX, virtual pbx, or IP PBX? Integrated conferencing or a conferencing service? DID? Queues? Hunt groups? Huh? “… I need a virtual receptionist? Really? I don’t even have a budget for one of those!?!…” “Wait…I thought an asterisk was a punctuation mark?…”
So what if you could allay all of those issues? What if that “industrial strength” phone system that’s a part of almost every major enterprise could be a part of every small business? What if the phone system that you decided to implement for your little empire could actually be a useful part of your business? Oh…and what if it was also relatively inexpensive to implement? That’s not a half-bad idea is it?
Well, it can. It’s called a hosted pbx. And it’s what our next blog entry will hope to set straight, once and for all.
We hope you’ll join us for that little talk.