Does Your Small or Online Business Have a Toll Free Number?
One thing we always recommend during a web development project is that the client consider obtaining a toll free number. Having a toll free number on your website while offering credibility, also offers the opportunity to not publish to the world your home or cell phone number. In this day of work-from-home entrepreneurs, this is an important consideration.
My office uses Grasshopper which used to be called GotVMail. Grasshopper is very easy to set up. Just pick a toll free number for your business, or transfer your current number. Then record your main greeting. You will also have the opportunity to have it professionally recorded if that is your preference. Add departments and employees, choose what phone number you want your calls to terminate to and you are done. I actually don’t have my toll free number ring to my office as it can be terribly disruptive. What we have done is to create mailboxes and departments and have the voice messages emailed to the proper department as an .MP3.
There is also a “Read Your Voicemail” function available for an additional $10 a month. If you are on the run a good bit, the voicemail transcription will be emailed to you as readable text. You’ll be able to stay connected when you can’t listen to the .MP3 file of your voicemail. You can also listen to your messages on your Blackberry or iPhone. Just click the “Play It On Mobile link in the notification email and you’ll be listening to your voice mails without dialing or logging in to your account. For those of us on the run, this is a great tool.
Another really great feature is that you have unlimited extensions for your small business. Each extension has its own call forwarding, voicemail and message delivery settings. Even if you’re the only employee, by utilizing unlimited extensions you are giving your small business the big business sound that it needs.
Truthfully, there are too many features for me to list here. What I can tell you is that we use it, and love it. It is also very affordable to have a toll free number these days. Plans start at $9.95 a month and there is a $25 activation fee. My monthly bill seems to hover around $25 a month which given all that the system offers is remarkably affordable. Be warned though, if you make a habit of answering the calls that come through on your toll free number you will run your bill right up through the roof. I strongly recommend that you treat this strictly as a voice mail system and return the calls at your first opportunity.
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