I'm ramping up my REI business and need some suggestions on the best phone system to use to answer multiple marketing campaigns. I'll use a 24 hot line with a local number as my primary destination for incoming calls but would like some extension capabilities also. Thanks
The following may or may not be suitable for your needs... please research independently.
I use an OBi 202 device (give me two physical phone "lines" and supports four phone "numbers"), of which three of my phone "numbers" are with google voice (no monthly charge, no computer needed). The OBi device supports call transfer, extensions, etc. http://www.obihai.com/
There is also an OBi hosted solution available, which may or may not be overkill for you. http://www.obitalk.com/info/business
The VOIP providers I would recommend (aside from google voice) are:
In particular, look at the "call flow" and "digital receptionist" solutions available from Anveo and Voip.ms. You can basically program the system to do just about anything, including off a webpage.
To better understand it all, keep in mind that a phone number is a "virtual" thing, and that its point of termination (your equipment) is the only "physical" thing. I have my cordless home phones plugged into my OBi 202 device, thus terminating my phone "numbers" to my home cordless phones. In addition, I have some of the phone "numbers" programmed to ring both my cellphone and home phones *simultaneously*.
If you want a full-fledged human-staffed service, take a look at PatLive [ http://www.patlive.com/solutions/ ].
Here's a call-center solution - http://www.talkdesk.com/
Hope that mini-lesson helps.
REI blackbook has this feature called AMP which allows you to have a local number with unlimited extensions
I recommend using a Google voice number - The benefit is you can connect it to as many phones as you want, so if you have more then one person picking up phones it can be very beneficial.
We use it with most of our outsourcing clients, so when phone calls comes in, they can either answer it themselves or let the Virtual Assistant do it for them.
Ohh and it's FREE...
I'm happy to give you a free walk through if you would like, just give me a shout.
Using a Virtual Assistant from the start in a new business is really great! I write tons of blog posts about this topic for tips and tricks, feel free to check it out! Good luck!!
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