Today’s businesses are no stranger to cloud-based technology. Many are already relying on cloud-based tools to run their organizations with anything from invoicing software to CRM to project management tools.
The cloud is convenient, easy to use, and secure, so choosing it to support as much of your technology as possible only makes sense.
Cloud phone systems are no different. They offer all of the standard advantages of cloud-based tools and then some, and they can open up new possibilities to how and even when your team is working.
Want to learn more about why you should consider switching to a cloud phone for your business? Keep reading, because in this post we’re going to dive deep into:
- What a cloud phone is
- Who can benefit from switching to a cloud phone
- 5 reasons to move your phone to the cloud
- How to choose the right cloud phone provider
- How to make the switch to cloud phone
What is a Cloud Phone?
A cloud phone is a virtual business line that will store and transfer data through cloud systems online, which can then be accessed through a desktop app or mobile device of your choice.
Cloud phones are strictly the business lines themselves with no actual hardware; you can download a mobile app onto the phone that you already have to access the line. Here, you can make and receive calls, access voicemails, and potentially using texting services if the provider supports it.
Who Can Benefit from a Cloud Phone
Everyone can benefit from a cloud phone. There’s no barrier of entry to get one, and there are plenty of providers who started their own businesses with other small and medium-sized brands in mind.
Cloud phones don’t require any specialized hardware aside from the devices that you’re already using, and while we’ll dive more into this in the next section, many are incredibly cost-effective. Everyone— ranging from single-person freelancers to large corporations— can benefit extensively from switching to a business cloud phone system.
5 Reasons to Switch to a Cloud Phone for Your Business
We’ve already touched on a few reasons why you should consider switching to cloud phone systems, but let’s take a closer look at the five core reasons why brands should make the change.
1. Extensive and Easier-to-Use Features
Different types of phone systems have different features available. Some of these features can include the following, all of which are available through Tresta:
- Auto attendants
- Advanced call analytics
- Call recording
- Scheduled call routing
- Custom greetings
- Call menus
You may be reading this list and seeing features that are already available to you through the service provider you use, like call recording or call routing. That’s absolutely true, but you also need to consider how accessible all of those features are.
Call routing on a traditional in-office phone system can be an absolute nightmare to deal with, taking time to call and set everything up. This can be particularly exhausting when you need to do so frequently. With cloud phone systems like Tresta, however, you can manage all of this with a few clicks from the app.
Ease of use is just as important as having access to the features themselves.
Cloud phone systems are convenient. There’s no getting around that.
You don’t need to have someone come to the office to install hardware for your team. You don’t need to keep a supply of secondary mobile devices on hand (which a large number of corporations do) so that you can immediately hand out business phones to new employees and those who broke their second iPhone in a year.
You don’t need to be in the office to receive messages, and you don’t have to jump through hoops to be able to take calls outside of the office. (And if COVID-19 taught us anything, it was that the ability to take out-of-office calls is fairly important.)
They’re also incredibly compatible with scaling up or down alongside your business. Have three new employees? Great, we’ll have new business lines for you within seconds for each one. Need to scale back if your business is downsizing? That’s no issue either. Cloud-based tools aren’t going to lock you into extensive, constrictive contracts like many traditional carriers, so you can scale back when you need to.
3. Significantly Lower Costs
We know that time is money, so convenience is a great perk, but money is money, too.
If you’re able to save a significant amount of overhead by switching to a cloud phone system without sacrificing any quality (and gaining some nice benefits in the process), why wouldn’t you?
All other alternative phone systems can quickly become much more expensive than a virtual business line.
In-office systems, for example, require expensive hardware that needs to be installed in the office and maintained. And you need to worry about desk phones and issues with scalability over time.
Secondary mobile devices typically includes providing recent-edition iPhones or similar devices for your entire team, plus paying for the line itself. This is incredibly expensive, even if you’re getting a bulk deal, with each phone costing hundreds of dollars and potentially needing to be replaced every two or three years.
There will also be accidents; phones damaged by drops, phones that are stolen, and phones that someone’s dog steals and buries in the backyard. These will all require premature replacement, increasing costs once again.
With a cloud phone system, however, you just have the line itself for each user, with no hidden or surprise fees.
There are also no contracts with some providers, which can be expensive if you need to make sudden changes as many did during the COVID-19 pandemic as their businesses were put on pause or downsized without notice.
4. Heightened Flexibility
Flexibility is an exceptional benefit of cloud phones that simply aren’t available with the system options.
You can access your phone line anywhere that you have an internet connection, and you can do so without having to carry around a second phone or set up intense call routing structures by dialing a complex series of numbers on a landline.
You can make calls while you’re waiting in line to pick up your child from school, or when you’re at the airport waiting for the next flight.
There’s also the option to change your call schedule at the last minute and on the go. With a few clicks of a button on your mobile device, you can reroute calls or have them go to voicemail as you’re on the way out of the office to a last-minute doctor’s appointment or important client meeting.
Flexibility and convenience really go hand in hand, and it all comes down to the ability to work where, when, and how you want. This makes your team’s job easier to do well, which means a better experience for your customers, too.
5. Increased Security
Cloud phone systems are inherently secure as long as you’re requiring your team to follow basic safety measures that include the following:
- Unique and complex passwords
- Not leaving logged-in devices unattended
- Requiring each device to have a login as well as an app or site login
- Using secure internet access points
- Enabling features like two-factor authentication when available
They can even be more secure than other tools. Voicemail messages are stored safely in the digital cloud, for example; they’re not available on an office answering machine, which is accessible to anyone who breaks into your office.
Your team is able to access their business lines anywhere… but they’ll be the only ones who can access them. That’s a huge benefit.
How to Choose the Best Cloud Phone Provider
Interested in transitioning to a cloud phone system for your business? Not all cloud phone providers are created equal, and we want to address that up front. Quality is crucial, as is transparency and flexibility.
When choosing a cloud phone system for your business, look for a provider that offers all of the following:
- No contracts. You should be able to change things up month to month as needed, scaling up or down alongside your business. Skip providers who are trying to lock you into year-long plans.
- No hidden fees. They should tell you upfront what your per-user cost will be, along with any necessary phone line fees that they’re required to process.
- One flat per-line fee for all. The last thing you need is to end up paying $15 more per user than you thought because extra minutes, features, or usage drives up the costs. Here at Tresta, we offer a flat per-user cost, which includes access to all of our features.
- Accessible user interface. You don’t want there to be a major learning curve when your team is switching to a new device; look for a user-friendly interface that’s easy to use and learn.
In addition to all of the above, you’ll want to assess compatibility. Do this by making sure that the provider you’re choosing meets the following criteria:
- They have the features that you need. If your business’s internal team runs on texting, you won’t want to choose a provider that doesn’t offer this feature. Consider how you’ll use the phone system before you start looking for providers, and come up with a list of non-negotiables that you absolutely need.
- Their plans are within your budget. While most cloud phone systems will be significantly cheaper than most alternatives, you can still find plenty that are far overpriced for what they’re offering. Here at Tresta, we charge $15 a month per user with unlimited minutes and all features included.
- They can scale with you. How long will it take for the provider to get you new phone numbers? We can get you set up in just a few clicks with local numbers or toll-free numbers, whichever you choose. We can even help with vanity numbers if needed, all in just a few minutes.
How to Make the Switch
Once you know that you want to make the switch to a cloud phone system, the good news is that it’s easier than you may think.
After you’ve chosen your provider, you’ll first sign up for their free trial. All credible providers offer free trials for at least 14-days; here at Tresta, we have a 30-day free trial so you can make sure it’s the right fit.
Next, decide if you want to set up all new numbers or to port existing numbers.
Porting existing numbers allows customers to reach you on the numbers saved in their phones and prevents you from having to update your site, business cards, and directory info. You’d likely want to set up new numbers if you’re going for a rebrand or making a jump from personal phones to business phone lines for team members.
If setting up new numbers, you can choose from local numbers, vanity numbers, or toll-free numbers based on your goals for your business and the message you want to send about your brand.
Porting existing numbers can be nearly instantaneous, as can setting up new numbers.
Then give your team access to their number and account, having them access the web app and download the mobile app onto their phones.
All you have to do then is set up your call workflow, customize your greetings and navigation menu, and share the number with clients.
Now that we’re in 2021 and inching towards the end of the pandemic, we know more than ever how important flexibility, convenience, and security are when it comes to our businesses. A cloud phone offers all this and more, making it easier for your team to do their jobs and for your business to run on your terms.
It doesn’t get much better than that.
Ready to make the switch to a cloud phone for your business? Check out Tresta’s free 30 day trial here.