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How Does a Virtual Phone System Work?

When businesses are setting up their communications, there are plenty of different options to choose from. What used to be the standard in-office technology and physical phones, is no longer the norm and businesses are quickly shifting to more flexible communication platforms.

Some large corporations buy their entire staff iPhones with their own business numbers, for example, so that their teams can work on-the-go. This is often expensive, however, requiring businesses to shell out hundreds of dollars per phone per employee plus paying for the business lines themselves. 

That’s where virtual phone systems come in, allowing a perfect balance of flexibility, scalability, and affordability that works well for all businesses. In this post, we’re going to discuss how virtual phone systems work so you can set yours up for success. 

What Is a Virtual Phone System Exactly? 

Virtual phone systems are exactly what they sound like: Remote-friendly phone systems that can be accessed from users’ personal smartphones.

In most cases, virtual phone systems are accessed through mobile apps that users can download. These apps allow them to make and receive calls and even texts using a separate business number. There’s no need to pay for extra phones, and the apps themselves are typically much easier to use than trying to figure out call forwarding or navigation menus on a standard office phone. 

The Functionality That Comes with a Virtual Phone System

When you call a major brand-name like All State insurance, what happens? You’ll typically be greeted with a warm, recorded welcome, and then asked to listen to several navigational choices so that they can put you in touch with the right people.

Traditional phone systems offer features like navigational menus, auto-attendants, and extensions. Virtual phone systems can do all of this and more.

If you want all calls to go straight through to a receptionist, you can do that. If you want, however, for users to utilize quick navigation menus during a call to streamline the process, that’s absolutely possible.

Unlike other conventional phone systems that use at-the-desk phones, virtual business systems like Tresta’s also come with a nice perk: They’ll store all your contacts for you, so there are no pesky rolodexes needed. And if you forget to save one, you can search through your history to find it quickly. 

Virtual phone systems also have additional functionality that makes them well worth considering. These features include the following:

  • Exceptionally easy call forwarding
  • Call recording
  • Unlimited texting from your business line
  • Smart routing based on schedules, including days of the week or hours of the day
  • Call routing to individuals, departments, or voicemails 
  • Real-time analytics

So How Does a Virtual Phone System Work? 

Virtual phone systems essentially work based on call-forwarding technology. 

First, you get your business number. You can opt for local or toll-free numbers, choose a vanity phone number, or even port in your existing number.

In some cases, you may have individual phone numbers for each individual employee. Others may only have one main business number. Another option is to have a combination of a main number and direct lines for individual users.

Next, users will be invited and will download the app onto their mobile phones and gain access to the web app to access and change settings such as custom voicemail greetings.

Lastly, you as a business will then configure your virtual phone system. This means you’ll determine where you want incoming calls to go. Do you want them to go to a receptionist, a team member, a ring group, voicemail, or to an auto-attendant? The configuration options are endless.

Now that the system is configured, you can start accepting and receiving calls and texts as soon as your business lines are live (which is pretty immediate). Keep in mind, too, that any way you configure your virtual phone lines now can be easily changed later, giving you the flexibility you need to adapt as your business changes and grows. 


Virtual phone systems are versatile and affordable, making them an excellent choice for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Your team can take calls or even text their coworkers no matter where they are, which is a huge advantage with the current increase in remote work. And, as your business grows and changes, your virtual phone system can grow with you; you can swap from a single receptionist to an auto-attendant if your call volume goes up too much, for example, and it’s always easy to add on more numbers. 

When choosing a virtual phone system, make sure you start with one that offers a free trial, giving you the chance to ensure that their platform is right for your business.

Interested in learning more about how virtual business lines like Tresta can help your business? Check out our full features here