When starting a new business, it may be tempting to give customers and partners your personal phone number in order to save time and money. It might make sense when you’re starting out. You already have a phone number, it’s easy for you to remember, and there are no extra expenses or setup involved.
Disadvantages to using your personal phone number for business
- Inability to tell the difference between personal calls and business calls;
- Exposure to robocalls and telemarketers;
- Limited calling features that don’t scale with business growth;
- Personal privacy is compromised;
- Using your personal phone number looks unprofessional in the eyes of potential customers.
With these risks in mind, getting a business phone number is one of the most important marketing and operational A dedicated business line makes it easier to communicate with clients and suppliers, adds capabilities to your phone system that aren’t accessible on consumer lines, and boosts your company’s professionalism.
Today, most business owners stay in touch with customers using both office and mobile phones. They typically buy a separate cell phone because they don’t want to mix personal and business communications. But with today’s technology, you no longer need to give out your personal home or mobile numbers.
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What is a Virtual Business Phone Number?
Virtual phone numbers are a modern technology that is changing the way we work. Virtual phone numbers look and act like traditional phone numbers, but with added value and benefits. They work with any device you want, desk phones, home phones, your personal cell phone, laptops, tablets, and desktop computers. It’s easy and convenient and saves business owners a lot of money.
Virtual phone numbers empower modern professionals to work from anywhere. For example, using your cell phone while keeping your personal number private has never been easier. Multiple mobile apps on the market today enable business owners to call & text clients from their Business Caller ID.
You can also switch to your office phone or computer as your day evolves. Additionally, small businesses, start-ups, entrepreneurs & remote teams can take advantage of professional-grade features once available only to large companies.
Characteristics of the better service providers
- Choose a local or toll-free virtual phone number, or port your current number
- Unlimited calling and text messaging
- Ability to use your personal phone, then talk & text from your business caller ID
- Business voicemail with AI-generated transcripts
- Assign extensions to colleagues
- Share one common business number with team members, who can also use their cell phones
- Automatic call queue management for when you’re busy on another call
- Shared notes and contacts to help you and your team keep track of customer conversations
- No new equipment to buy and no contracts that lock you in
Providers will typically offer a mobile app that adds a stand-alone business phone number to your personal cell phone. That means you can talk & text with your business phone number, not your personal number, which stays private, and you can switch over to other apps for personal communications whenever you need. You can also talk & text on the same provider from your computer or laptop when you sign in on your internet browser.
The Benefits of Having a Separate Phone Number for Your Business
The benefits of having a separate business phone number are many. However, the primary benefits empower your business phone number to grow and scale with your business while maintaining personal privacy.
Business and personal communications are separate
The most apparent benefit is keeping your business interactions separate from your personal ones. As your business grows, managing everything through a personal number will become unwieldy and impractical. Lines will cross, and you may be unable to effectively manage calls and texts from your business partners, suppliers, and customers. Having a stand-alone business phone number removes this burden so you can focus your energy on where it counts – growing your business.
Changing phone numbers as your business is growing can harm your company
Customers and team members grow with your business – and your business phone number should as well. As your business grows, it wouldn’t be ideal to transition from personal to business phone numbers. This can be very destructive to your business as you’ll need to update any business listings, business cards, websites, marketing material, and ads that promote your business. Plus, you’ll need to contact all partners and customers to let them know your phone number has changed.
A business phone number grows and scales with your business
Personal phone numbers aren’t meant to be used for business purposes. You won’t be able to hire new employees or extend their contracts. You won’t be able to create call menu options that direct callers to the correct members of your team. As with a professional business phone number, you won’t be able to provide automated information about your location or business hours. If you have a team member who is better able to handle a particular call, you also won’t be able to transfer the call on a personal line. Lastly, you’re not able to set business hours which opens your cell phone up to unwanted calls at all hours of the day.
Maintain personal privacy
Work-life balance is a hot topic these days, especially after the coronavirus pandemic, and knowing how to separate the two is critical to maintaining a healthy, balanced life. Giving your personal number to suppliers and clients opens you up to all kinds of communications you might not want. This might include anything from business calls outside work hours to unwelcome personal advances.
Distinguish business calls from personal calls
The majority of customer calls will likely come from unknown numbers, you’ll never know how to respond if you don’t know which calls are for business and which are for personal reasons. Don’t lose clients by answering a business call with “Hello?” or redirecting the caller to your personal voicemail.
Improve customer experience
A business phone number improves and simplifies the calling experience for business owners and their customers. An exclusive business phone number works to enhance the customer experience and improve customer satisfaction. It can be frustrating when you’re trying to get in touch with a company and are unable to for any reason, so having a business number makes it easy for customers and suppliers to reach you when they need to. Callers will hear a professional pre-recorded greeting and be provided call options to help them get the service they need quickly.
Using Your Personal Phone Number Looks Unprofessional
If your goal is to grow over the long haul, getting started on the right foot is essential. Having a separate business phone number adds to your prestige and appeal as a business and a brand. Your phone number is a key part of your brand identity, as well as a primary point of contact for customers and suppliers. In addition, business numbers provide a veneer of respectability over your operation, and you will never have the problem of not knowing how to greet the caller.
Getting a separate business phone number doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars. You won’t have to go through your phone company or buy any expensive equipment or hardware. Unlike traditional business phone systems offered by big telecom companies, your virtual business numbers work with any desk phone, home phone, laptop, and even your personal cell phone.
Your service provider takes care of all the back-end hardware and software for you, so you can focus on what matters most: growing your business.