As the world continues to fight its way out of the global pandemic, one of the fastest emerging trends that many people are willing to venture into is that of freelancing. Freelancing offers people a much greater level of flexibility and comfort as they get to work from wherever they like, whenever they like.
According to Upwork, about 36% of the US’s entire workforce chose freelancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Web developers, interior designers, content creators can all work on a freelance basis as long as their ideas, ethics and work quality distinguish them from others of their kind in the market.
A proper freelance work base, however, requires the same tools and resources that any small business would, for setting up. One of the areas that demand effective tools for communication in order to ascertain the professionalism of a freelancer is that of call management.
This is where a virtual phone system acts as the ultimate game-changer. A virtual phone system, also known as a hosted or a cloud-based phone system, runs over the Internet. And all one needs for it is a stable Internet connection and a smart device.
So, whether a freelancer works out of a traditional office space or even their bedroom, a virtual or hosted phone system can be of immense help to ensure that they’re able to maintain efficient, professional communication.
Additionally, a virtual phone system demands minimum financial commitment apart from the expenditure on basic tools and equipment.
Explained below are four ways in which freelancers can step ahead in their game by using a hosted phone system while tackling some of the most common issues:
1. Missing out on important calls, voicemails and texts
Modern-day small businesses and freelancers use only their personal cell phones to respond to potential customers and clients reaching out to them. Failing to have a system that efficiently tracks all incoming calls, voicemails and texts can lead to them missing out on some meaningful leads.
It may seem like the approach of simply sticking to personal communication devices is working; however, once a freelancer’s clientele gets bigger, the need for a virtual phone system also will.
Using a personal contact system in professional settings can lead to different problems such as:
- Multiple people trying to reach you at the same time and none of them are able to get through. A hosted phone system can prevent this situation by playing hold music or professional messages to stacked-up calls until you can receive them.
- The capacity of a personal voice mailbox is not designed to accommodate business messages. Personal voice mailboxes have limited capacity and are insufficient for someone trying to run their own business.
- Personal smartphone voice mailboxes can auto-delete messages once they hit their storage level. If you are careless, this can lead to you losing some important messages permanently, thus, leading to the loss of some potential clients.
In the case of a cloud phone system, the storage space is extensive, and you do not have to worry about losing any messages. These phone systems offer multiple business-oriented features like call menus, business voicemails, on-hold music, extended hours of operation, etc.
2. Offering a professional call menu to callers
No matter how big or small, every business is a business at the end of the day. And so, equal energy investment should go into carrying it out.
No matter what kind of freelancer you are, your enterprise qualifies as a business if you offer your services on a transactional basis.
There is an excellent chance that it is not that difficult for a small business to respond to calls right away with effective call management. But, enabling a greeting message on a hosted phone system gives you an edge of professionalism and tells the client that you are putting in the extra effort.
The primary purpose of a call menu is to make you appear as professional as possible. But for this, you must set up a hosted phone system.
A call menu also offers multiple additional benefits for you as a professional:
- It helps you offer a list of options to your callers that they can choose from. Clients can be given a choice to either get directly on the call with you or simply leave you a message in your voice mailbox.
- Cloud-based phone systems that offer call menus also bring in other features. You can direct callers to your personal phone, record a message that explains your services and have it play each time a new caller dials you, set your hours of availability, and much more.
3. Setting up a unified system connected to multiple phones
If you are not a solo freelancer and usually have a team of co-workers taking up projects with you, a way to stay in touch with them during work hours is highly necessary.
Combining the team’s phones into a unified virtual phone system, you can also seamlessly collaborate with other small businesses. This helps increase the overall productivity of a business and does not even require any additional equipment or expenditure.
A unified cloud phone system also enables equal access to client calls and messages to all members of the freelancing team. This means, no team member is required to spend extra time ensuring everyone is on the same page.
A unified system helps simplify everything while also giving clients a very professional impression. Voicemails, text messages, and call history can also be accessed remotely, thus allowing freelancers to handle work from anywhere even when they’re on the move.
With advanced features such as live call transferring, one person of the team can transfer an ongoing call with a client to another, more suitable member of the team without having to disconnect the call.
Specific phone numbers can also be left out in case certain team members are not needed to handle clients directly.
4. Keeping track of all message and call details
On some rare occasions, personal smart devices may freeze or malfunction in a way that all call and text-based data may get lost. While it is undoubtedly a frustrating ordeal, what makes it worse is that nobody can be held accountable for it.
With cloud-powered phone systems, an easy-to-use control panel helps keep track of all data that is being routinely collected. A cloud phone system stores the entire call, voicemail and message-based information in the account linked to it. This data can be accessed anytime and anywhere.
In addition to the dates and times of every inbound and outbound call, virtual phone systems also provide complete call details for tracking. These include call paths that show which option was selected by a caller on the call menu, whether a call was received or missed, and transfer details if there are any.
Such control panels also let you check storage space taken up by voicemails and how to free it up if need be. You’re also able to listen to existing call greetings and change them if you like, or view mailboxes and the messages that they store.
No business is too small for a cloud phone system
The thought that a cloud phone system is necessary only for big corporations and well-established businesses is way too old-school for today’s advancing times.
You do not have to be a tycoon to benefit from modern-day technologies, and virtual phone systems are certainly a change every professional needs to embrace.
These numbers promise a brighter, more prosperous future for every business. By deploying a hosted phone system, a freelance business also has greater chances of expanding into a full-fledged service provider.
Additionally, all the benefits of hosted phone systems can be subscribed to through traditional office phone systems as well as on personal cell phone numbers. You won’t even need any expensive tools or resources.
Times are changing faster than ever. The ever-evolving technology of hosted phone systems offers more capabilities and features to freelancers than ever before.