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Starting a New Business

The purpose of this playbook is for new businesses to review considerations for phone systems, texting options, google my business, and website best practices.

Phone System Setup

1. Choose A Phone Number

When choosing a primary phone number for your business, it's crucial to make a thoughtful selection, keeping in mind its long-term use and considering the following:

  • Local or Toll-Free Number: Decide whether you want a local number for a local business feel or a toll-free number for a broader reach.
  • Vanity Number: If available and relevant to your business, a vanity number (e.g., 1-800-FLOWERS) can be memorable.
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2. Add An Automated Attendant

An automated attendant can improve the caller experience. Here's what to consider:

  • Greeting Message: Craft a clear and professional greeting that includes your business name and options for callers.
  • Menu Design: Plan an intuitive menu structure to direct callers to the right department or extension.
  • Business Hours: Set up rules for your Open Hours, After-Hours, and Holiday hours to provide callers with relevant information.
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3. Set Up Voicemail Box & Record A Voicemail Greeting

Missed calls are missed business. Here's what to think about when setting up a voicemail box:

  • Clarity: Ensure your greeting is clear and easy to understand.
  • Length: Keep it concise, providing important information without unnecessary details.
  • Business Hours: Mention your business hours and when callers can expect a response.
  • Email Notifications: Connect your voicemail box to your email to access voicemails more conveniently.
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4. Set Up A Phone

Considerations for setting up your business phone:

  • Training: Train your team on using the phones and any advanced features your system offers. Luckily for you, VirtualPBX offers training for your team and an extensive support guides, YouTube guides, and webinars to get you ramped up.

Text Messaging Options

1. Compliance and Legal Considerations

  • Regulatory Compliance: Ensure that your text messaging practices comply with applicable regulations, such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in the United States.
  • Data Privacy: Safeguard customer data and adhere to data protection laws (e.g., GDPR) when collecting and storing personal information.

2. QR Codes

  • Testing: Ensure that the QR codes work flawlessly on various devices and are user-friendly.
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3. Canned Responses

  • Templates: Create a library of pre-written, customizable responses for frequently asked questions or standard inquiries.
  • Personalization: Customize canned responses to maintain a personal touch and relevance to each client's query.

4. Auto Reply Keywords

  • Keyword List: Develop a list of auto-reply keywords to trigger automated responses for common queries (e.g., "HOURS" for business hours, "LOC" for location).
  • Response Clarity: Ensure that auto-replies provide concise and clear information to satisfy customer inquiries.

5. Integrating Texting into Your Workflow

  • Workflow Analysis: Evaluate your current business processes to identify opportunities for incorporating text messaging effectively.
  • Staff Training: Train your team on best practices for business texting, including etiquette and client communication guidelines.
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Google My Business Tips

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1. Create a Google My Business list

Get Started: Stand out on Google and attract customers with a free business profile. Get started here

2. Accurate address and service area

Precision: Ensure that your address and service area are precise and up-to-date, reflecting your actual coverage or service range.

3. Choose the right categories

Category Relevance: Select the most relevant and specific categories that accurately describe your core business.

4. Use a local phone number

Local Contact: Provide a local phone number that directly connects customers to your business rather than a central call center helpline number.

5. Control of the business phone number

Ownership: Ensure that the phone number listed is under the direct control of your business.

6. Additional phone numbers

Multiple Contact Points: Utilize additional phone numbers on Google Business Profile websites and other local platforms to offer various contact options.

7. Use actual business hours

Regular Hours: Display your regular business hours when customers can visit your location or dine in.

8. Include seasonal hours

Seasonal Changes: If your business has seasonal variations in operating hours, provide this information to keep customers informed.

Website Best Practices

  1. Pick a Domain and Register It
  1. Place Contact Information Above the Fold
  1. Capture Lead Information for Lead Generation
  1. Create Landing Pages with Calls to Action
  1. Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly

How a Business Phone System Benefits from a Website:

  • Enhanced Communication: A well-designed website makes it easy for potential clients to find your contact information, encouraging them to call or inquire about your services.
  • Lead Generation: Capturing lead information through the website allows the business phone system to follow up with prospects and convert them into clients.
  • Efficient Customer Support: Integrating your phone system with your website can streamline customer support by enabling click-to-call or click-to-text features.
  • Brand Cohesion: A professional website and phone system that share consistent branding can enhance your business's image and credibility.
  • Mobile Accessibility: A mobile-friendly website complements your phone system, making it convenient for mobile users to access your contact information and reach out to your business.
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