Do you freely give out your personal mobile phone number to the people you do business with? A recent survey conducted by eVoice, a small business virtual phone number service, found that 75 percent of respondents in a small business survey indicated that they won’t share their personal phone number with staff, 81 percent with partners or investors and 82 percent with vendors.
The survey also found some out some interesting preferences and habits of small business owners when it comes to mobility and mobile technology. Among them:
- Only 33 percent of respondents listen to voicemail from business contacts. Only 18 percent will listen to a voicemail from an unknown number.
- Texting is on the rise among small businesses. Among survey respondents, 58 percent indicated that they text for business at least once a month. (Still there are times when it’s better to call then text.)
- Among male respondents, 20 percent said they would fire a full-time employee to cut their monthly cell phone bill by 50 percent.
UC lets you keep personal numbers to yourself
Your reluctance to give out your personal number as well as declining voice mail use is a good reason to consider deploying a unified communications (UC) platform to integrate your small business real-time communications services. Most notably, UC can give one number reach or “find me/follow me” capabilities. You’ll get one number – even a virtual one – to give out. When someone dials that number, the IP telephony system routes the calls to numbers you have selected – office phone, mobile number, home phone or other — at the same time or sequentially. If, after routing the call to all the numbers, you still don’t answer; the system will leave the call in your voice mail.
Still don’t want to listen to that voice mail? You don’t need to. Your UC system will transcribe the text of your messages and send it to you in the body of an email so you can read it and easily forward it on to someone else if you need to share it.
UC systems also give you background on a call so you might be less inclined to let it go to voicemail. When a call comes in, screen pops can bring up a profile of the caller from your customer relationship management system (CRM) or other contact databases you use so you have background information to facilitate the call. A screen pop can occur both during an incoming call or when an outbound call is placed.
UC has lots of benefits, among them enabling you to have your communications your way.