Ring Central – Taking VoIP To The Next Level

phonewhentravellingWhen it comes to voice over Internet protocol, small business owners are very familiar with services such as Skype. We’ve come a long way in a short period of time in terms of our ability to do away with land lines. This is particularly interesting to any entrepreneur who is location independent, or who may travel a lot for business. In the past however there may have been something of a “disconnect” – pardon the pun – in terms of how a small business owner could utilise a virtual assistant team. While one-on-one communication may not be so difficult, the challenges would arise when it comes to letting the virtual assistant have true freedom in connectivity.

Web-based systems are now in place that allow a variety of different phones to be connected to a remote server “in the cloud.” One of the best ones available on the market today is Ring Central. A number of the features in the system can only be found in rather expensive PBX systems, typically reserved for enterprise size organisations.

No small business owner today wants to be bogged down by systems and complicated contracts. In other words, software as a service is the order of the day and Ring Central is just such a service. All the small business owner needs to do is to register for an account, configure the features and get going. As opposed to a service like Grasshopper, Ring Central has a pricing structure based on the number of users. Here, for a business that has between two and 19 users the charge would be $29.99 per month, per user. You can use their “Office” solution for incoming and outgoing phone service and the ability to route calls to mobile and landline.

Interestingly, you can opt to use IP phones already configured to work directly with the system from Ring Central. Then, once you have defined all the rules that you’ll have set up at the beginning, the phones will be automatically identified and ready to use.

There are many cloud-based systems such as this on the market today, but this particular option offers a number of features not normally found among the direct competitors. For example, you can set up a “group” of phones that would be set to ring at the same time, useful if you have a number of virtual assistants on your team, each of which may be responsible for a particular category of client. You can set up something called “call escalation” where the system automatically routes the call through to a second virtual assistant if the first one doesn’t answer.

An interesting feature revolves around text messages. You can allocate an instruction to one of your assistants to reach out to customers via text message if necessary, sending a simple “click to call me” message. The customer can then very easily and seamlessly get back in touch with the VA at the customer’s convenience, potentially streamlining the workload for that particular day.

 How do you manage your telecommunications when travelling?