Are you using your phone as effectively as possible to help your business get ahead? Here are a few ideas to harness the latest cell phone technology for your business.
Sprint and Google Voice: Expanded Technology for Your Phone
Here at PG, several of our staffers use Sprint cell phones, and as a result, we noticed an interesting announcement. Sprint recently publicized a new partnership with Google that will give all Sprint customers access to Google Voice on their phones. That means you’ll have fully integrated access to Google Voice’s free services right on your cell.
You can find out more about all of the different features Google Voice provides here, but one of the most versatile for small business owners is this: you can assign several phones to the same number and have them all ring when someone calls you. That means one phone number can ring to your office phone, your cell phone, your assistant’s desk… all at the same time. And whoever picks up the phone first, wins. Just think of all the possibilities this feature could offer in terms of staying connected with current and prospective customers. Google Voice also offers visual voice mail and a whole bunch of other features that can boost your ability to manage inbound calls.
Voice Mail of Doom
Tons of small business owners still let callers get their voice mail on a regular basis. Some of you may even send incoming calls straight to your voice mail inbox. But these behaviors can be a death sentence for your business! That’s because we’ve seen that the vast majority of customers won’t leave a message if they get your voice mail. Instead, they’ll just hang up and move on down their list—straight to one of your direct competitors. If you let your clients get your voice mail all the time, this is something you need to seriously consider changing.
Here are a few options for how you can shift away from relying on voice mail to make sure you’re not losing business by not answering the phone. Why not try:
- An Answering Service
- Google Voice (see above)
- A Receptionist
Regardless of which option you choose, the important thing is to ensure you’re handling incoming calls as quickly as you can so you can avoid losing calls to the competition. Remember, very few customers will leave a message and those that do, probably also call someone else as well.
Turn Your Cell Phone into a Credit Card Processing Machine
If you’re tired of using those annoying carbon copy credit card slips or just plain not being able to accept credit cards when you’re away from the office, you may already have the answer to your problem right in your pocket…
Did you realize that there are applications available that allow your smart phone to process customer credit cards? No more purchasing a pricey point-of-sale machine or renting an expensive credit card processing terminal: all credit card processing can now be done using the technology you already have. All you need to do is download the application and you’ll have access to credit card processing at a very, very competitive rate.
For iPhones and iPads, the application you need is called Square. For Android or “Droid” phones, an application called Payment Max is available. If you have another type of smart phone, you can simply google “your phone name,” e.g. Blackberry, and “credit card processing” or “credit card reader.” These searches should pull up all of the available options for processing credit cards right from your phone.
From making and taking calls to processing credit cards, your cell phone is one of the most vital tools for the success of your business. Make sure you’re getting the most out of your phone with some of these easy ideas and tips.