Have you ever heard of a PBX system? If you’ve ever had to use business lines inside of a corporate building, you’ve used one. It’s a way for multiple people to share phone lines using extensions while still keeping one main number. This lets businesses use a single number for outside contact. It’s more convenient and it helps them look more professional.
Can freelancers do the same thing? Not usually. Freelancers often have to use their personal numbers to talk with clients or use a generic VOIP solution like Skype. While Skype is an accepted method for business communication, it’s not as professional as a traditional phone line. Skype also has problems if you need rapid phone communication between multiple parties at any time. It’s much easier for your client to call your sales department directly via an extension rather than looking through a directory listing.
It’s not easy for freelancing teams either. Sometimes a call is better than an email, but who wants to keep track of 5 or 10 (or more) phone numbers for each contractor? Shouldn’t we be able to simulate a PBX system using the cloud by now? The answer is yes.
Grasshopper is a telephony solution for freelancers and remote teams that bring together the advantages of a PBX system through the cloud. Here’s how it works. You link a front-facing telephone number with Grasshopper. This can be a personal number or it can be a toll-free number. You can use one that you already have, or order one through Grasshopper. You can even create a vanity number to help your customers remember you better.
Once you have a number linked with the system, you record a greeting message that your clients will hear when they call you. You can also use several professional standard greetings made by their voice studio, or even commission Grasshopper to make a custom greeting just for your business. After that, you can add extensions to Grasshopper much like a standard PBX system only without complicated programming. You can have single digit ones leading to departments as well as three-digit ones that go directly to a person. When you have to call a client, you can use the Grasshopper app to contact them so they won’t know you’re calling from a personal phone. This raises your level of professionalism.
Grasshopper also allows other PBX features. When someone calls your number, you can answer it, send it straight to voicemail, or look at the caller ID. If they choose to leave a voicemail, the software can create a recording and a transcription and mail it to you. You can also receive faxes (great for contracts) and even send business SMS messages.
To get this sort of functionality in a standard business environment would be quite expensive. PBX systems and software aren’t cheap. But Grasshopper is quite reasonable, and we’d like to give you a chance to try it out. On our Member Benefits page, you can find a coupon code for $75 off of a Grasshopper purchase. That’s enough to give you at least a month of Grasshopper service. By the time you finish it out, you’ll know whether or not Grasshopper is for you.
If you’re struggling with juggling phone numbers or you want to present a more professional appearance over the phone, give Grasshopper a try over the next month.