The Biggest Benefits of a Virtual Phone System

Are you wondering why you should choose a virtual phone system? Here are some benefits.

Don’t Sit by the Phone

Does someone at your office sit at a desk and spend their whole day answering the phone? Wouldn’t you rather have that person be running errands too?

A lot of small business owners answer the phone themselves or hire a receptionist to do it, but this a huge waste of your time and money.

If you have Grasshopper, you (and anyone you work with) can easily leave their desks behind to complete other tasks. Calls can be forwarded to a cell phone if no one answers at the front desk, or you can forego traditional landlines altogether and just use cell phones.

Missing a call isn’t a big deal either since you can read transcribed voicemails via email.

Set Your Hours for a Better Work/Life Balance

Susie Miller answers calls when she’s in the shower, out to lunch, and while she’s trying to cart her kids around afterschool.

The Chicago-based small business owner and mother of two recently hired Kevin, a part-time assistant, but still finds herself answering every single support call for KidzyShades, her online shop that sells childrens sunglasses.

Gary Sunglasses

Here’s Susie’s situation:

  1. KidzyShades offers customer support via phone between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm on Monday - Saturday.
  2. Both Susie and Kevin are capable of providing customer support.
  3. Susie has to pick her kids up from school and drive them to their activities from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
  4. Susie wants to have her weekends clear so she can take some trips to Lake Michigan, where her family has a cottage.

Grasshopper can help Susie by allowing her to set up a support schedule that works for both her and Kevin.

Now, her “support” extension forwards to her cell when she’s available, and Kevin’s cell when she’s not. On Sundays, all support calls go straight to a voicemail message that clearly states KidzyShade’s support hours.

  Monday   Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday       Saturday Sunday


9:00 am to 3:00 pm

9:00 am to 5:00 pm

9:00 am to 3:00 pm

9:00 am to 5:00 pm

9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Day Off

Day Off


3:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Day Off

3:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Day Off

3:00 pm to 5:00 pm

9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Day Off

Here’s what this looks like in a Grasshopper account:

Custom Schedule

Of course, you probably have different needs than Susie, but you can still configure your phone system to get coverage where you need it and get your work/life balance in tip-top shape.

Sound Polished and Professional

Business owners use virtual phone systems because they’re tired of using the same line for their friends and for business. They answer the phone by saying “Hey, What’s Up?.”

Um… not very professional!

Flower Girl

Instead of answering ‘Hello?” while your kids scream for candy in the background, hire a voice talent to record a custom greeting that welcomes in all of your callers.

A local or vanity number can enhance your appearance, too. An official number like 1-800-FLWRGRL shows that you’re professional and legitimate, even if you’re actually at the gym with Chloe.

Improve Your Branding

You’ve got a Facebook page, Twitter account, and custom domain name, but do you have a branded phone number?

Vanity numbers (numbers with letters like 1-800-CONTACTS) allow you to put your brand name in more locations. What’s easier to remember, 1-855-EMMA-WRITES or 1-855-366-2973?

Vanity numbers are easy to remember and are perfect for:

Get a toll free vanity number or use a local area code like Manhattan Mini Storage, a business that takes advantage of New York City’s 212 area code:

Mini storage

Source: Cezzie901 via flickr

Work from Anywhere

Carla owns a bustling real estate agency with three agents, but has trouble staying in the loop when she’s not in the San Diego office.

This wasn’t an issue when Carla started the agency, but now her mother is sick— and Mom lives in Long Beach.

San Diego Map

Carla now needs a business phone that:

Grasshopper can help Carla by providing a system that works with her office landline and her cell phone. Now, when customers call, they’re greeted with an auto-attendant that automatically gets them to the right person.

Save Some Money

How much is a standard business phone system?

Bob’s been Googling it for days, but he’s still having trouble coming up with an answer. There’s a range in how much phone systems cost, especially with the rise of Virtual PBX and cloud systems.

So we did Bob a favor and called up a number of providers in the Boston area. We asked for a phone service that had:

Here’s what Bob would pay for these features in Boston, Massachusetts*:

Company Price for three standard business lines with one toll free number and nationwide calling


$275.85 per month

Comcast VoiceEdge Business

$29.95 one-time setup fee + $104.84 per month ($34.95 per line).


12 Per Month + 6 cents per minute + your standard cell phone or land line rates.

ShoreTel Sky

$37 per user, $200 per month for 5 users (minimum 5 users).


$19.95 per month + $199.99 Ooma Office setup fee + your standard internet costs

*These costs are estimated based on research conducted in September 2014.

Because of these high costs and the fact that Bob has a few remote employees, Bob is considering buying cell phones for each employee, but this gets expensive, too.

Most cell phone plans cost at least $100 per month, depending on provider. Even with a family plan, Bob’s better off allowing his employees to use the cell phones they already have.

But how to do this?

With Grasshopper, Bob can route all his calls to existing landlines and cell phones. It works atop what the standard business line and cell phones he’s already got, making it extremely affordable.

Grasshopper Sign Up Plans

Bob also considered either Verizon or ATT’s bundled small business phone systems. For $69.99 per month, Verizon customers get two phone lines and internet. However, Verizon is inflexible, making it difficult to add new employees.

The Grasshopper phone system works well on top of these types of bundled systems, but Bob has decided to go with Grasshopper and existing cell phones to save some money.

It’s Do-it-Yourself

You’ve probably got a lot to do, making it hard to devote the time and energy to managing a complicated process. Hiring people to do it for you can get costly.

Why bother when you can do it yourself?

Grasshopper is super easy to use. You can log in and access our online portal to change your settings. If you run into any trouble, you can reach our 24/7 support team. You don’t need any technical skills—just a computer.

Go Mobile

You don’t need a desktop computer, laptop, or fancy device to use Grasshopper. With our mobile app, you can do everything from your iOS or Android device.

The app allows you to do business from wherever you are, even if that’s beside the pool in Miami Beach.

Grasshopper mobile app

Go completely mobile. Listen to voicemails, view faxes, save your favorite numbers, and sign PDF and fax attachments with your fingers.

Make Your Customers Trust You

People feel more comfortable with brands that they can put a face behind. Even though a customer might purchase a product exclusively online, having a phone number on your site and the ability to talk to a real person (who cares) makes them feel more comfortable taking out their wallet (or recommending) for your brand.

A few years ago, we partnered with KISSmetrics to test home pages with and without phone numbers, to prove our theory.

KISSmetrics Pie Chart

Test Conditions


Give a National or Local Presence

Where do your customers live?

Are they clustered in Phoenix or are they spread out across the entire country?

If you’re running a business that serves Arizona, you can easily get a Phoenix area code, even if you’re actually working in Ohio. Because Grasshopper works from your cell phone, you can manage business from wherever you are.

Ohio to Phoniex Map

If you want to appear bigger than you are and promote a national presence, you can get 1-800 or toll free number. These are perfect for online businesses that serve the entire country. These numbers show that you serve a national audience and can increase authority and customer trust

Use It for Marketing Materials and Campaigns

What do you do for marketing?

You probably use a host of different strategies—from word of mouth, to online marketing, to billboards. Even your personal business cards are a form of advertising.

To optimize your marketing, make sure you plaster your phone number all over your materials and campaigns.

You can even use multiple phone numbers to track the return on investment (ROI) of certain campaigns. For example, if you use the same number on your Pay-Per-Click ads but use a different one on your billboards, you’ll always know how someone found out about you.

Grasshopper Search Result

Here are a few tips on using multiple phone numbers to track ROI:

Get the Phone Number You Want

If you have a business number you love, keep it. You can port your number over to Grasshopper. If you want a certain phone number, get it! We have thousands of numbers to choose from.

When you sign up, you’ll be able to choose from vanity, toll free, and local numbers. Whatever is a fit for your business, we’ve got it. You can get as many numbers as you want.

Grasshopper Choose Your Number

Local numbers are great for businesses that cater to certain areas, while toll free numbers suit businesses that sell nationwide. We carry numbers for the U.S. and Canada.