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Robin Wright looks at having a single smartphone with two numbers, one for business, one for personal, and which are easily partitioned.

 

Small business is big business. According to figures published in September 2016 by the United States Census Bureau, 4.3 million businesses, or 78.5 per cent of total businesses, had fewer than 10 employees. For many of these businesses, whether solopreneurs or small shops, keeping costs down and service levels high are key, which can lead to some difficult choices.

One seemingly simple option is using a personal cell phone to do double duty. Using the personal cell phone you likely already own for business calls seems like a simple and sensible option especially when you’re trying to keep cost down and do all the things you need to do as a small business owner.

Unfortunately, it’s not a perfect answer. On one hand, it makes it harder to distinguish between  personal and business calls. But that’s not all. If customers are calling an employee’s personal cell phone and the employee moves on to a different job, how will the customer know to call a new number? And if customers are used to calling your cell – and getting an answer! – all the time, you’ll be spending precious hours,  including nights and weekends, dealing with front line customer service issues that probably aren’t the best use of your time.

One solution is to have a single smartphone with two numbers which are easily partitioned. It was with these considerations in mind that Kandy developed Business Phone, an easy-to-install mobile app that unifies personal and business communications on a single device and enables users to clearly distinguish between each. Put simply, businesses can clearly separate business texts, voicemail, and calls from personal texts, voicemail, and calls – all on one device.

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Using Kandy Business Phone, customers retain their existing mobile phone number for personal use but add a second line, with its own number, for business calls. Customers can choose a phone number from their town or select one from any place in the United State. They are also able to port an existing mobile number to Business Phone free of charge. Business Phone uses the customer’s existing voice plan, so there’s no additional charge in that respect. Of course, additional charges may be applied by the user’s carrier if the plan allowance is exceeded. But with increasingly competitive voice and data plans to choose from, including flat rate options, business communications is now easy to set up and becoming more of a fixed cost, which helps with budge planning. Especially as Business Phone is offered with a selection of different subscription packages for individuals or small businesses.

There are also several features that can support efficient and professional business management. For example, the Business Phone ‘after hours mode’ can take a message and enable ‘emergency’ access to the user at their mobile number or any other phone number. There’s also a Visual Auto Attendant function that can be set up with a business website, so when visitors click on a specific button on the customer website (for example, Contact Us, Call Us etc.), the call is routed directly to the user’s Business Phone number.

As remote working and home based businesses continue to trend upwards, technology will continue to make communications and operations seamless. From customer service driven by AI and bots to unified communications across multiple device and operating systems, these smaller businesses should increasingly be able to project professionally on par with much larger operations. Tools such as Business Phone are a major part of this evolution.

By Robin Wright, EVP, HR & Corporate Operations, GENBAND