You can set up Zadarma virtual phone system for your entire company in a few minutes from the comfort of your favorite chair. All you would need is a laptop and a good internet connection.
Let's start with some theory.
What is virtual business phone system and how does it work?
In most cases, when you call someone’s office, you are greeted with a voice message. Then an operator or a receptionist answers your call and transfers it to the appropriate person. That particular person might be out of the office at the time of your call. He or she could even be in a different city or country on a business trip and take a call on a cell or a laptop app. The transfer will take place seamlessly and you will not even notice the difference. By the way, you will not even need a receptionist at the front desk; the whole process can happen automatically. Nice, right?
It is pretty simple to set up such a phone system for your own business. Take a look at the picture below that illustrates how virtual phone system (cloud PBX) works.
Every single element depicted can take a virtual format - besides you and you partner, of course. You can have virtual phone numbers in different countries, and your cloud PBX will route calls, faxes and voicemails according to your settings.
To make this work, you have to follow 4 simple steps:
- Register with Zadarma and top up your account.
- Choose and order a virtual (DID) number.
- Activate your PBX, and follow the setup instructions you can find in your personal account.
- Download and install a softphone on your PC/mobile phone.
A fifth step is optional. It includes the setup of more advanced features, like voice menu, autoresponder, call recording, conference calls, fax, etc.
So let's begin!
1) Registration and account top-up – 5 minutes
Fill out the mandatory fields on the registration page. We recommend you to start with the «Standard» price plan with per-second billing and free minutes. You can change the price plan any time later on. If you make a lot of calls, consider phone system bundles with included virtual numbers and outgoing call minutes to different destinations.
Log into your personal account and check the call quality by making a test call, and then top up your account. Adding $10 to your account can be sufficient for 2 numbers and outgoing calls for the first time.
2) Choose and order your virtual (DID) number – 4 minutes
Check the cost of the virtual numbers. Go to the page that lists available phone numbers. For example, if you need one phone number in London and another one in Berlin, choose these required cities from the list. Virtual phone number in London will be activated immediately. However, to order a phone number in Berlin, you will have to upload a scanned copy of your passport/ID and a copy of a utility bill with proof of your address. (The process of purchasing a virtual number varies depending on different countries’ legal requirements.) After you upload the necessary documents your Berlin phone number will be activated within 1 working day.
3) Virtual PBX activation and setup – 3-5 minutes
Press the «Switch on» button (in the «My PBX», «Extension numbers» section) to activate the cloud PBX in your personal account.
Next, go to the «My PBX», «Wizard» section.
Number of employees. Decide how many extension numbers you need. Let’s assume that at the moment you require 3 numbers. You can add up to 50 extension numbers at any time later on.
Enable call recordings. All your employees’ calls will be automatically recorded. Later you can set up if they will be sent to your email or the cloud, so you can listen from your personal account or in the CRM-system.
Create a free ZCRM. If you need a CRM system, you can check a box here. Our CRM works from your browser and has all the necessary features, which makes communication with clients much more convenient. More information - here.
You have Incoming calls menu in front of you. What setting can we complete here?
PBX incoming calls will go:
Straight to employees’ extension numbers. This is easy. All incoming calls to PBX will be automatically directed to the employees.
First the voice greeting “Hello, you’ve reached…” and then to the employees в. Do you want to introduce your company to the caller? You can do that easily with an automatic informant. You can type the text in and it will be read automatically. Or you can upload a file with the greeting.
To the voice menu “To talk to the manager, please, press…” This is an optional feature, but a great one. If you want a voice menu, but don’t have a ready file – no problem! Choose “Auto-generate message from the text” and the recording will be created automatically. Just input the text and your clients will always know who to contact!
If you’ve chosen to have the voice menu, the next step would be its setup.
Scenarios (that is what Zadarma PBX menus are called) will be created automatically, as many as you’ve specified in the previous step. An option “Without pushing” will also be created.
Now you just need to describe their work.
For example, your extension number will be 100, and your partner’s 101. Then for the scenario “Button 1” you put yourself – 100 – in “First call to”. If you don’t take the call, let the call go to your partner, so choose him in “Second call to”. Don’t forget to set up “Button 2” scenario, first to the partner – 101, then to you – 100, but if you hate getting your partner’s calls, increase the delay to 30 seconds. “Without pushing” scenario can be set as menu 1.
Congratulations, you have set up your PBX! Click “Finish” and connect the business system to your phone.
4) Laptop and phone apps setup – 3 minutes
Let’s continue with the above example. You answer the calls on an Android phone, and your partner uses their Windows laptop.
You have to download and install Zadarma app for Android. Enter your login and password (from My PBX – Extension numbers) and now you can make and receive calls. Inside the app (same goes to Zadarma iOS app) aside from main features you can also set call forwarding and CallerID.
For iOS we recommend using official Zadarma app as well.
For Windows you can also install our ownapp, on the page you can also find a detailed manual.
Or you might not even need an additional program, you can make and receive calls via an in-built webphone in ZCRM.
Additional PBX features – 5 minutes
Connecting a number in Berlin and New York and setting up voice greeting is all nice, and in most cases, it is quite enough. But Zadarma PBX allows you to get many other features for efficient work. Let’s take a look.
CallerID setup. If you have purchased two phone numbers (for example one in London and one in Berlin), the first virtual number you bought is automatically set as your CallerID. You can change this at any time in the «SIP Connection» section. You can also set an external phone number (not purchased through the Zadarma service) as your CallerID after confirming it in your personal profile.
Conditional call forwarding. If you are frequently on the road (and you do not always use 3G or LTE because you are unsure about your mobile phone’s internet connection) and you don’t want to miss calls, you can use conditional call forwarding. Go to the Extension Numbers settings and check the «Call forwarding» box. Choose the «No response or unavailable» option. Enter your mobile phone number. In the Android SIP client settings, set the app to be run on Wi-Fi only. So when you are out of home or office, you will receive calls on your mobile, and when you return, you will receive calls onto the Zadarma app.
Receiving a phone call based on a specific phone number. Let’s take Tom and his partner as an example. If a client who always needs to reach Tom’s partner consistently forgets to press 2 after hearing the voice menu, the call will be redirected to Tom. But what if Tom does not want to answer the calls from that person? To solve this issue you can set up a scenario where all calls from that client are directed to Tom’s partner without any need for the caller to hear the voice menu and press 2. To do this, we go to the Incoming Calls setup and under the Partner scenario, check the «Trigger for calls from numbers» box and enter the caller’s phone number. Now, all the calls from that phone number will be routed directly to Tom’s partner.
Automated FAX. Fax is not widely used nowadays but it is still possible to set it up just in case it is required. Since Tom has already created a scenario for the fax (button 3) all he needs to do is to open this scenario and add the extension number «50» to the list. All fax messages will then be delivered to the email (which was used to register in Zadarma).
It is possible to set up the system so that all calls received after working hours, are transferred to an autoresponder. This can be done by going to the Incoming calls setup, where you specify the days, working hours and the text to be played in non-working hours. You can check and set the right time zone in your profile settings. To create the autoresponder, you need to create a separate «Autoresponder» scenario and allocate 102 as its extension number. Call forwarding from 102 number to a voice mail is configurable in the Extension Numbers settings.
Call recording. If you need to record calls, check the «Call recording» box in the internal numbers settings. All the recordings will be sent to the email specified.
Music while waiting. You can also upload any music to play while the callers are on hold or being transferred. Do this in the Incoming calls settings.
Additional external line. If you have an old phone number familiar to your clients, you can connect it as an additional external line. If calls to the old phone number were delivered via telephone wire, you have to connect and set the SIP gate with FXO port option, activate the external phone line in the “gate” mode and enter the gate settings from your personal account.
If the old phone number worked via SIP, all you need to do is to activate the external phone line in the “server” mode and configure the phone number settings. The PBX will then automatically connect to the server and receive the calls to that phone number.
In this article, we have mentioned some of the basic Zadarma business phone system features. New features are released regularly and can be found in your personal profile PBX settings. So please stay updated on our news and contact us if you have any questions!
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