Starting a business is no easy task. What is even more difficult is separating business life from personal life. Let's use our cell phones as the example here. So many companies give out work phones to their employees for a reason; it keeps things easy to manage and helps draw the line between work and personal. Now let's take that one step further. What if you are using your personal phone number for your business, and you start to hire employees? Do they also use your personal phone number for outreach? Do you encourage them to use your own?
A few years ago, we wrote an article about the 5 Best Virtual Phone Services, and OpenPhone was highlighted as our favorite of the bunch due to its user-friendly interface, ease of use, and wealth of features all for an affordable and transparent price. Today, we have the pleasure of providing an update to our review with some exciting new features from OpenPhone as well as an interview with the co-founder herself, Daryna Kulya.
Welcome to OpenPhone.
Two years ago, OpenPhone started with a mission to create business solutions for cellular options: a convenient mobile app that serves your business phone needs. Daryna, OpenPhone Co-Founder, mentioned how she and her co-founder were frustrated with this pain point in starting a business.
When you put your phone number on the internet, you are forever being destroyed by spam, you have no idea if its a business call or personal call. You may not be the best person to respond too; you should want to be able to share that number with your teammates.
- Daryna Kulya, OpenPhone Co-Founder
Purchasing a cell phone plan is expensive, and not an expense that is typically in the budget for startups. As they were trying to navigate this pain themselves, they also realized that many times, when connecting your phone to the internet, you receive better service too. With that realization, the journey of OpenPhone was off to the races.
Why We Use OpenPhone
At Aloa, we use OpenPhone for the exact reason we outlined above. If someone has a question and calls our support line, we want to be sure that we know it is a business call coming in, encouraging us to answer unrecognized numbers. Furthermore, we realized that we all need to be able to respond to calls, as it isn't fair for just one of us to always assume that responsibility in case we are busy or on vacation.
With OpenPhone, we are able to have a single business number that is connected via the internet, so all of us can access our phone number. As we are constantly doing work overseas, given the nature of our business, it is also great that we aren't tied to a SIM card; we can use the same number around the world.
A Phone for Everyone
OpenPhone focuses on startups and small business, but doesn't shy away from any opportunity that comes their way as they are working with enterprise level clients too. As remote work is trending, they are seeing more and more large corporations turning to virtual, shared, phone numbers that work everywhere, not just in the office.
They have also launched a new feature, a phone menu with routing options. So, if you want to have a main phone number that routes to different departments, say press 1 for sales or 2 for support, that's now possible.
Wait for it...there's texting too. Customers can text OpenPhone support straight from the app. You just shoot them a text and they'll get back to you right away. On their end, they have a shared phone number that everyone has access to in order to talk to customers and help out. This is something we at Aloa have used ourselves, and a big magic moment for us was when we had our issue resolved by the support team within 5 minutes of receiving our text.
Daryna says, "this is a great feature of our platform because you can directly text the people who would be supporting you. It makes it super quick and easy as you aren't being put on hold or handed off." We couldn't agree more.
Simple Onboarding Done Purposefully
Sign up on OpenPhone's website, create an account, and pick any available phone number that you'd like! If you want, they can even port over an existing phone number to their service. So, if you already have a business phone number, no matter where you got it, you can use it on OpenPhone and make it a number you and your company can share virtually.
That's it! There is no Step 2. Onboarding to OpenPhone is super easy.
A support representative will guide you through the process, asking if you want to invite team members, build in different permissions, set up business hours, set up a voicemail, and more. All of this is available within the application itself.
Their pricing is very startup friendly. It is $10 per user per month, everything included. As you grow, it is always just another $10 per user. They made it affordable and startup friendly on purpose, and if you need anything, they have a support team there for you.
It is recommended that you sign up for OpenPhone when you register/start your business, along the same timeline as when you incorporate the business, so you don't have to put your personal phone number on all government documents and other relevant forms. There are tons of online directories that scrape numbers and will definitely scam you, so it is important to have a business phone right away.
OpenPhone can offer you the tools you need to keep your business growing, keep customers happy, and keep your personal life, personal. It is really critical to have a direct line of feedback for your customers that you actually listen to. They will have a lot of feedback and you want them on your side as you grow. Texting is a great way to build a strong relationship and in OpenPhone's eyes, it is an underutilized opportunity. People associate texting with spamming or SMS marketing, but there is an opportunity to build a deeper engagement when you text your customers.
Think you could benefit from OpenPhone? Want to hear more about our experience? Feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org!