Zoom Workplace How-to Phone System Small Business

Tech tips for small businesses: how to reach new customers and build a strong base with phone and chat solutions

How small businesses can use Zoom Phone and Zoom Team Chat to foster productivity, expedite operations, and better connect with customers. 
6 min read

Updated on August 01, 2023

Published on July 10, 2023

Tech Tips For Small Businesses: How To Reach New Customers And Build A Strong Base With Phone And Chat Solutions

33.2 million. 


That’s how many small businesses there are in the U.S. alone in 2022, according to U.S. Small Business Administration. Organizations with a few hundred employees or less make up 99.9% of businesses across the U.S., and employ nearly half of the country


These small businesses have to be scrappy. They need to find savvy ways to break out in today’s crowded market — reach new audiences, automate processes and improve efficiencies, and do more with less. The right technology can unlock all that, and then some. 


According to a study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 93% of small-business owners use at least one tech platform or tool to run their business, with the average owner utilizing three different platforms. Of those, 85% report that technology platforms helped to get their business up and running, and 94% report that technology helps them run their business more efficiently and 80% say technology “helps them have more time to spend away from their businesses and with their family.” 


But some may not realize that they only need one platform to achieve these goals. Zoom Workplace, our all-in-one offering brings together phone, team chat, whiteboard, meetings, and third-party integrations into a single user experience to help you get more done. And two of its core products — Zoom Phone and Zoom Team Chat — help thread together a unified communications experience that small businesses can use to foster productivity, expedite operations, and better connect with customers. 


Dialing into phone communications

According to a 2022 Morning Consult survey commissioned by Zoom¹ , many small business respondents rely heavily on phone communications. When asked, “How often are phone systems used at your organization?” 76% of respondents said they use phones daily to communicate.¹

When asked, “Does your organization use hard phones, softphones, or both to conduct business-related calls?” only 17% of survey respondents reported using a softphone versus 49% who used a mobile phone or 33% who used a hard phone.¹

Using a softphone — like Zoom Phone —  might help you better address your business’s operational and service needs. Here’s how you can wield it to your advantage: 

  • Set up call queues to help lessen response times. Divide and conquer customer inquiries by setting up call queues to route calls to a designated group of users, such as a sales or support team, so the first person available can answer the phone.
  • Answer calls on different company devices. By taking advantage of a softphone’s flexibility, small businesses can make and receive calls on a mobile phone, a laptop, tablet, or any other company device connected to the internet. You can still use hard-wired phones too, since Zoom Phone connects with hardware devices and even offers a hardware-as-a-service program. 

  • Elevate a business call to a meeting. Employees may be on a phone call and want to draw a quick sketch or pull up a document to review with the other people on the phone. Within the Zoom platform, employees can easily go from a phone call to a video meeting when the situation requires, helping enable a more productive conversation.
  • Don’t lose business when you lose connectivity: If you experience an outage from a carrier, storm, or natural disaster, Zoom Node and the Zoom Phone Local Survivability (ZPLS) module help you minimize revenue loss, maintain internal communication, and establish on-site safety with survivability that lasts for several days.
  • Bring in your other workflows: You can use your favorite business tools in tandem with Zoom Phone. Our phone solution integrates with essential applications like Salesforce, Google G-Suite, ServiceNow, and HubSpot.
  • Get insight into and elevate the customer experience: High call volume from customers? Need to better understand why you’re not making a sale? Zoom Phone Power Pack can help. It’s designed to help through advanced analytics for real-time and historical insights. It also offers an enhanced desktop experience to streamline call handling so every call goes to the right person, and team SMS functionality, so your team can respond through text message.

Sending the right message with chat

What small businesses lack in resources, they make up for in agility. Our instant messaging offering, Zoom Team Chat, can help you share important information across your business in a snap. This persistent chat solution comes already included with Zoom products.  

A few ways you can use Zoom Team Chat to enable seamless collaboration:

  • Create chat channels for different groups and projects. Set up chat channels for different teams as well as cross-functional projects as they come up. This allows employees to tailor messages and communicate relevant information to specific team members.
  • Screenshot, annotate, and share images. Employees can share files and images in chat channels for quick collaboration. Need to get the point across visually? Use the Zoom desktop client to take screenshots, add annotations, and share them directly in chat.
  • Fill gaps where information may have previously seeped through: Our continuous meeting chat feature allows meeting participants to communicate before, during, and after a meeting by creating a dedicated group chat in Zoom Team Chat for meeting participants. When enabled, in-meeting chats will show up in that group chat as they are sent in the meeting, allowing conversations to continue after a meeting ends.
  • Never miss a beat with helpful reminders: Running out the door and want to save an important message for later? The remind me feature helps you follow up on a message at a later time, so you can stay on top of tasks without having to be always available. 
  • Save time with the help of AI: If you need to get up to speed on chats and provide a timely response, you can use the Team Chat compose with Zoom AI Companion (free trial for customers in select plans) to draft a message for you based on conversational context. You can change the message tone and length to customize suggested responses.
  • Keep your important files in one place: Want to quickly kick over an important document to a team member? Zoom Team Chat integrates with Box and Microsoft SharePoint, empowering teams to save time and simplify workflows with the ability to upload, share, access, and manage files.

Growing your business in a hybrid world

Increase revenue, trim costs, embrace new ways of working, meet new customer needs, and find a way to stand out — the demands can sometimes feel like they’re piling up for today’s small businesses.

That’s why we’ve put together a guide to help small business owners use the Zoom platform to help manage their time and resources effectively and efficiently. Whether your company is new and in growth mode, or ready to go to the next level, check out our small business guide for ideas on how to use Zoom to help build and enhance company culture, engage with customers, and enable a hybrid workforce.   

1. Morning Consult surveyed 500 decision-makers of small- and medium-sized businesses in the United States from January 14-January 24, 2022. The audience was defined as those at organizations with 11-500 employees at the VP level and above. The data was unweighted, and Morning Consult used quotas to approximate the composition of the audience. The margin of error for this study is +/ 4 percentage points.

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