Many people have reason to use a burner phone. The term “burner phone” is slang that refers to a cheap, disposable pre-paid cellular phone. These phones come with their own number and are often used when someone does not want to expose their personal phone number to the pubic.
Imagine you’re selling furniture on Craigslist prior to a family move; using a temporary burner phone keeps your personal number private.
Burner phone apps make it possible for someone to have burner phone number without having to purchase a second phone; the app makes and receives calls on its own number. This is a good solution for smartphone owners.
Burners for Business
Businesses use burner phones, too. For companies in the business of finding people, such as attorneys, skip tracers, repossessors and investigators, protecting their identity and adding a layer of security for themselves and their clients is important.
Businesses, though, need more from a burner phone than a Craigslister. Professional skip tracers, like our customers, will tell you a pre-paid cell phone or burner phone app doesn’t cut it—it’s not business-ready. Those simple solutions are missing features that are essential for successful skip tracing.
Pros prefer to use cloud business phone system, like BellesLink, in order to get a full-featured burner phone. Here’s what pre-paid cell phones and burner phone apps are missing:
- Multiple local and toll-free phone numbers
- Call recording
- Scheduled call forwarding
- Custom greetings for each number
Let’s look at each one of these essential pro features in detail.
Multiple Phone Numbers: Local and Toll Free
We’ve often written about the important of using local phone numbers to make a skip tracing call, or cold call, successful. For a business that works across multiple area codes, or nationally, one burner phone number, like you get with a pre-paid cell phone, won’t be enough. Even if your business works in just one metro region you are going to need numbers in more than one area code to localize your calls.
Using a cloud phone system you can set up as many local numbers as you need and burn them when you’re done. You can localize by area code, town, or neighborhood, or set up numbers for different types of calls, e.g. collections, sales, or investigations. Businesses need more numbers and a cloud phone gives you that flexibility.
Toll-free Numbers Are Valuable
While some burner phone apps may provide multiple numbers, they don’t provide toll-free numbers, which are still valuable for businesses. People will answer a call from a toll-free number more often than a call from outside their area code. Toll-free calls also still make a distinct “business-impression” that is valuable in certain situations.
Call Recording for Quality Assurance and Security
If you’re selling a couch on Craigslist, recording your calls is unnecessary. If your business works with personally identifying information, recording your calls is essential for assuring quality and security. You may not need to record every call, but for certain types you absolutely should.
For call recording, cloud phone systems beat pre-paid cell phones and burner apps. Though it is possible to record burner app calls using a separate phone recording app, this is the worst possible solution because the recordings are disconnected from the call record and are un-securely saved on the device. If your kid knows your iPhone passcode your customer’s personal information is at risk. Not good.
Using a cloud phone system, like BellesLink, as your burner phone, you can record all your calls automatically or turn it on when you need it, even for a call in process. Call recordings will be attached the record of the call, your call log, and saved securely in the cloud. Businesses record calls in case they need them, for quality assurance or legal proof. Cloud phone systems make retrieving a recording easy, a burner phone app does not.
Flexible Call Forwarding
Call forwarding may be the most overlooked feature of a business phone system. It can be the difference between getting a call or getting a voicemail, closing a deal or missing an opportunity.
While a simple burner app can forward one number to the next, a phone system like BellesLink can forward calls based on a schedule you customize for each number.
More than just after-hours forwarding, here are several ways our customer use it:
- Field workers forward calls to their mobile with a default roll-over to an in-office co-worker, so calls never go unanswered.
- Calls are forward to off-site workers—the forward-to number changes with each shift change.
24/7 businesses can forward calls on any schedule, changing daily, even hourly, if needed.
- Skip tracers work very hard to get a call-back from the people they contact. The last thing they want is to miss the call. Pros optimize forwarding on a number-by-number basis, sending general office calls to voicemail, but forwarding case calls exclusively to themselves, at the right place, at the right time.
Take a look at the flow of your business days and see where more flexible call forwarding could prevent you from missing that next important call.
Greeting Callers to Make a Good Call Impression
After flexible call forwarding, greeting messages are the most overlooked and powerful feature of a cloud phone system. We often talk about creating a good call impression. The greeting message callers hear when your phone system answers is essential to making a good impression and keeping the caller on the line.
Experts say that callers decide within one second whether they will stay on the line, leave a message, or hang up when returning a cold-call. That stat puts the importance of a good greeting message into perspective for your business.
When considering whether your burner phone is really business-ready, the ability to manage and customize greetings messages is a critical feature. In a system like BellesLink, greeting messages are saved so they can be reused. We even provide a library of pre-recorded messages you can use when you want a formal, business feel.
We recommend customizing your greeting for each number you use. Don’t use generic greetings, make them specific to the type of calls you make with that number. You’ll find lots of choices in our pre-recorded library. If you set up local number for sales, record a greeting with the same tone your sales calls have. Consistency is important.
Combine for an Even Better Burner
Call forwarding can be combined with custom greetings by using caller inputs, e.g. “Press 1 for Sales”, to forward calls to a specific greeting.
This is a simple, but powerful, technique for funneling callers and gaining information about the nature of their call. Using the BellesLink case manager you will get information about every incoming call, you’ll know who is calling and why, even before you answer. You can’t do that with a burner phone app.
There are lots of reasons for a business to need a burner phone number. For our customers—skip tracers, repossessors, attorneys, investigators—burner numbers are essential. While simple burner phones, pre-paid cellulars and burner apps, are an easy place to start, they don’t have everything your business needs.
The time you invest in finding your leads, making your calls, and leaving messages can all be lost when you rely on anything less than a business-ready burner number on a cloud phone system.
We think we’ve built the best burner phone system for business. Request an online demo today and let us show you why.