How to Manage a Business Number on a Personal Phone (Keeping Your Work Phone and Personal Phone Separate)
I’ve always felt that for proper work-life balance it’s important to separate business from leisure time. You can’t do either very well when you blend them together.
But for business and personal communications, you’d probably agree that using your personal phone is just more convenient.
I know my employees feel the same when it comes to using a phone at work. This is why we have a BYOD "Bring Your Own Device" policy at MessageDesk.
But calling and texting from personal phones comes with some problems for everyone including:
- Customer contact info and business data becomes more vulnerable
- Personal phones limit oversight and reduce transparency
- Texting and calling from a personal number can get sloppy and feel unprofessional
- Work and personal communications blur together
- Spam calls and spam texts increase
- Teams texting and calling from their personal phones don’t scale well
So what’s the solution to managing a business phone number and multiple customer conversations across personal phones?
We’ll show you:
- 6 reasons why you shouldn’t use a personal phone for work (but how to make it work)
- How to set up personal phones for calls and texts on a business number in 3 steps
Read on for more.
6 Reasons Why Using A Personal Phone for Work is Bad (But How to Make it Work)
Calling and texting customers and clients from your personal phone using your personal number is convenient. No doubt about that.
- You get to use your own device
- There’s no need for a second phone
- You get to use native software that you’re already familiar with
But your standard software and applications for managing contacts, making calls, and sending text messages come with some drawbacks and limitations.
Sure, you can use your personal phone for business. This may make sense if you’re a solo entrepreneur or sole proprietor.
But the following are 6 very good reasons you should consider changing how you use your personal phone for work.
1. Calls and texts from your personal phone leave personal data and customer info vulnerable
Some 23% of companies experience IT theft. That includes contacts, customer info, and other valuable company data.
And employees are often the ones implicated when it comes to data breaches. It’s clear that leaving customer data on your personal phone or an employee's phone opens everyone up to risk.
So the solution to locking down customer data and sensitive business and personal information is typically third-party software.
The problem isn’t so much that you or your employees are using a personal phone. The problem is that no one's utilizing the right software to store and record information and conversations.
Having the right software also allows you to control the flow of information. This leads to greater transparency and oversight and positive customer experiences.
2. Personal phones limit oversight and reduce transparency
In many businesses and industries, employees texting from their personal phones is just a part of the job. Again, that’s ok! You just need the right call and text software.
The standard software on your phone doesn’t allow you to manage conversations between customers and employees. This leaves everyone stuck in their own conversational silos and blind to the bigger picture of what’s getting communicated.
Creating groups using your personal phone is a potential solution, but it's cumbersome. And even with good call and business texting etiquette, your organization is still vulnerable to conversation gaps.
This is why most businesses that have a BYOD policy require employees to communicate with customers through separate apps and software. Personally, we at MessageDesk use Slack for all of our internal team communications.
We love Slack for its separate conversation channels and message groups. All of our team conversations get stored in a single place for easy access.
3. Texting and calling from a personal number can get sloppy and feel unprofessional
You don’t typically treat your work email as your personal email, do you? Ok, I admit, sometimes I subscribe to mailing lists and things I shouldn’t with my work email. But for us at MessageDesk, the same work email rules typically apply to calls and texts.
When you’re calling and texting with customers and clients you want to inspire confidence, sound personable, and exude professionalism.
To inspire confidence: you’ll want to call and text from a local phone number (vanity number) or use an 800 number. Many call and text platforms can help you provision or port both (more on that later).
To sound personable: you’ll want a separate voicemail box with a professionally formatted voicemail greeting. With call and text software, you can also take advantage of personalization and call routing with auto-responses.
To exude professionalism: you can really improve customer experience with automation. When you miss a call, business communication platforms like MessageDesk can help manage your response.
You can forward incoming phone calls, trigger an auto attendant or automatically send an out-of-office message.
4. Work and personal communications blur together
Getting SPAM and sales calls often correlates with how much you display your personal contact information in public.
Do you advertise your personal phone number on your website, signage, or service vehicles? Then you’re automatically opening yourself up to unsolicited calls and texts.
If that’s the case, then you’ll most likely have a harder time sorting spam, business, and personal calls.
And if you have employees answering the phone, consider how much of their time this could be wasting. It’s why we at MessageDesk advocate for additional and alternative ways to engage customers at scale.
5. Spam calls and spam texts increase
Unsolicited phone calls drive everyone crazy. Just in 2021 robocalls have soared to five billion calls a month.
This rise in spam phone calls and even spam texts correlates with access to personal contact information. And more businesses are willing to pay for access to this information.
Using your personal phone number as a business phone number just opens you and your employees up to receive unsolicited sales calls.
6. Teams texting and calling from their personal phones don’t scale well
Calling and texting from your personal phone number certainly works for smaller owner/operator-type businesses. But adding another teammate or teams requires you to think about how your communications scale across your business or organization.
If you’re adding employees, it's most likely because you have the customer or client base to support their employment. This means increases in call and text volume and the need for multiple people to store and access more information.
Do you run a service-based company like American Housekeeping? You probably have people in the office managing operations and people in the field completing the service.
In many cases, multiple employees need access to the same customer information. They’ll also need to connect with one another and also contact the customer.
Just imagine what all these conversations would look like with multiple teams servicing hundreds of customers every day.
But there are scalable ways to manage a business number across multiple personal phones.
The best way to centralize all of your business conversations across teams is with business call and text software.
3 Steps: How to Set Up Personal Phones for Calls and Texts on a Business Number
As we’ve seen, the native call and text capabilities on your personal phone have some limitations. These include security, scalability, and transparency.
But you have solutions… software solutions.
The best way to manage company communications from both single and multiple personal phones is with call and text software.
Business call and text platforms like Google Voice, MessageDesk (and others) all offer cost-effective call and text solutions for small and medium-sized businesses.
Below is what you need to know about how to make these software services work for you and even your employees.
1. Call and text from a 10-digit or 800 phone number
The foundation of any call and text platform is the phone number. These numbers come in a variety of flavors. The two types of phone numbers you want to look for are 10-digit local area code phone numbers (vanity numbers) and 800 numbers.
VoIP (Voice over IP numbers) or “virtual numbers” are yet another option that often applies to both vanity and 800 numbers.
10-digit local phone numbers
10-digit local phone numbers are the ones you’re already used to. They always have a local area code (for us at MessageDesk it’s 775) and they are always 10 digits long. Your personal cell phone comes with a 10-digit number and local area code out of the box.
These types or numbers are great when you serve customers or clients locally. They’re familiar looking and a local area code can feel more personalized for customer communication.
The downside to using your personal phone number is that it’s controlled by a telecom carrier (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, etc.).
They’re also not a bulk communications solution. And carriers don’t allow you to port your number over to different call and text providers. Essentially, you’re locked into carrier restrictions and limitations.
When you create a MessageDesk account you select a virtual phone number that’s also a 10-digit local phone number. This number is yours and you get much more flexibility and freedom when it comes time to scale up your communications.
800 numbers are yet another great solution for business calls and texting. Most call and text platforms (including MessageDesk) will let you provision a single number or multiple numbers.
800 numbers are also virtual numbers. They’re great for businesses and organizations that do a lot of calling and texting.
These numbers are vetted by telecom carriers for larger bulk delivery. This is important to consider when you need to send a marketing text blast or use a virtual phone system to call many contacts.
Without an 800 number, you can still achieve bulk message delivery and high call volume. You just need to talk with your call and text provider about registering your local number for high-volume A2P 10DLC.
2. Create a new business phone number or port over an existing business landline
Porting your number is important when you need to scale your communications and add advanced features.
Most every call and text platform makes it easy to:
- Port over your existing VoIP or landline phone number
- Select a new virtual “business” phone number with a local area code of your choosing
Using MessageDesk, you select your phone number as you get started in the app. You can then port over your existing phone number and add additional phone lines and users in one app.
3. Connect multiple phone numbers, multiple team members, and multiple phones
What's the best part about using call and text software for all of your business communications?
You can call and text from multiple phone numbers with multiple team members on multiple personal phones.
With call can text software, you and your team get access to conversations from your personal devices. Each user gets access to an account tied to the company phone number.
Many call and text apps offer what’s called a team inbox. This is where team members can log in and view conversations across the company.
Here’s what your team inbox looks like in MessageDesk:
For larger businesses with more complex operations and multiple team members, you can even set up multiple phone numbers.
At MessageDesk, we have customers like Cash N’ Go who use separate phone numbers to route calls and texts to a sales team. And other customers like Mower Parts Plus who use MessageDesk as a conversational customer support line.
Suggested Article: How to Choose the Best Call and Text App
Final thoughts and next steps
A business messaging app like MessageDesk makes it easy to schedule and automate messages and have 1-on-1 conversations with customers.
MessageDesk also offers iPhone (iOS) and Android mobile apps. Each gives you and your team the ability to text customers from your personal devices.