Subscribe to the Nextiva blog newsletter for the latest content on Customer Service, Productivity, Marketing and VoIP.

How to Set Up a Virtual Phone System

Forget about waiting for the phone company to set up your landline. In a matter of minutes, you can set up a virtual phone system for your business. The best part is all you need is an internet connection.

A cloud phone service like Nextiva is reliable, offers a ton of features, and is easy to use.

In just four simple steps, you can set up your business phone system.

  1. Choose a Business Phone Plan
  2. Assign Your Phone Extensions
  3. Record Your Phone Greetings
  4. Begin Placing and Answering Calls

1) Choose a Business Phone Plan

Most companies aren’t one-size-fits-all — your phone service needs to match your business needs. We’ve packed a ton of features into all of our business phone plans. Choose between essential, professional, and enterprise plans for your virtual phone system.

Keep in mind that with Nextiva, you get a toll-free number as well as a virtual phone number in any area code. Talk as much as you want with unlimited nationwide calling. You can port your existing phone numbers over later, too.

After you begin your free trial, we’ll verify your account with a text message and guide you through picking out phone numbers for your virtual phone system.

Photo of a virtual phone system - phone, desktop, and a mobile app.

Related: What Is Business Phone Number Porting?

2) Assign Phone Extensions

You’re now ready to assign extensions to your team members. Sign in to the Nextiva Voice Portal. Under the Users menu, click Add a User. Provide the internal extension number for each user to receive inbound phone calls.

Phone extensions are how users can dial each other and you can route calls to them. These virtual numbers are meant to be used internally, so don’t have to worry about these phone numbers.

Don’t worry, you can always change your settings anytime you want like call forwarding, voicemail, and Caller ID.

Next, you’ll set up how your phone system directs calls to these extensions. Your team can answer business calls on their computer, desk phone, cell phone, or any mobile device.

How to set up a virtual phone system for any device.

3) Record Your Phone Greeting

When someone calls your business number, they’ll hear a greeting. This is known as an auto attendant. Here’s how to configure it for your virtual phone system.

Option 1: Manage your greeting from your browser.

Sign in to the Nextiva Voice Portal. Hover over Advanced Routing and select Auto Attendants. From there, you can manage your company’s call routing in one spot.

After you create your first auto attendant, you can upload recorded custom greetings for your business.

Customize Your Auto Phone System's Greeting with Nextiva

Option 2: Record a greeting with your phone.

Let’s say your business needs to inform callers about changes to your hours or availability. You can update it from your business phone.

From your Nextiva office phone system, dial 9999. Then press the * at any time during the greeting.

Press 1 to change greetings. Then press 1 to adjust the business hours greeting. Press 1 again to record the greeting. Begin recording after the tone. Press the # key when you’re finished.

Related: Auto Attendant Scripts with Real-World Examples

4) Begin Placing and Answering Calls

Now you can begin using your new phone system. Make as many calls as you need and receive incoming calls from your business line.

Enjoy the freedom to call anyone with your computer with the free business phone app. You can even complete calls using your iOS or Android smartphone using the mobile app.

If you need to step away, you can forward calls to any number you want, including your personal cell phone.

Communicate with customers, leads, and co-workers with a virtual phone system.

Reliable business phone service is just the beginning. From advanced video conferencing, call recording to text messaging, Nextiva has you covered with one powerful virtual phone system.

As your company grows, simply add local numbers, vanity numbers for all of your phone lines. Give your team members dependable VoIP desk phones or ask them to download the Nextiva App on their mobile phone.

Working remotely? Your remote team all uses the same office phone system — not a mix of different apps.

Related: 40+ VoIP Features Your Small Business Can’t Do Without

If you’re ever stuck or want a second opinion, you can always reach our live customer support. Our friendly support team can handle virtually any question about your business phone system. Small business owners appreciate the unmatched support from a VoIP service provider like Nextiva.

Once you learn how to set up a virtual phone system, you can’t forget it. It’s probably why Nextiva is rated the easiest to use on G2 Crowd. Once you set it up, you can get back to serving your customers.

About the author

Joe Manna is a content marketing manager for Nextiva who obsesses over the Oxford comma, embraces the em dash, and thrives on authoring compelling content to drive people to take action. His expertise helps companies large and small attract traffic and convert more customers.