We’ve been reading that adding a phone number increases conversions. When people sign up and pay us, we give them our cell phone numbers. But, we wanted to have a way for people to get in touch with us pre-sales for us to answer any questions.
If you’re looking for the easiest option, you can exit here and go to Grasshopper.
We like experimenting with software (a lot). So we built our own Virtual PBX. It was insanely easy thanks to a few great tools:
Here’s how you can do it too:
Create a shared cloud app on PHP Fog
This is the free tier. It’s just two of us, and it seems to be working great after a day. Your mileage may vary. They have a slick interface for setting up new apps.
You can clone the repo that gets created and drop OpenVBX in there.
One thing we needed to do is remove the
OpenVBX/config/.gitignore. Because the deploy process for phpfog uses git, you can’t ignore the config file.
Copy the OpenVBX files into the directory containing your cloned PHPFog app repo.
git push should deploy the app.
Set up your Twilio account
You’ll need a Twilio account and the Account SID and Auth Token to get set up with OpenVBX.
You may also want to get your 800 number at this point. It’s only $2 a month.
Connect everything together
Follow the instructions on OpenVBX and put in your database info from PHP Fog, and your Twilio info.
Then, the cool stuff happens.
You can set up a flow for what should happen when people call your number.
We’re looking forward to hacking around and seeing what magic we can make our phone system do - including using Customer.io to trigger phone calls and text messages.