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Hosted VoIP

Small Business, Big Image

Small businesses have the advantage of portraying a much larger image than ever before thanks to advances in technology. In the past, the number of employees, your budget and the number of locations were indicators of how large your business’s presence and reach throughout the community could be. Fortunately, now, no matter how small you are or where you are located, you can easily compete with the big leagues in terms of your image, and without the cost.

Here are some simple ways your small business can portray a big image.

Website: Your online presence is by far the most important asset for your company, as more people search for companies online than any other method. Websites can be as complex and simple as you’d like and can be created and hosted for practically nothing. The most important thing is to have consistent branding and keep an up-to-date and informative website. The goal should be to create a modern and clean-looking site that showcases your products and services in the best light possible. If photos are appropriate to your industry, such as a restaurant or retail store, be sure to visually display your product as well. Most importantly, include critical details like your contact information, location and hours of operation.

Social Media: Social media is a must for every business these days and a free way to communicate with your customers and advertise your company and product. Start small. Facebook is one of the most user-friendly and common outlets for businesses of all sizes. Start your business page and ask customers to follow you, introduce specials and post relevant content and photos daily or at least a few times a week to increase your presence and following.

Online Reviews: Word-of-mouth and recommendations are still gold, but these days, online reviews on popular sites like Yelp, Google+ Local and Angie’s List speak volumes. Create business accounts on these commonly viewed sites and ask your happy customers to write reviews. Be sure to respond to reviews that are negative and learn from what your customers are saying. It can be a great source of exposure, but also insight into what is working and what is not.

Digital Receptionists/Auto Attendants: A huge advantage with cloud-based phone systemsare Auto Attendants or Digital Receptionists which ensure your incoming calls are all answered and directed to the appropriate place, not matter who is physically available. An advantage of this is to project a professional image with every single call and save yourself on having a designated employee to answer every incoming call. The most common reasons for calls are hours of operation and directions. Using an Auto Attendant will reduce the number of routine calls that have to be answered by 25%, plus will ensure that callers are directed to right person every time.

On-Hold Greetings: The best cloud-based phone systems include on-hold greetings and music options which can make a big difference in how your company is portrayed. While customers are on-hold, you can promote and advertise specials, your website and upcoming events to boost your sales or attendance to events for free. Plus, your company sounds larger and more legitimate with professionally recorded messages or music while callers are waiting on hold.

800 Numbers: Another great feature that helps to project a larger company image are 1-800 numbers. They can be used in a variety of ways, such as designating a phone number for advertising campaigns to track results, to direct calls to a specific employee, or to just project a larger company image in a specific location. They are a great way to centralize calls for little to no cost.

 

Categories
Hosted VoIP

7 Things Every Customer Portal Should Offer

When it comes to your business’s communications, the interface that you use to manage it can make all of the difference.

Not all customer web portals are created equal. We’ve identified the criteria you should look for in order to achieve the highest level of productivity and the most enjoyable experience.

1. Integrated Technology

Businesses have a plethora of communication services beyond their phone system, like hosted email, online fax, video conferencing software and toll-free services. Gone are the days where you need multiple systems and logins to access and manage them all. Look for a system that is supported by one platform that will centralize all of your services and offer you a single-point of access to everything you need.

2. Intuitive Design

Time is of the essence, so having a customer portal that offers a modern, user-friendly design that is easy to manage for both managers and employees and does not require any IT support will save you time, money and hours of aggravation.

3. Adaptability

Today’s workforce is mobilized. No one can afford to be tied to their desk phones or computers, so the platform to manage your critical business communications needs to match your work style. Your web-based customer portal should be accessible and work the same on each of your devices: smartphones, laptops, tablets, IPads® and desktops.

4. Permission-based Controls

When it comes to your business’s communications, different employees and departments have different functions and levels of authority. Having a customer portal that offers customizable user profiles based on user personas allows administrators to grant employees access to only the features that are applicable to their role.

5.User-Centric Functionality

Simple and fast is what we are all looking for when we manage anything related to our business. Your customer portal should offer user-centric technology like drag and drop capabilities, click-to-dial phone numbers, the ability to upload, listen to and record greetings, pay bills, view call history, listen to voicemail and import contacts, all from one central website.

6. Support

With multiple site locations and communication services, it can be challenging to manage issues and contact support for each of your services. With a modern customer portal, you should have one-click access to contact support, chat live, open and view support tickets, access their online community and view how-to videos and support collateral for each of your services.

7. Collaboration

Many companies have multiple locations and employees that travel, so finding a platform that supports your communication services and can increase your connectivity across sites is a win-win. Features like real-time presence that showcases the availability of each of your coworkers before you contact them and the ability to initiate or join a video conference with just one click, allows your team to collaborate easily no matter where they are.