Categories
Hosted VoIP

Auto-Attendant: What’s the Point?

 

One of the most highly-praised features of OfficeSuite® Phone – the easy-to-use cloud UC system – is the virtual auto attendant, and as someone who has never used it, you may fail to see the hype. That’s understandable – after all, you could just as easily hire, even outsource, an operator, right?

That may be true, but there are some things that auto attendants offer that operators don’t, so let’s go into detail about that.

Not Just Professionalism – Consistent Professionalism
Everyone has off-days, whether they’re in a bad mood or simply not performing at their maximum potential. Computers, however, do not. Auto attendants follow rules flawlessly, route calls logically, and make sure that all callers get the same experience. Plus, since auto attendants operate on logical routing trees, you can make sure that certain types of calls are prioritized over others if you choose. No one gets the grumpy operator, and no operators get grumpy callers. It streamlines your business, makes sure every call goes where it needs to go, and keeps mistakes out of the mix, delivering you better customer service.

Branding Opportunities
While your callers wait to be re-directed, there’s going to be a radio silence. If you use an auto attendant, though, you can fill that silence with some company branding to promote a new product, inform the caller about useful features, or simply play some good music. All you have to do is have a voiceover recorded if you’d like, or choose the type of music you think your customers might like to hear, and launch it, which can be done right from your computer, smartphone or tablet via the MyOfficeSuite® customer portal. All of these things contribute to the caller’s experience, and ultimately affect their opinion of your brand. You can change them out as often as you like!

Make Use of the Cloud
When you use an auto attendant through your VoIP provider, you’ll make ample use of all the benefits of the cloud. You can integrate your incoming calls with third-party apps such as Salesforce® and other CRMs. Access and monitoring is, in turn, easy to control.

If your power spontaneously goes out, your caller won’t be disconnected since the call is being taken through the cloud. The call can be redirected to a mobile phone to ensure business continuity.

The cloud also allows an auto attendant to direct calls to employees who may be off-site, assuming their phones have been re-routed to wherever they are.

Plus, if you need to make a change to your call routing or hold music, you can do it from anywhere – it’s in the cloud!

Categories
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

Keep your Head Above Water: Ways VoIP is the Busy Worker’s Life Preserver

There are many ways in which VoIP – Voice over Internet Protocol – is revolutionary. What many people don’t realize is that, especially for those of us who wear many hats or have hectic schedules, this type of business phone system can actually help keep us afloat in a sea of attempted communications. When you’ve got messages coming at you from the fax machine, e-mail, IM, and voicemail, it’s easy for things to get lost in the mix, causing disaster. Here are a few ways VoIP can save your skin.

No Longer Fall Victim to Being Distracted
So you’re on the phone with a client when another caller beeps through and you think, “I’ll let it go to voicemail and handle that later.” Then you get off the call and forget all about that person trying to get through. Or, you receive a call after business hours, and decide to take care of it in the morning, but by that point, the only thing on your mind is that stressful commute. In these situations, your VoIP phone system has your back. You can have your voicemail messages sent to your e-mail account so you’re notified of it not once, but twice. Sync it to your smartphone, and that voicemail is now in three places to get your attention. You look at your smartphone constantly, don’t you? Never miss an opportunity again.

Bandwidth Limitations: No Match for You
You love all your new business applications, but sometimes, your bandwidth just can’t handle it. Broadening your bandwidth might not be something you’ve considered before – though it totally should be, if you’re upgrading your technology – and therefore, your meager allowance could be affecting your business productivity. If you don’t have the bandwidth to use your phones or power up your other applications, you’ll be stopped short in the middle of a busy day. Luckily, when you go to switch to VoIP phone service, your provider will be required to assess your bandwidth situation and decide whether it can support your new solutions. They’ll be able to give you advice that not only corresponds with your new phone systems, but with all of your internet-based applications. Never have to slow your roll again!

Cold, Flu, Stomach Bug, Throat Thing? No Problem.
With VoIP, you can essentially access your phone from wherever you are. No one wants you to come to work if you’re going to be spreading that weird bug you have, but that doesn’t have to mean that you can’t be productive. Have your office phone forwarded to your mobile or even your computer, and you can work from anywhere. Your clients will be none the wiser if you take a call from your bed, surrounded by tissues and cold compresses.