Tips to Match Your Virtual Phone System to Business Needs

To understand the basic concept of “virtual telephone systems,” consider your company’s email. You probably don’t manage your own email server. You are far more likely to take advantage of a “hosted email provider,” like Yahoo!, AOL, Google, or one of the many other, smaller-named companies. These providers manage all of the back-end support to ensure that your email address “just works,” and you pay them a monthly or yearly fee. Continue reading

Identifying Your Small Business Phone and Voicemail Priorities

The single most important principle to keep in mind when you are ready to invest in any new technology is its strategic importance to your business mission. As business owners, you’ll only want to acquire technology that helps you:

  • Impress your customers;
  • Control your costs; and,
  • Support your longer-term strategic objectives. Continue reading

What Is a Hunt Group?

hunt group allows a caller to automatically find an available (i.e. “not busy”) agent from a group of extensions via your virtual phone system. Each extension will be tried in order until a “free” extension is reached. Extensions will be skipped during call routing if the person is currently on the phone or has marked their extension as “blocked” from hunting. Continue reading

Grow Your Business with Interactive Voice Response

Every growing business experiences the following scenario at some point:

A new advertisement or marketing campaign generates attention and more potential customers start calling, causing the business owner and staff to spend significantly more time on the phone taking orders or answering questions.

An increase in calls can often overwhelm small- and even mid-sized businesses as they try to qualify new leads, or answer general inquiries while still trying to maintain service quality elsewhere.  Some hire additional staff, while others rely on the phone company to provide additional lines to manage the workload – but these options carry significantly greater cost than automating inbound calls. Continue reading

Small Law Firm Never Misses a Call

Ari Law attorneys focus on small business, litigation, intellectual property, contract and defense. Located in the financial district of San Francisco, they serve the entire Bay area as well as numerous other locations, including China.

Ali Aalaei, the Principal of the firm, noticed a discrepancy between the number of calls directed to the firm by a referral agency and the number of calls that the firm was registering. The referral agency indicated that they were missing three to five calls a week. Mr. Aalaei and his colleagues were shocked by the realization that they were losing potential business. This prompted further investigation into the customer experience of a caller to the firm. Continue reading

Halloo Hint: How to Turn Off the Halloo Voicemail Feature

Q: I have selected “Rings before voicemail picks up,” but I really need to be able to set extensions to forward only (without ever going to Halloo voicemail). Is this possible?

A: Simply set the “Maximum incoming voicemail length” to “0″ for the extension(s) that you don’t want to reach voicemail. Note: If you record a greeting for that extension, it will still play, which will allow you to record a brief message before the script hangs up. In addition, if you check the “For further assistance” option, the caller will be given the chance to jump to another extension, including back to the auto attendant by pressing 9.

 

Increase Access with Hunt Groups

Ever feel that more and more people are not listening to their voicemails? The hustle and bustle of life has gotten so hectic, a businessperson could save 30 minutes a day by erasing every voicemail left during the day! But, if you’re a small-business entrepreneur, erasing is not an option! You need to make sure you’re in contact with your clients and that means listening and responding to your messages. It’s absolutely crucial. Continue reading

Simplify Customer Management

Do you remember your first job with a desk and phone? Did you have to use a company sponsored software program? Most likely the customer relationship management (CRM) program provided was unnecessarily complex.

With bulky, complex customer tracking software, the volume of data that needs to be entered, let alone accurately, can be daunting. Hundreds of fields such as time of call, notes, sales representative name, etc., etc., often require hours of data entry and additional upkeep time in order to have a viable system. If mistakes are made during the data capture period, they can significantly impact the customer. Some mistakes even lead to loss of the sale.

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Is Your Customer Support Number Impossible to Find?

Getting in touch with a “real” person at some companies is getting more and more difficult. Numerous companies, particularly those that are primarily web-based such as Microsoft, Google, or Amazon, make it nearly impossible to find a phone number for a customer service line. In part, this transition is due to increased Internet access by consumers. With more customers online, companies have an easier time directing customer service questions to forums or frequently asked question pages. But, is this increasingly popular tactic the right choice for your business?

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