CloudPhone Blog

Subscribe to Email Updates

Try CloudPhone!

Recent Posts

5 Types of Businesses That Could Benefit From a Virtual Phone System

Posted by Erica Berry

Feb 29, 2020 8:00:00 AM

If you run a small business, you know how important and expensive it can be to maintain a professional image across all of your communications – including your phone. So what’s an entrepreneur on a tight budget to do? Sign up for a virtual phone system!

A virtual phone system acts just like a traditional business phone system — only at a fraction of the cost. It's also stacked with powerful features and perks designed to save you time and money. From enterprise-level features, such as auto-attendant, call recording, call screening and forwarding, voicemail transcription, to business SMS and the options to choose both toll-free and local numbers (plus so much more), the right virtual phone system has everything your business needs to succeed.

pexels-photo-1595385

So, what types of businesses can benefit from a virtual phone system? Here are a few examples:

Catering

Caterers are on the go and must have a way to connect with their clients wherever they are. From weddings, to corporate events and retirement parties, customers want to know they can reach you without playing phone tag. A virtual business phone system allows you to take your business phone with you on the go, and with features like Reach Me Anywhere, you can be sure no call goes unanswered.

Dental Office

When emergencies arrive, your patients want to know you’ll answer—or at least return their call before the next business day. With features like voicemail transcription and business SMS, you’ll always get your messages, day or night, and can be sure to keep your patients smiling.

Day Care

Taking care of children can be stressful enough, but knowing you have a reliable and mobile virtual phone system at your fingertips can relieve some of the burden. Taking advantage of features such as call routing, business SMS (think photos to parents) and customized professional greetings allows you the freedom of giving the kids your full attention, while also managing communications with parents and inquiring new customers!

Pet Boarding

Much like human parents, pet parents want to know their fur babies are being well cared for. Sending daily pics and checking in via SMS and managing new voice messages with intelligent voicemail, makes communications easy—even when you’re knee deep in drool!

Event Planning

When you’re on the go, having a phone system that moves with you is key. Powerful features like business SMS, call forwarding and conference calling allows you to organize vendors and venues, all while maintaining a professional image and exceeding expectations.

If you are still using a traditional business phone system, you’re probably paying too much and not getting the flexibility you need. If you're relying on your personal mobile number to do business, you can benefit from a separate business identity and phone line. A virtual phone system is the modern answers to client communication for entrepreneurs on the go.

Topics: Virtual Phone System

How to Better Your Business Communications in 2020

Posted by Erica Berry

Jan 30, 2020 9:00:00 AM

As a business owner you’ve probably already made a list of goals and resolutions for the New Year that cover the basics of finance, client retention and overall growth—and you may have even dug in a little deeper to commit to improving employee engagement and making sure you’re taking advantage of local networking groups. But have you taken stock of your business communications goals for 2020?

business communications resolutionsCommunications with your employees, partners and clients is the key to success, so it’s time to upgrade to technology that not only improves your communications, but also makes your life easier—and saves you money!

Here are a few real (and realistic) ways to better your business communications in 2020:


1. Sign up for a cloud-based phone service

What’s a cloud-based phone service? It acts just like a traditional phone line but connects over the internet to your mobile device—and comes with an extensive list of professional features (many of them at no additional cost!). It’s perfect for business owners on the go, those who may not have a traditional workspace, growing teams, and thrifty leaders who just want to shave a few (or more) dollars off their traditional business phone bill. For more details, see here.

2. Set up a virtual receptionist

If you’ve ever dreamed of having a personal assistant, a virtual receptionist is as close as you may get without adding onto your payroll. Virtual receptionists are the heart of your cloud-based phone system, allowing you to automatically answer, route and manage your calls (press “1” for sales, press “2” for support…). And with multiple virtual receptionists you can easily create different versions for weekdays/weekends, holidays, different languages and more.

3. Text your customers

More than three quarters of US consumers say receiving a text message is the fastest way to reach them for important service updates and purchases– so, if you’re not texting your customers you may be missing out on potential business! Make sure your cloud-based phone system offers two-way SMS so you can effectively stay in touch with your clients and prospective clients.

4. Utilize voicemail transcription

If you’re a repeat offender of the full voicemail box, voicemail transcription will be your right-hand man in 2020. Voicemail transcription not only transcribes your voicemails into text so you can read them on the go, it also allows you to save important messages or delete unnecessary ones with the click of a button.

5. Try toll-free numbers

Toll-free numbers aren’t just for big corporations. With a cloud-based phone system you can easily add or remove toll free numbers (and local numbers) to suit your needs. Toll free numbers are a great way to expand your small business so you can reach new markets and instantly sound more established and credible. Many toll-free number providers also support SMS!

6. Set up call routing

This powerful feature acts as the cornerstone of communications management—and makes sure you never miss an important call again! In the most basic use case, simply route your extension (assuming you set these up with your virtual receptionist) to your smartphone. In more advanced scenarios, you can route your cloud-based number to multiple locations (like your office, your home and your cell). Ring several extensions simultaneously, or ring them in a specific order. It’s completely customizable for your needs.

Give one, or all of these a try in 2020 and we’re sure you’ll be wondering why you didn’t make the move to a cloud-based phone system sooner! Your customers, partners, employees and wallet will thank you for the business communications upgrade.

 

 

Topics: Communication, Texting, Toll Free Number, Small Business Productivity, Improve Your Business

4 Ways to Provide Great Customer Service Over the Holidays

Posted by Erica Berry

Dec 17, 2019 11:45:00 AM

For small and local businesses, the holidays are a busy time and a perfect opportunity to wow your existing and new customers with impeccable customer service. While for many this means greeting customers at the door, keeping shelves stocked and offering complimentary gift wrapping, there are other forms of customer service your clients expect, like professional phone etiquette and effective communication. Whether you have a virtual business or a brick and mortar store, these tools can help you provide great customer service over the holidays--some in ways you may never have thought of!

holiday customer service

1. Record a Festive Voicemail

Adding some holiday cheer to your company voicemail is a simple and fun way to show your callers you're engaged and attentive. Be sure to also include pertinent information like special holiday hours, closings or holiday sale offerings! 

Here's an example: Thank you for calling Ron's Furniture Gallery! All of our elves are currently assisting customers with our store-wide 50% sale (happening now through New Years Day). Please leave a message and we'll get back to you soon, or come in and see what holiday deals you can find! Happy holidays and have a great day.

2. Text Your Customers It's no secret that people love to text, and receive texts--even from businesses. Texting is a great way to quickly reach your clients in order to share information on special sales, holiday hours, promo codes and when their favorite items are back in stock. Use text as an opportunity to remind your customers you're open for business!  Try something like: Ho! Ho! Ho! Pandemonium Coffee is open tonight until 8pm - 50% off lattes, 20% off whole coffee beans and 30% any retail item if you drop off dry goods for the local shelter. Bring your friends!

3. Create Holiday Themed Phone Menu Options If you use a professional phone service with menu options, these are typically the first communications you have with callers, so why not make them memorable? It's a simple and easy way to bring a little holiday spirit to an otherwise mundane experience (just be sure to change it back after the holiday season!) Say you own and operate a print shop, opt for a simple, yet festive, menu like this: Press 1 for The Workshop, Press 2 to talk to Santa, Press 3 for All Other Inquiries.

4. Activate Reach Me Anywhere Actually answering the phone is important for impeccable customer service too! And that's why there's Reach Me Anywhere. This feature does just what it sounds like--when your number is dialed, it rings to the phone number or numbers you've programmed in, either sequentially or simultaneously--allowing you to be reached anywhere. While this isn't holiday-specific, its very useful when you're on the go. Providing stellar customer service doesn't have to be hard to time consuming, you just need the right tools and the know-how to make it happen! 

 

 

Topics: SMS, Mobility, Business Phone Number, Small Business Productivity, Improve Your Business

The Hidden Cost of Missed Calls & How to Avoid Them

Posted by Natasha Grach

Nov 1, 2019 8:30:00 AM

Whether you’re in a meeting, with a customer, on the other line, or are just too busy to pick up the phone, missing business calls can mean missing out on sales and customer service opportunities.

Just how much does a missed call really cost your business? While the exact figure depends on your cost of product or service, if you're constantly missing calls from prospective clients or current customers looking for service, it could add up quickly. In fact, with brand loyalty at an all-time low, customers who receive poor service don't think twice about trying out your competition–or even hitting review sites and social networks to air their grievances, further damaging your ability to gain new business.

Voxox missed calls

If you have ever thought that missing a call, or not getting back to a customer fast enough, has had negative effects on your business, you may want to try out one or all of these phone features. These tools can help you answer the calls you need, reject the ones you don’t and stay on top of your business communications no matter where you are.

Call Routing

This powerful feature acts as the cornerstone of communications management. In the most basic use case, simply route your business phone number to your smartphone. In more advanced scenarios, you can route your number to multiple locations, ring several extensions simultaneously, or ring them in a specific order to ensure important calls don’t get missed.  More on this below...

Reach Me Anywhere

With Reach Me Anywhere, you can create a customized list of phone numbers you want to be contacted at (think home, office, cell). Your numbers will be called in the order they are listed or all at the same time depending on your settings. This is an amazing feature that lets you answer calls at your convenience, no matter where you are—and your caller is never the wiser!

International Call Forwarding

International phones used to cost a fortune, but with International Call Forwarding you can forward your regular phone calls to any phone, anywhere in the world for a low(er) fee. So, no matter where you do business (or vacation), you’ll still be connected!

Voicemail Transcription

If you just never get around to listening to voicemails or constantly have a full inbox, this is for you! Voicemail transcription automatically transcribes voice messages before they’re delivered, so not only can you listen right from your email, you can also READ your messages. Yes, that’s right, you can read your voicemail just like email—simple and fast. Plus, it doubles as a note pad for later reference and you can save or delete with just the press of a button.

Professional Greetings

When all else fails and you just can’t get to the phone, a professional greeting will show your callers you care and adds a touch of personality. Record a customized greeting for your callers, use an automated digital greeting, or upload your own professionally recorded greeting—whatever feels right for your business. If you’re not sure what to say, here are a few ideas.

Whether you’re looking to improve customer service or want to capture new business, these simple tools can help you ensure you’re answering all your important incoming calls and gaining all the potential business your calls have to offer—and Voxox CloudPhone has them all! Stop leaving money on the table and start taking control of your business communications.

Topics: Cost Savings, Mobile Productivity, Business Phone Number

5 Indicators Your Business Needs a Cloud Based Phone System

Posted by Erica Berry

Sep 27, 2019 8:31:00 AM

Every business is unique, but one thing all companies have in common is the need for effective, efficient and reliable means of communication. When it comes to phone communications there are a number of options to choose from, each with varying costs, contracts and capabilities—but there’s one that stands out among the rest: cloud based phone systems!

Cloud based phone systems sound and act like traditional phone lines, but since they are hosted in the cloud and run over your existing cell or landline, there are a plethora of advantages—like no expensive hardware to buy or maintain and the ability to go mobile. As a small business owner managing the daily operations of your growing business, you have more to worry about than installing a new phone system. By choosing a cloud based system you’re taking the worry (and expense) out of the equation.

startup-photos

So, if you're considering a change, here are 5 signs a cloud based phone system is right for your business:

1. You Have a Growing Team

Choosing a cloud phone system is one of the best ways to ensure you’ll be able to scale your business. Since these systems are hosted in the cloud, you can easily add or remove lines—both local and 800 numbers—all with just a click of a button from your cloud based management portal. Want to add an extension? That’s easy too. And, many cloud phone providers offer contract-free service, allowing you the freedom to do what is right for your business.

2. You Want Professional Features

You want a professional voicemail greeting, voicemail transcription, business SMS and call forwarding, but don’t want to break the bank? With a cloud phone system you can have it—and more. Today’s cloud phone systems have all the advanced features you want and need, including the ability to add multiple extensions, message management, call forwarding, voicemail, business SMS, and different physical phone options. It’s like having a Fortune 500 phone system in your pocket, for a fraction of the cost.

3. You Need Remote Capabilities

If being tied to a desk isn’t for you or your team, you need a cloud based phone system. Cloud phone systems can easily be hooked up to ring on your cell—or any phone of your choice (your home landline, hotel room, office line or at the lake house). The name of the game is convenience and a cloud phone system lets you take it anywhere.

4. You're Crunched for Time

Whether you don’t have time to wait for technicians to set up (and inevitably fix) a traditional business phone system, or you’re on the go and can’t wait for a phone call at your desk, a cloud based phone system has you covered. With features like find-me-follow-me, voicemail transcription and a cloud based account management portal, you can be connected from anywhere, on any device—on your time.

5. You Want to Save Money

Does the idea of saving on your phone bill make you and your accountant happy? Because there’s no expensive hardware to buy or maintain, and no-rerouting or wires to deal with, a cloud phone system gives you all the features you want and need (and probably more) for much less than a traditional business phone system. Plus, since many offer service with no contract and the ability to add or remove lines as you need (with no minimums or service fees), you’ll be saving money left and right.

If you like saving time and money, sounding professional, and being mobile, a cloud business phone system is just what you and your business needs. If you’re ready to take the plunge (in this case it’s 1 easy step that take less than 2 minutes), we’re here to help. Take your business to the next level today with a reliable, easy to use, and affordable cloud phone system.

Topics: Virtual Phone System, Business Call Routing, Business Phone Number, Business SMS, virtual numbers

Do's and Don'ts of Texting Your Customers

Posted by Erica Berry

Aug 26, 2019 8:30:00 AM

According to textjury.com, text messages have a 209% higher response rate than phone, email or Facebook and 90% of text messages are read within three minutes! But how do you keep the right balance with effective mobile marketing vs. annoying your customers? Here are a few do’s and don’ts (with more stats from techjury.com) to follow before you hit send.

Voxox texting

Do’s

1. Send coupons and promotions! Consumers redeem SMS-delivered coupons 10 times more than other types of coupons.

2. Keep it short and sweet. A concise message highlights the value proposition of an offer more effectively because of the limited space—and let’s face it, lengthy messages usually fall in the TLDR category.

3. Start a conversation. As many as 45% of people reply to branded text messages they receive.

4. Make a plan. A well-defined and persistent text campaign will set you up for SMS marketing success. Be sure to review analytics regularly and make changes as necessary to enjoy the greatest returns.

Don’ts

1. If customers or potentials have not opted in, don’t hit send. While a whopping 75% want to be texted deals, promotions and updates once they’ve checked yes, unauthorized consumers will most likely be turned off by your messages.

2. Never forget the power of loyalty programs. Loyalty SMS is the new loyalty card (except they can’t be lost or put through the wash). More than two thirds of consumers who enroll in an SMS loyalty program benefit from their participation—and your business will too!

3. Generic links have got to go! Using concise, branded links in your text message marketing campaigns can improve conversion rates.

4. If you think your clientele isn’t tech savvy enough for mobile marketing, think again. While not everyone has a smartphone with internet access, 5 billion people in the world can send and receive SMS messages—which means SMS marketing allows you to reach mobile users that other advanced marketing campaigns cannot.

So why use text message marketing? It’s affordable, has a wide reach, and reaps a higher open and response rate than many other conventional marketing channels—and only about 35% of marketers currently use SMS to reach their customers! If you’re looking to gain an edge over the competition, creating a text message marketing campaign should be at the top of your list!

Topics: Business SMS

How to Use Your Virtual Number on Fourth of July Weekend!

Posted by Erica Berry

Jul 3, 2019 11:30:00 AM

With July 4th right around the corner, plans of a beach getaway or a cruise on the lake are surely on the horizon—and for many entrepreneurs that can cause stress! So how is an entrepreneur like you supposed to keep tabs on important calls and enjoy your time away from the office? Virtual numbers!

vacation with CloudPhone

Virtual numbers work just like traditional phone lines, except they connect to any phone you want, including your mobile. Some virtual numbers, like the ones from Voxox CloudPhone, also come packed with enterprise level features like international call forwarding, voicemail transcription, and two-way SMS. Here are a few ways to use these features while you’re on the go:

Call Forwarding

What’s call forwarding? It’s a feature that allows you forward incoming calls to any phone you’d like. If you want your cell phone to forward to your hotel room phone, you can do that—or better yet, forward incoming calls to your team member who’s agreed to man the phones over the holiday.

International Call Forwarding  

Similar to call forwarding, no matter where you do business (or vacation), International Call Forwarding allows people to reach you anywhere on the globe—that is, if you want to be reached!

Text Messaging (SMS)

SMS open rates beat email nearly 5x over, so while you’re on the road, forget your email inbox and text your clients! But, before you sign up for a virtual number make sure your provider allows two-way SMS (CloudPhone does) so that you (or a team member) can respond to business related messages from where you're vacationing.

Custom Menu Options

Ever wish you could truly customize your business phone options? With many virtual number systems, you can. While your out of office, set up options for urgent vs. non-urgent calls and have emergencies forward to your cell!

Voicemail Transcription

If you’ve decided to let calls go to voicemail, but also want to keep up with urgent matters, voicemail transcription will be your best mate while on vacation! Listening to voicemails takes time, and often you don’t have a pen and paper handy to take down important details. With voicemail transcription you can sift through all messages and only return the important calls—plus, you’ll have all the details automatically transcribed in your inbox!

Now that you have the know-how to go off the grid, and still keep up with business communications, go out and enjoy your Fourth of July—after all, it only comes once a year! Sign up now for a virtual number with CloudPhone, and you can be headed to the beach in just minutes. 

Topics: Cloud Phone, Cloud Mobile Phone, virtual numbers

Gear Up Your Virtual Numbers for Summer Deals!

Posted by Erica Berry

Jun 6, 2019 5:07:49 PM

Summertime is here and that means it's time to get customers in the door (sometimes figuratively speaking) with your summer specials! One way to do that is by taking full advantage of virtual phone numbers.

summer sale 2

Have you added any numbers in your business location with new area codes? How about any toll-free numbers? Or numbers that are easy to remember? Check out our tips below to see what makes sense for you and your summer marketing and sales deals:

1. Be Local

Businesses that have a local presence can get a local virtual number in their area code, or in an area they’re wanting to target, for a summer special. A flower shop, for instance, that travels to farmers markets in different cities, or states, can utilize several local numbers to show buyers and passerby’s they are a local supplier—a big plus for those following the shop local movement!

2. Look Big

Toll-free numbers are a fantastic option for companies with a nationwide footprint, or smaller businesses that want a corporate appearance. Creating a toll-free number that coincides with your summer deals lets callers know they have to act fast in order to reap the benefits! Be sure to showcase your virtual numbers on your advertisements, website, social sites, car wraps, etc. for maximum impact

3. Utilize Features

Virtual numbers often come with an auto-attendant, voicemail inbox, business SMS and custom menu options—don’t forget to coordinate your specials with mentions across these voice touchpoints! Not sure how to go about it? Check out this article on how to use your phone’s built-in features for marketing promotions.

4. Analyze Data

If you’re running multiple sales or placing in multiple locations, be sure to record which number corresponds with a specific sale or location. Keeping track of these details will show you the effectiveness of each campaign: Did the number on your Facebook ad receive more calls than the number of your car wrap? Did the number on the 10% discount code receive more calls than the refer a friend bonus ad? The proof is in the pudding!

Let's give those summer deals a special number! Do you have any other examples to share? Comment below...

Topics: Cloud Phone Mobile App, virtual numbers

5 Reasons to Use Call Recording for Your Business

Posted by Erica Berry

Apr 12, 2019 9:15:00 AM

Entrepreneurs and small business owners like yourself are busy. Busy running your business, helping clients, training employees and of course—taking phone calls. Wouldn’t it be great if the burden of remembering and accounting for all the details discussed on key calls was taken off your shoulders? It can be with call recording.

 Call recording Voxox

If you’ve already switched to a virtual phone service like Voxox Cloud Phone, your provider probably offers this feature for free—perhaps you just haven’t discovered it yet! For those of you still on an old-school system, make the switch now.

Here are a few reasons why your business needs call recording: 

1. Capture Missed or Forgotten Details

No pen and paper? No problem, call recording lets you pay attention to the conversation, rather than franticly searching for something to write on. Listen back on the recording to get the details when you need them.

 

2. Share Information Between Employees

Say you took a call that was better suited for your business partner. Rather than passing along notes or trying to explain the conversation, simply share the call recording with them, and they can take it from there.

 

3. Quality Control

Knowing that your entire team is providing accurate information, acting professional on the phone and treating your clients right will allow you to rest easy—and improve your client relations (aka sales). Listen to select recordings to make sure your team is up to snuff.

 

4. Resolve Disputes

Unhappy clients are cause for alarm and call recording can help you get to the bottom of an issue. Whether an order was placed incorrectly, or a caller was given mis-information, recording calls with the customer can give you the details you need to appropriately rectify the issue.

 

5. Improve Customer Service

Have an unsatisfied client, or a super happy one? Listen back on the call recording that swayed them for insight into what your team can do better, or to train your employees on what great customer service sounds like!

 

Why not give yourself the option to go back to and review your important calls, when needed? Start using call recording today and see how it can improve your business efficiency, enhance your customer service and increase sales.

Topics: call recording, Small Business Productivity

Your Customers Want You to Text Them, Give Them What They Want!

Posted by Erica Berry

Mar 6, 2019 7:44:00 AM

If you're like most people, your email inbox is flooded with offers and promotions from businesses that you'll never open or respond to. You may also be receiving phone calls from suppliers and vendors wishing to sell you products that you don't have time to chat about. So why do they keep coming? Because these companies haven't switched over to business SMS.

Business SMS Voxox CloudPhone

To put it frankly, phone calls and emails are becoming increasingly less desired when it comes to consumer communication, and texting is the new frontier. According to a recent SMScomparison.com infographic post, when given the option between text and phone call, over half of all consumers would prefer text messaging for customer support—and texting just outperforms, with 95% of all text messages opened and responded to within 3 minutes of being delivered, compared to emails which have just a 20% open rate.

While we think these numbers speak for themselves, here are a few other stats from SMSComparison to get you thinking about business text messaging:

  • Text messaging is the #1 preferred communication for customer support
  • 95% of texts are read and responded to within 3 minutes of being delivered
  • 3 out of 4 customers want offers sent via text message
  • 90% of customers have gained value from text message loyalty programs
  • 9 out of 10 consumers would like to communicate with businesses through text message, whether this be through sending alerts, reminders, back and forth communication, etc.
  • More than 50% of users prefer text message over phone calls from businesses
  • 98% of text message are opened compared to 20% of emails
  • Average CTR for text message is 9.18%, compared to 0.90% for Facebook
  • 64% more likely to perceive a business in a positive light when they have access to direct communication
  • US consumers are 5 times more likely to send and receive text messages than phone calls

Sure, there are times when you need to call or email, but for many important messages, consider SMS as the best option for your busy customers!  Make sure your communications plan includes business SMS so that you're reaching your customers in the way they prefer to be reached. 

Topics: Business SMS