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Cloud-Based Phone System: Your Secret Weapon for Better Collaboration

Posted by Ian LeWinter

May 10, 2018 10:42:18 AM

Now that your small business has built a substantial local customer base, the next step in your master business plan is likely to begin offering your product to customers in different parts of the country. To showcase your offering to prospects in other areas, however, is likely to require significant travel for you and your employees.

Team_Collaboration

Photo Courtesy of Flikr User Sebastiaan ter Burg

As your workers spread themselves to each corner of the U.S. you’ll want updates about sales; information about customers that may require a follow-up call to close a deal; ideas from your employees about how to improve the company sales pitch and more. While collaboration is crucial for your team, however, you worry about the possible complexities and high cost of deploying communications solutions that give you the capability you require—that’s where the cloud comes in.

The cloud is re-shaping the way small businesses communicate by providing simple, cost-effective solutions. For instance, a cloud-based phone system can offer your business features that until a few years ago were only available with complex, wire-based enterprise phone systems. For instance, a cloud service offers: 

  • Auto attendants
  • Easily customizable digital text greetings
  • Voicemails sent directly to email so calls to clients are returned promptly
  • Settings accessible at anytime through the Internet

Of course, cloud-based solutions designed for small businesses are priced accordingly. In some cases, you can adopt technology that can make you look like a large corporation for a monthly fee just slightly more than the price of a movie ticket. Cloud-based phone systems don’t require hardware and are maintained by the vendor, eliminating all installation and maintenance expenses as well 

So if you are a small business with big plans, the cloud might be just the thing to ramp your company’s collaboration to a new level. As the Beatles once sang, come together—right now.     

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Topics: Cloud Phone, Cost-Effective Solution, Small Business Productivity, Improve Your Business

Case Study: Fitocracy and Cloud-based Phone System

Posted by John Lee

May 10, 2018 10:38:33 AM

Recently, Fitocracy was featured in Entrepreneur magazine about adopting a cloud technology to improve customer service. The objective of the New-York based online fitness platform is to make exercise and improving health, more fun. Users who log their workout activity are awarded points and by completing quests, they could also earn badges. The problem was, with over 1.5 million users and estimated 100 personal trainers, the business was struggling with engaging customers over the phone. How could a small 8-person firm provide better customer service, while appearing as a giant in the fitness industry?

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Finding a solution for better customer support.
Brian Wang, CEO of Fitocracy, was faced with the challenge of finding a way to drive growth and participation through user engagement. He wanted to encourage users to meet their fitness goals, but with his limited staff, it was difficult to support the large number of customers calling the office. Brian wanted an affordable, simple communication solution to help create a big business image, and provide reliable service that would improve customer relations. 

Reliable and steadfast support for clients
With Cloud Phone, a cloud-based phone system, calls are routed directly to the employees’ cell phones making it easier for clients to reach a Fitocracy rep. Brian was able to set the system up in a matter of minutes. There was no need for additional hardware or equipment and now he could manage his business communication easily online. By improving customer relations with a cloud-based phone system, Fitocracy was not only able to save money but also drive sales and revenue. 

What are your thoughts? Could a cloud-based phone service help your business? Share in the comments below!

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Topics: Cloud Phone, Cost-Effective Solution, Improve Your Business

Cloud Communications: An All-Star for Businesses

Posted by Ron Kinkade

May 10, 2018 10:38:12 AM

Baseball fans: It’s almost time for the annual MLB All-Star Game! As you fill out your ballots and think about the stars you’d like to send to Minnesota for the Midsummer Classic, here’s an all-star solution you should consider for your business: cloud communications small business phone system.

Like a great closer coming in to save a big game, this revolutionary business communications technology can help businesses save time and money this summer—and the rest of the year as well.

All signs indicate that the small business phone system will be a home run for businesses for years to come. In fact, according to Gartner, cloud computing will become the bulk majority of new IT spend by 2016.

Baseball Field

Here’s a look at the cloud communications scouting report:

Cost savings: Putting together a successful big league team requires investing in low-cost, high-performance solutions—like All-Star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks. You don’t have to go bankrupt by investing in a massive legacy system that your business will be paying for years down the road.  You can get twice the amount of production with a cloud communications solution for a fraction of the price.

A full arsenal of options: Just like Yankees start pitcher Masahiro Tanaka can take down hitters with a knee-bending slider, a deceptive splitter or a blazing fastball, cloud communications can provide a business with a whole suite of communications options. This includes text, chat and call features that allow users to stay connected wherever they are.

Reliability: By the time the All-Star game rolls around, we’ll see a lot of players who will be home resting with injuries in August or September. But with a cloud communication system, you never have to worry about your business winding up on the disabled list. Cloud-based systems are maintained by third-party hosts, so a weather disaster will never sideline your operation.   

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 For more information about how you can invest in an all-star cloud communications solution from Voxox, click here.

Topics: Voxox, Cost-Effective Solution, Improve Your Business

Give Your Startup an Edge with a Small Business Virtual Phone System

Posted by John Lee

May 10, 2018 10:38:04 AM

With over 627,000 businesses opening in the United States each year, entrepreneurs and self-starters are faced with the pressure to stand out to potential customers. It’s crucial to the survival of young startups to take advantage of any tools or services that could give them the leg up over their competitors. A virtual phone system like Cloud Phone can streamline communications and improve efficiency, all while saving time, space, and money.

Startup_small business virtual phone

Business impression plays a fundamental role when running a startup, and a missed call could exhibit unprofessionalism and send a message of unreliability to potential customers. With a virtual phone system, you can avoid unnecessary downtime and be up and running in a flash. There’s no complicated set-up that requires a technician and no need to purchase and maintain any hardware. You could focus your attention growing your business and driving revenue, without having to worry about calls not being forwarded or answered.

Another hurdle several startup businesses face is working with costly and limited office space. Having a workforce large enough to serve your customer base has traditionally meant renting or buying an office that can accommodate your employees and office equipment. With the cost of renting out a workplace location and paying for traditional phone services, a small business budget could take a substantial blow. However, with a virtual phone system, you don’t need to worry about office space or being locked onto a desk phone. You could run your business from anywhere and communicate with your team and customers while out on the field. By taking advantage of the growing telecommuting trend and eliminating the need to be tied down to a desk, your startup stays connected, sounds professional, and saves money.

Contact us to learn more about our small business virtual phone system and discover how to get the most out of your communication. Leave a comment below or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google+.

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Topics: Industry Trends, Cloud Phone, Virtual Phone System, Cost-Effective Solution, Mobile Productivity, Small Business Productivity, Improve Your Business

Toll Free Number: An Asset for Pop-Up Shops

Posted by Erica Berry

May 10, 2018 10:36:15 AM

Consumers love exclusive experiences, which is why temporary retail and dining establishments are a growing trend across the nation. Known as "pop-up" shops, these temporary stores offer consumers time-restricted access to goods and services, and a slew of benefits to owners and operators such as brand extension and the ability to experiment with new ideas and offerings on a short-term basis.

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However, because many pop-ups are the products of entrepreneurs and small business owners, business phone systems often come second to stock and travel expenses. A toll free number is a convenient and inexpensive solution for any business looking to establish a professional phone presence, especially those who are on-the-go and rely heavily on voice communication.

Setting up a toll free number is not only a smart way to give your business a professional edge; it also allows you to keep the same phone number while travelling from city to city to build your venture. Here are 4 ways a toll free number can increase sales…

1. Connect From Anywhere

A toll free number that rings to your cell can be answered from anywhere, which is very economical and convenient for a mobile business. Keeping a steady phone number as you move your pop-up business will keep customers in touch to ask questions and gain knowledge regarding your business venture, such as your dates of your operations in their geographic area.

2. Pre-order and Phone Sales

Halloween costume shops and Christmas shops always pop up around the holiday season and some items, like trendy costumes and gifts, go quicker than others. Keep new customers happy by having their order in stock when you pull into town.

3. No Equipment

Without the hassle of costly equipment and maintenance fees normally associated with business phone systems, you can provide professional voice communications without breaking the bank – and with the right toll free number provider, you’ll not likely to ever need technical assistance because the maintenance is done in the cloud and all calls are sent directly to your cell.

4. Sound Professional

Pop-up shops can seem sketchy but a toll free number makes you sound legit by providing professional features like an auto attendant and call forwarding. Plus, these features will help you manage all of your calls and make sure that your customers never feel like you are out of reach.

There are many financial benefits of pop-up shops, and a toll free number can help you take advantage of all the perks temporary establishments have to offer. Have you started a pop up shop? We want to know your toughest voice communication challenge and how a toll free number could help – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.

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Topics: Cloud Phone, Cost-Effective Solution, Toll Free Number, Small Business Productivity, Improve Your Business

Stacking up Your Customer Trust with a Small Business Phone Service

Posted by Ian LeWinter

May 10, 2018 10:35:39 AM

Over the past several years, business experts have increasingly touted the idea that trust has evolved from a feeling to a crucial element in business. Depending on the level of service they provide to consumers, businesses either stockpile customer trust in bundles or begin to lose it until almost nothing remains.

The numbers support this assertion. For example, according to a Zendesk survey, 39 percent of customers continue to avoid vendors for two years after a bad customer service experience. Furthermore, 48 percent said they had recommended that others not buy products or services after having a bad customer experience. What these numbers illustrate is that a reduction in consumer faith in a company is directly correlated with revenue loss. 

One of the ways businesses can simultaneously increase trust and provide a better customer experience is by getting a company-specific, local small business phone number from a small business phone service. First, if you are a small business owner at a trade show passing out business cards, you don’t want to have to give your personal cell phone number out to potential customers. Your trustworthiness may be in question from the beginning, decreasing the chances of generating new business with that prospect.

Additionally, if you have employees spreading the word about your product in targeted locations throughout the country, each of them can also adopt a local number that gives your company a local feel. 

What some small or microbusiness owners may not know, however, is that these small business numbers are available with little hassle and almost no setup time. With best-in-class technology, all you have to do is enter your mobile phone number into a little box on the web and you are ready to go.

When it comes to trust, you’re either putting it in the bank or spending frivolously in a way almost certain to come back to bite you—saving seems like the better option.  

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Topics: Industry Trends, Cloud Phone, Cost-Effective Solution, Small Business Productivity, Improve Your Business

3 Voice Communications Strategies That Will Make or Break Your Customer Communications

Posted by Erica Berry

May 10, 2018 10:35:01 AM

Effective communication with clients is key to long-term business success. Small business owners are always thinking about new ways to reach and stay in touch with their customers – from social media to text to email to video chat. But even with all these new communication channels, savvy entrepreneurs know that their phone etiquette is critical to initiating and maintaining strong customer relationships.

So what exactly do your customers expect from your business with regards to phone communications and how can you provide it?  Here are three expectations that customers have and how to address them...

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  1. Customers Expect Businesses to Answer Promptly
  • 3 out of 4 people think that calling is the most effective way to get a quick response – NewVoice
  • 85 percent of people whose calls aren’t answered will not call back – message-direct.co.uk

Solution: Rather than relying on traditional business phones that require special equipment, professional setup, and a wall jack, switch to a virtual PBX service. Virtual PBX services (like Cloud Phone) enable you to get a dedicated business phone number online and route it to your mobile device. With some services, you can do this in just a few minutes. Virtual PBX features allow you to be responsive to your clients anytime, anywhere – giving them the service they crave.

  1. Create a Professional Phone Presence
  • 25 percent of customers feel they’re kept on hold too often – NewVoice
  • More than half of callers get irritated if they don’t speak to the right contact immediately – NewVoice

Solution: Consider virtual numbers. Say you have several Etsy shops -- you can easily sign up for multiple virtual numbers and assign them to the different shops or product lines. Virtual numbers can be routed to the most relevant colleagues for each designated area of your business, even if they just have a mobile phone as their sole calling device. Virtual numbers are also very useful for geographically disbursed businesses. The seamless call routing, regardless of location, makes your business look ultra professional.

  1. Provide Excellent Customer Service
  • 66 percent of customers will switch companies because of poor customer service – Accenture
  • 40 percent of customers will look to purchase from a competitor because of their reputation for great customer service – Zendesk

Solution: While we don’t know the answers to all of your customers’ questions, we do know that in many fields and types of business, providing a clear and simple way to reach you via phone is essential to having a strong reputation for customer service. Some questions are too complex to look up online, so customers prefer to call. Some customers like to sound out their questions and/or confirm they are getting the right information by calling. For the simpler inquiries, features like custom voicemail messages can be very useful as they allow you to share important information upfront, which, at times, takes care of the question right

  1. Solve Problems Fast
  • 62 percent of customers have to repeatedly contact a company to resolve an issue – Harvard Business Review
  • 86 percent of people are happy to pay up to 25 percent more if they get the right customer experience – RightNow

Solution: Use features like "reach me" call forwarding, which dials multiple numbers on your list to reach you, as well as voicemail transcription with email and SMS notifications so that you are on top of the calls and voicemail messages you are receiving from customers. Take advantage of modern telephony conveniences to be instantly made aware of any major issues that your customers are experiencing and calling you about. With all these ways to stay in touch, there’s no reason to let a call go unanswered.


Phone etiquette is vital to the overall health of your small business. It does not take a lot of effort (nor money!) to provide effective, fast customer service, and the benefits will surprise you. Do you have any tips on effective voice strategies? Comment here or visit our social pages!

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Topics: Voice Communication, Cloud Phone, Cost-Effective Solution, Small Business Productivity

Cloud Communications: The Future is Now

Posted by Ian LeWinter

May 10, 2018 10:34:53 AM

As a small business owner and budding entrepreneur, you may live in a world of trepidation and skepticism. After all, securing VC funding, identifying angel investors and fine tuning your value proposition are no small feats. Throw in the fact that you need to determine which route to take technologically and your journey becomes even more challenging.

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But one decision you make without worry is going all-in one the cloud, because the truth is that we are just scratching the surface when it comes to cloud communications. Just consider the following statistics aggregated by Silicon Angle: 

  • By 2015, end-user spending on cloud services could be more than $180 billion
  • By the end of this year, US businesses will spend more than $13 billion on cloud computing and managed hosting services
  • 80 percent or cloud adopters reported improvements within six months of moving to the cloud

The benefits afforded by cloud communications run deep, which is why the cloud is no longer a possibility for the future but very much a movement of the present. One of the first moves fledgling companies are making in migrating to the cloud is adopting cloud-based phone systems. After all, businesses live and die by their ability to remain connected with their key stakeholders.

Entrusting your phone system with a cloud provider does not have to be a daunting task. In fact, teaming with the right provider opens up a door to infinite possibilities and advantages such as:

  • Cost savings—instead of paying for the hardware, upgrades and maintenance associated with supporting your own business phone system you can rely on your provider to handle the CAPEX spend
  • Increased functionality—such as a local telephone number, professional greeting and toll free number are all possible thanks to cloud communications
  • A Leveled Playing Field—cloud communications lowers the barrier to entry for small businesses, allowing them to enjoy the same differentiators as large enterprises at the fraction of a cost.

Are you ready to make the jump into cloud communications but unsure of where to begin? Then click here so we can help you get started!

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Topics: Voice Communication, Voxox, Cloud Phone, Cost-Effective Solution, Improve Your Business

Virtual Phone Systems: The Perfect Tool for IT Consultants

Posted by Ian LeWinter

May 10, 2018 10:33:57 AM

Whether you are new in the field or a seasoned professional, working as an IT consultant presents a unique set of challenges. This line of work rarely conforms to a 9 to 5 schedule and because networks and computers are now an integral part of so many businesses and homes, customers seem increasingly demanding.

With this in mind, consultants need to equip themselves with the proper tools to successfully juggle the needs of all of their customers. One such tool is a small business virtual phone, which can be extraordinarily useful in helping you meet the challenges you face. Here’s how:

Computer_consultant

Stay reachable

Whether it's a concern about costly downtime or a fear of losing important data, computer problems can evoke an incredible sense of panic from customers. These issues don’t always crop up during traditional business hours, but many times they need to be resolved quickly. With a virtual business-specific phone number, you stay reachable at all times without giving your personal cell number to clients. This is crucial to achieving a better work-life balance.

Look professional 

Projecting an aura of professionalism is critical even for small and microbusinesses with limited resources. A small business virtual phone provides the features of a legacy system—digital text greetings, extensions, auto attendants and more—without all the hardware and complexity. This way, when a new corporate prospect calls while you are busy on another job, the potential client forms a good first impression.

Conserve your cash

As any independent consultants knows, maintaining a trim budget is critical to success because company expenses come out of your pocket. Renting an office and paying for a legacy PBX system can eat away at money that would be better used on new equipment or expanding your client base. A small business virtual phone like Cloud Phone by Voxox, can help slash your overhead and boost profit.

Even for tech wizards like you, a convenient solution like a virtual phone can help you operate more efficiently and as you know, everybody needs a little help sometimes. 

Have any questions or stories? Leave a comment below or reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google+.

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Topics: Industry Trends, Cloud Phone, Cost-Effective Solution, Business Phone Number, Small Business Productivity, Improve Your Business

A Small Business Phone System For A Big Business Presence

Posted by Ian LeWinter

May 10, 2018 10:32:34 AM

When you call your cable provider with a billing question or a major retail corporation for product information, what do you expect to hear?

First, you will probably receive an automated greeting, thanking you for calling the company’s contact center. Next, there will probably be a list of extension options to help you reach whatever department you need. At that point you’ll be connected to the department you choose and will either speak with a company employee or leave a voicemail if no one is available.

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As the owner of your own microbusiness, you’d love it if you could greet your customers like a Fortune 500 Company. Unfortunately, there simply isn’t room in your budget to project that kind of corporate image…right? As a matter of fact, a small business phone system can give you a big business presence at a price you can manage. With a phone system designed specifically for businesses like yours, you can get:

  • A free business-specific local phone number you can give to customers instead of your personal mobile number
  • An auto-attendant that welcomes callers with a greeting you can customize digitally
  • Extensions you can designate for various departments or individuals within your company 

In addition to this impressive functionality, cloud-based phone systems are maintained by the vendor, meaning you will avoid installation and maintenance costs. You pay one low monthly bill for a suite of features sure to impress prospects and existing clients alike. Systems maintained in the cloud also make settings accessible through the Web which allows you to access and adjust your settings at any time.

So if you’ve been holding off on adopting a small business phone system for your company, keep in mind that although the best things in life might not always be free, they aren’t prohibitively expensive either.

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Topics: Cloud Phone, Cost-Effective Solution, Business Call Routing, Small Business Productivity, Improve Your Business