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5 Ways Voice Technology Can Save Your Sanity During The Holiday Season

Posted by Natasha Grach

May 10, 2018 10:40:12 AM

The holidays are a stressful and busy time for a lot of people. And for those of us that live life as a small business owner or freelancer we especially feel pulled in several directions as we manage communications from all directions in our personal and business lives. But the good news is that voice technology can be our friend to help us manage the stress and the communication channels in our dual lives. Here are 5 ways voice technology can help you this holiday season:

Girl Calling Voice Technology Virtual Number

  1. Manage smarter (and safer) with virtual numbers - ever consider assigning and tracking a different number for personal versus work calls, but have them ring one location? Now you can with virtual numbers. But even more you can use one a number for events you might be planning or hosting. Or better yet, they could help avoid a dangerous commute.
  2. Simplify your day with voicemail transcription – there are many benefits of being able to read your messages with voicemail transcription when you’re in a hurry and multitasking – and if you’re an iPhone® user, you don’t have to wait for the voicemail transcription feature to be available on your phone, if you're using a virtual PBX service (like Cloud Phone!).
  3. Don’t miss a beat with call recording - when we are distracted and multi-tasking we might miss something important, don’t lose important info on your calls – record them so you can play them back later if needed.
  4. Work from anywhere with call forwarding – if you are working in various locations either for personal or business reasons, you can use a virtual number for your business, which enables you to easily set up call forwarding. This way you can be reached where you are at the touch of a button, and your contacts don’t have to know that you are working from your family’s mountain house this week and the office next week, they just dial the same number.
  5. Share the workload with call routing – with powerful features of a cloud phone solution such as call routing and "reach me anywhere," you can assign calls to co-workers or employees when you are busy, i.e. when you’re taking your kid to the mall (to see Santa!) on your lunch break but you don’t want to miss that important call from a client. Simply send calls to your co-worker for that hour all with the touch of a button.

There are many ways that technology can lower your stress rather than add to it with time-saving features like voicemail transcription. Just take a few minutes to get set up now before the holiday season is in full swing and you’re wondering how to manage it all. It’s easier than you might think!

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Topics: Voice Communication, Mobile Productivity, 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

Getting Through the Days of Summer with a Small Business Phone System

Posted by Ron Kinkade

May 10, 2018 10:37:50 AM

Between warm weather, baseball games and the-late setting sun, summer is a season for fun. But during the work week, sitting at your desk day after day looking at the beautiful weather outside can seem like torture.

You’ve thought about breaking up your work routine to make this summer more exciting but you don’t know how your small business would run without you in the office. And that is why you need a small business phone system.

 A cloud-based phone service designed for small businesses lets you effortlessly manage all your communications entirely from your mobile phone, making it easier, less costly, and more efficient to do to business on-the-go. This kind of phone system allows you a little flexibility to your summerby letting you meet with clients out of the office, attend a trade show or anything else that piques your interest. 

Summer Sunset at Beach

A small business phone system also offers the features and functionality of an enterprise service, such as:

  • An auto attendant that greets callers professionally and presents them with menu options
  • Reach Me Anywhere technology that connects incoming business calls to any location you choose, on any device
  • Voicemail transcription that turns voice messages into text that can be read when listening is not an option
  • Instant conference calling, so even when you’re out of the office, it will be like you never left
  • A business-specific number that you can give to clients and customers instead of your personal number

So consider deploying a small business phone service and introduce a little variety to your summer—nobody wants to be stuck in the dog days for months on end. 

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Topics: Voxox, Cloud Phone, Mobility, Mobile Productivity

Cut Expenses & Boost Productivity With a Small Business Virtual Phone

Posted by Ian LeWinter

May 10, 2018 10:37:10 AM

Regardless of your age, you most likely grew up with the idea of office buildings as business hubs. But while physical office space certainly remains a part of how many companies operate, it’s not right for all organizations. Renting space in a building is expensive and for small or mobile-heavy companies spending a sizeable chunk of a tight budget simply doesn’t make sense.

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In an effort to cut unnecessary expenses and boost mobile productivity, business owners are increasingly turning to virtual offices. A recent study by online market research firm uSamp revealed that 62 percent of small businesses allow employees to work remotely. Separate research conducted by the office research firm Instant shows that the global flexible workplace market increased by 9.1 percent from July 2012 to July 2013.

One of the most important cogs in any virtual office is a phone system that provides the features of a legacy enterprise system. Completely web-based and maintained in the cloud, a small business virtual phone is designed for mobile and at-home workers. Using an existing mobile number, business managers can obtain a separate, business-specific number, professional greetings, extensions for individual employees and more. System settings are accessible from smartphones, laptops and tablets and because the vendor is responsible for the service installation and upgrade costs are non-existent. 

In business, one-size-fits-all is rarely a sound strategy because companies of varying size, budget constraints and goals have varying needs. In time, small or new businesses may find they need office space, but if it’s not a necessity today, spending money on rent and hardware only makes turning a profit more difficult—and no business, small or large, wants that.    

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Topics: Voxox, Cloud Phone, Mobile Productivity, Small Business Productivity

Need To Work Over The Holidays? Stay Connected With Cloud Phone!

Posted by Erica Berry

May 10, 2018 10:36:05 AM

The holiday season is a time to put work aside in favor of fun with friends and family, but sometimes, especially for small business owners, that’s not always possible. Luckily, with Cloud Phone, you can travel for the holidays and do work too!

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Since Cloud Phone is a virtual phone system that connects directly to the mobile device you already own, it doesn't matter where you go to celebrate the holidays!  Whether you're on your couch with a warm mug of eggnog or in the Bahamas getting a winter tan, you can stay connected with your team and your clients, if you need to be.

Because Cloud Phone was made for business communications it comes with a ton of professional features that are perfect for travel and most importantly, features that allow you to enjoy your time with your friends and family. Here are our favorite features for getting business done when traveling:

Auto Attendant: The Auto Attendant is the center of automation for your virtual phone system.  With an auto attendant answering your calls, you don’t have to do a thing until you’re ready (quite handy during the holiday season, right?). Callers are welcomed by your company greeting and then presented with menu options in order to reach company extensions that route to other members of your team or forward to other phone numbers where you may be traveling to (even international). This can be particularly useful when you have VIP clients who need help over the holidays and you've promised to be available, or perhaps switching off "on call duty" with a business partner.

Voicemail Transcription: Voicemails are automatically transcribed and sent to your email so you can candidly read the message and decide if it’s urgent enough to pause Elf or to put down the hot toddy.

Call Screening:  Advanced call settings allow you to customize how your inbound calls are handled. You can require callers to speak their name before the system connects them to you. This allows you to discretely screen unwanted callers, particularly if you are only taking select business calls while with family. Alternatively you can set up your system to immediately connect callers to you without screening. In either case, simple controls allow you to accept or reject the call.

Business SMS: Texting is a fast and easy way to communicate, and now with Cloud Phone’s free two-way business texting, you can use it without having to check your business email (and get fully engrossed in work) during the holidays. If an urgent matter arises, try to tackle it via text as not to disrupt your family’s annual gingerbread house building competition.

For a list of all Cloud Phone features, go to the Features page.

Peace of mind is important during the holidays, and small business owners deserve it too!   Comment here to tell us your favorite Cloud Phone features that will help your business run smoothly during the holiday season - we'd love to hear from you!

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Topics: Voice Communication, Cloud Phone, Mobile Productivity, Small Business Productivity, Cloud Phone Mobile App

A Small Business Phone System: Handy for the Handyman

Posted by Ian LeWinter

May 10, 2018 10:31:21 AM

Whether you are working on fixing a customer’s broken cabinet, cleaning gutters, repaving a cracked walkway or any other job, the common denominator is that you are out working in different locations. As professional “Mr. Fix It,” you do all kinds of work for your clients, from month-long major projects to quick emergency repairs and you need a small business phone system.

Handyman Small Business

Considering how much time you spend out and about, spending money on a brick-and-mortar office doesn’t make much sense. Still, even if you decide to forego a traditional office, you need to be reachable to potential and existing customers. For instance, if you are out working on a roof somewhere, you probably aren’t going to want to reach down and answer a call coming in from a client who needs a walkway repaved.

That is where a small business phone system comes in to play. Rather than wasting money on space and equipment you don’t need and will never use, you can get a business-specific number using just your existing mobile number. Additionally, you can set up professional greetings for incoming callers and customize them any way you want by accessing your settings through the Internet. The entire system is maintained by the vendor in the cloud, so you don’t have to worry about setup or maintenance.

On any given day, you could spend a morning putting in a new mailbox for one customer, an afternoon across town fixing a garage door, and the evening hours repainting a family’s living room. So you need communications capability that fits your mobile work life while also providing big business phone features. Because as you well know, you aren’t called a handyman because you sit on your hands—you are paid to use them.

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Topics: Voxox, Cloud Phone, Cost-Effective Solution, Mobility, Mobile Productivity, Small Business Productivity

Say ‘I Do’ to a Cloud-based Phone Service

Posted by Ron Kinkade

May 10, 2018 10:31:01 AM

Summer is the most popular time for couples to say “I do.” But while wedding vows are meant to last a lifetime, the technology that powers your business shouldn’t stick around for better or for worse.

Just like marriage, communications are complicated. Consider everything involved with wedding planning. Coordinating all of that is enough work to keep the bride, groom, their families and a few hired professionals busy for months, but your small business phone service doesn't have to be. 

Girl on Cloud Phone

Similarly, business communications can be frighteningly complex. In a globalized marketplace, vital information is exchanged over a wide swath of channels, often at a frenetic pace. Legacy phone systems— which frequently experience downtime – are challenging for many businesses.

Enter solutions like Voxox’s Cloud Phone. These cloud-based phone systems are served over the Internet, meaning they are significantly faster and more accessible than their legacy competitors. With integrated features like peer-to-peer voice and video calls, large file transfer and total access to a company’s directory, they provide all the benefits of legacy systems and then some.

But the biggest perk of cloud-based phone services is their price. Unlike many weddings, where you get what you pay for, solutions like Cloud Phone offer their array of features under a monthly service rate that might be as little as one of their legacy competitors’ fees. Also consider that their monthly rate includes reliable support and troubleshooting, without any of the added expense of hardware maintenance. 

All told, cloud-based phone systems can be a match made in heaven for businesses of any size. Partnering with a provider like Voxox might just lead your business to a happily ever after.

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Topics: Voice Communication, Cost-Effective Solution, Mobile Productivity

Addressing the Communication Challenges of Managing Your Own Mobile Consultant Business

Posted by Erica Berry

May 10, 2018 10:28:05 AM

As a mobile consultant, you have the luxury of travelling, making your own hours and maintaining a solid work-life balance. However, since you’re on the go, you also face some communication challenges – especially when it comes to your business phone.

Let’s address those phone communication challenges now and see how a virtual phone system can help.

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1. Your clients are calling your personal cell number OR you’re carrying and paying for two cell phones.

Don’t mix business with pleasure, they say – so why are you sending your business and personal phone calls to one number? Because you don’t want to have two cell phones AND pay two cell phone bills. Or, maybe you’re already doing this and no longer want to juggle the two. Either way, with a virtual phone system, you won’t have to pay double or manage two phones.

Virtual phone numbers are hosted in the cloud and connect directly with the smart phone you already have. This means that when a client calls your virtual number (aka your new business number) it will ring to your personal smart phone... but your virtual number also has its own professional greeting system and menu options, so if can’t answer the phone, don’t worry! Your caller will not be sent to your “Hey bros this is Bobby” voicemail that is meant for your personal contacts. Instead, your prospect, partner or customer will receive a professional custom greeting from you (ex: “Hello, you’ve reached Consulting by B.”).

A virtual phone system will give you peace of mind by providing a professional image for your business, save you money on a second phone, and give you access to personal contacts – all from one phone.

2. You have team members and they are also using personal cell numbers for business.

If you’re working with a remote team, chances are they are facing the same challenges as you. Personal and business calls coming into one phone line, carrying multiple devices, etc. A virtual phone system will not only ease these woes for you, they will do the same for your team.

A virtual phone number can be linked to multiple devices, so if you want to connect your business partner or your handful of employees to your new business phone number, no problem! The virtual phone system will act as a hub where you can then create different “departments” (billing, shipments, marketing, etc.) or add a directory to the caller menu so each team member has their own extension. Not only does this make your business sound super professional and provide major credibility points, but is also really convenient for your callers.

3. You have a hard time keeping up with business voicemails and important messages.

Voicemails are a nightmare. Listening to them, remembering what someone said, finding paper and a pencil to write down the call back number, it’s awful and chances are you end up spending too much time on the logistics and/or miss out on a lot of business opportunities because of missed messages. Virtual phone systems offer a saving grace – voicemail transcription. Voicemail transcription does exactly what it sounds like; it transcribes your voicemails so you can read them. This is awesome for busy people because you can read, save, send, go back and read again, or just delete entirely, all without ever listening to anything. While you might have appreciated being able to say, “Oh, sorry, never got that voicemail,” to a high school acquaintance who is always inviting you for drinks at a bad time, you will never have to say it to a client who wants to make a purchase or solicit your services. 

4. You do not have a professional phone presence.

We’ve touched on this a bit in the other points, but it’s important and worth revisiting. A professional phone presence is a necessity for a business –no matter how small. A virtual phone system offers a slew of professional features like:

  • Auto attendant
  • Department or personnel extensions
  • Custom voicemail
  • Inbound faxing
  • Call forwarding or simultaneous ring settings for multiple phones
  • Call screening
  • Voicemail transcription

5. You know your current phone situation isn’t working, but you don’t have the time to find a new business phone solution.

If you’re experiencing this, you’re not alone and congrats to you for taking the first step – Googling an alternative! Virtual phone systems with the right user experience should be very simple to set up (Cloud Phone, for example takes less than a minute!) and you can manage your account from the cloud. This allows you to scale easily as your business grows and changes, and you only pay for what your business needs, resulting in overall cost savings and increased convenience.

For mobile consultants, having a virtual phone system is business phone communication heaven. If you want to give it a try, you can do a free 30-day trial with Cloud Phone any time. Share your feedback below or via our social channels!  

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Topics: Cloud Phone, Mobile Productivity, Unified Communications

Living the Life of a Traveling Salesman? A Cloud Phone System Is The Way to Go

Posted by Ron Kinkade

May 10, 2018 10:27:34 AM

Do you find yourself in a perpetual state of packing and unpacking? Is your personal theme song the Allman Brothers’ classic road anthem “Ramblin' Man?” Do you think of your bedroom at home as more of a pit stop than a destination? If you answered “Yes” to more than one of these questions, congratulations, you are living the life of a traveling salesman.

Salesman

As the proud owner of a small company, business takes you to places far and wide as you pitch your product and network with contacts. This month it’s meetings in Chicago and Philadelphia, next month trade shows in Las Vegas and New York; the bottom line is you’re always on the go. But as you hop around, you may find yourself worrying about missing important emails or calls from potential clients or partners. Well fortunately, a cloud phone system designed specifically for small businesses can alleviate your worries and get you on the road to a thriving business.

In 60 seconds or less you can set up a virtual, cloud-based phone system that turns your cell phone into an enterprise-level solution. You don’t need to be a tech whiz to use call conferencing or voicemail to email to set up extensions for other employees; all you need is a mobile phone number. You also get your own company-specific number, meaning you no longer have to give out your personal contact information to every potential contact you meet.

So if your natural habitat is a hotel room and you’re looking for growth that moves at your pace, consider adopting technology that gives you the power of an enterprise phone system without the major hassle and expense.

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Topics: Cloud Phone, Mobile Productivity

Create Fireworks for Your Small Business with Cloud Communications

Posted by Ian LeWinter

May 10, 2018 10:25:00 AM

This summer, will your small business explode like a Roman candle on July 4, or fizzle out like a dud? Here are a few ways to light up your small business with a robust suite of cloud communications solutions:

Firework_Small_Business

Increase productivity:  You may be busy, but business continues even when you leave the office. Contacts need to be able to reach you wherever you go. The cloud will give you the ability to carry around your enterprise communications solutions at all times, so you never miss a crucial call or voicemail.  

Cut costs: The costs of maintenance and installation prices for on-premises phone equipment is staggering. It’s much easier—and cheaper—to pay a small monthly fee and gain access to fully baked feature set than to pay for new equipment and make upgrades. You will also avoid the hefty costs of network downtime, which is difficult for a business of any size to recover from.

Leverage big business features: When a customer tries to reach you, they should not be able to tell you are a small business with six employees or a Fortune 500 company. Features such as an auto attendant, voicemail to email transcription and the ability to route calls to other members of your team will add a processional touch to your operation that will let you look like a much bigger business. 

The stats don’t lie: In a recent study, 70 percent of respondents indicated that the cloud can deliver efficiencies and cost savings. So, are you ready to make the great migration to a cloud-based phone and watch your profits explode skyward like Independence Day fireworks?

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Topics: iPhone, Voxox, Android, Cloud Phone, Cost-Effective Solution, Mobile Productivity, Small Business Productivity, Improve Your Business