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Provide Great Customer Service With a Cloud Based Phone System

Posted by Ian LeWinter

May 10, 2018 10:46:56 AM

As the owner of a single-person business, catching your breath is a luxury you seldom have. Whether you are attending a trade show, making a pitch to a client, meeting with an investor or tweaking your product, downtime is a rarity.

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But as a single-person business owner, you can’t afford to hire assistants, build a call center or install a complex, wire-based enterprise phone system to greet customers when they call. Or can you?

A cloud-based phone system can provide many of the features you need to enhance customer experience. Let’s say a customer who is interested in your product calls for more information while you are away on a hectic weekend business trip packed with client meetings. If the customer reaches your mobile phone, leaves a message and doesn’t receive a call back until days later it may sour that prospect 

With a virtual phone system, however, you can setup a professional greeting simply by accessing your settings online. This way, the customer knows you are away on business and understands it may take an extra day or two for you to respond.

This is just one of many examples of how a cloud-based phone service can enhance customer service for businesses of all sizes. So even if your company is just you, you can cultivate lasting customer relationships that help sustain your business as it grows.   

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Topics: Voice Communication, Cloud Phone

4 Ways Voicemail Transcription Can Be a Life-Saver for Your Business

Posted by Erica Berry

May 10, 2018 10:46:06 AM

Voice communication is an integral part of running any small business. But the busy schedule and on-the-go lifestyle that comes with entrepreneurship makes it difficult to answer every call that comes in, and sifting through voicemails can be a daunting task. However, voicemail transcription takes the pain out of voicemail management by offering a visual user-interface for easy browsing and instant access. 

With the power to transcribe your messages from audio to text, you can manage your voicemail the same way you manage your email – no matter what life or business throws your way. Here are 4 scenarios where voicemail transcription can be a life-saver for your small business:

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1.     Important Call vs. Important Meeting

As a business owner you’ve undoubtedly had the stressful experience of having to choose between taking a phone call or participating in a meeting. Sometimes it’s a tough call to decide which is more important, but now you no longer have to choose. Whether you're expecting the call or not, voicemail transcription gives you an instant way to understand the level of urgency from a VIP caller so you can take the correct action. 

2.     Screening Unknown Numbers

Telemarketers don’t just call while we are having dinner or watching Jeopardy, they call at all times of day -- disrupting your business! With the ability to send unknown callers straight to voicemail and then read their message, you can see who’s important and who’s not – on the fly.

3.     Notes You Can Share

Traditional voicemail requires you to jot down notes and numbers, and if you miss any piece of information you have to play it again. Voicemail transcription lets you see everything in one easy go, and if you need to clue in other team members quickly, you can simply copy and paste the transcription and send via email.

4.     When you can't type, speak!

Say you're driving, but need to send an urgent message to a co-worker who you know has voicemail transcription as well.  Rather than risking your life to send a text, just place a call, leave the message, and voila they have written notes on what you need!

No matter how big or small your business is, voicemail transcription can enhance the way you communicate with clients, prospects and your team. Can you think of any other scenarios where voicemail transcription might save the day? Share your experiences with us on social media – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+.

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Topics: Voice Communication, Cloud Phone, Small Business Productivity, Improve Your Business

With Small Business Phone Systems it's OK to Have Your Head in Clouds

Posted by Ron Kinkade

May 10, 2018 10:45:56 AM

Ever been caught daydreaming and someone jokingly tells you to “get your head out of the clouds?” Well, when it comes to your small business phone system, the cloud isn’t a distraction—it actually provides major benefits like: 

Boy with Head in The Cloud

Big Savings: With a cloud based phone system, you don’t have to worry about complicated, expensive equipment. You avoid unnecessary spending on hardware installation and maintenance, and also receive just one low monthly bill, meaning it is convenient as well as inexpensive.

Improved customer service: A small business phone system allows you to collaborate with customers and colleagues through your mobile device, significantly improving your ability to promptly answer important calls. With Reach Me Anywhere you can have calls routed to you or any of your staff anywhere, on any device, so customers get the service they need when they are in a pinch.

Professionalism:  Oftentimes small businesses struggle to project an established image, but with a small business phone system these organizations are indistinguishable from large corporations. From the business-specific phone number, to the professional auto attendant greeting, you get everything the “big boys” in your industry have. 

So if you’re in the process of re-examining your phone service, consider the fact that these small business systems were designed for companies just like you. So chances are they are going to be a better fit for your needs. So again, feel free to keep your head in the cloud—your bottom line will thank you later.

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Topics: Voice Communication, Cloud Phone, Small Business Productivity

Cloud-Based Phone Service Helps You Focus Critical Business Processes

Posted by Ian LeWinter

May 10, 2018 10:45:47 AM

Did it finally happen for you? After months upon months of wishful thinking and fruitless efforts, have you solidified your business idea, secured VC funding and honed your value proposition? Are you ready to transform your startup idea into a fully-baked reality? Congratulations!

Global Business Processes

So now what?

The truth is that for the 543,000 new businesses that get started each month, a vast majority fail due to poor planning, a lack of forecasting and a failure to embrace innovation. But you don’t want to go down that path. After all, you have worked too hard and you have a killer idea. So what do you do after you get the big idea? To begin, you need to immediately consider the gold-standard technology that will take you from fledgling to full-forced in a matter of weeks. Let’s take a look at where you need to begin when it comes to 21st century technology:

  • Assess Your Limitations: You can’t identify what services and offerings you need until you understand your limitations. For example, are you currently one-man shop, unable to support the payroll of multiple employees? Or perhaps you are operating your business out of your basement, even though you want to establish an international presence? Restrictions like these, for example, suggest the need for a robust business phone system, one that boasts a wealth of features from auto attendants that can greet your calls professionally to voicemail-to-email notifications that can allow you to handle calls on the go. Once you understand your setbacks you can identify the technology that will allow you to level the playing field.
  • Evaluate Your Expertise: Are you all thumbs when it comes to technological installations, upgrades and compliance requirements? Then perhaps you need to go the cloud route and entrust these daily tasks with a third-party provider, especially when it comes to your phone. A cloud-based phone service for example, allows you to focus on critical business processes—such as growing your customer base and conceptualizing best-in-class marketing tactics—as opposed to mundane administrative tasks such as upgrades, maintenance and troubleshooting. You can leave all that to your third-party cloud provider.
  • Consider Your Budget: As any budding entrepreneur can confirm, planning and sticking to a budget is of the utmost importance. While the big-ticket items like startup financing and office leases can steal your attention, don’t lose sight of the fact that other considerations—like technology—can eat up your budget. Therefore, after you get the big idea it’s important to take a look at your finances and determine where you want to place your spend when it come to technology. If you go the cloud-based phone service route, for instance, you can enjoy a reduction in CAPEX/OPEX spending—since you need less physical equipment and personnel to support your phone system. As a result, additional dollars can be allocated to other innovations such as WebRTC, UC and M2M technologies.

So now that you have technology considerations of your checklist, what’s next on your list?

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

Voxox Cloud Phone Receives Major News Coverage!

Posted by John Lee

May 10, 2018 10:45:30 AM

Exciting News! Voxox Cloud Phone recently received media coverage from major news outlets for playing a huge role by the US Navy to fight drunk driving.

Naval Officer Michael Daigle was able to set up Saferide, which allows volunteers to pick up servicemen who are too inebriated to drive. With DUI cases being a major problem for the military, Daigle’s ride service helped drastically lower drunk driving instances. The news covered some of Cloud Phone's key features such as affordable pricing and extension routing.

This is exciting coverage and we’re thrilled that Cloud Phone is being used to save lives and keep people safe on the road. Read the whole article here: "US Navy Turns to Cloud Technology to Reduce Drunken Driving" by Yuri Kageyama and and check out more details on this unique use case on the Voxox Blog

Petty Officer Mike Daigle

Petty Officer Michael Daigle

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Voxox CEO, Bryan Hertz, with the Channel 10 ABC news crew

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Topics: Voice Communication, Voxox, Cloud Phone

Real Estate Agents: Cloud Communications Apps are Valuable

Posted by Ian LeWinter

May 10, 2018 10:41:58 AM

We’re all familiar with the old adage that the three most important aspects of real estate are location, location and of course…location. Of course, we would never be so bold as to dismiss this tried-and-true idiom, but we do have a little something to add. 

Real Estate Cloud Communications

As a self-employed real estate agent, you probably spend much of your time running from open houses to apartment showings all over town. Working in a service industry also means you have to devote your full attention to each client and can’t afford to answer calls or listen to voicemail messages during an appointment. 

But as an independent contractor that barely has time to sit down during the day, maintaining a brick-and-mortar office doesn’t make much sense. So how can you ensure you don’t miss important communications about a client’s newly accepted offer or a great new property just coming on the market?

A cloud communications application can help you keep in touch with clients and project a big business presence even if you don’t want to spend money on physical office space or a legacy phone system. Top-shelf services offer a company-specific phone number that rings to your mobile number so there is no need to give out personal contact information. Additionally, a cloud communications application can also provide:    

  • Business-class voicemail-to-email functionality
  • Easy-to-configure professional greetings
  • Extensions for different departments, even if each department is only you
  • Settings that can be accessed and adjusted via the Internet

We’d like to reiterate that it is not our intention to rebuff one of the principle tenets of the real estate industry, but rather to add our own little touch. A cloud-based small business phone system can’t improve a property’s locale, but it can certainly help with your business communications as you move from location to location.

Maybe location is the key after all.

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Topics: Voice Communication, Industry Trends, Voxox, Cloud Phone, Mobility, Business Phone Number

A New Way of Doing Business with Cloud Communications

Posted by Ian LeWinter

May 10, 2018 10:41:18 AM

Spring means different things to different people, but in America, one of the grandest spring traditions is Opening Day in Major League Baseball. The tradition dates as far back as 1876 and signifies new hope and promise for every team, regardless of last season's performance. 

Baseball Diamond

Spring can be the start of something new for small businesses as well. If your company is still tethered to a wire-based, legacy phone system it might be worth considering starting this season with a small business phone service based in the cloud instead. 

Best-in-class cloud-based phone solutions can help you shed your old system without losing the functionality—like auto attendants or voicemail to email—that you need. Because cloud communications is maintained by the provider you don’t have to worry about a major installation or ongoing maintenance costs. Changes to greetings, extensions and other features can be made seamlessly over the Internet in no time, even if your tech knowledge is minimal. Settings can be accessed from the device you choose whether a smartphone, laptop or tablet.

Whether you are a baseball fan or don’t know home plate from a lunch plate, it’s easy to see why a small business virtual phone system can be a home run (sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves) for small and microbusinesses. So as the season heats up, consider giving cloud communications a tryout.

As longtime Dodgers’ managed Tommy Lasorda once said, “There are three types of baseball players: Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen and those who wonder what happens.”

That goes double for business.

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Topics: Voice Communication, Voxox, Cloud Phone, Auto Attendant, Small Business Productivity

Non-employer Businesses Thriving, Small Business Phone Systems Follow

Posted by Ian LeWinter

May 10, 2018 10:40:37 AM

The entrepreneurial spirit is catching fire amongst U.S. business owners. According to the most recent Census, in 2012 the number of businesses without paid employees reached 22.7 million—an increase of 1.1 percent. 

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All signs indicate this number will keep on growing over the next few years due to the high cost of worker benefits and the unstable economy. Many companies simply do not have the resources to provide for staff.  

One market that will certainly benefit from the growth of domestic non-employers is small business phone systems. That’s because the demand for strong customer service exists regardless of the number of employees within an organization. Calls need to be handled professionally and efficiently to convince customers that a business is at the top of its industry. And of course, missed calls mean missed business opportunities.

A cloud-based small business phone system provides all the features a small business needs to establish credibility and operate like a much larger one. This includes an auto attendant that greets callers with a list of options. The auto attendant can then route customers to virtual extensions.

Additionally, messages can be forwarded as a voicemail to email. These features are easy to access and update right over a Web browser. A business owner simply has to log in and they can have complete control over the system.

If you are one of the newly minted non-employer businesses out there or are looking to become one in the near future, check out options for small business phone systems that project a big business image and increase productivity at the same time. After all, just because you are in business for yourself doesn’t mean you can’t get a little technological help from time to time.

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Topics: Voice Communication, Voxox, Cloud Phone, Auto Attendant, Business Call Routing, Small Business Productivity

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

Small Business Tips: Build Trust with Customized Voice Presence

Posted by Erica Berry

May 10, 2018 10:39:16 AM

Having only one cell phone is great. You only have one bill and you don’t look like MacGyver trying to tackle the world of mobile technology. But as a small business owner, using the same phone for personal and business calls can get a little hazy –especially when you’re receiving both types of calls to the same number.

Imagine a new client calls your cell and gets sent to a personal voicemail that mentions nothing about your business. Chances are, they’ll start to doubt your professionalism and reliability.

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However, there are services (such as Cloud Phone!) that enable you to establish a dedicated business phone line that routes to your cellphone. This has great advantages for customizing your "voice presence" for your business. Here are some key customization benefits to consider as part of having a dedicated business phone line:

 1. Corporate phone number: the first impression

The first thing your customers see when they want to make contact with you through the voice channel is your business phone number. When getting a dedicated business line, you can opt to have a toll free number or a local number or even multiple numbers for different customer segments. Each type of number has different uses, for example: toll free numbers could be great if you have a national customer-base or an e-commerce website, local numbers can help small shops or those new to the area establish a local presence.  

2. Business greeting: the right message for your customers

Make sure you take full advantage of customizing your voicemail greeting when you have a dedicated business line. When you record a customized voicemail greeting for your business contacts, you can reinforce the image of your brand. Your greeting sets the tone for your business and it's a great way to also convey your key messages. 

3. Voicemail settings: extra attention for your VIP clients

Since customer calls are very important and can be time-sensitive, you may want to customize your settings for your business voicemails. When you have a dedicated business line, this should be easy to do. For example, Cloud Phone allows users to set up voicemail transcription, send notifications via SMS and email, and more.

4. Extensions: smooth transitions for your business contacts

If you have multiple employees, departments, or just want to make your business appear more professional, some services offer business extensions, which will help you guide your business callers to the appropriate channel without the hassle of tracking them down or taking messages that can eventually get lost in the shuffle. As your business grows, you can assign employees their very own extension to route calls from your main business number. Each employee can customize their own settings and manage them with their own login.

You’ve worked hard to establish your business so it’s important to make the right impression when your customers, prospects, business partners, and employees call. Having the right voice presence is an easy step in building trust for your company and an effective way to communicate your business style. Plus, once your voice communications are in order, you can stop worrying about missing a call or answering the wrong cell phone and can focus on more important things like running your business! 

For more tips on how to advance your small business voice presence, check out our CMO's recent contributed article that published on MarketingProfs.com.

How does voice fit into your small business communications? Share your stories, challenges and ideas with us – Facebook, Twitter, Google+.

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Topics: Voice Communication, Cloud Phone, Small Business Productivity, Improve Your Business