5 Steps to Successful Business Phone Etiquette
Posted on August 14, 2014 by Rachel Anderson
The importance of proper business phone etiquette cannot be stressed enough, as it can leave either a positive or a negative impression on your callers and potential customers. The way you treat callers on the phone reflects directly upon the image your business portrays. By putting in the extra effort to be polite, you ensure that the customer feels valued by your business.
- Explain to the caller why the call needs to be transferred.
Whether they’ve reached the wrong person or department, or you simply do not have the resources or authority to answer their questions; be sure to explain why you must transfer them.
- Give the caller your information before transferring the call.
It’s important that the caller has access to your information in case of a dropped call or disconnection. This will also make the caller feel important knowing that while you couldn’t help them further, you are personally concerned about their situation.
- Ask the caller for permission to initiate the transfer.
This will give the caller the chance to ask any other questions they may have before being transferred, as well as give them a sense of control over the situation.
- Speak to the party whom the caller is being transferred to first.
By speaking to the next person the caller is being transferred to, you relieve the caller from having to re-explain the situation. It will also give the other person time to prepare for the call and any “insider” information that might expedite the situation.
- Introduce the caller to the name or department in which the call is being transferred to.
Make the introduction to the new contact, ask if there is anything else you can do to help the caller, and thank them for their patience.
Treating your customers right over the phone is just as important as how you treat them in person and a simple phone call can make or break a business relationship. VirtualPBX offers Advanced Transfers to ensure that all the tools you need for successful call transferring are at your fingertips. You can transfer calls to anywhere in the system, whether it’s to another employee, the operator, an outside number, or an ACD queue.
Call VirtualPBX today to learn more about our Call Routing features at 888-825-0800.
Hosted PBX vs. Standard PBX: Which Is Right for You?
Posted on August 12, 2014 by Rachel Anderson
Choosing a hosted PBX service vs. a standard PBX service depends greatly on the needs of your business. But how do you know which is right for you? Sometimes the choice is easy – for example, a hosted PBX service would make the most sense for a company with employees who work outside the main office; a company where all employees are located at the same office location may find that a standard PBX system is more beneficial. Below are more details to help you decide which service is best for you and your business.
A standard PBX system makes sense when:
- All employees are located at the same office
- The company doesn’t mind high up-front costs in order to receive the lowest possible monthly costs
- The company wants the cheapest solution available and capabilities are unimportant
- The business is larger
- Customers won’t benefit from a toll-free service
- The company is not likely to change in size
A hosted PBX service is the best choice when:
- Not all employees are located at the same location – some telecommute, work away from the main location, or need to be available outside of regular hours
- There is not a brick-and-mortar location – the company is virtual
- The business wants low up-front costs
- Customers would benefit from a toll-free service
- The business is smaller
- The company is likely to increase in size
- The business experiences a high number of incoming calls
- System reliability and fault tolerance are important
- The business would like to avoid dedicating employees to outsourcing for PBX support
- The business would like a complete set of features
A PBX service helps save your business money, as well as offers additional features that simply can’t be had with a traditional phone system. Still not sure which is right for you? Call VirtualPBX today at 1-888-825-0800 for more information on our hosted PBX service. We can help you decide what’s most beneficial for your business.
3 Ways Cloud Systems are Changing the Way Business
Posted on August 6, 2014 by Rachel Anderson
In today’s business world, using technology to streamline your company is an important way to take advantage of the tools you have on hand. Using technology efficiently can help get your startup off the ground, and cloud systems are a great tool to help your business grow. Cloud systems can help streamline the sharing process, allowing for easier telecommuting, and with VoIP you can even help save your business money.
Streamline the Sharing Process
If you remember how businesses ran twenty years ago, you’ll likely recall how the fax machine was the gold standard for a streamlined sharing process. In just a few minutes, you were able to send off a photostatic copy of an original document to a client or vendor… if it worked. Fax machines gave way to email, and while we still use email to communicate and share smaller files, cloud systems are a great way to give your customers and coworkers access to files of even greater size. Depending on size, files can now be uploaded in a matter of seconds and are accessible by anyone with login information, adding convenience to the process.
Telecommute Without Missing a Step
Telecommuting can be a great way to bridge the gap between home and office. Now, with business being done “in the cloud,” the day-to-day work normally accomplished in the office can be done at home. Without a cloud system, you risk not having the same access to files at home as you do in the office, making your absence apparent. With use of the cloud you’re able to access all cloud-hosted files from any computer at any time. Not only does this help those who work from home, employees are now able to travel for business without missing a step.
Save with VoIP
VoIP is essentially a phone system based entirely through your Internet connection, and switching your office phone system to VoIP can save you a lot of money. VirtualPBX offers great deals on its cloud phone systems, including unlimited outbound and inbound phone calls on some plans. This can give small businesses, especially startups, a leg up in the business world. Because you don’t have to worry about spending so much money on each individual call that you need for your business, you can spend money elsewhere to put your company ahead of the competition.
If you’re looking to improve your business, employing a cloud system will give you a leg up over the competition. It can keep you connected to your employees, customers, and vendors, while also saving you money. Contact VirtualPBX today to learn more at 1-888-825-0800.
4 Conferencing Features You Shouldn’t Miss Out On
Posted on July 28, 2014 by Paul Hammond
VirtualPBX is happy to announce a new Direct Conferencing feature for VoIP users. Each VirtualPBX plan includes conferencing, including free minutes depending on which plan you choose. VirtualPBX Office Plans include 1,000 minutes of free conferencing per month, while Anywhere Plans include 100 to 500 minutes. Users also have the option of adding unlimited free conferencing to their plan for only $49.99 per month, not including the cost of each inbound call.
- Conferencing for Every Extension
With VirtualPBX, you can choose which extensions receive conferencing – it can be made available for every extension in your PBX system or the privilege can be granted to certain extensions only. Each extension with conferencing enabled has its own private conference room, which is available at any time; other sessions on other extensions. Up to 10 people can dial into each conference at one given time, though you may add more seats for only $10 per month.
- Direct Conferencing
VirtualPBX is excited to announce this new feature! Usually, the owner of the extension is required to be on the conference call; however, with Direct Conferencing, a conference room does not require the presence of a moderator. Instead, an extension owner may give out a PIN on the Direct Conference-enabled room and anyone with that PIN is able to conduct a conference without the presence of a moderator.
- Ease of Use
Conferencing with VirtualPBX is easy. To begin, callers can simply press a designated phone key and enter their extension number or PIN. No scheduling is needed to set up a call – conferencing is always at your fingertips.
- Secure with Real-Time Monitoring
With VirtualPBX conferencing, you can rest assured your calls are safe and secure. An extension owner can monitor the conference through their computer screen and lock the conference or password protect the conference if need be. The extension owner will always know exactly who is in attendance, as caller ID is updated frequently as attendees join or leave the conference.
Want to learn more about VirtualPBX’s unique conferencing features? Call us today at 1 (888) 825-0800 – we are happy to help!
Tips for an Effective Business Meeting and the Benefits
Posted on July 23, 2014 by Paul Hammond
Meetings are a necessity in almost every industry and they provide a myriad of benefits for the participants. Some benefits are more obvious than others – the evident goal being to ensure alignment and clarify meaning through voice interaction, as opposed to spending numerous hours reading through email chains. When you need innovative concepts to come to a solution, a brainstorming meeting might be the key to success. One final obvious benefit is education. Meetings are often the best solution to educate individuals; questions can be asked and a more personal approach can be taken. Teleconferencing is a great option due to its ease of use and convenience for all parties involved, and flexibility in terms of location, timing, and the number of potential participants.
- Socialization – The brief socializing before and after the meeting can be an important factor for employee engagement and team building – especially when those involved work remotely and may not get the chance to speak to each other often.
- Awareness – As opposed to written communications, issues or risks associated with a plan or solution are more likely to be brought up during a verbal dialogue.
- Development – Professional development occurs as individuals are challenged to speak up amongst their peers. This is where character, quick thinking, and communication skills are often developed.
- Keep it short, simple, and to-the-point.
Consider how long the meeting will take and schedule that amount of time to stay on track. Keep everything short and to-the-point to ensure unnecessary banter and off-topic conversations.
- Create an agenda prior to the meeting.
This will help keep the meeting on track, as well as allow others to prepare and set expectations. A brief list of topics goes long way.
- Ensure accountability.
Ensure expectations and accountability by clarifying what’s expected of everyone before and after the meeting, particularly if this is a team effort. One easy way to do this is by taking meeting notes and capturing action items in bold along with the designated person for the task.
- Go virtual.
To increase convenience, more and more business are going virtual with VoIP conferencing. Phone conferencing is easy to use and is perfect for meetings between those in the company or outside customers, vendors, and more. Conferencing via telephone offers flexibility and convenience for all parties involved.