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Call Recording is your Steel Trap for Business
October 21st, 2014

We’ve all been there. Those times when you’re in a relationship with someone who remembers every little detail and nuance of your conversations. Sometimes we may THINK we recall the details, but this person never fails to blow our mind, or to blow away any argument we may be crafting with their uncanny memory, that is. Wouldn’t it be great if you could have the same pinpoint accuracy and flawless recall? You can.

Truth be told, you’re on your own with any nifty mnemonic technics that will help you track all of your relationship conversations, but with call recording from VirtualPBX, we can do that for your business.

VirtualPBX Call Recording is a feature available on all Anywhere and Office Plans we provide. Which is good, because call recording is a regulatory necessity for some industries and an added benefit that provides a competitive advantage for the rest. VirtualPBX’s call recording feature has a wide range of applications and features and is used for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Quality control of customer service or support departments’ conversations.
  • Training new hires and continuing education of existing employees.
  • Recording, cataloguing, sorting, and storing recorded calls as an augmentation to your accounts payable and accounts receivable departments’ bookkeeping
  • Or just sharing your team’s successes and learning to strengthen their skillset and also empower them by giving them a stake in the greater team’s success.

Don’t let the opportunity to make meaningful improvements to your business pass you by. Call recording is way easier than you may have thought, it can be automated for any or all phone lines, and it can be initiated anytime mid-call with a simple command on your dial pad. Beginning a comprehensive call recording strategy will give your business a steel trap of a mind, and it’s way less unsettling than trying to do this in the personal realm.

Firedrill Confirms Business Telephone Strength
October 10th, 2014

Firedrill exposes vulnerability in telephone systems

Today at our corporate headquarters in beautiful downtown San Jose our building underwent a routine fire drill. Okay, short of having to trudge down the 187 steps to the ground floor from our office, we were all really quite fine to get some beautiful Silicon Valley sunshine. That’s because our office calls followed us outside. Our neighbors weren’t all so lucky.

Coincidentally, some of our co-tenants have employed VirtualPBX Office for their business phone needs so our days all kept on rolling without missing a beat thanks to the follow-me calling feature. For both of us it was almost like our professor decided to hold class outside. Business as usual, but with a nicer view.

Once the drill was over and the building cleared for reentry, the scene resembled a crowded commuter train as our neighbors were loading themselves into elevators in a surprisingly frantic hurry to get back to their desks. Turns out, if you don’t have the latest VoIP technology keeping your company connected no matter where they are, you can miss a lot of important work. All kidding aside, it was admittedly pretty nice to be able to continue conducting business on our own schedule, and not on that of the local Fire Inspector.

Right now, new customers to VirtualPBX Office or current VirtualPBX Anywhere customers who upgrade to an Office Plan will get one month of service for free if they buy the NEW Desktop VirtualPBX Softphone. Don’t let life keep you from speaking to your clients. Stay connected with VirtualPBX Office and enjoy all of the flexibility of a customizable, feature-rich phone system without the hassles and costs of a traditional copper wire telephone provider. All of the details of how you can get your first month of VirtualPBX Office are right here.

Thanks, and good luck out there!

3 Tips for Setting Up a Home Office
October 7th, 2014

Three Tips for Setting Up Your Home Office

Today, 26.2 million Americans, nearly 20% of the workforce, telecommute. Since 2012, there has been a 20% increase of telecommuters within the U.S., and the number continues to rise as businesses begin to better understand the benefits and as new technology such as softphones emerge.

There are plenty of benefits of telecommuting. Telecommuters are able to save time and money on commuting, spend more time with family, and work within the comfort of their own home. Still, work needs to be done and making the transition to a home office as seamless as possible takes some consideration. Minimizing distractions, staying connected, and making use of the cloud are just a few things to keep in mind from home.

Minimize Distractions
One of the most difficult parts about working from home is keeping distractions to a minimum. One way to do this is to set yourself up with a legitimate workspace. Stay off the couch, turn the television off, and retreat to a quiet, distraction-free space. While it is okay to take some time from work to take care of household chores, it’s important not to use any excuses to stray from completing your work.

Stay Connected
In order to make the transition from office to home office seamless, it is vital to make sure that lines of communication are kept open and that people can reach you as if you were in the office itself. The best way to do this is to make use of a softphone. A softphone can turn your computer or mobile phone into a VoIP extension. VirtualPBX’s softphones offer all the features of a VoIP phone, plus business caller ID so you can use your cell phone for business without giving out your personal number.

Get access to your office files
It is important to be able to mimic your work atmosphere while you are still at home. One way to do this is to be able to access all the files you’ll need to do work while you are at home. One major benefit of the cloud is that it allows you to access all cloud-hosted files from your computer at any time while streamlining the sharing process.

Learn more by contacting VirtualPBX today at 1-888-825-0800.

The Top 3 Benefits of the VirtualPBX Softphone App
October 2nd, 2014

VirtualPBX’s softphone app for iOS and Android allows users to turn any computer, tablet, or cell phone into a full-featured VoIP extension. Softphone App users can make and receive calls over their mobile device’s wifi or data connections and can make outbound calls associated with their business caller ID rather than a personal number. With our VoIP Anywhere technology, you get all the same, great features of VirtualPBX business phone systems, from centralized voicemail to call recording and beyond. It’s easy; all you have to do is register your softphone as a VoIP device and open the softphone app to begin. Below are the top three benefits of VirtualPBX’s softphone app.

Save Money While Traveling
You can save on roaming charges by making calls through your VirtualPBX Softphone. With VoIP Anywhere, users can get a U.S. dial tone for free by simply using either a wifi connection or your plan’s minutes rather than paying expensive hotel rates or large international roaming expenses on your cell phone.

Mobile Call Interruption
With VirtualPBX Softphone, you don’t need to worry about missing a personal call while using your phone for business. If a personal call comes in while you’re on a business VoIP call, the VoIP call will be put on hold until you answer or decline the personal call.

Little to No Cost
Adding a softphone to an office plan offers users little to not cost, as it operates off of any existing VoIP line – there is no charge for minutes used. VirtualPBX Softphone only uses your VirtualPBX plan’s minutes.

Learn more about the benefits and features of VirtualPBX Softphone or contact us at VirtualPBX today for more information by using the “Chat now” window on this page or by giving us a call at 888-825-0800.

Benefits of Telecommuting
September 23rd, 2014

The modern workplace is changing, and in many ways, for the better. Today more Americans telecommute than ever before, saving millions of dollars, tons of greenhouse gas emissions, and untold amounts of stress by exercising this simple option for work. This is all made possible thanks to advances in telecommunications technology, notably the use of VoIP softphones like the Desktop VirtualPBX Softphone. By switching from traditional utility providers to a VirtualPBX service, you can take your office with you anywhere you need to work.

Do you already benefit from working from home? Could you? What about your employees? Take a look at this simple infographic, and feel free to compare your current phone system to any of the VirtualPBX options.

The Benefits of Telecommuting by the Numbers

BYOD: Understanding the Benefits of “Bring Your Own Device” as the Market Grows
September 15th, 2014

Bring Your Own Device

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) refers to the action of allowing employees to use their own personal mobile devices or computers for their work, with access to company information and applications. BYOD is expected to increase in popularity over the next few years – 82% of people expect smartphones to play a critical role in business productivity in two years, according to IBM. And globally, the BYOD market is expected to grow to $181.39 billion by 2017, according to Markets and Markets. BYOD offers a variety of benefits for both employers and employees, including improved employee satisfaction, increased productivity, and cost savings.

Employee satisfaction – Employees are typically happier using their own devices that they’ve chosen based on their personal preferences. Users can avoid carrying multiple devices around, such as a work cell phone and a personal cell phone by integrating the two.

Increased productivity – Oftentimes, it is cumbersome to make the transition back and forth from a personal computer to a work computer, as they’re usually two completely different setups. By allowing employees to bring their own devices, more time is spent working on the actual task rather than working on technological details. Personal devices also tend to be updated more frequently by the user and offer more cutting-edge features.

Cost savings – BYOD can help save businesses money by shifting costs to the user. Rather than the business using money to purchase company laptops and cell phones, employees pay for their own devices.

Before implementing BYOD, it’s important to keep in mind that BYOD must be managed safely in order to protect your business’ privacy and assets. As the telecommuting trend grows, BYOD is expected to grow as well, with softphone technology leading the way. Contact VirtualPBX to learn more about softphone technology and how you can integrate it into your BYOD plan today.

5 Advantages of Telecommuting for Employers and Employees
September 11th, 2014

Advantages of Telecommuting

Did you know that 40% of jobs in the U.S. can be done from home? While working from home isn’t feasible for every person or every type of job, there are a variety of benefits that both employers and employees should take advantage of when possible. Many of the barriers that have limited telecommuting in the past are waning, including the evolution of softphone technology, which makes it easier and more common for employees to work from home.

  • Increased Productivity
    Telecommuting results in a 10-20% increase in employee productivity. When working in an office, employees tend to drag out the length of time tasks take to finish, as finishing quickly likely results in additional assignments to fill time… as a result there is no incentive to maximize daily task performance. Oftentimes, the time spent at the office is filled with unproductive tasks – chatting with coworkers, surfing the web, smoke breaks, long lunches, etc.
  • Increased Job Satisfaction
    Employees who work from home are reportedly more satisfied with their jobs, as the stress that an office atmosphere creates is alleviated. In fact, 25% of telecommuters report having less stress than their counterparts. Increased job satisfaction leads to more productive, happier employees that want to stay with the company and see success.
  • Reduced Costs
    Businesses can cut office costs with few to no employees present in the office ranging from furniture to electricity used, while employees save money used on gas to get to and from the office.
  • Improved Life-Work Balance
    80% of telecommuters say they are able to maintain a better life-work balance by telecommuting. The average commute to work is 45 minutes, so on average, telecommuting can offer workers an extra hour and a half to spend to themselves or with their family.
  • Decreased Pollution for the Environment
    If every employee who could work from home did so, 50 million people could save a grand total of 587 million barrels of oil – this is equal to 74% of United States gulf oil imports. Only one day of telecommuting could save a whopping 423,000 tons of greenhouse gas.

It’s important for businesses to take a look at the benefits of having their workers telecommute, whether it’s one day per week or five days per week. With new and improved technology, employees can work from virtually anywhere. The tools are there; it’s up to employers to take advantage of them.

Sources: Staples Advantage, Workopolis, The Telework Coalition, The Telework Research Network, The Oil Drum, Opportunity Now

Custom Business Greetings – Make the Most of Your Captive Audience
August 27th, 2014

Make the Most of Your Custom Business Greetings

When it comes to custom phone greetings for your business, it’s important to make the most of your captive audience. A custom phone greeting ensures that callers know about any new products or promotions, if you’ve changed your business hours for a holiday, or if you have any other special or timely message you’d like to deliver to customers about your business. A good custom greeting manager makes it easy to manage, upload, or record the auto-attendant greetings so you can make changes whenever and wherever you want.

Tips for Creating Your Custom Greeting
When creating your company greeting, don’t be afraid to use your company’s personality. Customers prefer personalized greetings! Always start out with your company’s name so that callers know they’ve reached the correct number, and be sure to include hours of operation, company website, as well as a call forwarding options to pre-recorded destinations. You may also want to let customers opt-out of listening to the greeting instructions if they already know their party’s extension. By making the most of your captive audience, you can keep customers satisfied and happy with their experience, capitalize on your campaigns, and keep your company organized and running efficiently.

Features of an Ideal Greeting Manager

  • Recordings for auto-attendant and your company name can be stored in their own libraries to keep you organized.
  • You may view your library whenever and wherever you’d like and you can change your greeting to another with one click.
  • You have the ability to create individual greetings for daytime and nighttime, along with a scheduler so they are switched automatically at a specific time.
  • You may name your recordings however keeps you best organized and every greeting can be previewed before using.
  • A text-to-speech synthesizer can instantly create a new greeting.
  • You may script a greeting for us to record for you in our own studio, or you can use your own studio to create greetings or record them over the phone.

Want to personalize your business’ greeting? Contact VirtualPBX today to learn more at 1-888-825-0800.

Transferring Phone Calls:
5 Steps to Successful Business Phone Etiquette

August 14th, 2014

Phone Transfer Etiquette

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.

5 Steps to Professionally Transfer a Phone Call

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

4 Conferencing Features You Shouldn’t Miss Out On
July 28th, 2014

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!