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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!

Tips for an Effective Business Meeting and the Benefits
July 23rd, 2014

Tips and Benefits for Meetings

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.

In addition, there are some less obvious benefits for meetings:

  • 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.

Four tips to follow for a great meeting:

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

Learn more about the benefits of conferencing from VirtualPBX and how it can aid in an effective business meeting

Optimize the Way Your Business Operates with Dialed Number Identification Service (DNIS)
June 12th, 2014

There are a variety of ways to track the progress of your business and create strong business opportunities. However, are you doing everything you can to ensure your business is successful?

Dialed Number Identification Service (DNIS) is a tool that allows your employees to capture useful data from your callers, while offering the opportunity to uniquely answer calls. DNIS offers your business the ability to track and categorize the calls you receive so you can uniquely answer each individual call. From the moment your employees see the number from which the customer is calling, the employee can immediately address their needs. This enables you to create a more personalized experience for callers, whether they’re customers, clients, or potential partners while also saving time.

There are a myriad of options when setting up your DNIS telephone numbers:

  • You can set up toll-free numbers that are specific to individual products.
  • Have dedicated lines that can be created for multilingual customers.
  • For larger clients, you are able to set up “VIP numbers” which directs them quickly to their destination.
  • You can now monitor the frequency and volume of calls a specific sector of your business receives.

So how can you get started?

DNIS numbers include local, toll-free, and international numbers and are able to be added to your current VirtualPBX system at any time. Interested in seeing exactly how DNIS can benefit your business? Call VirtualPBX at 888.825.0800 ext. 2 to learn more.

Which VirtualPBX Plan
is Better for Me?

April 30th, 2014

With VirtualPBX, you’re not forced into a payment plan that doesn’t match your business. Most companies will find our flat rate plans will provide the most savings, and give the peace of mind that comes from knowing how much your bill will be each month, regardless of usage. Other businesses, usually those that don’t use the phone a lot, will benefit more from our usage based plans – why pay for unlimited use when your needs are low?

FLAT-RATE PLANS

This is what most companies market as “unlimited”.  There is never any such thing as “unlimited” in the telecom industry.  Let’s just get this straight right up front.  Carriers charge each other on a price per minute basis when they hand calls off to one another, so at some point in time that cost makes it down to the consumer.  However, VirtualPBX doesn’t really push the “unlimited” as much as they push flat-rate.  It’s a flat rate under normal business usage.  Here’s what the flat-rate plan comes with:

Plan Overview

  • Anywhere from $39.99/mo down to $19.99/mo per user, depending on how many extensions are needed
  • Unlimited free minutes for typical business use
  • No charge for long distance any where in the continental US or Canada
  • 1,000 minutes of toll-free included in every plan

Best for:

  • Most companies with typical phone use
  • Employees who work in offices or home offices with broadband internet

USAGE-BASED PLANS

Usage-based plans basically means you pay for only the minutes you use.  This can be extremely useful if you don’t have that many inbound calls or make many outbound calls.  You don’t need to pay a higher flat rate per extension because your overall usage is low compared to the average office.

Plan Overview

  • Prices start at just $9.99 per month
  • Pay only for minutes used
  • Unlimited users
  • Same system features as the flat-rate plans because it’s the same system
  • Toll-free is built into the plan minutes

Best for:

  • Companies with low phone use
  • Employees on cell phones or land lines

PLAN CALCULATOR

Still not sure which plan is best for you?  Not a problem.  To help make it a little easier, we’ve put together a little calculator where you input the number of users that need an extension and the rough amount of minutes that they use each month for inbound and outbound calls.

Please click to learn more about the plan calculator.

So, bottom line is that VirtualPBX has the right plan for you.  And even better is no matter which plan you choose, you can use the hardware VoIP phones with them, allowing you to cut all ties with your land line and traditional carriers.  This could save you a lot of money.  And that’s why VirtualPBX is doing what they’re doing.

Even More VirtualPBX Voice and Faxmail Features You Can Rely On
April 29th, 2014

Here at VirtualPBX, we understand how frustrating it can be to miss that important call you’ve been waiting for… so we’ve gone ahead and created the best features in the industry to ensure you never have to miss another phone call again. With our unique voice and fax messages options, receiving communications is more convenient than ever. You can get a voicemail or be alerted of a fax message awaiting your reply via email, pager, web, and even text message.
Aside from never-full mailboxes, centralized messaging, voicemail interrupt, and fax viewing options, below are even more benefits you receive when you choose a VirtualPBX business phone system.

  • Personal greeting
    Give your callers a distinctive greeting and allow your personality shine through. With a customized voicemail greeting, callers can hear your voice rather than a traditional recording.
  • Phone, email, and web notifications
    Depending on the nature of your business, it can be crucial to know when you have a new voicemail or fax message awaiting your reply. With the VirtualPBX system, you can be alerted via email notification, pager, web, or even through text messages sent directly to your cell phone.
  • Phone, email, and web message delivery
    Now you can retrieve your messages from almost anywhere. Get them via any touchtone telephone, routed to your email as .wav files, or from any computer with Internet access and speakers.
  • Automatic callback
    How many times have you wanted to return a call only to realize that the caller didn’t leave a phone number? With VirtualPBX, you can return a call to the number from which the message was left with one button – no manual phone number entry is necessary.

Call VirtualPBX at 1 (888) 825-0800 to learn more about our voice and faxmail options today. We look forward to hearing from you!

Never Miss Another Important Call with VirtualPBX Voice and Faxmail Options
April 16th, 2014

VirtualPBX prides itself on offering the top features in the industry. One feature that will prevent you from ever missing another important call again, even if you’re on the road, is our voice and fax messages feature. We understand the frustration of missing important phone calls and faxes, so we’ve done our best to ensure that you are connected to your clients, customers, employees, and partners at all times.
From never-full mailboxes, centralized messages, voicemail interrupt, and fax viewing options, we have our bases covered… do you? Check just a few of the benefits below when you use VirtualPBX.

  • Never-full mailboxes
    Tired of running out of room in your virtual mailbox? VirtualPBX offers the option to automatically open more message space for you when your mailbox becomes full. We move older messages out to make room for any new messages. Your old messages are archived for two weeks so you have plenty of time to recover them or choose to have the message file sent to your email which you can then save indefinitely.
  • Centralized messaging
    We understand the importance of having more than one phone with its own voicemail, especially when you’re running a business. Rather than searching through each voicemail separately to check your messages, we’ve developed a way to let you centralize all of your messages within a single system.
  • Voicemail interrupt
    Your VirtualPBX extensions can listen to callers in real-time as they leave a voicemail on your business phone system. You are able to pick up the call at any time, just as you can with a traditional home answering machine, by pressing the pound key.
  • Fax viewing options
    Get incoming faxes automatically, without the need for a fax machine – it will save you time and money. With VirtualPBX, faxes can be delivered as .pdf files via our web tool or through your email.

Learn more about our voice and faxmail options today. Call VirtualPBX at 1 (888) 825-0800. We look forward to hearing from you!