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Champagne Taste, Beer Budget
March 23rd, 2015

Champagne Cork

My Dad used to talk about having champagne tastes and a beer budget in the sense that he always knew he wanted something nice but would always have to settle for whatever was a realistic option in his price range. We’ve all been there and, frankly, we’re probably in this situation more often than not. The double-edged sword of our modern society’s preponderance of options is that, while we are typically presented with options for anything from cellular service to airfare that are reasonably affordable, we are also assaulted with images and advertisements of options that are both much more desirable and astronomically expensive. Why can’t we just have both?

Unicorns

No, I’m not talking about the billion dollar Silicon Valley startups. But just as rare and incredible are the findings of intrepid bargain hunters and savvy business people alike when they find a real value in the marketplace. VirtualPBX Anywhere Plan should satisfy that definition, but the fact is that our award-winning business phone solution can no longer fly below the RADAR. All of the fanfare and recent recognition aside, the incredibly flexible and affordable VoIP phone service for businesses with distributed or mobile workforces has got a coach airfare with Gulfstream accommodations.

TrueACD Queues

TrueACD Queues are only available from VirtualPBX and are one of the most highly sought-after features of our most option-rich, powerful enterprise phone solutions for corporations, call centers, and even national political campaigns. What you may not realize, however, is that they are also part of the standard suite of features on every single Anywhere Plan package. TrueACD Queues outperform basic hunt groups that are common in traditional, physical phone systems in many ways, but none more importantly than in how VirtualPBX makes them available.

We monitor and maintain all of the servers and software that power our virtual phone systems we can improve and service it without you ever experiencing a loss of service. Anywhere Plan customers benefit from this because whenever they need to make a change to their phone system, reroute a call, program a queue, or make any one of literally hundreds of changes to their phone system that they want, all it takes is a few clicks of a mouse on their free, online web portal, and we handle the rest.

Infinitely flexible, premium service at pennies to the dollar of what a traditional phone system would cost you may not exactly be Dom Pérignon, but nothing tastes as good as saving tons of money and getting more than you thought possible. Go ahead, take a sip.

Auto-Attendant & Waffle Irons
March 13th, 2015

Waffle IronFake it Until You Make It: Auto-Attendant

I remember going into one of my first interviews at a financial firm years ago remembering what a broker I worked with used to tell me, “fake it until you make it.” I went into that room with the intention of doing just that and, who would have thought? They saw right through me. Trying to be something you aren’t isn’t just a bad idea, it’s bad business.


Polite Introduction, Impressive Polish

Fast forward to today when I was thrilled to learn about how one of our satisfied customers uses his Auto Attendant feature. He likes the VirtualPBX features so much that he left a glowing Yelp review that you can find on our Testimonials page. Auto Attendant is the best way to get a centralized call directory experience for your callers. Answering and providing options to callers without an actual receptionist is more than just a way to cut down on overhead and operational costs, it’s also a way to elevate the first experience callers will have with your company.

David V., a customer from Rowland Heights, CA, said that, “We’ve been using VirtualPBX for years. It helps our company appear much bigger than it is while also providing the services we need.”

That is a terrific review and we’re thrilled to help people boost their morale with such a dialed-in, detailed decorum. However, I would also like to suggest that David already had the professionalism and stature that he found in the Auto-Attendant all along.


No Need to Pretend

It was while I was reading David’s review that I was reminded of the advice from my former coworker. I don’t believe that companies like David’s need to fake anything, I believe he already has the large, successful corporation that he wants to be viewed as, VirtualPBX merely made it possible to sound that way a little bit sooner. Was Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman not already a visionary when he used his wife’s waffle iron to make the sole of the company’s first running shoe? Of course he was. And just like how Nike saw how it could rival the then-dominant Adidas with an innovative, cost-effective alternative, companies like David’s are doing the same thing every day.

VirtualPBX’s Auto-Attendant and the mountain of other features it comes with are helping entrepreneurs find innovative, cost-effective alternatives to the relative indentured servitude of traditional phone service. With the vision to see and seize an advantage, and the right tools to get the job done, VirtualPBX is helping today’s David’s become tomorrow’s Bowerman’s.

Get in touch today and see how we can help make your business dream a reality.

Choose Your Business Adventure – SelectRoute
February 23rd, 2015

CompassIf you remember the popular adolescent fiction books, Choose Your Own Adventure, you know that the appeal of these books was that the reader decided how the story unfolded. At certain key moments in the life of the story, readers would be presented with options on how characters or story elements would behave, thus creating a unique narrative specific to each read. You are the both the reader and the author of your business’ story, and having options at every turn is as important as anything else in determining how the story unfolds.

Not All Businesses Fit The Mold

Having a handful of options in how to route calls is a nice feature available from advanced business phone system providers. But what happens to those businesses that don’t find their ideal method in one or two, limited options? Not getting the opportunity to build services the way that an entrepreneur wants is the laboratory in which she will test out her own possibilities. SelectRoute is the result of exactly that type of situation.

32 Flavors of Routing

To be honest, there really are as many varieties to route with SelectRoute as you can imagine. Seriously. But the point is that chocolate and vanilla are just the tip of the iceberg.

  • Route calls by geography – Have callers input their postal code or area code and then route them to the agents or locations that can serve them the best
  • Menu Routing – Route calls by menu selection
  • Custom Routing – Route calls according to your own defined needs, from product numbers to invoices or case numbers, if there is a figure meaningful to your business, you can use it to route

You give your customers the products and services that they expect, why shouldn’t you get the same from your utility providers? VirtualPBX’s proprietary SelectRoute is emblematic of the flexibility inherent in well-designed VoIP phone systems. To get your call routing tailored to your business’ exact specifications, or for any other VoIP questions you may have, contact the routing experts at VirtualPBX today.

Success is a Fresh Roll – Franchise Phone Systems
February 20th, 2015

Submarine SandwichThere’s turmoil at the top of the McDonald’s flow chart and the world’s largest restaurant chain’s stock is reeling. Not all of the global fast food company’s heartache can be attributed to executive leadership, though, so it provides an opportunity to compare it to another fast food giant.

The Eat Fresh Franchise

Having just opened up its 30,000th location, Subway Restaurants is the largest collection of franchise business owners in the world. While the franchise model is in no way solely attributable to the relative health of the company compared to their Golden Arches rival, examining what makes a successful franchise is worthwhile nonetheless.

Granted that there are definitely franchisees who own more than one location, but having 30,000 separate entrepreneurs and all of their thousands more employees is an enormous impact on the economy. That many jobs means that maintaining a strong, viable brand is crucial for the success of the restaurant chain. For many franchises smaller than the multi-billion dollar hoagie colossus, there are certain tools that can be employed to help accomplish just that.

Business Standards Are Brand Standards

Just as every strong brand has guidelines to represent itself and its likeness in a particular, effective way, there are operational guides that should be established as well. This is no more important for any organization as it is for a franchise network.

Franchisers rely on a wide variety of partners who are afforded the opportunity to represent the brand, but are also charged with upholding its integrity. When you can’t expect to manage your team in a traditional, non-dispersed fashion, you have to ensure as much uniformity is integrated into the franchisee’s business model as possible. A great deal of that begins where most business does, on the phone.

Franchise Phone Systems

Franchise Phone Systems from VirtualPBX are the effective way to keep the public access of your franchise partners in tight, locked step. By initiating a Franchise Phone System you can execute a variety of functions that would otherwise be expensive, or require additional staff to accomplish.

  • Reduce cost with consolidated phone expenses and unlimited lines
  • Present one, toll-free national number for all of your franchise locations
  • GeoRoute all incoming calls to the most appropriate local or regional office
  • Create uniform and custom greetings and recordings for all of your locations
  • Grow and expand your network of locations without any additional tech staff
  • Plus manage this and much more all from anywhere you have an internet connection

For details on how to benefit your franchise from the use of a Franchise Phone System, contact one of our franchise experts today. They will be able to help you launch a total redesign of your regional or national franchise, but they won’t be able to help you make a Monster Mac. Enjoy.

Not All Routes Are Created Equal: User-Assignable Ring Times
February 18th, 2015

StopwatchVirtualPBX believes that you need to have the right options made available to you for a service to be worthwhile. That’s why we offer so many different strategies to use when routing your calls to traveling or dispersed workforces. But much like a growing company’s success can be a challenge if they don’t have the right partners who can scale with them as they grow, having these routing options are irrelevant if they don’t come with the preferences to use them appropriately. Enter, User-Assignable Ring Times.
 

Ringing 90 times before Voicemail Isn’t Helpful

With User-Assignable Ring Times, each extension can dictate how long a call rings on a given line before a routing action is taken. This means that if you are using Follow-Me Calling, and are at the fourth number you listed on your call forwarding cascade, you can shorten the ring time between each routing so that your customer gets to you sooner. Also, you can make sure that certain routing actions are given an appropriate amount of time to connect, too.


Not all Support Teams are Local

Okay, I admit, this is a shameless plug for the award-winning members of our VirtualPBX Support Team who are located right across the hall from me. In America. Sometimes, customer support agents are located overseas. If that’s the case, or if your after-hours support team is abroad or in another time zone, those types of transfers can take an added moment or two. Customers who are calling with problems are the most important calls, and having a trained professional from your team speak to them is crucial. Adding a moment or two extra to the ring time for these longer routing maneuvers might be prudent to keep them from being bumped to voicemail during the transition.

Whether you need to tweak your ring times a bit or if you have any questions about how to employ one of the many different routing options for your account, of course, you can get in touch with our Support Team. If I hear their phone ringing, I’ll let them know it’s you.

Infographic – Route Calls the Way You Want
February 17th, 2015

Traditional phone service would hamper the ways businesses could design their call routing. With VirtualPBX VoIP, you don’t have those, or really any restrictions on how you route calls. From methods that give dispersed workforces flexibility to GeoRoute options that keep an even playing field for sales teams, VoIP customers get to choose what works best, not their phone provider. You can decide how to run your business, why shouldn’t you decide how you route your calls, too?

Infographic: Call Routing

GeoRoute Helps Teams Share The Cruffins
February 12th, 2015

Coffee & DessertThere are only so many Cruffins to go around.

I visited a new bakery in San Francisco this weekend and, not unlike most of the spectacular sugary confectionaries in the city, it did not disappoint. What made this trip so memorable, however, is that their signature item, the cruffin, was predictably sold out already. That’s until it wasn’t.

I’m not going to get into detail, but the scene that ensued when a much sought-after delight, long since having been written off as gone for good, is introduced on a warm, freshly-baked rack of goodness to an audience of ravenous, foodie hipsters is not a pretty one. Needless to say, it’s a game of musical chairs where nobody wants to be left standing when the music stops. And although I shouldn’t have to mention, of course I walked away with a par of cruffins, and it was worth every ounce of effort.

That scene reminded me a little bit of what happens when there is a hot lead up for grabs in a sales team. Having spent time in the world of full-commission sales, I’ve seen my fair share of unscrupulous undercutting to get to the front of the line. Wouldn’t it be nice to avoid that altogether?


Keeping the Peace

For sales teams that have geographic designations, it’s not difficult to focus outbound communications to their respective territories. When an inbound call comes in, though, it would be great if they could be directed to the agent best equipped to service them based off of their location. With GeoRoute from VirtualPBX, all of that is taken care of.

VirtualPBX VoIP systems identify the source of the inbound call based on area code and then route it to the appropriate agent. The identification and direction of the call happens instantaneously before an employee’s phone even begins to ring, so there’s not any unwanted drain on airtime or minutes used for this to occur.


Spreading the Love

GeoRoute works great for distributed workforces and franchises, too. For companies with multiple locations, franchisees, or satellite employees that want a single, national number, call routing can be a time consuming and expensive proposition. With GeoRoute, however, caller locations are again identified by their area codes and then routed to whichever office, department, or employee should be helping them as their local agent.

Whether it is for matchmaking callers with agents all over the country, or respecting jurisdictional boundaries, GeoRoute can streamline call routing more than ever before, and all without the added expense of retaining a receptionist.

To begin planning what type of routing option would be best for your business, start by contacting our business phone experts today. For other related reading, check out these links-

Virtual Extensions – Have Phone, Will Travel
February 5th, 2015

Have Phone Will Travel

Introducing new technology is disruptive, and those disruptions don’t always get welcomed with open arms. Historically, our initial reactions to new ideas aren’t known for their open-mindedness but instead they run the gamut from bafflement and skepticism to distrust and persecution. But, as always, the march of time continues and, provided the technology is a solid enhancement to our lives, we adopt new ideas and integrate them to the point where it’s difficult to consider going without them.


Do you even own a letter opener?

Remember when stamps were critical? There was a time when if you wanted to communicate with someone without using a telephone (corded, possibly touchtone), you needed to send a letter. But then everything changed. Recently resurrected in a new BMW ad, an early encounter with email on the Today Show reminds us that, even though we have the ability to send and receive email anywhere from a bike ride to 30,000 feet in the air, our introduction to it wasn’t exactly smooth.


The Ultimate Travel Companion

Devices on which email can be accessed have become as ubiquitous as the technology itself, and the ubiquity of email terminals have made it the go-to form of communication for businesses. One of the most convenient features of email that heavily contrasts to the environment prior to its introduction is the fact that you only need one address to receive messages. Previously, business travel meant that employees would need to know the numbers of the locations they were traveling to ahead of time if they wanted to receive messages without calling in to their office. With email, of course, all messages sent to a certain address will be retrievable from anywhere. This feature, previously unavailable, contributed handsomely to the near universal adoption of email.


One Number, That’s It

Don’t forget about the telephone, though, because it has been making some improvements lately, too. While most everyone these days has a cellphone, not everyone is keen to give out mobile numbers for work purposes. Furthermore, even fewer people can rely on having a mobile phone provided to them from their employer. Not a problem.

Virtual Extensions essentially turn your VoIP business telephone number into an email address in that they can follow you to wherever you have an internet connection. Unlike intelligent call forwarding like Follow Me Calling, Virtual Extensions are unique in that they don’t require employees to know the numbers they will be at ahead of time. All employees have to do is simply use a Softphone App on the devices that they want to receive work calls on, and then any device with an internet connection can receive calls just as they would if they were sitting in your office.

To learn more about Virtual Extensions, Follow-Me Calling, or any other advanced virtual business phone topic, get in touch with the experts at VirtualPBX today. For more on call routing and VoIP, visit these links:

Mail Only Extensions – The Big Game of Time Saving
February 3rd, 2015

Super Bowl Stadium

This last Sunday was the Super Bowl and a record estimated 120.8 million Americans tuned-in. Increasingly over the years, there has begun the trend of virtually as many people who sit for the big game do so as much for the sports contest as for the advertisements. Even if you are a diehard football fanatic who rushes against the current to the restroom during commercial time while your friends and family gather around the TV to not miss a thing, there is no denying the massive crowds these high-dollar ads draw.


Making Sense of Super Bowl Dollars

The growing popularity of on-demand media and streaming content make events like the Super Bowl unique in sense that they can draw more eyeballs to be fixed on a live event. The opportunity to speak to these types of rare, captivated audiences isn’t one that is acquired inexpensively. With investments soaring from 4.5 million dollars for a 30 second TV spot on top of the cost of making the advertisement itself, it is imperative for companies to be able to manage the challenge of success that comes from the Super Bowl surge.


All Hands On Deck

With companies that experience huge surges in traffic both to their websites and telephone numbers following a well-placed ad, it is critical they keep things running smoothly during the rush. Among all of the things that entails, having to prioritize tasks is key. If you’ve got some basic information that your newfound customer base is going to need, fielding the same question thousands of times isn’t likely to be at the top of that priority list.


Mail Only Extensions

By setting-up a Mail Only Extension from VirtualPBX as part of your plan to manage the influx, you can make sure your customers get exactly what they’re looking for without tying you up on the phone. Mail Only Extensions are pre-recorded messages that you can direct inbound calls to for quick deliveries of important information. Once the recording is complete, you can program the system give the caller the option to leave a message, redirect them to the main menu queue, or if that info is all they need you can also disconnect the call following the completion of the message. And like all of the VirtualPBX options, you can always manage these preferences from the ease of anywhere you have internet access via the vConsole web portal.


Not Just for National Attention

Mail Only Extensions are valuable for all types of businesses, whether they have just garnered massive national recognition or not. Some of the key uses include:

  • Restaurants that have hours, direction, or daily specials on a recording
  • Marketing or Events Agencies with satellite weekly events
  • Entertainment venues that want to keep their line-ups fresh

No matter what industry you operate in, there are definitely ways for your business to benefit from having more time on your hands. Mail Only Extensions are just one of the many ways that VoIP phone service form VirtualPBX can save you time and money. To add Mail Only Extensions to your business phone service, or for any questions you may have about VirtualPBX’s array of services, contact the VoIP experts and start saving today.

Things Come Together With Centralized Messaging
January 28th, 2015

Puzzle Comes TogetherKeep Your Messages in One Place, Even When You Can’t Be

You are a connected business professional. You’ve got an active presence and profile on multiple social platforms, several email addresses, and who knows how many different telephone numbers that you have business conversations on. You can be in multiple conversations on multiple platforms seemingly simultaneously. Technology has let you leverage it to participate more often and in more locations than ever before.

While being able to attend a lot of different parties at the same time by way of your avatars and likenesses is great for not missing a conversation, what happens when you actually have to check your messages from each of those outlets? If it’s anything like what I’ve experienced, the scene is somewhere between the tedium of exhaustive message delineation and, in the event of one of the myriad crisis or fire drills that businesses encounter in a day, complete pandemonium. Wouldn’t it be great if you could quickly and easily scan through your messages to grab only the ones you need and note the ones you can come back to? Let me assure you, it is.


Everything You Need
All in one place, too. Centralized Messaging from VirtualPBX lets you take any or all of the lines you want to include and aggregate the voicemails from them into one receptacle. By identifying the lines you want to keep track on, you can simply visit your vConsole and listen to, sort, save, and delete them all in any order you want right from there.

All-in-one online portals aren’t your bag? No problem. Like anything from VirtualPBX, Centralized Messaging is ready to become the tool that you want it to be. Instead of the vConsole, you can have your messages converted into audio files and emailed to you as attachments or you can even have notifications sent to your mobile phone over SMS text. You get to decide how you get your voicemail, plus which lines to get them from. With VirtualPBX’s Centralized Messaging, you’ll never have to leave one of those parties for too long ever again.