The Marks Group – Forwarding Calls to Personal Devices
One of the more unique small businesses VirtualPBX has had the pleasure of hosting is The Marks Group.
Company president Gene Marks and his group of employees set aside all the advanced features included with the VirtualPBX Dash Phone System. Their workflow includes only the Automated Attendant, Call Forwarding, and Voicemail.
Marks was kind enough to speak to VirtualPBX about his unique use case and the way that Dash helps his company remain professional in all its service and sales calls.
Reaching Beyond Its Boundaries
The Marks Group operates as a consulting firm that assists small and medium-size businesses with CRM, cloud-based accounting, sales, and marketing. The company specializes in a number of enterprise-grade applications, including the CRM software Microsoft Dynamics, GoldMine, ZohoCRM, Salesforce, and HubSpot and accounting software Quickbooks, ZohoBooks and Xero.
In his remarks to VirtualPBX, Gene Marks first noted the modest size of his company. At only 10 employees and a handful of contractors, the outfit could be considered midsize. However, it may be more accurate to call it small yet able to reach beyond its bounds.
It’s clear to any business owner that specializing in so many applications takes both skill and manpower. What Marks does with his own company is harness the most important capabilities of every person and product in his orbit.
Using Personal Smartphones at Work
One way in which Marks uses his tools efficiently is by taking advantage of the core components of his phone plan. By limiting use of VirtualPBX Dash to its Auto Attendant, Call Forwarding, and Voicemail, he streamlines the manner in which calls will reach himself and his employees.
“We have 10 people — and other contractors — who have extensions with VirtualPBX,” Marks said. “All of them get calls routed to their cell phones. We do not use hardware. We only use it for inbound calls.”
While at first this may seem limiting, it fits the structure of The Marks Group perfectly. Because The Marks Group only handles incoming calls with Dash, the tight scope of the phone system ends up working for the company rather than against it.
Auto Attendant offers every inbound caller a friendly greeting and phone tree. Setup takes only minutes, and modifications are easy to make. The phone tree can connect customers to any individual or group extension in the company’s Dash system.
Call Forwarding automatically transfers any configured Dash extension to an individual’s personal phone number. Therefore, Marks’ company extension could be linked to his smartphone, even if the smartphone is never registered as a device in Dash.
With those two options working in tandem, a caller selecting Marks from within the company Auto Attendant would immediately ring his smartphone. No transfer would be visible to the caller, so the call will remain streamlined until it ends.
Auto Attendant setup and modification takes only minutes. Extensions can be linked to different phone tree options, and Dash services like Voicemail can be utilized. Auto Attendant recognizes business operating hours and may be configured to reach employees’ Voicemail boxes, instead of forwarding their extensions, when calls are placed outside set hours.
This all works well for The Marks Group and its customers because all inbound calls are routed properly and smoothly. Regardless of the type of phone used with Dash and whether or not a call is forwarded, customers can expect clear audio and a capable employee on the answering end.
Benefits Over the Years
Marks, who has been a VirtualPBX customer with The Marks Group since 2005, noted his use of this phone service as “a critical part of our company [which has] very much helped me reduce overhead after we originally implemented.”
Marks started with VirtualPBX’s legacy vConsole platform and recently made the upgrade to the new Dash platform. Both have offered the use of an Auto Attendant to lead inbound callers through a simple phone tree and route them to the appropriate Marks Group employees. Both allowed those calls to be forwarded to employees’ personal phone numbers and have let customers leave Voicemail messages to those employees’ extensions on the phone system.
The number of incoming calls, as one might expect, varies from one employee to another. Gene Marks estimated that he receives between 10 and 20 calls on any given day. Of that group, he might answer a handful when not in meetings or already taking calls. The rest are available as voicemail messages with a quick dial of the *97 Feature Code.
Usability Through Simplicity
Marks noted in his conversation with VirtualPBX that his phone system usage could have a bit more flair.
“I wish we had a more interesting story to tell,” Marks said.
“But,” he continued. “Sometimes boring is just as important.”
Marks reflected on the affordability of Dash and the welcome disparity between its price and capability. A low cost, he noted, doesn’t come at the expense of a loss of function.
“VirtualPBX has enabled my business to have a professional phone system and accommodate all of our service and sales calls as if we were many times the size.”
“The service has never failed us,” he concluded.
In the end, it’s not the complexity of a story that makes for a good fit between customer and provided service. VirtualPBX does its best to create a phone system that will work for all sizes of businesses and adapt to their unique situations. The Marks Group has reduced Dash to its minimum functional assets and made from those core elements something greater than their sum.
Marks’ sentiments, alongside the past, present, and future outlook of his company, is exactly what VirtualPBX hopes to see.