Posted on May 11, 2021 by Casey Houser
A number of updates have arrived for the Dash platform that runs our Business Phone Plans, including important changes to how users interact with the Dashboard and how their business Caller ID can be configured.
Each one of the updates listed below will make life easier for all Dash users. They are welcome additions to our platform that were created in direct response to customer feedback.
Choose Business Caller ID Per Device
Previous methods of selecting your Caller ID in your phone system were to set it according to a specific phone number or to rely on the default setting, which is your main business number.
Now we have added another option to that list: you can select Caller ID based on the device that is being used. This option is found by navigating the Devices menu, selecting the device you want to edit, and finding its Advanced settings, as shown in the image here.
This option could be helpful for a dedicated phone that multiple people use. You may find it more convenient than adjusting multiple users if there is a specific Caller ID you want adjusted for one or more of your business locations.
Invalid Entry Notification Suppression
One feature of our Auto Attendant, which comes with all our phone plans, is its audio notification that alerts users when they have entered an unavailable option.
For example, say your Auto Attendant is set to reach Sales when you dial “1”, Customer Service when you dial “2”, and an operator when you dial “3”. If a customer dials “4”, the default behavior of the attendant is to respond with the phrase “invalid entry.”
Now you can suppress that notification by selecting the toggle within your Auto Attendant. This option can be changed at any time and will work on your primary attendant as well as any of the Multiple Auto Attendants assigned to other phone numbers in your system.
Do Not Disturb Option for ACD Queue Users
Our customers have witnessed some confusion regarding the pairing of our Do Not Disturb (DND) feature and our ACD Queues feature. Notably, queue agents are sometimes marked with DND as active but have then been unable to receive calls.
This makes sense because the DND feature routes calls according to a prescribed flow, such as sending all calls to a voicemail box. It tries to keep you undisturbed while you are busy, but that can be a problem when you want to receive calls in a queue.
Dash now removes the toggle from the menu for any user who is also an ACD Queues agent. This will prevent them from activating DND when trying to work in a queue, saving a lot of headaches and reducing the amount of troubleshooting in your work day.
Warning for Large File Sizes
Last of note with this update is our changing of the way Dash alerts you when uploading large files as your Auto Attendant or Voicemail greeting.
The file size limit for those uploads is 1 MB, and in the past, files larger than that were allowed to be uploaded but would show an error when the upload was finished.
We have changed that order of operations to show you an error before you wait through the file upload process. Anything larger than 1 MB will be rejected immediately so you can try another greeting instead.
Help From Support
If you need help from our Support team in navigating the new Dash changes, selecting a business caller ID, or updating a user’s preferences, you can reach us any time through 24/7 web chat.
We’re happy to set these changes live, and we want you to make the most of them.
Posted on May 6, 2021 by Casey Houser
We know everyone is busy with work tasks this week and, well, every week, but perhaps you can take a few minutes this Mother’s Day to call your mom and set work aside.
Most workplaces grant you a couple breaks throughout your day. In addition, if you’re on a VirtualPBX Unlimited Minutes Plan, then you have nothing to worry about with overages of any kind. Grab a work phone and wish your mom an early, exceptionally happy Mother’s Day before the official day arrives.
She will surely appreciate it. You only have to select which work phone you want to use.
We offer two versions of the VirtualPBX Softphone – one for mobile devices and one for desktop.
They are each available for use on our Unlimited Minutes Plans. So whether you’re in a large company on our Enterprise Plan or in a bootstrapping startup on our Flex Plan, you can take advantage of these phones to make this Mother’s Day extra special.
And yes, we know you can send SMS text messages through your softphone. We urge you to call your mother this spring, though, because sometimes a text just won’t do.
Whether you use the Web Phone in a web browser on your laptop or your smartphone, a quick call here is also easy.
Our Web Phone is accessible on all your devices, and you can use mobile data or WiFi to complete calls from anywhere. If this is your phone of choice, there’s no excuse for missing your mom. Fire up your browser, press those digits, and pop in your headphones for that call.
Finally, there’s the desk phone, of which we offer many models, and if you’re lucky enough to have your own desk or your own office, then you should probably have had your mom in your contact list this whole time.
Close the door to your office, put up your feet for a minute or two, and look for “Mom” in your address book. She will appreciate the gesture and that she’s been called in such an official capacity.
Don’t Miss Mother’s Day This Year
We don’t want you to get caught using company time when you’re not supposed to, so yes we’re being a bit light-handed with a joke here. The point is that your mother is important – so important that she has one entire day dedicated in her honor.
She misses you, even if she saw you yesterday. Don’t miss her day, and if you can, make it more exciting with a call that’s early to add some surprise to the mix.
Posted on May 4, 2021 by Casey Houser
Today we want to lead you, step by step, through our Advanced Call Reports tool as you create a weekly sales report that can be automatically generated and delivered to your email inbox.
We are continuously updating and refining our reporting tool – listening to the feedback from our customers to make it better. The following steps will show you how to create a report, filter its output to your liking, and send that report to your inbox every week. Along the way, you will learn how the Advanced Call Reports platform works, so you can create your own reports without the aid of our blog.
Know How You’re Performing
If you’re asking yourself why you would need Advanced Call Reports in the first place, it’s because our tool can distill the large volume of calls you receive every week into an actionable collection of data points.
Large businesses don’t need to fumble in the dark when it comes to analyzing their call traffic. Creating a weekly sales report, among other reports, gives you visibility into a system that can otherwise seem opaque or unapproachable.
Creating the Sales Report
Advanced and Enterprise have access to Advanced Call Reports. Administrators of those plans can log in to reports.virtualpbx.com and access the Reports tab from their workspace.
The Reports tab opens a new screen that shows the reports you have created, and in the top-right corner, you can click the “+Create Report” button to access report templates. In today’s example, we have selected the “Calls By Week” report that will provide data points like the number of inbound calls, number of outbound calls, average talk time, and average ring time.
You can select a number of output options for your report, including the Default Date Range which is shown here as “This Month” but can be set to a single week, quarters, or a custom date range of your choosing. You can modify all these options after your report has been created.
The output of our report looks like the following screenshot. You can see a number of metrics here that give you an overview of your company’s performance over the time period.
Filtering for Your Sales Team
You’re probably thinking that, at this point, the weekly sales report we’ve created doesn’t only address the Sales team. You’re right. A similar report made for your own company will show all calls associated with your business. You can pare this down with a Filter.
Filters can be accessed from your workspace dashboard and from the left-hand side menu under the Filter tab. You begin the process by clicking the “+Create Filter” button.
The example here shows a couple choices you can make for your filter. We have selected four extensions for users on our phone system (1111, 1112, 1113, and 1114) with the User Number filter and are about to input a Direct Inward Dial filter for any phone number that contains the digits 3828. With both those selections applied to a report, it will only show calls that have reached those users, have been sent from those users, or have been made through a phone number with those digits.
You can create a similar selection for the phone number(s) you assign to your Sales team and to the extensions of the users on your system. These selections can be edited at any time, and you can apply the filter to reports as you create them or afterward in a report’s settings.
Send Reports Automatically to Your Inbox
The Schedules section of your Advanced Call Reports dashboard lets you also click a “+Create Schedule” button to create a cadence for delivering reports.
You select the recurrence (hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly), the time of day, and the days of the week you would prefer a report be sent. Then you attach one or more reports to your schedule. Finally, you choose the recipients by entering their email addresses.
This cadence can be modified at any time. In the case of your weekly sales report, it would start with a Weekly recurrence with your preferred day of the week and delivery time. You will need to create your report and filters before the schedule can be finalized.
Keep in mind also that any reports created in Advanced Call Reports can be accessed within the dashboard. Sending the reports to your inbox never prevents you from using the dashboard to your advantage.
Create Your Own Weekly Sales Reports
The example here only touches the surface of what our Advanced Call Reports tool is capable of. You can generate as many reports as you need about a wide range of data types, including queue-based reports that source information from our ACD Queues Pro feature.
Get started today with your first report. You soon see how helpful the instant feedback will be when looking at your Sales team’s progress throughout the weeks and months to come.
Posted on April 22, 2021 by Casey Houser
This is the final chapter of our e-book, Managing Remote Teams. We want to share some important remote work resources with you.
Although we can’t hope to list all the tools all our employees use every day, we have listed in Chapter 7 an extensive collection of important tools to both individuals and the entire VirtualPBX company.
Our vast cabinet of experience points us individually in the right directions, and as a company, we have thrived by making good choices with our remote work tools. We hope the list provided in our final e-book chapter will give you something new to try with your own business as you continue to work remotely.
Some of Our Favorite 3rd-Party Resources
We often use our own VirtualPBX tools for handling calls and creating company reports. However, we know that we can’t survive as a company without the online software others have built.
A few features here are listed among several others in our final e-book chapter:
We use the Google Suite of online software like Docs and Sheets to collaborate on documents throughout the day.
The use of this resource spans the entire company. Our marketing team has managed this e-book through a Google Doc. Our sales team uses Google Sheets to manage parts of customer journeys. Our development team even tracks changes to our Unlimited Minutes and Unlimited Users Plans as they evolve with new features and improved pricing.
You will find Intercom chat software across our entire website.
This software is a useful path for potential and existing customers to keep in touch with our team. Whether they need assistance with choosing a new phone plan or want to troubleshoot an issue, we make ourselves available 24/7 with this helpful remote work resource.
One of the newest additions to our company toolbelt, we like Airtable because it’s so extensible.
Oftentimes, Airtable is used to track projects and tasks – we definitely use it for that purpose. But we also use it to construct much more complex tools like our SMS Airtable Template that businesses can use to manage their inbound and outbound text messages sent through our Business SMS feature.
A Conclusion to an Important Journey
Our Managing Remote Teams E-Book was completed as the first of its kind. This is a step forward for our marketing department and for outreach as a company.
We enjoy trying new things and providing useful information to our customers and website visitors. This e-book spanned 7 chapters in total. Here’s what you can see in the previous six:
- Chapter 1: An overview of remote team management
- Chapter 2: Hiring remote employees
- Chapter 3: Creating an ideal work environment
- Chapter 4: Management’s role in remote team success
- Chapter 5: Business process analysis
- Chapter 6: Improving and maintaining remote team morale
Use These Remote Work Resources and More
You can download our e-book today to gain immediate access to all the topics above.
In listing these remote work resources, and in addressing all the topics contained in previous chapters, we have primarily reached out to managers and team leaders. Still, that doesn’t mean this was written only for their benefit.
There’s something here for everyone to learn who is working remotely. Team leaders and all employees can learn about the expectations of a remote work setup so making the switch to remote can be fluid and straightforward. Check out our e-book today to bolster or refresh your knowledge of the process.
Posted on April 20, 2021 by Casey Houser
SIP Trunking has become a popular option with users of on-site private branch exchange (PBX) phone systems because it can save them money while being reliable. At VirtualPBX, we structure our SIP trunking pricing so your costs are predictable, and we’re always willing to work with high-volume customers for bulk deals.
This can be a welcome change for businesses that pay a lot for extra lines or who incur charges for overage minutes. We don’t want those situations to happen to any of our customers, so we’ve created a SIP trunking pricing model that’s easy to follow and takes the stress out of monthly billing.
How On-Site PBX Service Typically Works
The traditional method of using PBX phone service is for businesses to purchase a PBX server and connect its outbound line to a phone company. The phone company supplies the business with a primary rate interface (PRI) line that contains 23 channels, so the business can send and receive up to 23 calls at once.
This can work well for small volumes of calls. Overages, however, can become a problem because the 23-call limit will refuse any inbound or outbound calls that step beyond it. A 24th call isn’t possible without another PRI that offers an additional 23 channels.
Therefore, companies may end up paying for many more channels than they need. Access to an additional PRI line might be expensive initially, its many additional channels may be unnecessary for expected call volume, and it could be costly to remove or add during seasons of low or high call traffic.
The Answer is Flexible SIP Trunking Pricing
What we offer at VirtualPBX is an alternative to the static PRI model. We allow any internet-capable PBX to start with 10 channels and allow for five additional burstable channels, which only activate when you exceed the base number.
You can order more channels any time you need them. The burstable channels are always there to help you when call volumes spike.
If you’d like read more about what VirtualPBX SIP Trunking involves, our SIP Trunking FAQ page goes into more depth about additional benefits, technical questions, and call quality.
For many businesses, starting with 10 channels is enough for daily use. They don’t pay for any additional lines unless they need them, and adding and removing lines is a quick process if it should be necessary.
Priced Per Minute
SIP trunking pricing is less complicated with VirtualPBX than with a PRI model. The only additional cost to the standard base price is the per-minute fee.
As of this blog’s printing, we charge only $0.049 per minute of calling. This rate stays the same for both inbound and outbound calls.
As an example, a business that completes 1,000 minutes of calling every month would pay less than $50 for those minutes.
Bundles for Larger Call Volumes
Some of our customers do use many more minutes than what is typical. They also expect to use high volumes every month, so they look to us to provide SIP trunking pricing that better fits their situation.
Our Sales team works with these customers to provide bulk pricing at significantly reduced rates. Their talks with Sales result in predictable pricing for large blocks of minutes – sometimes into the tens- or hundreds-of-thousands of minutes per month.
Read a Customer’s Experience
Don’t only take our word for it. We’re fans of our SIP trunking pricing and service, but what matters most is the happiness of our customers. Bruno Independent Living Aids switched to our service in the midst of changing its call center partner. They’re an excellent example of how a business can transition away from a difficult situation.
We offer Bruno Independent Living Aids visibility into their phone system and a pricing stability like they hadn’t had before. It worked out well for them and can do the same for you.
Interested in learning more? Speak to our team today for an in-depth conversation about your situation. We’ll happily provide you with a free quote and show you exactly how a switch to SIP Trunking will work.