Posted on March 2, 2021 by Casey Houser
There two ways in which your business might wish to have an auto attendant greeting generator – first in text-to-speech function within your Auto Attendant and second as a creator of sample greetings you can use to address your own customers.
We’ll talk today about how your Auto Attendant functions and provides you with effective text-to-speech for your custom messages. Then you can take some inspiration in this blog from our simple greetings generator whose messages you can use in your own phone system.
A workhorse component, yet often overshadowed, of our Auto Attendant feature is its text-to-speech function where you can type a message and have it read automatically to your inbound callers.
The effect is straightforward. Take a look at the screenshot here to see the area in which you insert your greeting. Any text put into this box will be read to the caller when they reach your business.
You should include information like your name and business hours so your customers know who they have reached and whether or not you’re open. From there, you can include routing numbers for your various departments or individuals who can be reached by pressing 1, 2, 3, etc. on the phone’s dialpad.
This functionality comes included in every VirtualPBX Phone Plan and highlights the primary purpose of your attendant, which is to quickly inform customers about your status and how you can be reached. To a large extent, it plays the role of a live operator.
You can also use text-to-speech functionality in Multiple Auto Attendants that comes with our Essentials, Advanced, and Enterprise Plans. This lets you use the auto attendant greeting generator within the attendant that’s paired with your main business number and also with other numbers like those that reach specific departments or are used with DID numbers for individual employees.
Create Sample Messages with Auto Attendant Greeting Generator
Now we’d like to share with you another type of generator. Our quick script below gives you sample messages to plug into your auto attendant however you like.
Fill in the boxes below with your business name and your office hours; select the style of message you want to hear; and hit Generate!
You can use these messages verbatim within your text-to-speech function or record the greeting with your own voice. They are here for you to use directly or for inspiration for more personalized greetings.
Need even more assistance for a professional message? Our partners at Snap Recordings create high-quality audio recordings for any style of message you prefer. Their team has a quick turnaround and can provide you with further suggestions about what their voice actors should say in your recordings.
Don’t just take our word for it. Read about how our customer, APEX Career Services, used Snap to create their custom greetings.
“All I had to do was click a link to get my professional messages ordered. It was amazing.”
Set Up Your Auto Attendant
If you have yet to take advantage of your Auto Attendant feature, our Support staff are here 24/7 to help. We also offer a Free Demo if you want to know more about how it operates in a live environment. Our Sales team will be happy to show you around.
The Auto Attendant is one of the most central components to a well-working phone system. Get your messages ready and your settings established today.
Posted on February 24, 2021 by Casey Houser
In previous sections of our new e-book, Managing Remote Teams, we’ve discussed the overall remote work culture and the challenges of hiring an off-site team. Now in Chapter 3, we’re excited to talk about developing the ideal remote work environment for your staff members.
Since our e-book addresses managers directly, what we have in this chapter is a look at internet security, work location, and the structure of the workday. Managers can have a positive impact on their overall workplace environment by understanding how their employees prefer to work and how those preferences mesh with the demands of the job.
The networking expert at VirtualPBX is Len Cacioppo, our VP of Operations. He has decades of experience in securing digital networks and presently uses his knowledge to keep VirtualPBX staff members and customers safe.
Cacioppo, when asked about how remote workers can protect themselves, offered a few key pieces of advice:
- “Avoid simple passwords.”
- “Use your corporate VPN.”
- Trust your home router: “They have good default settings to keep you protected.”
Employees can keep themselves safe by taking a few simple steps, Cacioppo says. It’s up to managers to relay the necessary information so employees know how to best interact with their companies from remote locations.
For instance, managers can instruct employees about how to create strong passwords and how to connect their home computers to the company virtual network. Cacioppo also provides a VoIP Security Checklist in our e-book to show which settings should be noted (or adjusted) on a user’s home router.
What makes your ideal remote work environment special? You might work from your couch or kitchen. Other employees could use the local coffee shop as their primary hub. In any case, it’s important for managers to address how an employee’s location can impact their work.
Say, for instance, that one of your team members regularly works from a noisy coffee shop. This might have worked well in previous months, but it could become a problem if you ask them to adopt more customer-facing responsibilities like handling support calls.
You can have a quick discussion with your employees about their chosen or ideal work environments. Then you can speak together about how that environment works or doesn’t work well with the demands of the job. Our e-book offers several suggestions for how companies can help remote work locations mesh well with daily work tasks.
Structure of the Work Day
Managers have the responsibility of looking at both the hard tasks (responsibilities like answering calls and submitting reports) and soft events (employee culture, like “water cooler” conversation) that occur during a typical workday.
Often, it’s the human connections that drive an employee’s ideal work environment. The VirtualPBX marketing team meets every morning for a check-in that allows its members to banter before talking about their tasks for the coming eight hours. This meeting time works to generate camaraderie alongside the necessary sharing of workplace hard tasks.
How do you handle the “water cooler” conversation at your own business? When moving to a remote work environment, the switch from a literal water cooler to a virtual meeting space can be an odd adjustment to those employees who aren’t familiar with the situation. Managers can help ease the transition by showing employees the ropes and letting them know what’s expected and what’s permitted (such as friendly banter) in your Slack channels or video meetings.
Create the Ideal Work Environment
Our e-book this chapter discusses these topics with even more depth. It gives you tips and tricks for helping employees make the most of their workspaces.
If you haven’t already, you can download our e-book today and gain immediate access to advice from our experts at VirtualPBX. We’re excited to offer this chapter and look forward to presenting you with several more in the coming weeks.
Posted on February 18, 2021 by Casey Houser
Many of the business services you use are online. You collaborate through video streaming; share multi-user, online documents like spreadsheets; and store files in cloud servers. Data integration tools make it possible to connect the information that’s stored in, and travels through, these mediums.
VirtualPBX phone plans also work as an online service. The underlying platform that runs our Business Phone Plans, called Dash, includes an API that we use internally to pass information from one part of the system to another – such as when you transfer a call. The API makes our system flexible, and it helps us integrate with other data integration tools to make your phone plans work well for your business.
Our COO, Lon Baker, explains briefly how our API helps us upgrade our phone plan features, build custom features for our customers, and integrate with third-party services like Zapier:
Zapier: Perfect for Beginners
Baker mentions Zapier as a service that helps businesses transfer data from one location to another. Zapier offers a free service tier so anyone can test the product or use it lightly to conduct basic operations. Power users can also upgrade to professional plans that allow for high volume and complex data manipulation.
Our Zapier Integration uses our Dash API to let you send data to other services when your business receives a call, ends a call, receives a voicemail, and more. It can even handle the receipt of texts in conjunction with our Business SMS feature.
Data integration tools like Zapier let us help businesses small and large integrate their phone services with online tools they already use. Our Zapier template can, for instance, log inbound calls in a Google Sheet or note voicemail receipts in a Trello card. You can also build your own custom workflows to make the most of the services you’re already familiar with.
VirtualPBX API: For Pros and Custom Solutions
Additionally, Baker points out that the VirtualPBX API works well for developers that need to build custom data integration tools that go beyond what a pre-built service like Zapier can achieve.
Our Zapier Integration is powerful and can help a large percentage of business use cases. We can’t, however, predict your specific needs as an enterprising organization.
Maybe you’re building a new product the world has never seen. That’s great! We offer you our API in case you need it to bring your product to life.
Our API helps many of our expert customers handle tasks like contact center maintenance and creating complex call flows for their inbound traffic. We have even used it internally to build tools that customers have requested.
Need More Customization? We Can Help.
In addition to our Business Phone Plans, we also offer Custom Voice Solutions as a way to let us help you with complex situations.
You might be that company with a great new idea but without the time to spend developing a custom phone system setup. No worries! We can build you something custom in as small or large a package as you need.
One example is the SMS Tool we built as an Airtable template that handles both receipt and sending of SMS text messages.
We initially built that tool at the request of a customer. Now, as you can see in the blog post linked above, you can build one yourself or have us easily replicate a similar tool for your own business.
If you have a need for a phone system that doesn’t do what we already offer through our list of plans, we’d love to build it for you.
Contact Us for Data Integration
Whether you want to get started with Zapier, access our API to build your own product, or have us help you build a custom voice system, we’d like to talk to you.
Get in touch today to start a conversation with our team. We can discuss your unique use case and set up a Free Demo or schedule an in-depth call with our development experts.
Posted on February 16, 2021 by Casey Houser
We will soon upgrade the platform that runs our VirtualPBX Phone Plans, which we call Dash, to version 5.0. The move to Dash 5.0 will come with a range of benefits for our customers that will allow them to more efficiently use their phone plans every day.
Lon Baker, the COO of VirtualPBX, commented briefly about our latest developments:
Updates To Our ACD Queues Feature
One specific feature many customers have been waiting for is the use of mobile phones and landlines in queues.
For many years, Dash users were only able to use VoIP phones, our VirtualPBX Softphone, and the VirtualPBX Web Phone to handle inbound calls in our ACD Queues and ACD Queues Pro features. The upgrade to Dash 5.0 will allow user to add smartphones and landline phones to their lists of allowable devices.
This means you can take calls from customers with any device you own. You’re no longer limited to VoIP-specific devices; just like with our Call Forwarding feature, this update helps you bring your personal devices into the mix of workplace phones.
A Quick Softphone Mention
We’re also excited for what’s coming with the VirtualPBX Softphone. Stay tuned in the next couple weeks for updates related to management of video and calling groups with our softphone that runs on Android and iOS mobile devices and on Mac and Windows computers.
This exciting development is currently being tested within VirtualPBX group meetings, and we’re seeing a lot of positive feedback from our meeting participants.
How Does Dash 5.0 Work?
The upgrades mentioned above are made possible because of the nature of how the VirtualPBX Phone System works behind the scenes. With every call you make or receive, digital information passes through some part of the VirtualPBX API.
The API lets use handle call information and pass it to your devices. It lets users manage webhooks to capture data about their business’s calls. It lets you gain overviews of your account – such as viewing the phone numbers associated with your groups and users. It also lets us build feature like Business SMS to stay with communications trends in our industry.
In short, the API and the flexible nature of Dash let us quickly and easily upgrade our existing features and build new features that benefit our customers.
Stay In Touch – Join Our Newsletter
You can easily keep in touch with us through our New Technology Coming Soon page which features our Product Roadmap that shows what features are next in line for release. Some of our upcoming integration include Slack, Intercom, and the Pipedrive CRM platform.
Visit that page today to see our Roadmap and sign up for our newsletter. We email our followers and customers regular emails (about once a month) concerning updates and product releases. We’ll be happy to have you join our list and keep you informed about what you can see next from VirtualPBX.
Posted on February 11, 2021 by Casey Houser
Chapter 1 discussed the nature of remote work and how, in general, it can benefit your business and help employees achieve a greater work-life balance. Now in Chapter 2, we discuss the tips and tricks to hiring remote employees. Even if you’ve hired for remote positions before, this could be a great opportunity to hone your skills when it comes time to add to your team.
What to Look for in a New Hire?
Our vice president of sales, Kevin Peyton, has years of experience leading our sales representatives in both on-site and remote locations. He has been instrumental in helping VirtualPBX find success during the difficult times of the COVID pandemic.
He lends much advice throughout Chapter 2 of Remote Team Management by sharing what qualities he looks for in a remote hire candidate. He notes that a combination of both hard skills and soft skills can reveal what an individual will bring to the company.
Interviews can help reveal an individual’s soft skills, while a resume highlights their history of dealing with workplace tasks like cold calling sales leads.
It’s stressed in our e-book that, in this stage of hiring remote employees, being candid is of the utmost importance. Remote work situations can be unique – especially for people who are new to working off-site. The demands of the position should be on the interview agenda.
Onboarding Can Be Intensive
Peyton stresses that onboarding a remote employee can require heavy use of tools like video conferences.
Typically, onboarding takes place through shadowing, where a new hire will stick by an experienced employee so they can ask questions and learn quickly how daily tasks take shape. Without the ability to physically shadow someone, however, multiple video sessions have to take that role.
Peyton notes that working through typical sales scenarios works well for him during onboarding. Other tactics and strategies are outlined throughout this chapter about hiring remote employees.
Hiring Remote Employees Requires Rethinking
Our Managing Remote Teams E-Book primarily focuses on the role of managers at remote companies. We want to show you what it takes to run a company and its departments without (potentially) ever being face-to-face with your employees.
This might sound like a far-fetched idea, but it can be done, and it can be done well. Many VirtualPBX employees work remotely at all times; several new team members were even onboarded during the pandemic.
We’ve done it right. Now we can show you what we know. Pick up a copy of our e-book today.