Posted on August 10, 2018 by Rachel Anderson
Grassroots campaigns are the best way to build communities united around a cause. A strong grassroots advocacy model raises awareness for a community of people around issues at local, state or federal levels. Grassroots campaigns will also typically include some degree of political activity in order to draw attention to causes and issues and to influence public perception, regulations, or public policy. It is typical for membership organizations such as Chambers of Commerce, professional trade associations, and all shades of advocacy groups to take advocacy to a level beyond the grassroots into more organized forms. The strength in networks of motivated membership organizations is often manifested in their clout and in their ability to organize with client organizations and to create united groups of concerned constituents which are hard to ignore.
Mechanics of Effective Grassroots Advocacy
The best practices for effective grassroots advocacy include attracting volunteer participation, providing suitable and necessary information about public policy issues, and setting clear goals. The following considerations are simple steps you can make with your organization for it to be as successful as a strong grassroots advocacy organization.
- Plan for success: as a grassroots advocacy entity you must have an organized advocacy agenda that uses a variety of grassroots techniques to make your voice heard around the issues you care about.
- Organize around a strong leadership structure: to succeed at a very high level, have in place a stable leadership structure with clearly defined responsibilities.
- Build a “brand” advocacy model: a well-articulated “brand” should give your advocacy materials a consistent look and feel just like any standard political campaign.
- Use every available advocacy tool: to get your message out, be prepared to use every advocacy tool at your disposal, compare tools with other grassroots campaigns, and report on success metrics.
- Grow your organization: a well-defined and sustained membership drive is a necessary strategy for strength in numbers.
Keep Your Grassroots Campaign Connected with Dash Business Phone Plans
Communication is key in any grassroots campaign. Members should have a clear way to communicate with each other as well as a professional method to conduct outreach. Dash Business Phone Plans are the best fit. Not only are plans built for sharing across geographically dispersed teams – they are also made to fit any budget, allowing individuals the choice between sleek VoIP desk phones, 4G LTE mobile phones, or even a free to use Web Phone. For temporary grassroots campaigns, VirtualPBX also offers rental VoIP phones at a low per month rate.
But of course it doesn’t stop at devices. Features like Call Recording, Salesforce CRM Integration, and Real-Time Monitor (shown below) allow you to measure success at every step of the way. Choose the plan that fits your grassroots campaign best or we can also create a bespoke solution for your campaign through our Custom Voice Solutions.
Posted on August 8, 2018 by Rachel Anderson
A call center is one of the most important tools in every political campaign’s toolbox and an age-old tradition among political hopefuls. Political parties may employ a variety of tactics to get the word out about themselves, including canvassing, e-mail, social media, and snail mail. Most campaigns use a variety of methods, and each has their advantages, but political call centers play a key role in candidates overall strategies.
What Exactly are Political Call Centers?
Political call centers are principally outbound call centers designed to promote a particular candidate, political action committee (PAC) or party’s goals and objectives. The three main tasks of the political call centers are getting out the vote, fundraising and conducting research.
How Does a Political Call Center Work?
Political call centers have curated lists of contacts to ensure that their outbound calling efforts do not follow a “buckshot approach.” Call centers cull data from telephone or internet directories, electoral roll and census data, as well as party information collected over the years from things such as petitions, canvassing, and e-mail lists.
What Type of Call Center Functionalities are Needed for a Political Call Center?
Political call centers receive large amounts of funding in the hopes that their job will be effective. To do so, the call centers must be equipped with call center software that is adequate. Here is a rundown of some vital call centers’ functionalities and features:
- Comprehensive Caller Details
Volunteers need to know exactly who they’re speaking to so that they can target their information to the receiver. A call center solution that lacks comprehensive caller information, to put it mildly, wastes a huge amount of time and resources. Candidates should not lose elections because their call center software has volunteers contacting the wrong individuals. This problem can be solved either with a business tool integration or note-taking and contact history inside the call center software.
- Call Disposition Codes
After volunteers complete calls, call disposition codes allow them to record how the calls went. Therefore if the recipient screamed into the phone that they hate your candidate, you would know to avoid calling the number again. An advanced version of this feature is available in CRM Integrations which allow supervisors to see an overview of all calls, their outcomes, and how individual volunteers are performing.
- Local Phone Numbers
Most people would prefer to receive calls from within their own area code. This applies to all phone calls, but it is especially true for political calls where constituents are looking for candidates with a presence in their area and a concern for the area’s needs. Call centers may employ multiple local phone numbers or even consider toll-free numbers for advertising campaigns.
- Call Recording
Political call center volunteers serve as representatives for campaigns. It is imperative that their presentation is of high quality. Call Recording functionality allows coordinators and managers to be sure that their volunteers are meeting standards by simply tuning into past phone calls.
Choose the Best: Call Center Phone Plans from VirtualPBX
Before an election, political parties are pressed to reach the maximum number of voters possible. Call centers form the backbone of this process and the most effective political call centers leverage advanced call center software that can give insights into a campaign’s effectiveness. The award-winning call center solutions offered by VirtualPBX are backed by 24/7 support, an easy to use web portal, and a slew of features included with every plan. Have a campaign coming up? Compare plans today!
Posted on July 11, 2018 by Rachel Anderson
The VirtualPBX Web Phone – our newest feature which was only introduced three months ago – is already the winner of a prestigious WebRTC award! TMC, a thought-leader and educational resource for the VoIP market has granted the VirtualPBX Web Phone a 2018 WebRTC Product of the Year Award.
In previous blogs, we’ve discussed the driving technology behind our VirtualPBX Web Phone – WebRTC (or Web Real Time Communications) – which makes it possible to deliver safer and less expensive technology using open source technology available in modern browsers. While this technology has been in development for a number of years, its adoption has recently been picking up steam fast. Transparency Market Research reports the worth of the WebRTC market to grow to $81.52 billion USD by 2025. WebRTC is just getting started and so are we.
We don’t spend much time resting on our laurels here at VirtualPBX and our team of designers and engineers who have produced the VirtualPBX Web Phone haven’t rested when it comes to advances in this feature now decorated as a WebRTC Product of the Year. Today, the Web Phone delivers crystal clear calls through a customer’s web browser and offers features like Call History, a Company Directory, and in-call functions like transferring, holding, or adjusting audio settings. In the future, customers can expect a click to call browser extension, quick access to other VirtualPBX features, and a number of other added functionalities that we’re keeping under wraps for now.
If you’re already a Dash user, the VirtualPBX Web Phone is already available to you – no matter which business phone plan you are on. Simply login to your account, add the Web Phone to your user, and you’ll be able to sign into the VirtualPBX Web Phone using your Dash credentials. We’ve also created a step-by-step guide with visuals to help you get started.
Posted on July 5, 2018 by Rachel Anderson
Whether you’re recovering from Independence Day festivities yesterday or are still managing your productive hours around this year’s rollercoaster World Cup (or tougher yet, trying to avoid your coworker Johnson’s game spoilers), it’s likely your voicemail is a little more full than normal. Just like the most successful soccer teams, having a solid game plan before major events can make all the difference. An overflowing voicemail box can be avoided with careful consideration in how you set up voicemail from the beginning.
Set Up Voicemail to Email – One of My Favorite Features
According to a Udemy survey, 70% of workers feel distracted on the job. While this includes chatty coworkers, social media, and a variety of other factors, any disruption to your current task can add significant time onto its completion. While we can’t provide a solution for every disruption, we can at least help you manage and prioritize your call traffic to maximize your productivity and minimize your interactions with offers and inquiries that only slow you down. Enter voicemail to email.
Voicemail on VirtualPBX Business Phone Plans comes with a variety of features that allow you to use and manage voicemail in the way that best suits you. Today I want to focus on my favorite feature – voicemail to email. As you set up voicemail, one of the advanced options – “Recipients” – will allow you to add as many email addresses as you’d like to receive voicemails for that particular phone number, extension, or departmental group. This will send the voicemail as an email attachment, allowing you to put voicemails into your “Inbox Zero” mailbox strategy. It also lets you screen offers you are not interested in and delegate tasks by forwarding that voicemail on. When you set up voicemail to email forwarding, you can also elect to delete voicemails on your system as they’re sent to your email. Consider this a “de-duping” process that lets you maintain Voicemail Zero as well as Inbox Zero.
Even More Voicemail Features at Your Fingertips
Whether it be for Fourth of July festivities, your World Cup watch schedule, or any other number of distractions or particularly busy days, voicemails have a way of building up. The best way to manage them is to set up voicemail for success right at the start. You may also consider changing your voicemail greeting or requiring a PIN to listen to voicemails. Of course, flexibility extends to the ways in which you may listen to voicemails. While my favorite method is by email, you may prefer to listen to them from the admin or user portal Voicemail Manager, by provisioned VoIP phone, or even by dialing in from a cell phone or landline not provisioned on your system. For more detail on configuring these options and instructions to set up voicemail, read our Voicemail Support Guide.
Posted on July 3, 2018 by Rachel Anderson
With the 4th of July holiday coming in hot this coming Wednesday, businesses everywhere will have to consider their out of office plans as they stare down a day of inactivity in the middle of the week. Many times, this holiday is continently placed at the beginning or end of a week, but being smack dab in the middle of the week makes it less likely that everyone will be taking time off at the same moment. For example, of the employees here who are taking time off, half of them are doing so at the beginning of the week and the other half are going on the back end. This type of unpredictability on who will be where makes ensuring the continuity of operations that much more difficult, and also that much more critical to get it right. Fortunately, with the simple automations that abound throughout VirtualPBX VoIP platforms, ensuring that inbound callers are treated with the same high levels of service that they’d expect any other (non-holiday) time of the year is almost too easy! In fact, this is exactly why we built out the Holiday and Business Hours to be so intuitive and customizable in the award-winning Dash Business Phone System.
Out of Office is the Only 4th of July Office Hours Option
Wow, that’s pretty wordy, huh? The point is that this is one of those few holidays that, at least for offices that don’t work directly in services or carnivals or BBQ industries and the like, you should probably just take the day off. We all want to be able to celebrate in peace and not have to worry about customers’ needs going unmet, that’s why all VirtualPBX Dash Plans come with a few handy ways to manage that with just a few clicks of the mouse.
- Business and Holiday Hours Being able to make a few clicks and know that your business will have a recording made and call traffic routed accordingly over the 4th of July holiday makes being out of office that much easier. Plus, setting your business hours for the 5th, 6th, and every other day of July (and all the months, actually) is easy, too. Using this feature to set your holiday schedule each calendar year allows you to confidently leave the office whenever your company has an observed holiday coming up. Or, you know, a weekend.
- Follow Me Calling We understand that not all of the team can get fully away during the holidays each time. For them, establishing a series of telephone numbers to ring either concurrently or in succession is a handy way to ensure that no matter where they’re at on the 4th of July, they can be gotten in touch with. Of course, we’d never advocate doing this, but because users can choose how long each number rings, they could hypothetically make it ring so long that the caller eventually hangs up, too. Don’t get any ideas, though.
- Mobile for Business And for those folks who don’t want to architect their ways out of having to speak to customers (wise choice, FYI), they can even opt to use the only 4G LTE nationwide mobile network available to VoIP users with our Mobile for Business feature. This way there’s no need to change a sequence of forwarding numbers or pretend you can’t be reached. Because, you know, customer conversations are a good thing.
The Best Way to Get Out of the Office this 4th of July
All of the suggestions above are a good idea to use this, and every, holiday, but there’s one more consideration for any organization that isn’t a 24 hour, around the clock outfit. Specifically, and frankly even for a 24 hour firm, using an Auto Attendant is the best way to compliment or replace any live receptionist duties a company may have. Everything from intelligent call routing, to personalized greetings, and voicemail-only extensions can all be managed at scale by the Auto Attendant. The best thing about this feature is that it comes standard on every single Dash Plan at no extra charge, too. So what are you waiting for? Get your Auto Attendant set-up, schedule your business and holiday hours, and go make some BBQ plans to be out of office on this 4th of July!