Feature Codes for Business Phones, Because Life’s Too Short for User Manuals

Feature CodesOver 20 years ago, we started a business with a simple idea; Let businesses harness the power of the cloud for their communications. Of course, there was a lot yet to learn about the technology behind VoIP that was, for many people, still really quite new. But the idea behind that was simple, and sure enough, it turned out to be really quite popular, too! Fast forward a couple of decades and the power of the cloud has been almost infinitely expandable into newer and better business communications platforms. When we set out a few years ago to change the way people interact with their hosted business phones by revolutionizing the design and interface of their VoIP portal, we were motivated by one thing- simplicity. Dash business phone plans accomplish that with ease, and the user-friendly design of the Dash portal democratizes cloud communications like nothing before it. Now you don’t need to an engineer to use your telephone because, come on, it’s a telephone. We didn’t think it should be too difficult. But now, we want to remind you of one of the less glitzy but equally important features of Dash that make it so simple to use, specifically, Feature Codes.

Feature Codes for Dash

We built Dash to be as easy to navigate as your own office space. With well-designed menus that offer logical and intuitive pathways to managing your phone system with ease, we’re confident you won’t find a more user-friendly system out there. But what if you don’t even want to log into Dash to manage calls and features? We get it, sometimes life is really too short to be fiddling around with anything other than the conversation in front of you. For those times, it’s useful to know which Feature Codes to use to get the job done right from your phone. That’s right, as long as your VoIP desktop phone is provisioned for your VirtualPBX Dash Plan, which, assuming you’re using Dash, is guaranteed, you can complete a variety of functions right from your dial pad. Want to forward a call? Just pressing “*72” makes that no problem! Sending a caller to voicemail? You can “**” them right there in a jiffy! In fact, you can complete such an array of functions with Feature Codes that you could even consider jotting them down so you can remember them all. Wait, it turns out we’ve already done that for you here with our Dash Feature Codes cheat sheet. No matter how you remember them, though, it’s a great idea to familiarize yourself with this additional way to streamline your business communications.

What Other Features or Feature Codes Would You Like?

We’re constantly reviewing feature suggestions and trying out our latest beta programs with our customers. If you’d like to contribute to the discussion, too, we’d love to have you. You can add any thoughts you have, sign up for beta programs, or simply just see what we have in the works for new products and features by reviewing our VirtualPBX Product Roadmap on Trello. This is your one-stop shop for all of your VirtualPBX future projects information, and we’re always happy to discuss your thoughts there. Of course, for some of you, you may want to reach out using social media instead, so we’re always around on Twitter and Facebook, too. No matter how you do it, though, we’d be happy to help you save time be it with Feature Codes or another useful VoIP feature. All you have to do is ask!

Free Fax Cover Sheet Download For Electronic Fax

Getting the most out of your complete hosted business communications system is more than having the advanced features and reliable service that comes with an industry-leading 99.999% operational uptime. It’s also presenting yourself to prospective clients and business partners in the best way possible, too. We help out customers accomplish that in many ways with features that create the polished and professional gloss of established organizations, even if they’re operating out of their own garage. And for the record, as an organization that began out of a basement and had to upgrade to a garage, we have nothing but love for our scrappy start-up roots. But for many entrepreneurs, navigating some of the traditional business communications methods can get a bit confusing if they haven’t relied on them in the past. Specifically, faxing protocol is a topic we get lots of questions on because some folks don’t know they need a fax cover sheet much less what should go on it. That’s why we’ve built a free fax cover sheet download and a free fax cover sheet template for you to access right here. With the electronic fax feature included with every Dash Basic, Pro, and Unlimited account, this fax cover sheet download available means you’ve got the last piece of the faxing puzzle in place.

free fax cover sheet

Free Fax Cover Sheet

free fax cover sheet template

Free Fax Cover Sheet Template

Use the Free Fax Cover Sheet As-Is or Customize the Free Fax Cover Sheet Template to Your Liking

Use the Free Fax Cover Sheet

  1. This free fax cover sheet is ready to go! To save it to your computer, click “File”, select “Download as”, then select PDF Document (.pdf).
  2. For each fax you send, you may fill out the cover sheet using the PDF reader of your choice, like Adobe Acrobat or Preview for Mac.
  3. Then, either add this as the first page of whatever document you’re faxing via email attachment, or print it out and place it on the top of pages you’re faxing using conventional paper methods.

Customize the Free Fax Cover Sheet Template

  1. To begin customizing this free fax cover sheet template, click “File” and select “Make a copy…”
  2. Give your document a name, organize it in the folder of your choice, and optionally edit sharing settings.
  3. Now, you may edit your company name and address, add a logo, and make any additional customizations as you see fit.
  4. When you’re finished making changes, click “File”, select “Download as”, then select PDF Document (.pdf).
  5. For each fax you send, you may fill out the cover sheet using the PDF reader of your choice, like Adobe Acrobat or Preview for Mac.
  6. Then, either add this as the first page of whatever document you’re faxing via email attachment, or print it out and place it on the top of pages you’re faxing using conventional paper methods.

You can now use this free fax cover sheet template for faxing across any method available, be it our sleek e-faxing process that can be sent and received right from your email to even the older physical fax machines of yesteryear. The point is that using a fax cover sheet template allows you to adhere to customary faxing conventions that dictate transmissions to be sent with a cover sheet indicating the sender/recipient information, number of pages, and any other relevant information. You can opt to type all of this information in the comments section directly from your computer, or you can hand write it all in if you’re using an older fax machine, just remember to print legibly. Also, if you’re working off of your computer, you can opt to add your company logo as a header on the fax cover sheet as well, but that is not required.

Fax Cover Sheet Templates Are Just the Beginning

Now that you have your free fax cover sheet template ready to download and use at work, what else can we help you with? There’s a chance we have the guides and support to help you navigate the business communications waters already and all you need to do to find out is check with our award-winning Customer Support Team because they have access to dozens of online guides and resources. But, if what you need isn’t readily available, maybe we can get another free template download made for you! Simply reach out to Customer Support or let us know on Twitter or Facebook how we can help you out. We’re always open to new ideas and are happy to help. In the meanwhile, enjoy both the free fax cover sheet download and free fax cover sheet template download and happy faxing!

What’s the Difference Between ACD Queues and Hunt Groups?

Following our recent addition of the all new ACD Queues on Dash, we’ve been getting some increased interest in how businesses can benefit from them. In some cases, those companies have been waiting their entire existence for the sleek and reliable call management that comes from the all-new ACD Queues on Dash, but for others, there has always existed an even more appropriate solution. Ring Groups, also commonly called Hunt Groups, are an alternative option to using a full call queue system like the ACD Queues on Dash that offer plenty of similarities and advantages for the right business over their more enterprising big brother. What else makes them attractive to some businesses is that Ring Groups are already an included feature in all Dash Basic, Pro, and Unlimited Plans. To help companies decide which departmental queue system to use for their business, we have the following comparison of the difference between ACD Queues and Hunt Groups.

VirtualPBX Announces New Call Queues for Dash Business VoIP

What are ACD Queues and Hunt Groups?

To begin outlining the difference between ACD Queues and Hunt Groups, it’s best to make clear the basic function of each. Ultimately, businesses with a growing call volume found it was best to provide easy channels to drive inbound callers to the appropriate parties separated by their needs and the directed to the relevant departments. This is also where the term, “Departmental Queues,” comes from as queuing systems are generally divided along departmental and job-function lines. Early queuing systems provided by legacy telephone companies over copper wires required truly massive footprints to house expensive on-site hardware and were prohibitively costly for all but the wealthiest of businesses. As hosted telecom and VoIP platforms like the modern day Dash Plans began to replicate and improve on call queues, the technology began to become far more widely available to businesses. Along the way, though, and before products like the all-new ACD Queues on Dash were made available, there existed a clever alternative called Hunt Groups, or on Dash as they are still known, Ring Groups. Though the two technologies serve to answer the same general needs for businesses, they go about it differently and have their own strengths.

So What’s the Difference Between ACD Queues and Hunt Groups?

Ahh, yes, the million dollar question. Below we’ll address some of the key differentiations between Ring Groups and ACD Queues and then you should have the information you need to determine which technology is right for your business.

  • Complexity The core variation between the two technologies boils down to their vastly different complexity. Ultimately, Ring Groups are just a collection of extensions that a user selects to represent any given department or queue but remain static until the admin makes any changes. ACD Queues are dynamic lists of agents that can surge and act as backfill automatically per a predetermined hierarchy that admins can adjust as calls are being received. And because business can change on a dime, this means that ACD Queues are designed to react and adjust as call volumes spike proactively, and not necessarily require that an admin make those adjustments for the system.
  • Customization A simple Ring Group can be made as elaborate as the user wants, but the number of options on how to do that is relatively limited. If there is a small organization and everyone shares roughly the same tribal knowledge and autonomy to serve customers, then they all could really be included in each one of the department queues a caller can choose from. From larger organizations where the skills and knowledge base is far more specialized and segmented, the departmental (and therefore the queuing) divisions are much clearer. However, because some departments will have more insight into others than just their own, they can be assigned to serve as backups to any particular queues. For example, Accounts Payable can field calls for Accounts Receivable and vice versa and perhaps Sales will be able to pitch in if Marketing is swamped, as well.
  • Management From a people management standpoint, this is where ACD Queues are head and shoulders above Ring Groups. Admins can use any number of ranking systems to assign to their agents from how skilled they are, how tenured (meaning newer trainees can be given lighter call loads), and of course their skillsets or specialties. Also, ACD Queues allow for custom wrap-up times following calls for agents to properly annotate accounts and prepare for new calls along with a host of other options that all allow for equal and even call distribution among agents. Ring Groups do not have these advanced options available.
  • Distribution Combining all of the above comparisons leads to this next key differentiator. Whereas ACD Queues offer a multitude of options on how a queue’s traffic will be divided among that department’s agents, the same cannot be said for Ring Groups. Ring Groups, instead, simply ring all members of a group simultaneously until one of them answers the call. In a small office, this can be just a small consideration, but as organizations grow, they often find that the surgical assignment of individual calls to specific agents to be a more effective and efficient method of handling inbound callers.
  • Mobility One good thing about both systems is that, because they each operate on the award-winning cloud-based Dash platform, they each enjoy mobility benefits like no other system. All of the respective functions, reporting, analytics, and customizations for Ring Groups and ACD Queues can be accessed and managed from the palm of one’s hand anywhere there is a data or internet connection. This type of physical freedom has opened the doors to a new breed of call center that is completely decentralized and one that accommodates the popularization of the remote workforce.
  • Cost One of the other clear distinctions of Ring Groups and ACD Queues on Dash is the cost of each approach. Ring Groups are included in Dash Plans as just one of dozens of advanced features whereas ACD Queues are a premium feature not unlike Salesforce CRM or Webhooks Integrations that also come as an available option to businesses. Whichever direction a company chooses to go, however, it is abundantly clear that each of these options is wildly more flexible and affordable than anything offered by an on-site telephone option.

Get Started With Better Call Routing

Another similarity that both Ring Groups and ACD Queues on Dash have is that getting started with either is as simple as 1-2-3. In most cases, new users of Dash can be up and running and actually making and receiving phone calls in as little as 5 minutes. Simple head to the Dash Plans page, pick the one that works best for your budget, and you’re off and running. Also, we’re around 24/7 so you can always contact one of our expert Support Staff or even find on social media at our Twitter or Facebook accounts. No matter how you decide to reach out, though, we’ll be happy to help you answer any other questions you may have about the difference between ACD Queues and Hunt Groups, and which will be the right strategy for you and your business.

Welcome to the All-New ACD Queues On Dash!

Just when you thought we couldn’t pack any more functionality into the award-winning Dash Business Phone System, we’ve got another big piece of news to share. For years, we’ve been providing the most robust and capable enterprise-grade business telephone features for businesses of all sizes and on all budgets. We’ve done that by offering a variety of plans and core technologies that power them, but recently we’ve been able to begin solving a greater number of businesses needs with a single platform- Dash. Now that Dash is established as more than just a pretty face thanks to its massive library of core functionality and new features like Salesforce CRM and Webhooks Integrations, Dash has become a legitimate telephone service solution for even the largest of organizations. Now, with the introduction of the all new ACD Queues on Dash, there is a Dash Plan for every company.

VirtualPBX Announces New Call Queues for Dash Business VoIP

What’s New in the All-New ACD Queues On Dash?

Many of our longtime customers remember our TrueACD Queues for some of our legacy plans. These were industry-leading technologies that gave companies an previously unseen level of control and visibility into their call queues at a fraction of the cost than traditional phone service providers were charging. We’ve used those years of experience and feedback from our users and have learned invaluable lessons which we poured into the all-new Call Queues for Dash. All of this means we can offer the most reliable ACD queues in the business with several key improvements, too. First of all, the entire interface has been rethought to fit into the sleek and intuitive design of Dash that has become so popular. This makes navigating and managing all of an entire company’s worth of call queues simple and effective from the palm of your hand, anywhere you happen to have an internet or data connection. Second, is the revolutionarily simple call monitoring interface. With a simple and elegant tile interface, the admins instantly have clear and actionable information in real time on how their queues are performing and what types of call loads are being handled. At a glance of the monitoring view, an admin can immediately see call traffic at the queue or individual agent levels and manage call routing based on a variety of intelligent methods, plus, agents themselves can have the same remote flexibility, too. Agents manage their status by simply toggling their options through the same Dash portal or using shortcut keys on their VoIP device. Any single one of these innovations would be enough to get many queue users to jump for joy and they’re all included in the all-new Call Queues for Dash.

Get Started With the All-New ACD Queues On Dash Today

Like all of our new features from our VirtualPBX Product Roadmap, there are beta periods and soft launches to allow for some of our customers to experience the new functions first hand and provide feedback. This communication loop is essential to the overall success of our newest features and allows for us to test them in real-world conditions before announcing them. Because the all-new ACD Queues on Dash are no exception to this rule, they have been out in the field for some time and many of our Office Plan users are migrating to them right now. To make that transition yourself or to inquire how to include call queues in your current Dash business phone service, contact any one of our Sales or Support representatives. Also, if you’re already using the new departmental queues on Dash and have any questions, we are always available 24/7 for your needs and have also updated the online ACD Queues Support Guide to let you troubleshoot on your own schedule, too. No matter how you manage them, though, we hope you love the all-new ACD Queues on Dash and are looking forward to introducing you to the next great release before too long, too!

3 Best Reasons to Expect To Keep Using Fax for Business

keep using fax for businessFaxing is something you may or may not be familiar with in a business setting. There was a time when faxing was the most cutting-edge and revolutionary business technology around. Of course, that may have been around the time that it was introduced, roughly about two generations ago. Needless to say, things have changed since then, dramatically so in the world of business communications. Why is it, then, that fax machines tend to still be made and sold online? It was news when the last commercially produced VCR was discontinued, and they aren’t as old as faxing is. This is most likely because there are a few reasons that faxing is still relevant, and will most likely remain relevant well into the future. And with that in mind, we’re offering these following examples of what is keeping the mostly-forgotten technology of faxing up and running.

Out of the Spotlight, Not Out of Commission

The fax machine isn’t the sleekest, sexiest, the most sizzling hot new piece of office hardware you can find these days. In fact, most offices that use fax machines still will have them as part of the popular, all-in-one model of printer/copier, so that makes it unlikely that you’d even recognize a modern fax machine if you only knew the bulky, clunky, noisy behemoths of yesteryear. And in spite of the relative invisibility of the venerable fax machine, they are persistently in the quiver of business communications tools of successful organizations the world over. These following reasons are the ones chiefly responsible for faxing’s continued relevance.

  1. Paperless Faxing
    Faxing technology has evolved considerably from the days when rolls of direct thermal printing paper began spooling out messages over 50 years ago. Much like the majority of modern technologies and business systems, faxing can be done completely paperlessly. Digital paperless faxing can send and receive documents directly from an email inbox with email to fax. Using email to fax reproduces all of the benefits of a fax machine without ever having to worry about running out of toner, loading paper properly, or that annoying tonal cacophony that accompanied any sent or received fax from back in the day. And seeing as how email-to-fax is included with all of our advanced cloud-based business telephone systems, it’s easy to see why many businesses don’t have any intention to kill the fax machine just yet.
  2. It’s like The Soccer of Business Tools
    Or rather, football, if you will. I draw this comparison because soccer is the world’s biggest, most widely-participated-in sport. So, too, is faxing. More businesses in the global economy depend on faxing rather than email mostly because broadband internet penetration in the world as a whole is nothing like it is here in the United States. In fact, even domestically we are well behind many of our developed world companions in access to high-speed internet. This is a situation that’s ideal for faxing because faxing technology was developed to only use the Public Switched Telephone Network (PTSN, effectively any non-ethernet telephone line). And seeing as how raw materials, shipping hubs, and supply chain integrity all rely on being virtually continuously updated and accessible in order to successfully bring products to market, the simple telephone wire is the most important and ubiquitous form of communication on the planet.
  3. Safer Than Email
    Faxing is based on “Base64 Binary Encryption,” and while this may sound like gibberish, it’s clearly the secret to faxing’s most compelling feature. This encryption technology is not just possibly the biggest reason for its longevity, it’s also the golden ticket for it to be the primary communications method for some of the world’s largest industries. Specifically, Law Offices and any medical organization that wants to conduct business within the United States or with a company that operates here needs to have access to a fax machine. According to HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations, the only recognized process for document security is faxing. Also, faxed documents remain to be the only digitally transferred signed documents that are legally recognized, as well. Therefore, any business that ever interfaces with a legal representative (ergo, all businesses everywhere) will most certainly at some point be required to send or receive a fax machine. Even with such a relatively old security protocol as Base64, faxing has stood the test of time and remains to be one of the most secure document transfer options available, and certainly the most affordable.

Faxing’s Future

Nobody has a crystal ball, so it’s impossible to tell for certain if someone somewhere is working on a technology to sweep the world and supplant faxing as a stalwart of business communications. That said, barring any such wild development, it’s safe to say that faxing will probably remain a necessity for businesses well into the future. Don’t have your digital faxing strategy figured out yet? Don’t worry, because like I mentioned, email-to-fax is available on all Dash Basic, Pro, and Unlimited Plans so you’d be able to take faxing with you anywhere your business went if you wanted. Plus, because all of our Dash Plans are on sale for our massive Cyber Monday Sale, there’s never been a better time to prepare yourself for the future than right now! When Monday rolls around you’ll have to act fast, though, because we’ll only be extending those saving for one day and one day only. You can click on the banner below to learn more.

cyber Monday Reminder

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