Phone.com University

Phone.com University – Creating a Menu System for Your Business

by Derrick Arteus

Menus (or phone trees) are a great way to enhance your customer’s experience with a professional greeting and a listing of department options for your business. Creating a menu on your account requires the following steps to complete:

  1. Add a greeting for your menu that outlines the number selections a caller can enter (e.g. press 1 for sales, press 2 for customer service).
  2. Add a menu and attach your greeting.
  3. Set up the forwarding options for each number prompt on your menu.
  4. Forward your Phone.com number to your menu.

Now that we understand the process, let’s walk through this step-by-step.

Adding a Greeting

  1. Mouse over Configure and select Add a Greeting.
  2. Enter a nickname for your greeting in the Nickname field.
  3. Record your greeting using either Text To Greeting, Record From Phone, or Upload New File.
  4. Select Save Greeting.

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Adding a Menu

Now that your greeting is made, you’ll add a menu to your account and attach the greeting as the primary message. 

  1. Mouse over Configure and select Add a Menu.
  2. Enter a name for your menu in the Name field.
  3. Select the greeting you made in the steps above in the Outgoing Message section.
  4. Select Continue.

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Configuring Your Menu

This process will differ depending on your unique needs. In our example, we will show how to set up the forwarding for one of the number prompts on the menu. You can replicate this process and configure your settings as needed.

  1. Select Edit for menu option #1.
  2. On the Call Handling Rules page, change Select Operation to Forward Call.
  3. Enter an extension number in the white box.
  4. Select Save Rule Settings.

menu2

The above was a simplistic forward call setup to an extension on our account. Please modify this as required for your particular needs.

Forwarding To Your Menu

The final step is to forward your Phone.com number to your created menu. 

  1. Mouse over Configure and select Manage Numbers.
  2. Select Edit for the number you want to forward to your menu.
  3. Select Edit for Number Action.
  4. On the Call Handling Rules page, change Select Operation  to Goto Menu.
  5. Select your menu in the drop-down box.
  6. Select Save Rule Settings.

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Your menu setup is now complete. Anyone that calls your Phone.com number will hear your menu greeting and can choose the number selection selections you have created in your settings.

That’s it for today, see you next Monday for some more Phone.com knowledge!

Five Reasons Phone.com and Remote Work Go Hand In Hand

by Jeremy Watkin

work-from-anywhereIn the book Remote, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, founders of 37signals, present a compelling argument for allowing employees to work from home.  At the core of the discussion is giving your employees the flexibility to work wherever they feel is best.

That could be home or a cabin in the mountains, or possibly at one coffee shop in the morning and another in the evening. Does it really matter where they work as long as they are completing their work with flying colors and effectively communicating with the team?

If you are currently considering allowing your employees to work remotely, here are five reasons Phone.com just makes sense for you and your business.

1. Flexible Call Routing - You can route calls to a device, our Communicator soft phone, or your cell phone or landline number.  You can literally route your callers anywhere you might be working and change it on the fly through our easy-to-use control panel.

2. No More Expensive Devices - While you can still get a fantastic, HD desk phone from Phone.com, you no longer have to be tethered to that phone like a ball and chain.  Phone.com Communicator can be installed on your laptop so you can speak with callers anywhere you have an Internet connection.

3. Useful Mobile Apps - Our mobile apps for iPhone and Android let you access your voicemail, view your call logs, and send and receive SMS anywhere.

4. Easy Extension Dial - Everyone on our system is simply an extension away from one another. Where Paul traditionally might pick up the phone and call Lucy in the next room at extension 522, now Paul, located in California can dial Lucy, located in Florida simply by dialing 522.

5. Enhance Your Professional Image - You’re probably thinking that your company’s image will suffer as a result of this.  Wrong!  With customizable menus and greetings, your brand will be enhanced, not sacrificed—regardless of where your employees work.

The beauty of working remotely with Phone.com is that you gain an amazing phone system at a fraction of the cost, and you gain an excited, engaged team that has the flexibility to work anywhere they darn well please!  I have merely scratched the surface of the benefits.  You’ll have to give Phone.com a try and read Remote to learn about the rest!

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3 Reasons Why You Should Replace Your Fax Machine Today

by Derrick Arteus

Traditional faxing is soon to become an obsolete obstruction in your home office setup. Those big, bulky devices are being replaced with cloud-based solutions like the one that Phone.com offers, which allows you to send faxes directly from your computer or smartphone. 

Here’s 3 great reasons to start sending and receiving digital faxes today with Phone.com:

  • You can send a fax wherever you have your computer or smartphone. Faxes can be sent digitally directly from your Phone.com account, or you can send them from our iPhone app.
  • Be notified of your received faxes via email. No more sitting around the fax machine waiting for a fax to arrive. Be notified right when you get your digital fax through email.
  • Reduce your paper clutter. You can save copies of your faxes as PDFs on your computer and reduce all of that paper clutter in your office.

Ready to toss that fax machine and get started with digital faxing? Before doing so, Phone.com CTO Alon Cohen recommends that “if your VoIP vendor does not support T.38 protocols on their analog telephone lines, or you fax internationally, then keep using a landline for faxing.”

Alon did go on to recognize that Phone.com currently utilizes the T.38 protocol for virtual faxing as well as on the Grandstream HT702 Analog Telephone Adapter. This dramatically improves the reliability of faxes in transmission from a digital to an analog signal.

How Can I Learn More?

Join us for a free 30 minutes webinar as we learn how to send and receive faxes on your Phone.com account. In addition, we’ll also be covering how to send and receive text messages.

What

  • Learn how to configure your Phone.com number to receive faxes and text messages.
  • Learn how to send text messages and faxes directly from your account.
  • Learn how to set up email notifications for your received faxes and text messages and how to check your inbox.

When

Thursday, August 28 10:30 AM – 11:00 AM PST.

How

Register Now

Phone.com University

Phone.com University – Creating a Schedule for Your Business Hours

by Derrick Arteus

If you don’t want your business phone ringing at all times of the day, then schedules are the feature you’ll need to get some rest after a long day. With schedules, you can specify a specific set of hours that your phones will ring for, and have all calls outside of your business hours go directly to voicemail.

To add a schedule on your account, you’ll need to:

  • Add a schedule to your account for business hours.
  • Apply this schedule in your Call Handling Rules where you forward all of your calls.

Adding a Schedule

Keep in mind, you may need multiple schedules to accommodate your unique scheduling needs. This example will show a basic one schedule setup.

  1. Mouse over Configure and select Add a Schedule.
  2. Enter a unique name for your schedule in the Schedule Name: field.
  3. Select your Schedule Type.
  4. Set your schedule hours in the Hours section.
  5. Select your timezone in the Time Zone: section
  6. Select Save Changes.

schedule

Applying Your Schedule

Again, applying your schedule to your Call Handling Rules might differ slightly depending on your unique setup. In this guide we will be applying our schedule directly from our number settings. 

  1. Mouse over Configure and select Manage Numbers.
  2. Select Edit for the phone number you want to apply your schedule to.
  3. Select Edit for Number Action.
  4. On the Call Handling Rules page, change All Calls to Received During and select your schedule in the drop-down box on the right.
  5. Change Select Operation to Forward Call and enter an extension or phone number in the white box.
  6. Select Add New Rule.
  7. Change the second Select Operation to Leave Voicemail.
  8. Select Save Rule Settings.

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In the above example, during our business hours we are forwarding all calls to our specified phone number. Any calls that fall outside of those business hours follow the rule section #2, which sends calls directly to voicemail. 

That’s it for today, see you next Monday for some more Phone.com knowledge!

American Family Crisis Ministry: Helping Families Get Back on Their Feet

by Sue Walsh

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Phone.com customer American Family Crisis Ministry is a faith-based organization in Pennsylvania that helps families in dire straits recover and move on.

“We receive calls from families who have nowhere else to turn for help,” says Bruce Norton, Chairman for the non-profit. “With Phone.com, we are able to route those calls directly to the people who are best able to help.”

In addition to helping callers with immediate financial needs, American Family Crisis Ministry volunteers, who range from money experts to personal and spiritual counsellors, then direct families to government and other partner agencies that can offer longterm help with personal skills, training or job opportunities.

Norton says that Phone.com services support their organization’s success in clear, measurable ways:

Flexible Call Routing

Not only can American Family Crisis Ministry route callers easily to volunteers who can help them, but our call-handling settings will scale as the ministry does. “As we grow,” says Norton, “we’ll rely on geographical routing, so someone who needs help can get it from a volunteer who is local to them.”

Accessibility and Privacy

Norton also loves the Phone.com mobile app because it lets him take calls wherever he is. “I can use my personal phone to call someone in need without disclosing my phone number. They see our organization’s main number on caller ID, which allows them to trust the person on the other end of the phone while preserving my privacy.

Deflecting Robocalls

Norton says volunteers have their phone lines set up to filter out telemarketers who are autodialing. These settings have completely eliminated the robocalls that would distract volunteers from their work.

Saving Time and Money

American Family Crisis Ministry has saved tens of thousands of dollars over the years using Phone.com. But Norton says that working with our Customer Service agents has also saved him time.

“When we were with another carrier, I knew that if I had a problem, it would take a day of my time to resolve issues with their agents. The Phone.com folks go out of their way to help—they are genuinely focused on finding solutions to help me and they are efficient.”