Do You Have a Phone in Your Car?

by Jeremy Watkin

Take a look at this great video we came across recently. Apparently the car phone was a technological breakthrough back in 1959. If I could speak with the creator of this video, I’d have a few questions.

  • Was it legal to drive and talk on the phone at the same time back then?
  • Were dead zones a thing?
  • Did this guy’s wife let him back in the house after seeing this video?

All I can say is that what was true in 1959 is true today — spouses want to know where their significant others are at all times. Good thing Phone.com has terrific mobile apps that make connecting with friends and family a breeze.

If you could speak to the makers of the 1959 car phone, what questions would you have?

Phone.com University

Phone.com University – Porting a Phone Number Seamlessly to Phone.com

by Alon Cohen

Phone.com has a dedicated team of service agents trained to support our more complicated deployments. When these agents configure a new account, they typically port the customer’s original phone number over to Phone.com without any interruption to their existing phone service.

This article is primarily written for our agents who are assisting their customers however, all customers can benefit from this bit of knowledge regarding our porting process.  It offers guidelines on how to maintain phone service during the porting process and highlights common issues that may arise.

Tasks Outside of the Phone.com System

Before porting the number to Phone.com, be aware of the following points:

  • Prior to porting any numbers, check for contractual obligations or pending orders with the prospect’s current phone provider. Some companies will not release numbers, claiming that they own the number or that the customer’s contractual obligations do not allow porting at that time.
  • Make sure the number that you want to port is currently active. Inactive numbers cannot be ported.
  • Never try to close an existing account with any phone company before porting the number over. If you close the account before porting, you run the risk of losing the phone number.
  • Always forward the original number to Phone.com before starting the porting process. Some companies may not let you set up call forwarding once you’ve started the porting process.

On the Phone.com Side

Before porting the number, be sure to consider the following when configuring the customer’s Phone.com account.

  • When setting up the Phone.com trial account, create a virtual extension and place all your call handling rules on that extension. We call this a Mezzanine Extension, as it sits between the phone number and the rest of your menus, IP Phones and so on.
  • Do not set any call handling rules on Phone.com temporary numbers, other than simple forwarding to the Mezzanine Extension. If you eventually delete a temporary number, you will lose the rules associated with it.
  • Use call handling rules presets. When deleting an extension or number that has call handling rules on it, the rules will be deleted also. However, if you stored them as a preset, they will be saved on the account under the Presets list.
  • When porting the original business number to Phone.com, the process creates an additional temporary number that will be replaced by the incoming business number. Be sure to forward that temporary number to the Mezzanine Extension you created.

diagram

Once the number is ported over, it will replace the temporary number. All calls will be routed to the Mezzanine Extension and all phone functions will continue to work flawlessly.

Once you confirm that porting is complete, delete the original trial phone number from the account and place a test call to the ported number to make sure everything is working properly. Also be sure to call the other phone company and tell them to close the account. Many companies will continue to charge the customer every month, even if the customer has no phone numbers with them.

Our Customers Value Voicemails on the Go!

by Adele Fredeluces

always_connectedThese days, more and more people are working out of their offices or in the field. Few companies need a receptionist or a physical answering machine to take messages.

When you’re on the go, Phone.com makes it easy to get a voice message as soon as a caller leaves one in your Inbox. For Maurice Aguirre, Chief Lobbyist at DG Group, LLP, on-the-go voicemail is one of his favorite features!

The DG Group is a high-stakes advocacy and public-strategy firm that offers a range of services to help their clients gain a competitive advantage. Services include public relations; creating, implementing and changing public policy; and business-management consulting.

One of Aguirre’s chief goals, is to build and maintain strong relationships with his clients. Having voicemail at his fingertips is key. “Always being connected to a client, no matter where I am or whether an assistant is routing calls, is priceless,” he says.

Now if DG Group partners miss a call and it goes to voicemail, they can get an email or text notification within minutes. There’s no need to call in, enter a password, and then listen to a queue of non-urgent messages to get to an important one. Aguirre says that this Phone.com feature alone has saved DG Group thousands of dollars, not to mention countless hours calling into voicemail.

In addition to the features that Phone.com offers to keep business people connected, our number one goal is to make our customer service outstanding, and Maurice Aguirre agrees: “Customer service at Phone.com is its brightest diamond—impeccable, attentive and always cordial.”

Feeding America in San Diego

by Sue Walsh

Ever feel like global hunger is too big of a problem to solve? How about hunger in your own backyard?

Chalkboard sign: One in four children in San Diego country are food insecureStatistics say that 460,000 San Diegans live in households with an insecure food supply. That means one in four kids in our own neighborhoods don’t have enough to eat.

A group of Phone.com staff volunteered this past Saturday at Feeding America San Diego. The day was organized by Starbucks San Diego—if you’re a local, you may have seen food-donation bins in stores over the past month.

Feeding America San Diego (FASD) is part of a nation-wide organization that fights hunger by distributing basic food items and fresh produce to kids, families and seniors that need it.

Their programs include:

Our volunteer shift was fun! My son and I worked on a team that sorted Granny Smith apples and crated them for distribution. We also stripped the damaged leaves off over 300 heads of cabbage and boxed those up too.

Gleaning cabbages

Fun fact: FASD delivers all the bad apples and cabbage leaves we discarded to a group that makes compost for local growers and farmers.

Other volunteers stuffed backpacks, labeled cans and measured out family-sized packs of breakfast cereal from the bulk packs that FASD purchases with donated funds.

Volunteers packaging cereal at Feeding America San Diego

What did I learn? That this organization is making a real dent in hunger in our city. They distribute 23 million pounds of food annually, and serve 73,000 local children, families and seniors each week. Every dollar donated to FASD results in six meals. That’s what I call making a difference!

Their volunteers make it happen. During the three two-hour shifts organized by Starbucks on Saturday, 600 volunteers prepared the equivalent of 31,280 meals, which will be delivered to people in our community. We at Phone.com look forward to helping out again and again!

How Can You Help?

Meeting Up With Other Customer Service Professionals In San Diego

by Jeremy Watkin

pizzaThis post originally appeared on our customer-service blog at CommunicateBetterBlog.com

A little over a year ago, I made a terrific connection with author and customer-service expert, Jeff Toister. After attending a webinar about his book Service Failure, I began reading Jeff’s blog and communicating with him on Twitter. We eventually realized that we live less than a mile from each other, and have met a couple times to hike and talk customer service. Eventually, we arrived at the idea for a meetup for customer-service professionals in San Diego.

Last week, Phone.com hosted the meetup by opening up our office and providing refreshments. I had the opportunity to share some of the key components that we strive for when we talk about achieving awesome customer service. It was fun to give a tour of our customer-service operation and answer questions from attendees.

Jeff followed up with a discussion on the common customer-service challenges that we face. You can read a terrific recap of the event on Jeff’s blog.

Without going into great detail on everything we discussed, I thought I would share a couple of my takeaways from the event. First, we had people from various companies attend, including the San Diego Humane Society and Ideal Plumbing And Heating. These are customer service people who have a completely different base of knowledge and skills, and yet they face many of the same customer-service challenges we do supporting customers over the phone!

Second, I realized that networking doesn’t have to be scary. The people at the event, like me, were looking for ways to better serve their customers. What better way than to talk about the challenges we face and what we are doing to overcome them?