Author Archives: Jenny Dempsey

10 Ways to Stay Connected With Your Business Over Spring Break

by Jenny Dempsey

iStock_000016271419SmallI really hope you’re not working during your Spring Break and, rather, sitting on the beach enjoying the sunshine. But if you’re not able to push the work aside, here are some ways Phone.com can keep you connected while you’re away.

1. Vacation Autoresponder
Tell your customers that you’re on vacation without even having to pick up the phone. Change your Menu or Voicemail greeting to announce the schedule adjustments to anyone who calls.

2. Voicemail Notifications to Email and SMS
Again, no reason to answer the phone! Kick up those feet and let the calls roll to voicemail. You’ll receive an email and/or SMS notification that you have a message waiting for you.

3. Fax to Email
No need to hang out near the office fax machine for your paperwork to arrive. Get your toes in the water and wait for the faxes to come to YOU. We’ll send faxes to your email in a .PDF format. Talk about easy livin’!

4. Schedules
So maybe you will have to work while on vacation…but only from 9:00 AM to Noon—then it’s party time! Set schedules to route to your cell phone during work hours and forward to a coworker, stuck in the office,  during the remaining work hours.

5. Voicemail Transcription
What’s that sound? It’s silence! Haven’t heard that since your last vacation three years ago? Well, keep it going and pop over to your email or SMS to read your voicemail. No listening required!

6. Call Routing Presets
Call Routing Presets allow you to create call handling rules pre-vacation and then apply them minutes before you board the plane to paradise. Keep these rules stored in advance for easy management of your call routing.

7. Call Forwarding
From sitting at your desk to sitting on the sand, you’ll be able to receive your business calls anywhere you go. Forward calls from your desk phone to your cell phone and utilize our Voice Tag feature to help you identify that the incoming call is for business and answering with beach slang, “Hey dude!” is probably not in your best interest.

8. Mobile Apps for iPhone and Android
Even if you’re miles away from your desk phone, you can still use your cell phone for outbound calls. Don’t worry—your personal number won’t be shared. Your caller ID will still display your business line! How’s that for ultimate privacy? Our Mobile Apps also allow you to view your Inbox, connect to a conference bridge and access your address book contacts. Check out our Apps by clicking here.

9. Communicator
Spring Break in another country can cost big bucks if you carry your cell phone with you. Give the cell a much deserved break and just bring your laptop. Phone.com Communicator will do the rest. You’ll be able to make and receive calls on your computer, as if you were sitting in the office. Just be sure to mute the phone when the Luau begins!

10. Call Notifications
Keep track of incoming calls to your business line from the comfort of your bed at the cozy B&B. Call notifications let you see who called your number, and when and how long the call lasted. You can have each  notification emailed or delivered by SMS to you, without having to kick off your fluffy slippers.

See? There are many ways to enjoy vacation and still get business done!

Happy Spring Time!

 

Customer Feedback Is An Opportunity For Awesome

by Jenny Dempsey

This post was originally published on Communicate Better Blog, our customer service blog.  Click here to read the original article.

we're listeningHere at Phone.com, we respond to both POSITIVE and NEGATIVE feedback. Yup, both are equally important. We want to thank customers for taking the time to share their experiences with us, both good and bad.  Feedback is a gift that helps us learn and grow into an even better company. Plus, there is power in recognizing our customer service team for their hard work, as it builds motivation and inspiration to keep serving others.

We call our positive feedback Smiles. Why? Well, it makes us smile of course! We collect smiles here at Phone.com after all! We have an internal document where we keep all of the monthly Smiles for each representative. We share all of this feedback in our employee newsletter so everyone can be aware of the great feedback coming from our customers. We are also working on incorporating this into a monthly incentive program.  Read my recent post titled, What Keeps Your Employees Ticking.

We call our negative feedback, Opportunities for Awesome (OforA for short). Why? Well, the fact that someone took the time to share what they don’t like means another opportunity for us to improve and find ways to do more of what people do like. We track each OforA that we receive to see how the situation affects the customer experience as a whole. Then we make feature requests for our research and development team to put these ideas into action in our phone service. We are thankful for the unique opportunity to see our service through the eyes of our customers.

After responding to a customer’s Smile earlier this week, I received this feedback:

It’s nice to know that your feedback actually gets read by management! I’m very glad for [your representative], that she would receive recognition for a job well done, as it is well deserved. And a job well done to you, as Phone.com has good management that recognizes both a job well done (as well as a job poorly done), you generally keep very good company culture…which is a snowball effect in the positive direction! Happy employees make for happy customers, and right back up to management! 

I basically got a Smile in return for sending a smile her way. So much smiling going on! I was blown away by this and it just reinforced the fact that we are on the right path in the way we handle feedback.

So, if this short article inspires anything today, may it be a desire to respond to every bit of feedback that customers send your way. Remember, they didn’t have to send it and yet they still took the time to do so!

Phone.com University

Phone.com University- How To Ensure A Successful Number Transfer

by Jenny Dempsey

number_transferMy colleagues here at Phone.com often call me the Porting Princess — and for good reason.  I spend a ton of time ensuring that number porting requests to Phone.com are successful.  I’m here to tell you that moving your phone number from one provider to another (Local Number Portability, or “LNP” for short) doesn’t have to be frustrating! But, even though I’m here to make porting a breeze, there are inevitably situations that arise leaving customers feeling confused or angry when their phone number transfer request is rejected by their existing provider.

Here are some tips and tricks to ensure a successful number transfer to Phone.com:

1. Make sure your phone number is active
In order to move a number from one provider to another, it MUST be active.  This means that if you call the number, it must ring somewhere. If it’s not active, the number transfer will be rejected. Do not cancel your service with your current provider, no matter how much you dislike them, until your number transfer is complete.

2. Check your contract
One of the biggest reasons for number transfer rejections is due to contractual obligations. Here are a handful of the most common:

  • A fee must be paid in order to release your number.
  • You must contact your provider to remove a freeze or hold before transferring.
  • Your number is not transferable at all. In some cases, if you originally obtained the number from your provider’s inventory, they will not let you port it out.

3. Name or Address Mismatch
When we submit your porting request to your provider for their approval and release, they will match the contact information that you provide on your Letter of Authorization against their records. If the information submitted does not match, they may reject it. In some cases, the information on file may be different from your billing address. Your best bet is to reach out to your provider prior to porting to verify the proper name and address that you should use when submitting your request.

4. Pending Orders
With certain providers, any change you make on an account can cause a “pending order” on your account.  This can be something simple, such as updating your email address, to something complex, like configuration changes to your service. If you try to submit a porting request while there is a “pending order” on your account, it may be rejected until the pending order is resolved.

There are many more reasons for rejections.  Here at Phone.com, we do our absolute best to help you resolve these and successfully port your numbers over to your account. Should you have any questions about porting your number, please reach out to our support team for more information!

At Phone.com We Are Taking #TheKindnessPledge And You Should Too!

by Jenny Dempsey

be_kindThis article was originally published on Communicate Better Blog and we found this to be particularly relevant during the upcoming holiday season and beyond.

Recently, I was lugging my gigantic suitcase and 15 lb dog in a carrier on my shoulder through a crowded subway station. Carrying the suitcase and my dog up the stairs to the exit, full of people pushing past, was a nightmare. I dragged it, stair by stair, looking down and forward to ensure I didn’t step on the person’s shoes in front of me.  Suddenly, I felt the suitcase become light. I turned around to see a teenager, with headphones on, bouncing his head to the music, lifting up the bottom of my suitcase up the stairwell. We got to the top and I turned to say thank you, but he had already disappeared into the rush of the busy street. He didn’t have to help–in fact, no one else was bothering. However, this random person and their small act of kindness changed my entire mood during that situation.

Think back to a time where someone was really nice to you; something as little as someone holding the door, helping you carry a heavy item or just a simple smile. You didn’t ask for anything–they just took the time to be kind.  I’m pretty sure that little gem of awesome brightened your day.

In customer service, we are given the opportunity every day to show kindness to our coworkers and clients. Kindness is highly valued, especially in a situation in which they are reaching out to you because something isn’t working properly in the first place. How you work with them to resolve the situation, along with the kindness you display, is the recipe for success.

The amazing team over at We-Care.com has developed The Kindness Drive to help challenge you to be even more kind than you already are by giving daily ideas of simple acts you can do. Dylan Nord (@dylannord) of We-Care.com says,

Even if only one person is helped through an act of kindness, the goal of The Kindness Drive will have been achieved. Just one kind act can have consequences of untold scale.”

These challenges can be used inside and outside of the office. This could be a great ongoing activity for your customer service team to work together and share with each other the kindness they are giving to one another as well as their customers. Random acts of awesome in action!

I encourage you to “get your kind on”, sign up and take #TheKindnessPledge (be sure to use this hashtag when Tweeting) by clicking here and be sure to follow We-Care.com on Twitter.

I look forward to seeing your sweet Tweets!

We-Care.com works with over 700 nonprofits. Each organization has a different mission. From advocating for clean water, to rescuing animals, to disaster relief, charity takes many different forms. The one common thread among every organization is a spirit of kindness, it is the foundation of every charitable organization and action. They believe that by simplifying charity into an idea and acts that everyone can understand and get behind, they might discover that all that is needed to make the world a more charitable place is to start living by kindness.

Talking Customer Service At The @VSnap Customer Love Meet Up

by Jenny Dempsey

We love our customers and if you’re reading this, we know you do too.  So, what better way to spend a Tuesday evening than surrounded by like-minded, customer centric industry peers in New York City?

Phone.com’s Developer Evangelist Peter Hogan-De Paul (@phoneapi), API Product Manager Aaron Rosenthal (@aaronjrosenthal) and Customer Service Supervisor Jenny Dempsey (@jennysuedempsey) popped over to the Bitly (@bitly) headquarters for the Vsnap (@Vsnap) Customer Love MeetUp.

The laid back evening consisted of pizza and beer provided by Hootsuite and networking and in-depth discussions about everything customer service.  We discussed everything from keeping your customer service team in a positive mood and soothing stressed nerves with a live kitten cam streaming in their office (FourSquare) to tackling and resolving large-scale problems effectively (Chobani) to receiving amazing customer feedback that warms the heart (BarkBox) to me discussing how we incorporate the word awesome into our team culture.  Our formula is simple.  We hire and train for AWESOME support.

It was amazing hearing all the different perspectives and meeting great people from the customer service industry with the same goal of keeping our customers happy.
As we move forward with our own social media customer support team, we’ll be using Vsnap more and more. If you haven’t heard of Vsnap, they offer an amazing way to connect with your customers by sending a quick video message their way. Try it out by sending me a hello to @jennysuedempsey!

Thanks again to the amazing Trish Fontanilla  for organizing this event. We were honored to attend and can’t wait until the next one!

**Picture kindly taken by Laura Horak and borrowed from the Vsnap blog.