Author Archives: Jeremy Watkin

About Jeremy Watkin

Jeremy Watkin is the Director of Customer Service at Phone.com and co-founder of CommunicateBetterBlog.com (and on Twitter: @commbetterblog ); a blog dedicated to learning about good and bad customer service with the intent of providing awesome customer service for Phone.com.

Hands Holding Give Thanks

Threads of Thankfulness

by Jeremy Watkin

Raise your hand if you cringe just a little bit when people hit “reply all” on company-wide emails.  I’m glad to see we’re in agreement.  In case you didn’t know, the holidays are the one time each year where “thread etiquette” goes out the window.

In a recent company-wide email, I asked everyone to hit the dreaded reply all button and complete the following sentence:

I am thankful for…

These are four powerful words followed by a profound little view into the lives of each of my colleagues.  Our thread is up to 28 and counting.  The responses have been amazing.  Some folks expressed gratitude for one thing while others listed twenty.  Family, friends, coworkers, customers, pets, health, life and love all top the list.

Even still, others caught us off guard.  At least one person was thankful for me (flattered).  Others were grateful that they no longer have to use the Oxford comma and that fizzy water abounds in the refrigerator at Phone.com.  Last but not least, there’s the Ewok dog on a treadmill.

Allow me to highlight the common thread if you haven’t seen it yet.  Were you to look in a thesaurus at the word “thankful,” you would not find words like angry, sad or depressed.  Being thankful is calling to mind everything that is good about our lives.  If it’s been one of those years, you may have to dig a little deeper and that’s ok.

The point of this exercise is to remember that we have much to be thankful for, and it is made so much more powerful when we share that with those around us.  On that note, can I interest you in completing the following sentence?

I am thankful for…

Happy Thanksgiving!

Phone.com’s Response to the Shellshock Flaw

by Jeremy Watkin

shellshock2A serious vulnerability in the Unix Bash shell used on Linux systems, Apple OS X machines, routers and older connected (IoT) devices was announced yesterday.

As with the Heartbleed virus earlier this year, our infrastructure team has applied security patches to all Phone.com systems that use Bash, thereby preventing unauthorized access to our service and your data.

For more information on protecting your own systems, see US-CERT’s alert on Shellshock.

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!

When Lightning Strikes

by Jeremy Watkin

Woman hand holding the phone tablet touch computer gadget isolatA good part of our team is located in our Poway, California office, so thunder and lightning are not a concern. We’re too busy applying sunscreen and waiting for part of our state to fall into the ocean to worry about a little storm.

With that said, we’re seeing more calls where a customer contacts us after a major storm to let us know that their device, usually an Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA), is fried. Those little guys are usually fairly durable — my brother had one with a melted case that still worked. But one thing they are not immune to is a surge of electricity caused by a lightning strike.

As I began writing this post I was going to tell you to protect your electronics with a surge protector. While that’s a fantastic idea for regular electrical surges, research indicates that even the best surge protectors are no match for a nearby lightning strike. Dan Robinson from StormHighway.com advises that “the best and cheapest way to protect your stereo, television, computer, or any electronic appliance is to unplug all power, telephone (modem), and antenna connections during a thunderstorm.”

While you’re at it, don’t forget to unplug your Phone.com devices so they are safe while the storms rage on! In the meantime, I’m polishing up my post titled “101 Uses For Your Fried ATA.” I like to use mine as a doorstop.