Author Archives: Sue Walsh

About Sue Walsh

Sue Walsh is a technical writer and editor at Phone.com, where she creates simple instructions for our soon-to-be-released API. Sue likes fluid words like superfluous, isthmus and flibbertigibbet, and her favorite flavor of ice cream is pistachio.

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.”

Wanted: Robust Business Phone Service to Do Business in Washington

by Sue Walsh

SSDP LogoFor any non-profit organization running an office in Washington, DC, operation costs can be a killer. Rent, keeping the lights on, marketing—and oh yeah, phone service. You need a really good business phone service if you’re an international, grassroots organization like Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP).

SSDP is a student-led network that advocates for drug-policy reform and safer program implementation. The organization works to effect change, for example, on financial-aid eligibility for drug offenders who want to study, medical marijuana legislation, and Good Samaritan policies, among other issues. They have 3,000 active US members and over 200 student chapters.

“We went from having one line shared by all [three] staffers, no individual mailboxes, and no ability to forward messages or transfer calls to cell phones to having a fully-functional business phone system,” says Executive Director Betty Aldworth.

Since late last year, Aldworth says the Washington office has grown from three to six staffers. “Without Phone.com I can’t imagine how much more difficult conducting our day-to-day business would be.”

Betty Aldworth raves about Phone.com’s easy-to-use customer settings and flexible call-forwarding options, but cost savings are clearly a big win for SSDP.

“​We are saving about $100 per month by switching to Phone.com, but that’s from basic phone service to a full business platform. … I can’t imagine how much this service would cost if we were getting this robust a set of features through a traditional provider, but it would certainly be much, much more expensive!”

She also loves dealing with our Customer Support team. “The product is tremendously easy to use, but when I can’t figure something out, ​friendly folks like Derrick (Phone.com Customer Support specialist) are always right there at the click of a button to help answer any questions.”

We’re glad we make your day and work easier, Betty!

Find the Best Vanity Phone Number for Your Business

by Sue Walsh

With so many companies building an online presence, it’s easy to forget that we still rely on the humble telephone to do business and create success.

Small companies use their phone lines to answer customer questions, take orders and deal with vendors, which is why a memorable vanity number is such a valuable asset.

What is a Vanity Number?

A vanity number is a local or toll-free phone number made up of a string of numbers or letters that are either easy to remember or represent your business well. For example, 858-555-5000 or 1-800-FLOWERS.

Software Advice, a Texas-based service that helps businesses select the right software for their needs, recently published a great decision tree (shown below) that will help you choose the best vanity number for your business.

At first glance, the chart looks a bit intimidating, but the process is simple: Find the best word or phrase to represent your business > see if it’s available > take it!

Vanity Number Decision Tree. Source: Software Advice.

Phone.com Vanity Numbers

Phone.com offers a free vanity toll-free number with all plans. When choosing yours, we encourage you to work through Software Advice’s flowchart to find the very best number for you — it should only take a few minutes.

Also remember that your vanity number should be easy to recall, look professional and lend credibility to your business. 1-800-FLOWERS, for example might be better than 1-437-FLOWERZ.

Building and maintaining name recognition with a vanity toll-free number is one of the easiest ways to win business!

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?