Category Archives: General

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Why Your Business Should Be Using Queues to Forward Calls

by Derrick Arteus

If your business is like any other, then you probably have a customer service or sales team with multiple employees answering the phones throughout the day. If this sounds like you, then it’s time to utilize Phone.com’s Queues feature so you never have to worry about setting up your call forwarding again. 

Queues have several benefits, including:

  • Routing incoming calls to a specific group of phone numbers. Never worry about having to set up individual forwarding to each employee’s phone number. You can set all your numbers to be dialed once in your queue settings.
  • Queue members are dialed in order. Everyone gets an equal share of your calls with queues. If one of your employees answered the last call, then the queue system will dial the next person listed.
  • Play custom hold music while your callers wait. While customers wait on hold in your queue, you can play a personalized introductory greeting and pleasing hold music.

Now that you have the benefits, how about learning some more?

How Can I Get Started?

Join us for a free 30 minute webinar where we’ll teach you how to start forwarding your calls using our Queues feature.

What

  • Learn how to create your queue and add add members from your customer service or sales team.
  • Learn how to set your queues intro greeting and set your desired hold music.
  • Learn how to forward your Phone.com number to your queue and use schedules to route calls to different queues based on the time of day.

When

Thursday, August 21 10:30 AM – 11:00 AM PST.

How

Register Now

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Is Your Business Losing Money without an International Number?

by Derrick Arteus

Is it time to widen the perspective of your business? You might very well be losing out on your most important customers because they don’t have a way to contact you. It’s easy to keep your perspective in one country, but in this technology age the expansion of business is a global venture, and it’s time for you to expand. 

If you’ve been debating getting an international number for your business, here are some great reasons to do so now:

  • Your best customers might be your international ones. If your product or service is universal in application, then it can be used anywhere by anyone.
  • Most international country rates are inexpensive. With the rise of internet-based phone service comes cheaper international rates. Check out our international rates.
  • Phone.com offers free landline destination calling to specific countries. You can call Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, and Puerto Rico land line numbers at the same rate as a local domestic call!

If you’re convinced, then we have a great resource to get you started with international numbers. 

How Can I Get Started?

Join us for a free 30 minute webinar where we’ll teach you how to expand your business with Phone.com’s international numbers. 

What

  • Learn how to add an international number to your account and start forwarding your calls.
  • Got an existing international number? Find out if you can transfer it to our service.
  • Learn how to start placing and receiving calls with your international number.

When

Thursday, August 14 10:30 AM – 11:00 AM PST. 

How

Register Now

3 Tips to Stop Spam Callers from Wasting Your Phone.com Minutes

by Derrick Arteus

We’re all familiar with that phone call, where you answer and no one is there, or you get some generic recording that certainly isn’t a live human. We aren’t sure why people take the time to place spam calls, but Phone.com has you covered with 3 solid tips to stop these calls from ever wasting your minutes again. 

  • Block the caller’s number. If the spam caller keeps using the same caller ID, you can simply add the number to your account’s spam caller block list.
  • Block all anonymous calls. Those more advanced spam callers will probably use an anonymous caller ID. You can block all anonymous calls directly from your number settings.
  • Configure your menu to disconnect spam callers. If you are a business with a menu, then most spam callers take advantage of your menu system by idling without making a number selection. Configure your No Input menu option to disconnect spam callers.

These are just a few of the great strategies we’d like to share with you to stop spam callers from wasting your valuable minutes.

How Can I Learn More?

Join us for a free 30 minute webinar where we’ll teach you how to configure your Phone.com account to stop spam callers dead in their tracks. 

What

  • Learn how to add a spam caller’s number to your blocked caller ID list.
  • Learn how to configure your number settings to block anonymous, international, or pay phone calls.
  • Learn how to optimize your menu settings to disconnect idle spam callers.

When

Thursday, August 7 10:30 AM – 11:00 AM PST.

How

Register Now

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!

Choose Your Business Tools and Procedures with Care – and Know When to Use Them

by Alon Cohen

Tools Isolated on a White BackgroundI was raised in a family that was passionate about using the right tool for the job. My parents have enough vintage tools and early tech gadgets at their home to fill a museum. One-of-a-kind hammers, saws and pliers. Unusual generators, power supplies and oscilloscopes. Not to mention all the old computers—our obsession with tech and tools spans four generations!

Over time I came to understand that each tool has a purpose, and using it incorrectly can have negative consequences—injury, inefficiency or permanently damaging a good tool. Try using a screwdriver as a chisel by hitting the handle with a hammer. The result is damaged handle that can injure your hand or a damaged tip that makes the tool no good for chiseling.

The Danger of SOPs in Aviation

In a similar way, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in organizations are really tools. Using them ensures the reliable achievement of a desired outcome, assuming they match the task at hand. If a process does not match the task it supports well, it’ll result in inefficiency, poor performance and low morale. It will act as a weight on the business instead of giving it wings to take off.

In fact, in the world of aviation, there are documented cases where strict adherence to SOPs led to disaster. The aviation industry has a multitude of carefully devised procedures, designed to keep us safe. In the nineties, an ELAL Boeing 747-cargo flight crashed over the Netherlands after two of its engines detached from the wings. The pilots could have saved the airplane; however, the crew followed the emergency protocol to the letter. Unfortunately, the plane’s instrumentation, no longer connected to the detached engines, gave the pilots false readings. The procedure no longer matched the situation, and the plane eventually lost the ability to control systems and crashed, killing 43 people.

Learning from this tragedy, airlines now train pilots to ignore SOPs in certain emergency situations. They are trained to trust their instincts instead and just land the plane. The landing of US Airways Flight 1549 in 2009 is a perfect example, where instinctive thinking led Captain Sully to make the right decision not to try landing at a nearby airport, but instead ditch the plane into the Hudson River close to an active boat route that could evacuate passengers. Airlines frequently learn from accidents, building those scenarios into their flight simulators. Much like the use of duct tape to save Apollo 13, thinking outside of the box can save lives. While policies and procedures are essential in routine, stable situations, SOPs may be just the wrong tool in a dynamic situation.

SOPs in a SAAS Environment 

I’ve spent much of my professional life building software, not working in aviation, but allow me to translate. In a Software as a Service (SAAS) environment, processes like Kanban and Scrum are essential to delivering projects on time and to specification. However, once your software service is running, bugs inevitably pop up, and servers and Internet connections fail, resulting in unexpected situations for the code. These events require prompt attention, and ignoring them or building a queue to fix them one by one, is like employing the wrong tool. You run the risk of a service meltdown and possibly even worse consequences—imagine the phone system for a 911 service failing.

Developing SOPs for the myriad of dynamic situations that can arise in a SAAS environment is impossible and in many cases, a waste of time. If you fix a software bug properly, the likelihood that you’ll need a standard procedure a second time is slim. You’re better served spending the time training people (your most effective tools) to think and respond creatively.

At Phone.com, we’re constantly working to strike the balance between creating effective procedures to ensure quality, while at the same time responding quickly when an unforeseen issue arises. Here is my advice. The next time you think you need to add a process in your organization consider the age-old acronym KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid. Ask yourself if you will ever need this procedure again and how frequently. If the answer is no, use the time saved to evolve your tools and people by sharing information among the group. Evolution does not happen in one day, but as your team knowledge grows, the performance, efficiency and job satisfaction will build exponentially.