An Interview with a Customer…

This post is a little different. Every so often we conduct “interviews” with customers. We publish them in a customer interview section or as a case study.

Here is a summary of one recent interview we conducted:

Phone.com recently interviewed Mr. Kenneth Gibson, president and founder of eHealthApp.com, whose principle product is state of the art software that streamlines and modernizes the healthcare insurance application process for companies. This electronic paperless solution enables companies to reduce waiting time to get a premium quote from insurance carriers, which helps them stem the tide of yearly insurance premium increases.

What made you decide on a Virtual Phone System?

For us Phone.com’s Virtual Office system is a high-end, fancy answering service; where we can let calls go to voicemail and have the right person call prospects or customers back from our cell phones. That’s our formula. Virtual Office fits our needs perfectly.

Like our eHealthApp healthcare application system for employees and companies, Phone.com is also essentially a virtual, paperless and machine-less solution, getting the right info to the right people, at the right time – without unnecessary human intervention! Good-buy to tapes, answering machines, human answering services, expensive fax lines, and $40 mo. phones lines per phone.

Why did you choose Phone.com as your telecommunications system?

Phone.com’s approach is a far more elegant, cheaper and more seamless process than other virtual phone systems. They actually listen to you, and make changes – or even offer new features – based on your feedback! That’s unique.
We had a live service in place previously, but many of the calls that come in are questions from customers, and the service couldn’t answer correctly. For new customers, set-up questions were not being answered right. The live service didn’t know how to go through our system properly.
Now, we know who our broker customers are by caller ID, and if they call in to sign up, they get routed ASAP to the right person with the help of our Auto Attendant and Menu. No more live receptionist.
When humans answered our phone, fine, but if it went into voicemail, too many hours would go by. The forms are very, very long… and they call in to get help right away, as they’re filling out the forms.
We need to be right there to help our broker customers. It sets off how these relationships develop, how we answer their calls and deal with them right from the beginning.

What is the one Phone.com feature you could not function as well without?

Our Phone.com toll-free number; which we don’t have to pay extra for every month. We save on that, and we provide better service, by furnishing a free call. It’s location independent – in other words we get a call from Utah, but callers don’t know we’re local. It gives us a more of a national appeal or image. Makes us look more ”real” and respectable.
With all this sensitive data from employees, we have to look like a company that has their act together. Not having a toll free number makes us look cheap, and small.

What other Virtual Office features do you get a lot of benefit from?

Electronic Fax – When receiving faxes, fax to email let’s us save our faxes without having to scan them in, and waste time. It’s much cheaper than having a fax machine. No break downs, no ink cartridges, no paper…. etc. We can set it up so only one person can see a fax, if security is an issue with that fax.
As for sending faxes, we can actually send a fax via software and do not need to be near a fax machine, which in our case, as we’re so remote, it would be extremely difficult and very expensive. If we were to pay for faxes on the road, say at a hotel or Kinko’s – $5 plus $2 per page, when you frequently have 10 or 15 page faxes to send…. it really adds up. With Virtual Office, I can upload, scan to document, without having to be anywhere near a fax line.

Local Numbers – Because we do business in two different states, and the cell phone can only have a single number… So Phone.com gives us another local phone number in a state we do a lot of business in. When in Michigan, the system forwards calls to my ID line. We need to have local number – clients need to feel you are local. It establishes the initial framework of trust and credibility, which is essential to close and retain customers.
Virtual Office Menu – If an end-user calls in, we can’t help them. The menu says “Press One if you’re a broker”, which, for security reasons, makes the caller contact their HR rep or Broker for assistance or help. The scripting of our greetings guides the caller to the party that can actually help them.

Follow Me Calling – When key insurance personnel call us, such as the VP of Sales at an insurance company, we want them to be able to speak to a live person at our company mainly because with these people phone tag would be inefficient and painful – especially when our brand is all about better inefficiency and more productivity!

Voicemail Via Email – This format helps us find a voicemail to reference in conversation with the sender… We have email distribution lists. Whoever is available can do a reply right away. Having all our voice messages archived as links in our online account is also very helpful because we are so virtual, in so many different time zones and geographical locations.
As a company, in general, we are geographically dispersed. And the Phone.com system, as a whole, makes it possible for us to do business in exactly the type of seamless, virtual way we need to – in order to be available, fast, competitive… and successful.