Aerial Operations

Name: Eli Rohn
Title: Commercial Pilot and Managing Partner
Business name: Aerial Operations

Follow Me Calling & Voicemail

In the course of my daily marketing duties, I recently spoke to a customer – a swashbuckling, dashing pilot by the name of Eli Rohn, who owns an Aerial Photography company called Aerial Operations.

He was such an interesting subject, I decided to interview him, if he was OK with that. He was. He was excited mainly about two features – Follow Me Calling, a sub-feature of’s call forwarding structure; and various Voicemail features.

I asked the pilot what made him switch over to a new telephone system. He answered:

We have 2 businesses, both quite different. I didn’t want to have two different cell phones…. creating an added expense, another bill to pay every month – plus no easily accessible email/voicemail system that can reach me in real time, immediately, so I know I have a message and can respond right away, which is often the difference between booking a new client or losing him.

Or, I can get the system to follow me around, and have no need for voicemail, which is the preferred scenario. I get to pick up more calls now, and so book more clients. In other words, what to clients call you to do? To speak to a voicemail? No! To speak to a person.

And with this sophisticated call forwarding feature, Follow Me Calling, more callers get to speak to a live person. If you want to increase sales – you need to speak to more potential customers.

But at least, if a call does have to go to voicemail, for whatever reason, immediately sends me an email alert that a voice message just came through, which I can click on and immediately call back without picking up a phone.

Many of our clients purchase our aerial services as a sort of ‘emotional buy’. So much so that if you call the person back in 3 or 4 hours, or the next day, the emotional motivation for the booking is gone, and so with it the client.

Also, they see my 800 number & see their number, which I like…. and the 800 number makes me look good, makes my company look expansive, and frankly, gives me a nice brand image.

What did your old phone company provide?

Oh, just normal phone system features with no great bells or whistles. gave me all the features I needed – and at a super great price.

My old phone company wanted to charge big bucks for all these features – special call forwarding, special voicemail set up, and so on. It was ridiculous.

And now, what do you get with your standard monthly account?

Control. You see, everything is image control, for us – everything. We must maintain a competent. ultra professional image. The system helps us do that.

All our administrative functions are either outsourced or done by our pilots. We used to have all our calls come to a call center, but that had no business justification, so we opted to use a personally owned cell phone line instead.

This solution lacked timely notification of a message waiting, and we have surely lost business due to that. The solution seems to be ideal for us.

A pilot can answer the phone when available… talk to a potential customer and even book a tour.

If no one is available we get an email message almost instantaneously.

More than once a pilot had returned a call within minutes while being overseas, and managed to assist the customers with information and flight booking process.

Are you getting everything you want now?

Yes. On every level that is important to us.

I can tell my voicemail set up which phone number to return the call with. And which number to have the call come in to. My online account is easy to use, and in two seconds I can click on a link telling the system who to call – and where to receive my calls, at that moment, depending on where I am… in Europe on a job. 20,000 feet up in the air, and in my car near my home, or at the office.

I can also control what callers see on their caller ID, what number they see. a nice consistent image is maintained.

Generally, I like callers to see my 800 number. Again, image control. A vastly improved image! If a customer or a prospect calls our Reservation Desk extension, it can be set up to ring in a unique way, to any number I know – so when that type of call comes in, I know where it’s going to ring.

Control the different voicemail & live follow me calling messages for each different part of my business.

People call to get a person, not a voicemail… and so this system gives me the ability to see who is calling me and to reach me anywhere. Callers call in and see the 800 which gives me better image control.

What is the most important benefit to you in a phone system?

The ability to move quickly on a call. Immediacy. And image control.

As I mentioned before, part of what we do drives an emotionally based decision… and if I lose the emotional momentum, I lose the sale – and so the ability of my business to generate more revenue is completely tied into Follow Me Calling / which is a sophisticated form of call forwarding.

As long as I know there is a voicemail waiting for me and so can keep the immediacy, the urgency – and have the ability to react in a timely manner, this allows me to not lose customers anymore.

And all I ever have to do is check my email to see of there are any messages. This keeps the immediacy between my company and the people that call in to talk with us, and hire us.

So it’s these two key features, Voicemail and Follow Me (Call Forwarding), that benefit you the most, day to day?

Yes. Email voicemail & all of these unique call forwarding features, especially the follow me calling. We can control everything people hear when they call in.

Again — it all boils down to image control and immediacy, speed., for us, is an effective, convenient and affordable image management & response system.