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Your Customers Want You to Text Them, Give Them What They Want!

Posted by Erica Berry

Mar 6, 2019 7:44:00 AM

If you're like most people, your email inbox is flooded with offers and promotions from businesses that you'll never open or respond to. You may also be receiving phone calls from suppliers and vendors wishing to sell you products that you don't have time to chat about. So why do they keep coming? Because these companies haven't switched over to business SMS.

Business SMS Voxox CloudPhone

To put it frankly, phone calls and emails are becoming increasingly less desired when it comes to consumer communication, and texting is the new frontier. According to a recent SMScomparison.com infographic post, when given the option between text and phone call, over half of all consumers would prefer text messaging for customer support—and texting just outperforms, with 95% of all text messages opened and responded to within 3 minutes of being delivered, compared to emails which have just a 20% open rate.

While we think these numbers speak for themselves, here are a few other stats from SMSComparison to get you thinking about business text messaging:

  • Text messaging is the #1 preferred communication for customer support
  • 95% of texts are read and responded to within 3 minutes of being delivered
  • 3 out of 4 customers want offers sent via text message
  • 90% of customers have gained value from text message loyalty programs
  • 9 out of 10 consumers would like to communicate with businesses through text message, whether this be through sending alerts, reminders, back and forth communication, etc.
  • More than 50% of users prefer text message over phone calls from businesses
  • 98% of text message are opened compared to 20% of emails
  • Average CTR for text message is 9.18%, compared to 0.90% for Facebook
  • 64% more likely to perceive a business in a positive light when they have access to direct communication
  • US consumers are 5 times more likely to send and receive text messages than phone calls

Sure, there are times when you need to call or email, but for many important messages, consider SMS as the best option for your busy customers!  Make sure your communications plan includes business SMS so that you're reaching your customers in the way they prefer to be reached. 

Topics: Business SMS

CloudPhone Featured VOIP provider in Fit Small Business

Posted by Team CloudPhone

Feb 27, 2019 12:57:27 PM

 

We’re featuring reviews of CloudPhone by trusted business sources. Check out what  Fit Small Business said about us...

CloudPhone Featured-VoIP-software-



Here are a few highlights:
  • “the software offers great value for money”
  • “he software does everything that a phone system needs to do at a very reasonable price”
  • the call quality is surprisingly good even when he’s in bad network conditions wherein even Skype and WhatsApp won’t work

Read the full review here and don’t forget to rate us!

7 Simple New Year's Resolutions That Will Improve Your Business Phone Communications in 2019

Posted by Erica Berry

Jan 31, 2019 12:00:00 PM

New Year's resolutions don't have to be big commitments you'll give up on by the end of February. As a business owner you have enough to stress about, let alone committing to your over-the-top New Year's resolutions! So we've put together a list of resolutions you can commit to and accomplish in just a few minutes. These will not only improve your business phone communications, but also save you time and make you more productive all year long. New Years Resolution 2019

 So, here's our list. Start checking them off today:

  1. Sign up for a virtual number (if you haven't yet!) -- brainstorm your strategy on how to take advantage of extra numbers that route back to your main line.
  2. Commit to communicating via text with clients -- it saves time and can make a big difference in business productivity. 
  3. Keep your voicemail greeting updated -- fresh and relevant is something your clients will love! 
  4. Update your phone directory as needed -- ensure that your callers' time is valued and respected with an efficient way to reach the department or person they need within your business.
  5. Utilize voicemail transcriptions -- another time saver and great for keeping your voicemail messages on record.
  6. Set up call forwarding -- especially useful when you're on the go.
  7. Use your Virtual Receptionist(s) -- a great way to keep your business phone communications professional.

So what's the next step? It's time to take these resolutions and put them into action. New Year's resolutions are designed to bring improvements during the coming year and these seven simple resolutions will have your business phone communications rocking in 2019!

Topics: Small Business Productivity

3 Last-Minute Holiday Marketing Tips for Your Small Business Phone System

Posted by Erica Berry

Dec 21, 2018 12:00:00 PM

The holidays are upon us and businesses everywhere, big and small, are working hard to beat the holiday rush. As a small business owner, your time and resources are limited, especially during the holiday hustle, so we put together a few last-minute ways you can update your small business phone system to have a seasonal twist!

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Here are a few simple ideas on how to reign in the holiday spirit and treat your audience using your business phone in just a few minutes:

1. Record a Festive Voicemail

When clients call and they can’t reach you because you’re with family for the holidays, the next best thing is your voicemail—so why not make it fun by adding a little holiday flare? A customized and cheery voicemail will show your personality and give your clients a memorable experience. Try something like this: "Ho, ho, ho! You've reached Mindy's Salon. I'm either away from the workshop or with another little elf. Please leave a message and I'll call you back! Happy holidays!"

2. Send a Cheery SMS

Snail mail is great, but a text is a fast, convenient and inexpensive way to stay in touch with your client base. Over the holidays, send a festive message wishing them a Happy Holiday… and if you can, include a coupon or discount code for use in the New Year!

3. Create Holiday Extensions

With a virtual phone system like Voxox CloudPhone, updating extensions is easy, so adding in an extension for the North Pole or Santa's Workshop will give your customers a delight. It's also super easy to switch back to normal once the stockings and garland are packed away!

We hope these tips will liven up your business’ seasonal marketing and provide your clients with a little holiday joy! Do it today and share any fun client responses you get in the comments below!

 

Topics: Cloud Phone, SMB

4 Easy Ways to Thank Customers and Increase Business

Posted by Erica Berry

Nov 8, 2018 8:08:00 AM

The holidays are a time of celebration, giving, and showing thanks and gratitude for all the wonderful things in your life – including your thriving small business! Relaying client appreciation is a simple way to show you care and value their business, plus it gives your business a reason to get in touch, enabling you to foster brand loyalty. Staying top of mind is essential in keeping your customers engaged and their line of business open.

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With Thanksgiving right around the corner, there’s no better time than now to kick-start your holiday marketing plan. Here are a few simple ideas you can put into action today using your virtual phone system, like Voxox Cloud Phone:

 1. Create a Special Offer Phone Number

If you’re in direct response sales and take orders over the phone, creating a virtual phone number specific to special price ads is a perfect way to show your customers you appreciate their attention – and their business. Here’s how it would work: Your company runs an ad—radio, print, digital—and each advertisement has a special “discount” number to call. The buyer gets a deal and you get the sale!

 2. Record a Festive Greeting

Updating your voicemail is a quick and easy way to stay relevant and it gives your callers something to smile about! Try adding a bit of the warm holiday feels to your greeting, like this:

Thank you for calling (insert company name). We are sorry to have missed you but are very thankful for your call and wish you a very happy holiday season! We will return your call shortly!

3. Send Thoughtful Texts

Texting isn’t just for teens anymore, businesses are hopping on the SMS train and customers are loving the new way of communicating. Sending your clients a “Happy Thanksgiving” or holiday-themed message with a coupon code or a sale notification is an amazing way to show your appreciation and get them back in the door—a win-win!

4. Turn on Reach Me Anywhere

The holidays are a busy time for everyone and that includes your customers. If you’re in a retail business or run a shop where instant and direct client communication can make or break a sale, turn on the Reach Me Anywhere feature on Voxox Cloud Phone so you’ll never miss a call… or a sale. This is easily turned off once the holiday rush passes, but your clients will appreciate your “always on” status.

A positive customer experience is crucial to customer retention and referrals and directly impacts your bottom line. On the flip side, a negative experience or even a lack of experience (read no contact at all) can have your customers looking elsewhere to fill their needs. One contributing factor to the customer experience is customer appreciation, and lucky for business owners, that’s something you can influence.

Use this list to surprise and delight your customers throughout the year – and add in a few tactics of your own!

4 Ways to Engage Customers When They Just Don’t Have Time to Listen

Posted by Erica Berry

Sep 28, 2018 10:30:00 AM

With back to school now in full swing, everyone is just a bit busier. Whether you are a business owner who happens to be a parent, or if you own a business where parents or school age children are your main customers, you know that back to school season and school months can be a hectic time for your business!

Staying top of mind for your busy clientele and making sure your calendar is full is key to keeping your bottom line intact—shout out to photographers, local barbers, restaurant owners or the neighborhood coffee shop! With new technology and automated systems, it’s easier than ever to stay in touch with your customers in a number of ways.

Voxox blog image

Here are a few ideas on how to keep your clients engaged:

1. Send Extra Text Reminders

Sending an extra text reminder is never a bad idea on the regular, much less when parents are busy running around shopping for tonight’s groceries or dropping kids of at practice. By reminding your clients about their hair, nail, massage, etc. appointment several times leading up to it (i.e.: a week before, day before and day of), there is less chance it will slip off their radar and a better chance you won’t be stuck with an empty, unpaid seat.

2. Make Old Fashioned Phone Calls

Depending on your business and your relationship with your clients, calling your customers before their upcoming appointment or reservation is a great way to make sure your calendar stays booked. If you own a restaurant, confirm the reservation a day ahead of time. If the original customer can’t make it, at least you’ll know the table is open for another paying patron.

3. Offer Timely Discounts and Sales

Everyone loves a deal, especially money-conscious parents, so why not take advantage of it with a promotion or coupon? Sharing a text or email campaign offering your clients a discount on coffee during a certain time of the day (perhaps right after school drop offs) or a coupon to your restaurant on a usually slow week night is a great way to drum up business!

4. Record Themed Voicemails

If you own a business like a photography studio or a hair salon where incoming calls are the norm, have fun with your voicemail greetings. Try holiday themed ideas or a play on words with your business name or the season. For example, “Hi there! Are you FALL-ing into a hairstyle rut? Our expert stylists can help. Please leave your name, number and preferred time to come in and I’ll get back to you shortly. We look forward to sprucing up your ‘do!”

When put to work strategically, automation and technology can save your small business time and money – and generate business! At Voxox, we aim to make running your small business easier by providing a convenient, reliable and cost-effective solution for business phone communications.

Have any other ideas on how local business can use technology and automation to engage their customers? We’d love to hear it. Comment below!

Topics: Cloud Phone, Business SMS

Podcast: Kevin Hertz Speaks on Digi Deal and Omni Hotline

Posted by Natasha Grach

Aug 20, 2018 1:54:38 PM

Voxox CTO and co-founder Kevin Hertz recently spoke on a podcast with Telecom Reseller's Doug Green regarding the company's partnership with Malaysian carrier Digi and the roll out of Cloud Phone in Malaysia under the brand Omni Hotline. Click on the podcast link above to listen to the 16 minute podcast.

Telecom Reseller podcast with Voxox

Topics: Cloud Phone, Business, Phone Number, Unified Communications

Why call transfer makes sense for small business

Posted by Erica Berry

Jul 30, 2018 9:00:00 AM

With the increased number of remote workers in the US and across the globe, chances are you have team members who work from a coffee shop across state lines or a beach on a tropical island. Wherever they are, having a call transfer feature for your mobile (powered by a service like Voxox Cloud Phone) allows you to transfer business phone calls to the mobile phones of your colleagues—no matter where they are and all while you're still on the line. 

The ability to seamlessly transfer calls not only gives your business a professional feel, but it also allows you to keep the caller engaged. Rattling off a phone number and expecting a caller to remember it and actually call back is a lot to expect. Once they're on the line, you don't want to lose them due to outdated technology. 

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Here’s how call transfer works:

Let's say you're working from home and you receive a call to your sales extension from a prospective client (with Voxox Cloud Phone you can configure multiple "departments" to ring to the same phone). You answer and after a brief conversation realize your colleague, Ben, was the one who originally scoped them out and has been working to close the deal. Rather than jumping in the middle, you decide Ben should take the call. You let the caller know they'll be transferred, you enter Ben's virtual extension, and voila—Ben's phone is ringing and he's connected with the client on the spot.

Ben picks up, closes the deal and your business just earned a new contract. Would this have happened if you told the caller they needed to hang up and call Ben directly? Maybe, but why risk it?

While not all sales hinge on a phone call and not all phone calls are the crux of a sale, call transfer offers two enormous benefits: convenience for your team and callers, and a professional feel that won’t go unnoticed. It’s important, especially as a small business, to recognize the image you portray to incoming callers when your phone system sounds and acts like a business phone system should.

Call transfer is a feature that all businesses, big and small, need. When coupled with additional enterprise level features like conference calling, business SMS and voicemail transcription, your phone system starts to work for you—saving you time so you can focus on building your business.

Topics: Cloud Phone, Business

The More, the Merrier: How Your Small Business Can Benefit from Multiple Virtual Receptionists

Posted by Erica Berry

Jun 22, 2018 9:06:00 AM

Entrepreneurs and small business owners have been making the switch to virtual number services because they are cost efficient, convenient for travel and come with a slew of enterprise-level features. One of such helpful features is a Virtual Receptionist (also known as “auto-attendant”). This automated service handles your incoming calls, allowing callers to be transferred to an extension or sent to a specific voicemail without going through a real-life telephone operator or receptionist. This can be a life-saver for small businesses unable to afford a full-time employee for fielding calls. The Virtual Receptionist saves time and money, while maintaining the business image and operations. 

Mult receptionists

If one Virtual Receptionist helps keep your business communications flowing... imagine what multiple Virtual Receptionists can do! Voxox Cloud Phone has taken this question seriously and recently launched the ability for Cloud Phone users to program multiple Virtual Receptionists that can route from one to the other. Having multiple Virtual Receptionists lets smal business owners create multiple greetings and menu options for callers, creating even more efficiency in communications. 

Here are a few ways you can put this new feature to work for your business today:

1) Menu option that connects to a Spanish language Virtual Receptionist

Spanish is the second-most widely spoken language in the world (after Mandarin Chinese), with over 400 million native speakers, so chances are your business has gotten a Spanish-speaking caller or two! Providing a convenience and courtesy like a bilingual Virtual Receptionist menu will not go unnoticed by your Spanish-speaking customers.

2) Two businesses on one account with their own greeting and menu options

Micro or small business owners that want to go in on a virtual phone system together to save a little bit of cash can each program their own Virtual Receptionist to fit their business needs. This is also a cost effective and convenient feature for those who own more than one business and want to consolidate phone services for their companies.

3) Switching between weekday and weekend Virtual Receptionist menus

Some virtual phone systems like Voxox Cloud Phone let you set call answering parameters based the day and time. Combined with the multiple Virtual Receptionist feature, you can make sure callers are always receiving the correct message and menu options – no matter when they call.

Have any other ideas for how to use multiple Virtual Receptionists? Comment below and share with us!

Topics: Cloud Phone

Time of Day Routing: Five Ways Your Small Business Can Benefit

Posted by Erica Berry

May 30, 2018 9:25:00 AM

As an entrepreneur with a busy schedule, time of day routing can help you manage your incoming calls and keep communications flowing when you’re on the go. Much like call forwarding, time of day routing allows for incoming calls to be treated differently based on the time of day and day of week – meaning you can set up rules for things like automatically rerouting calls to a different destination when your business is closed or sending a caller directly to voicemail during blocked off meeting times.

checking time

Here are some real-life examples of how time of day routing can work to make your business communications smooth and seamless.

  1. Lunch Time

We all need a break during the busy work day, so rather than having your much deserved lunch time disturbed (whether you’re eating, taking a stroll or hitting up the gym), make a routing rule that sends all callers directly to your voicemail during your lunch hour. You can tailor the voicemail to let the caller know you’ve stepped out, so they should expect a call back shortly. Your messages will be waiting there for you when you return!

2. Closed

Rather than let your callers listen to multiple rings when your shop doors are closed, why not just send them directly to your voicemail after work hours? They will thank you for the time-saved and you can share a tentative call back time with them in the voicemail message. For those true VIP callers, set up a separate "VIP" number with different routing rules to have their calls forwarded to your cell, ensuring you’ll never miss an important call.

3. Not Open Yet

Most small businesses lack the budget for additional staff to answer incoming calls at all times, especially before start of the work day - yet, they can’t afford to miss even one opportunity either. To mitigate missed sales opportunities you can allow incoming calls between early morning hours to go to voicemail and then take later calls on your cell while you’re on the way to the office.

4. Vacation

If you’re on vacation, chances are you don’t want to take a business call. So what’s the next best thing? Send it to a team member you trust. With time of day routing you can set parameters around what days you’ll be out of the office and route calls go to an alternate phone number, device, or location. You can also choose to forward phone calls to another number that routes to multiple employees at once.

5. In a Meeting

Business meetings generally either mean progress or money, so interrupting them for incoming calls can be de-railing. For standing meetings, set up a new parameter so that you are not disturbed. For an off-the-cuff meet up, simply turn off your phone (assuming you’ve already set up a routing schedule!) and let another team member field the incoming calls. You’ll be able to focus and save yourself the embarrassment of your ring tone sounding mid-conversation.

To us, time of day routing is a must-have for any size business and once you try it out we’re sure you will agree! So what are you waiting for? Get your routing in place and while you’re at it, explore all the other cool features Voxox Cloud Phone has to offer.

Topics: Business Call Routing