CloudPhone Blog

Subscribe to Email Updates

Try CloudPhone!

Recent Posts

Erica Berry

Recent Posts

5 Indicators Your Business Needs a Cloud Based Phone System

Posted by Erica Berry

Sep 27, 2019 8:31:00 AM

Every business is unique, but one thing all companies have in common is the need for effective, efficient and reliable means of communication. When it comes to phone communications there are a number of options to choose from, each with varying costs, contracts and capabilities—but there’s one that stands out among the rest: cloud based phone systems!

Cloud based phone systems sound and act like traditional phone lines, but since they are hosted in the cloud and run over your existing cell or landline, there are a plethora of advantages—like no expensive hardware to buy or maintain and the ability to go mobile. As a small business owner managing the daily operations of your growing business, you have more to worry about than installing a new phone system. By choosing a cloud based system you’re taking the worry (and expense) out of the equation.

startup-photos

So, if you're considering a change, here are 5 signs a cloud based phone system is right for your business:

1. You Have a Growing Team

Choosing a cloud phone system is one of the best ways to ensure you’ll be able to scale your business. Since these systems are hosted in the cloud, you can easily add or remove lines—both local and 800 numbers—all with just a click of a button from your cloud based management portal. Want to add an extension? That’s easy too. And, many cloud phone providers offer contract-free service, allowing you the freedom to do what is right for your business.

2. You Want Professional Features

You want a professional voicemail greeting, voicemail transcription, business SMS and call forwarding, but don’t want to break the bank? With a cloud phone system you can have it—and more. Today’s cloud phone systems have all the advanced features you want and need, including the ability to add multiple extensions, message management, call forwarding, voicemail, business SMS, and different physical phone options. It’s like having a Fortune 500 phone system in your pocket, for a fraction of the cost.

3. You Need Remote Capabilities

If being tied to a desk isn’t for you or your team, you need a cloud based phone system. Cloud phone systems can easily be hooked up to ring on your cell—or any phone of your choice (your home landline, hotel room, office line or at the lake house). The name of the game is convenience and a cloud phone system lets you take it anywhere.

4. You're Crunched for Time

Whether you don’t have time to wait for technicians to set up (and inevitably fix) a traditional business phone system, or you’re on the go and can’t wait for a phone call at your desk, a cloud based phone system has you covered. With features like find-me-follow-me, voicemail transcription and a cloud based account management portal, you can be connected from anywhere, on any device—on your time.

5. You Want to Save Money

Does the idea of saving on your phone bill make you and your accountant happy? Because there’s no expensive hardware to buy or maintain, and no-rerouting or wires to deal with, a cloud phone system gives you all the features you want and need (and probably more) for much less than a traditional business phone system. Plus, since many offer service with no contract and the ability to add or remove lines as you need (with no minimums or service fees), you’ll be saving money left and right.

If you like saving time and money, sounding professional, and being mobile, a cloud business phone system is just what you and your business needs. If you’re ready to take the plunge (in this case it’s 1 easy step that take less than 2 minutes), we’re here to help. Take your business to the next level today with a reliable, easy to use, and affordable cloud phone system.

Topics: Virtual Phone System, Business Call Routing, Business Phone Number, Business SMS, virtual numbers

Do's and Don'ts of Texting Your Customers

Posted by Erica Berry

Aug 26, 2019 8:30:00 AM

According to textjury.com, text messages have a 209% higher response rate than phone, email or Facebook and 90% of text messages are read within three minutes! But how do you keep the right balance with effective mobile marketing vs. annoying your customers? Here are a few do’s and don’ts (with more stats from techjury.com) to follow before you hit send.

Voxox texting

Do’s

1. Send coupons and promotions! Consumers redeem SMS-delivered coupons 10 times more than other types of coupons.

2. Keep it short and sweet. A concise message highlights the value proposition of an offer more effectively because of the limited space—and let’s face it, lengthy messages usually fall in the TLDR category.

3. Start a conversation. As many as 45% of people reply to branded text messages they receive.

4. Make a plan. A well-defined and persistent text campaign will set you up for SMS marketing success. Be sure to review analytics regularly and make changes as necessary to enjoy the greatest returns.

Don’ts

1. If customers or potentials have not opted in, don’t hit send. While a whopping 75% want to be texted deals, promotions and updates once they’ve checked yes, unauthorized consumers will most likely be turned off by your messages.

2. Never forget the power of loyalty programs. Loyalty SMS is the new loyalty card (except they can’t be lost or put through the wash). More than two thirds of consumers who enroll in an SMS loyalty program benefit from their participation—and your business will too!

3. Generic links have got to go! Using concise, branded links in your text message marketing campaigns can improve conversion rates.

4. If you think your clientele isn’t tech savvy enough for mobile marketing, think again. While not everyone has a smartphone with internet access, 5 billion people in the world can send and receive SMS messages—which means SMS marketing allows you to reach mobile users that other advanced marketing campaigns cannot.

So why use text message marketing? It’s affordable, has a wide reach, and reaps a higher open and response rate than many other conventional marketing channels—and only about 35% of marketers currently use SMS to reach their customers! If you’re looking to gain an edge over the competition, creating a text message marketing campaign should be at the top of your list!

Topics: Business SMS

How to Use Your Virtual Number on Fourth of July Weekend!

Posted by Erica Berry

Jul 3, 2019 11:30:00 AM

With July 4th right around the corner, plans of a beach getaway or a cruise on the lake are surely on the horizon—and for many entrepreneurs that can cause stress! So how is an entrepreneur like you supposed to keep tabs on important calls and enjoy your time away from the office? Virtual numbers!

vacation with CloudPhone

Virtual numbers work just like traditional phone lines, except they connect to any phone you want, including your mobile. Some virtual numbers, like the ones from Voxox CloudPhone, also come packed with enterprise level features like international call forwarding, voicemail transcription, and two-way SMS. Here are a few ways to use these features while you’re on the go:

Call Forwarding

What’s call forwarding? It’s a feature that allows you forward incoming calls to any phone you’d like. If you want your cell phone to forward to your hotel room phone, you can do that—or better yet, forward incoming calls to your team member who’s agreed to man the phones over the holiday.

International Call Forwarding  

Similar to call forwarding, no matter where you do business (or vacation), International Call Forwarding allows people to reach you anywhere on the globe—that is, if you want to be reached!

Text Messaging (SMS)

SMS open rates beat email nearly 5x over, so while you’re on the road, forget your email inbox and text your clients! But, before you sign up for a virtual number make sure your provider allows two-way SMS (CloudPhone does) so that you (or a team member) can respond to business related messages from where you're vacationing.

Custom Menu Options

Ever wish you could truly customize your business phone options? With many virtual number systems, you can. While your out of office, set up options for urgent vs. non-urgent calls and have emergencies forward to your cell!

Voicemail Transcription

If you’ve decided to let calls go to voicemail, but also want to keep up with urgent matters, voicemail transcription will be your best mate while on vacation! Listening to voicemails takes time, and often you don’t have a pen and paper handy to take down important details. With voicemail transcription you can sift through all messages and only return the important calls—plus, you’ll have all the details automatically transcribed in your inbox!

Now that you have the know-how to go off the grid, and still keep up with business communications, go out and enjoy your Fourth of July—after all, it only comes once a year! Sign up now for a virtual number with CloudPhone, and you can be headed to the beach in just minutes. 

Topics: Cloud Phone, Cloud Mobile Phone, virtual numbers

Gear Up Your Virtual Numbers for Summer Deals!

Posted by Erica Berry

Jun 6, 2019 5:07:49 PM

Summertime is here and that means it's time to get customers in the door (sometimes figuratively speaking) with your summer specials! One way to do that is by taking full advantage of virtual phone numbers.

summer sale 2

Have you added any numbers in your business location with new area codes? How about any toll-free numbers? Or numbers that are easy to remember? Check out our tips below to see what makes sense for you and your summer marketing and sales deals:

1. Be Local

Businesses that have a local presence can get a local virtual number in their area code, or in an area they’re wanting to target, for a summer special. A flower shop, for instance, that travels to farmers markets in different cities, or states, can utilize several local numbers to show buyers and passerby’s they are a local supplier—a big plus for those following the shop local movement!

2. Look Big

Toll-free numbers are a fantastic option for companies with a nationwide footprint, or smaller businesses that want a corporate appearance. Creating a toll-free number that coincides with your summer deals lets callers know they have to act fast in order to reap the benefits! Be sure to showcase your virtual numbers on your advertisements, website, social sites, car wraps, etc. for maximum impact

3. Utilize Features

Virtual numbers often come with an auto-attendant, voicemail inbox, business SMS and custom menu options—don’t forget to coordinate your specials with mentions across these voice touchpoints! Not sure how to go about it? Check out this article on how to use your phone’s built-in features for marketing promotions.

4. Analyze Data

If you’re running multiple sales or placing in multiple locations, be sure to record which number corresponds with a specific sale or location. Keeping track of these details will show you the effectiveness of each campaign: Did the number on your Facebook ad receive more calls than the number of your car wrap? Did the number on the 10% discount code receive more calls than the refer a friend bonus ad? The proof is in the pudding!

Let's give those summer deals a special number! Do you have any other examples to share? Comment below...

Topics: Cloud Phone Mobile App, virtual numbers

5 Reasons to Use Call Recording for Your Business

Posted by Erica Berry

Apr 12, 2019 9:15:00 AM

Entrepreneurs and small business owners like yourself are busy. Busy running your business, helping clients, training employees and of course—taking phone calls. Wouldn’t it be great if the burden of remembering and accounting for all the details discussed on key calls was taken off your shoulders? It can be with call recording.

 Call recording Voxox

If you’ve already switched to a virtual phone service like Voxox Cloud Phone, your provider probably offers this feature for free—perhaps you just haven’t discovered it yet! For those of you still on an old-school system, make the switch now.

Here are a few reasons why your business needs call recording: 

1. Capture Missed or Forgotten Details

No pen and paper? No problem, call recording lets you pay attention to the conversation, rather than franticly searching for something to write on. Listen back on the recording to get the details when you need them.

 

2. Share Information Between Employees

Say you took a call that was better suited for your business partner. Rather than passing along notes or trying to explain the conversation, simply share the call recording with them, and they can take it from there.

 

3. Quality Control

Knowing that your entire team is providing accurate information, acting professional on the phone and treating your clients right will allow you to rest easy—and improve your client relations (aka sales). Listen to select recordings to make sure your team is up to snuff.

 

4. Resolve Disputes

Unhappy clients are cause for alarm and call recording can help you get to the bottom of an issue. Whether an order was placed incorrectly, or a caller was given mis-information, recording calls with the customer can give you the details you need to appropriately rectify the issue.

 

5. Improve Customer Service

Have an unsatisfied client, or a super happy one? Listen back on the call recording that swayed them for insight into what your team can do better, or to train your employees on what great customer service sounds like!

 

Why not give yourself the option to go back to and review your important calls, when needed? Start using call recording today and see how it can improve your business efficiency, enhance your customer service and increase sales.

Topics: call recording, Small Business Productivity

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

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!

blur-bright-candy-260470

 

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.

adolescent-bag-beautiful-919436 (1)

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