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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.

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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

From Small Business to Fortune 500 in One Minute

Posted by Tristan Barnum

May 10, 2018 10:48:55 AM

Your business is growing and you need a small business phone system that can keep up, but you don’t have the technical know-how or money to implement a complex phone system. Sound familiar? We understand the pains that come with running a small business, which is why we’ve developed the perfect small business phone system that can help you go from the “little guy” to Fortune 500 in less than 60 seconds.

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Cloud Phone, Voxox’s latest addition, is 100 percent web-based and comes pre-configured based on your specific business and user needs, making it simple as pie. Moreover, Cloud Phone is operated and maintained by Voxox, so there's no upfront investment and no repair, upgrade, or maintenance costs –just your basic monthly fee. 

Besides ease of use and low cost, our small business phone system offers up a set of cutting-edge features that will make you look more professional whether you’re running a business out of your home or the local Starbucks ( free Wi-Fi!). These features include:

  • Business Phone Number: Cloud Phone provides you with a free local business phone number, meaning you can finally stop giving out your personal mobile phone number to clients and start looking like a pro.
  • Professional Auto-attendant: Our technology greets all your callers professionally with your company name and instantly connects them to anyone within your company just like the big guys.
  • Instant Conference Calls: Whether you’re on the road or at a conference across state, you can easily connect with clients and other team members with Cloud Phone’s sophisticated conference call feature.

Level the playing field and go from small business to Fortune 500 in one minute with Cloud Phone. To learn more, click here.

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Topics: Cloud Phone, Auto Attendant, Improve Your Business, Business Call Routing

Need a Business Phone System for Your Food Truck Business? A Virtual Phone Service is the Answer!

Posted by Erica Berry

May 10, 2018 10:47:46 AM

Because food trucks are on wheels, foodie entrepreneurs on the go have the ability to travel anywhere the road may take them –even if it’s out of their local area. With food truck popularity on the rise all across the country, limiting yourself to dishing out grub in one place may hurt your selling potential, but you know the local food movement is also a crowd pleaser. So how can you use business phone technology to help you plunge into new markets while also staying relevant to those who want that local feel? Try a virtual business phone system.

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Typically, virtual business phone systems offer both toll free numbers and local phone numbers so you can accommodate both local and widespread markets. Your clients will be able to easily reach you (aka to track you down for some lunch!) and they'll never need to know where your company originated –unless that's part of your marketing, of course. Maine lobster rolls, anyone?

To get started, you just sign up for a virtual phone service (for example, Voxox Cloud Phone!). From there you can choose what you want –local number(s), toll free number(s), or both. What’s even better is that all these numbers ring directly to your cell phone, or any phone you choose.

Here are a few ways to use a combination of both local phone numbers and toll free numbers to bring your growing food truck business to the next level.

Local Phone Number

Numbers with local area codes are a great way to establish yourself in markets where a recognized local presence is needed to reach customers. With Voxox Cloud Phone, for example, there is no limit on the quantity of virtual numbers you can add to your account, and you receive between 1 to 25 local or toll free numbers at no additional cost with your monthly subscription, depending on your plan.

Below are some useful features for mobile businesses, like food trucks.

1. Custom Voicemail

Don’t you cringe when you call a business and receive a generic voicemail? So do we. That’s why we think it’s so important for companies of all sizes to create a custom voicemail for their business line. Not only can you identify your business, but sharing useful information –like your weekly scheduled whereabouts or hints on where your clients can find you –will save you time from returning phone calls also keep your hungry suitors in the know. Here are a few more tips on crafting the perfect voicemail

Pro Tip: You can also create a custom voicemail with a toll free number!

2. Business SMS

Texting isn’t just for friends anymore. Customers today expect text support and in the food truck business this can be a huge bonus! Texting your client list your whereabouts, or providing text clues is an impactful way to interact with your followers and a fun way to attract new ones.

Pro Tip: Toll free numbers can also support SMS!

3. Marketing Tool

If you're marketing a product from a specific area, using an area code from that location could be to your advantage. Think a taco cart in San Diego and a lobster roll truck from Maine. Imagine if these two were switched –lobsters from San Diego and tacos from Maine. The hype may not be as well received. Use your phone number to your advantage!

Toll Free Number

Toll free numbers can be super handy for food trucks (and similar mobile businesses!) expanding their presence beyond select local markets.

1. National Presence

Toll free numbers are a great way to expand your business so you can reach new markets and instantly sound more established and credible. Whether you have a fleet of food trucks or are a one engine show, a toll free number will make give your clients the sense you’re a solid organization—and a central number to reach your team.

2. Memorable Number

Not all toll free numbers are created equally. A catchy or easy to remember sequence can be a lifesaver for clients who want to reach you fast.

3. Marketing Tool

Whether you’re using only a toll free number or a combo of toll free and local, displaying your toll free number on your marketing materials (truck, business cards, menus, etc.) is an easy way to stay relevant while you travel.

Putting the power of both a local phone number and a toll free number behind your food truck is a solid win for your business communications. Now go ahead and get started! If you need some more pointers, connect with us by commenting here or on our social channels -- we're happy to help!

Topics: Business Call Routing, Improve Your Business, Virtual Phone System, Local Number

Feeling Chained to Your Desk? Let Cloud Communications Set you Free

Posted by Ron Kinkade

May 10, 2018 10:47:30 AM

As a business owner or professional, chances are you’re being pulled into 10 different directions throughout the day, meaning you’re running around and outside the office, away from your desk. So what happens when an important client unexpectedly calls your office number or a colleague sends you an urgent email?

Cloud Communication Office Desk

Well we hate to break it to you; if you have a legacy phone system, you’re just plain out of luck. However, with cloud communications you don’t ever have to experience FOMO (fear of missing out) again.

With a cloud communications application like Cloud Phone, business leaders can break away from the shackles of their desks. You can easily conduct business per usual while on the go and Cloud Phone gives you a fully featured phone platform that’s 100 percent “in the cloud.” That means there is no expensive hardware to buy, nothing complex to maintain, and no reason to worry about downtime or other complications.

Cloud Phone connects your incoming business calls to you wherever you choose, on any device whether it’s a smartphone, tablet or laptop. The best part? You can also have calls routed to multiple employees simultaneously to ensure no call ever goes unanswered.

The voicemail to email notification feature delivers voicemails instantly to your email, so you never have to dial in to access your voicemail again. What’s more, its voicemail transcription feature automatically transcribes voicemails, so you can read important messages when you can’t listen

Stop living in the past with legacy communication technology and step into the “now” with cloud communications. You’ll never experience FOMO again. 

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Topics: Cloud Phone, Voice Communication, Voxox, Small Business Productivity, Cost-Effective Solution, Business Call Routing

Cloud-Based Phone Service Helps You Focus Critical Business Processes

Posted by Ian LeWinter

May 10, 2018 10:45:47 AM

Did it finally happen for you? After months upon months of wishful thinking and fruitless efforts, have you solidified your business idea, secured VC funding and honed your value proposition? Are you ready to transform your startup idea into a fully-baked reality? Congratulations!

Global Business Processes

So now what?

The truth is that for the 543,000 new businesses that get started each month, a vast majority fail due to poor planning, a lack of forecasting and a failure to embrace innovation. But you don’t want to go down that path. After all, you have worked too hard and you have a killer idea. So what do you do after you get the big idea? To begin, you need to immediately consider the gold-standard technology that will take you from fledgling to full-forced in a matter of weeks. Let’s take a look at where you need to begin when it comes to 21st century technology:

  • Assess Your Limitations: You can’t identify what services and offerings you need until you understand your limitations. For example, are you currently one-man shop, unable to support the payroll of multiple employees? Or perhaps you are operating your business out of your basement, even though you want to establish an international presence? Restrictions like these, for example, suggest the need for a robust business phone system, one that boasts a wealth of features from auto attendants that can greet your calls professionally to voicemail-to-email notifications that can allow you to handle calls on the go. Once you understand your setbacks you can identify the technology that will allow you to level the playing field.
  • Evaluate Your Expertise: Are you all thumbs when it comes to technological installations, upgrades and compliance requirements? Then perhaps you need to go the cloud route and entrust these daily tasks with a third-party provider, especially when it comes to your phone. A cloud-based phone service for example, allows you to focus on critical business processes—such as growing your customer base and conceptualizing best-in-class marketing tactics—as opposed to mundane administrative tasks such as upgrades, maintenance and troubleshooting. You can leave all that to your third-party cloud provider.
  • Consider Your Budget: As any budding entrepreneur can confirm, planning and sticking to a budget is of the utmost importance. While the big-ticket items like startup financing and office leases can steal your attention, don’t lose sight of the fact that other considerations—like technology—can eat up your budget. Therefore, after you get the big idea it’s important to take a look at your finances and determine where you want to place your spend when it come to technology. If you go the cloud-based phone service route, for instance, you can enjoy a reduction in CAPEX/OPEX spending—since you need less physical equipment and personnel to support your phone system. As a result, additional dollars can be allocated to other innovations such as WebRTC, UC and M2M technologies.

So now that you have technology considerations of your checklist, what’s next on your list?

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Topics: Cloud Phone, Voice Communication, Small Business Productivity, Improve Your Business, Cost-Effective Solution, Business Call Routing

Bring Remote Teams Together with a Cloud-Based Phone Service

Posted by Erica Berry

May 10, 2018 10:45:07 AM

When choosing a phone service for your business, there are many factors to consider. You want reliable service with sophisticated calling features your customers and team members expect, all at a great price. While some phone services might have a few of the qualities you’re looking for, most traditional business phone services / landlines don’t measure up to new technologies with respect to flexibility and cost-effectiveness.

remote-teams

In today’s world, where physical businesses, team members and even customers are located all over the globe, a cloud-based phone can be a life saver when it comes to keeping the lines of communications between team members open and affordable – no matter where they are.

Here are three ways a cloud-based phone service can help bring your dispersed team members together…

1. Connect with Team Members All Over the World

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A cloud-based phone service can offer you an effortless way to keep team members connected whether they are in a different hemisphere or just down the road. Many cloud-based phone services work with the mobile phones your employees already have, which empowers them to keep in touch effortlessly. There’s no need for multiple mobile devices or complicated (and expensive!) traditional hardware, just one single cellphone that will connect wherever your team members roam. Also, some cloud-based phone services (like our very own Cloud Phone!) offer a way to connect employees globally via a 3 or 4 digit extension, which can make those international numbers much easier to dial.

2. Save on Those International Bills

These days, many small businesses rely on virtual employees who work across the country or even around the globe. With a cloud-based phone service you can say goodbye to the days of high international rates, spending hours (or even days!) tracking down employees, missed messages and unreturned phone calls, because a cloud-based phone service is so flexible and affordable that a modern entrepreneur just can’t go wrong here when it comes to cost savings!


3. Sophisticated Calling Features

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Whether you’re a Fortune 500 company or a mom-and-pop, a professional phone service is a must. Not only does it give customers the impression that you’re a bigger business, but it also makes staying connected much easier for employees and business partners. There are many compelling calling features that a cloud-based phone service might have that will help your workforce do their jobs effectively. Here are examples from our cloud-based phone service, Cloud Phone:

  • Dedicated business phone number (toll free or local) that forwards to any existing mobile phone or landline
  • Simple 3-digit extensions that forward incoming calls to employees / departments anywhere in the world
  • Voicemail transcription with email delivery
  • Auto-attendant
  • Call screening
  • Web Callback
  • And more!

If you’re still relying on outdated technology to keep your business communications afloat, it’s time for your company to move on to a more convenient, cost-effective and feature-rich business phone option like a cloud-based phone service. It will change the way your team members communicate, for the better!

Have questions about how to make the switch or want to share your cloud-based phone service success stories? Comment below or connect with us on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Google+.

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Topics: Cloud Phone, Mobile Productivity, Mobility, Cost-Effective Solution, Business Call Routing

Want to Grow Your Cleaning Services Business? Get a Local Phone Number Strategy That Works!

Posted by Erica Berry

May 10, 2018 10:40:47 AM

Owning your own cleaning services company is tough. Whether you have a housekeeping services business or a mobile car wash, you are in charge of buying your cleaning supplies, coordinating calendars with a constantly changing schedule, keeping your books simple and accurate, and then finding time to actually clean. But to grow your cleaning services business you also need to find new clients and retain the clients you already have.

 

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Some ways to alleviate administrative busy work include using digital services like Calendy for appointments, Amazon for supplies and Freshbooks for your finances – but something we'd like to focus on today is how to get a local phone line for your cleaning services business without the need to buy and maintain a traditional business phone system.

Virtual PBX services like Voxox Cloud Phone offer inexpensive business phone plans with professional features, including local phone numbers for the region(s) your cleaning company serves. With these local virtual numbers, you won’t need any special hardware or even an office phone because they connect directly to your cell.

Getting a local number through a virtual PBX service will help grow your cleaning services business in a few ways:

1. Handle all calls professionally.

Because all calls to your local business number are routed to your cell, you can answer on the fly or send calls to voicemail with just the touch of a button – whether you’re in the car on your way to an appointment or scrubbing a tub! Having complete control over your business’ phone communications, along with the support of a laundry list of professional features– auto attendant, call forwarding, SMS, call recording, etc. – means that your clients will always have the best possible customer service.

2. Appeal to the locals.

Using the area codes associated with the locations you serve will help build rapport with the community. People are often interested in supporting local service providers, and one way to spot a local contact is via their area code. Put these numbers on your business card, referral fliers and in local bulletins!

3. Enter new markets.

If you are actively working on expanding your carpet cleaning business to new areas, you can get a local phone number in a variety of places and reap the benefits. By expanding your service area, you’ll open yourself to more potential clients and more opportunity to grow your business. With Voxox Cloud Phone, for example, you can sign up for up to 25 different local numbers that all conveniently ring to the same phone –so you can find one, or several local numbers and neighboring area codes that fit your needs.

4. Manage your account on the go.

As a small business owner, you don’t have a lot of time to spare. So why waste those precious minutes managing two separate calling devices? With virtual PBX services (like Voxox Cloud Phone!), all calls are routed to your existing cell phone or that of your employees, as needed. You have different local phone numbers for various reasons, from tracking to marketing, but all calls end up ringing a single device. If you don't pick up, the callers are sent to a professional business voicemail, separating your personal and business communications seamlessly and efficiently. Plus, you can manage all of your virtual PBX features from your online portal – add more lines, remove numbers that you don’t need, etc. It’s simple, it’s fast and it will give you more time to focus on the things that really matter, like growing your business!

So, what are you waiting for? Go get a local phone number from a virtual PBX service and see how it can help your business grow. Set up is simple, painless and fast – but if you need help we’re here for that too.

Topics: Business Call Routing, Business Phone Number, Local Number

Non-employer Businesses Thriving, Small Business Phone Systems Follow

Posted by Ian LeWinter

May 10, 2018 10:40:37 AM

The entrepreneurial spirit is catching fire amongst U.S. business owners. According to the most recent Census, in 2012 the number of businesses without paid employees reached 22.7 million—an increase of 1.1 percent. 

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All signs indicate this number will keep on growing over the next few years due to the high cost of worker benefits and the unstable economy. Many companies simply do not have the resources to provide for staff.  

One market that will certainly benefit from the growth of domestic non-employers is small business phone systems. That’s because the demand for strong customer service exists regardless of the number of employees within an organization. Calls need to be handled professionally and efficiently to convince customers that a business is at the top of its industry. And of course, missed calls mean missed business opportunities.

A cloud-based small business phone system provides all the features a small business needs to establish credibility and operate like a much larger one. This includes an auto attendant that greets callers with a list of options. The auto attendant can then route customers to virtual extensions.

Additionally, messages can be forwarded as a voicemail to email. These features are easy to access and update right over a Web browser. A business owner simply has to log in and they can have complete control over the system.

If you are one of the newly minted non-employer businesses out there or are looking to become one in the near future, check out options for small business phone systems that project a big business image and increase productivity at the same time. After all, just because you are in business for yourself doesn’t mean you can’t get a little technological help from time to time.

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Topics: Cloud Phone, Voice Communication, Voxox, Small Business Productivity, Auto Attendant, Business Call Routing

Why Every Business Needs Call Routing

Posted by Erica Berry

May 10, 2018 10:35:47 AM

You’ve got yourself set up with a virtual phone number and have been exploring all the professional features that come with it. Voicemail transcription, auto attendant, business SMS and an easy to use online management portal, but you’re a little stumped on what to do with the call routing feature. What is call routing and why do you need it?

Call routing is a sophisticated call handling system for your business phone. It allows you to create rules to easily manage incoming calls. You can decide which calls to answer, which to send to voicemail, which calls you want to ring to multiple phone lines and which you want to send directly to colleagues. You can also update the routing rules at anytime through your online management portal.

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Here are four ways that your business can benefit from call routing:

1. No More Missed Calls

As a small business owner, you're always on-the-go. From client meetings, to stopping in at your home office, to taking a quick weekend getaway—who knows where you will be when an important call comes in. Call routing allows you to create answering rules to forward incoming calls to any and all of your numbers, like mobile, home and office (or even hotel) so no matter where you are, or aren’t, you’ll always have the ability to answer important business calls. You can also choose to route calls sequentially or simultaneously. Simultaneous ring sends calls to all activated lines at once, while sequential ring contacts your activated numbers in a specific order—ringing until you answer.

2. Prioritize Calls

While we know all customers are valuable, that doesn’t mean you always need to interrupt your business meeting to answer the phone. Call routing allows you to create parameters so that you or your team can pick up calls when it's convenient for you. If you choose to send callers to voicemail, these callers will be well taken care of if you’ve set up your auto attendant. Learn more about that here.

3. Time Zones

Keeping up with international callers, or even those on a different coast, can be exhausting. Call routing can help forward callers to appropriately-located associates to save yourself from having to take a call in the middle of the night. You can also set up your auto attendant to explain extension options for different regions - e.g., for support in the U.S., dial 1, for support in the U.K., dial 2.

4. Balance

We all need a break sometimes. Even if that break is just a solid night’s sleep or an uninterrupted family dinner. With call routing, you can decide when you want to take calls and when you want them to be forwarded to a colleague or voicemail. No matter what route you choose, callers will always be handled professionally—and you’ll get to enjoy a brief break from work.

Can you think of any other ways to use call routing to better manage your inbound business phone calls? We can help you get started. Sign up for a virtual number here, or if you already have one, log into your online management portal and take control of your business calls.

Topics: Business Call Routing

A Small Business Phone System For A Big Business Presence

Posted by Ian LeWinter

May 10, 2018 10:32:34 AM

When you call your cable provider with a billing question or a major retail corporation for product information, what do you expect to hear?

First, you will probably receive an automated greeting, thanking you for calling the company’s contact center. Next, there will probably be a list of extension options to help you reach whatever department you need. At that point you’ll be connected to the department you choose and will either speak with a company employee or leave a voicemail if no one is available.

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As the owner of your own microbusiness, you’d love it if you could greet your customers like a Fortune 500 Company. Unfortunately, there simply isn’t room in your budget to project that kind of corporate image…right? As a matter of fact, a small business phone system can give you a big business presence at a price you can manage. With a phone system designed specifically for businesses like yours, you can get:

  • A free business-specific local phone number you can give to customers instead of your personal mobile number
  • An auto-attendant that welcomes callers with a greeting you can customize digitally
  • Extensions you can designate for various departments or individuals within your company 

In addition to this impressive functionality, cloud-based phone systems are maintained by the vendor, meaning you will avoid installation and maintenance costs. You pay one low monthly bill for a suite of features sure to impress prospects and existing clients alike. Systems maintained in the cloud also make settings accessible through the Web which allows you to access and adjust your settings at any time.

So if you’ve been holding off on adopting a small business phone system for your company, keep in mind that although the best things in life might not always be free, they aren’t prohibitively expensive either.

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Topics: Cloud Phone, Small Business Productivity, Improve Your Business, Cost-Effective Solution, Business Call Routing