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Hitting the Concert Scene? Stay Jamming With Cloud Communications

Posted by Ron Kinkade

May 10, 2018 10:53:39 AM

For music-lovers, summer is concert season, filled with warm weather, cold drinks, shorts and dresses, outdoor venues, tailgating—all the things you dream about during a long, cold winter.  Whether you’re attending a three-day music festival or a one-night show, listening to live music fills you with the kind of joy you can’t find anywhere else.

As the owner of a new small business, however, it seems like you might have to skip this concert season to make sure you are available to deal with anything that comes your company’s way. But don’t cancel those ticket orders just yet, because with a cloud phone small business phone number, you can see all the shows you want and keep your business rocking.  

Concert Scene

A cloud communications application helps you manage your business on-the-go  by providing communications services through your mobile phone, smartphone or laptop. So as you wait for your favorite band to come out on stage you remain reachable to colleagues and customers alike with mobile features like:  

  • Reach Me Anywhere. Cloud communications connects incoming business calls to you or your staff wherever you choose, on any device. If you and your friends decide to catch the concert’s opening act and you know you’ll be unable to answer the phone, you can have calls routed to multiple employees, ensuring that someone will be able to answer.
  • Auto Attendant. No matter where you are, when customers reach out to you they are greeted professionally and presented with menu options to connect them to the correct department. If you need to close your office unexpectedly on a given day you can alter your greetings digitally from anywhere you have an Internet connection.
  • Voicemail Transcription. Voicemails are automatically transcribed and delivered to your email, allowing you to read messages like an email. So if you are unable to hear an urgent message due to the fact that 120 decibels of music are invading your ear canals, you’ll be able to read it word-for-word in your email and answer the call immediately if necessary. 

With all these great features you might think only rock stars would be able to afford cloud communications, but in fact, it will help you cut your current phone expenses. With a system maintained by a third-party host you don’t need to worry about paying for installation or equipment updates, which means you’ll be able to afford all the concert tickets you have your eye on. 

There are few feelings as frustrating as being stuck late at work on a beautiful day while all your friends are out having a good time. When you adopt a cloud-based phone service you never have to experience that feeling again, because you can manage your business from any location, even if you are surrounded by your fellow music-lovers as they dance the night away.

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Topics: Voice Communication, Improve Your Business

Increasing Productivity with a Small Business Phone System

Posted by Ian LeWinter

May 10, 2018 10:53:13 AM

As a small business owner with limited resources, improving productivity is likely at or near the top of your priority list. But if you type “how to improve productivity for a small business” into a search engine, the number of results you’ll receive will probably be similar to the number of stars in the universe.

New articles and videos filled with tips and tricks for improving operations are constantly popping up on the Internet and while many offer quality suggestions, the sheer volume can be a bit overwhelming. Implementing a dozen different strategies at once is probably not the best idea, so we suggest you start with one—adopting a small business phone system.

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Photo Courtesy of Flikr User Sebastiaan ter Burg

A phone service designed specifically for small and microbusinesses can increase productivity—specifically mobile productivity—by putting the power of an enterprise system in your pocket. With a cloud-based phone service you can use your mobile phone to get:

  • A business-specific line where you can be reached no matter where you are
  • Voicemail to email that ensures you get important messages even while you’re traveling
  • Professional greetings that can be customized from anywhere you have Internet access 

On top of productivity gains you’ll see your company can also cut costs with a small business phone service. Monthly fees are reasonable and because the service is web-based and maintained by the vendor you’ll avoid installation and maintenance costs altogether.

When you own a small business, you simply can’t afford to let valuable time go unused—fortunately you don’t have to.

Want some tips on creating a great mobile workforce? Take a look!

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Topics: Cloud Phone, Voice Communication, Improve Your Business

What Every Small Business Owner Should Know About Professional Voicemail Greetings

Posted by John Lee

May 10, 2018 10:51:24 AM

According to a report from Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), there are an estimated 27 million entrepreneurs in the US starting or operating new businesses. With so many companies’ vying for success, your business should be leveraging every possible advantage to stand out from the competition. Your business voicemail greeting is often the first point of customer contact, so it's important to have one that projects professionalism and reliability. A professional voicemail greeting not only leaves a positive impression and builds trust, but also helps you effectively and efficiently manage your communications. 

 

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There are a number of options for customizing your business voicemail greeting. A unique professional greeting helps your company appear personable and knowledgeable. You can organize your message to share information about your company's products, direct callers to the appropriate department, or even provide directions to your location.

These could be details about the hours you’re out of the office or how to reach the appropriate employee to assist the caller. Eliminate the need to repeat information when it can be automated. Having your business information readily available will save time and money. 

The old cliché "time is money" plays an important role in investing in a professional voicemail system. Small businesses cannot afford to waste time or resources on inefficient communication. Helping customers’ access information instantly and efficiently through a professional voicemail system, helps ensure that your company can meet their needs, expeditiously and professionally. Staying ahead of the competition means your business must have organized systems in place to serve a customer from initial contact through providing  the solution to the client’s needs, the way the client wants it and most importantly when the client wants it. Contact us today to learn more about customizing your voicemail with our virtual phone system.

 

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Topics: Cloud Phone, iPhone, Voice Communication, Android, Improve Your Business

How a Small Business Virtual Phone Can Set a Freelancer Free

Posted by Ian LeWinter

May 10, 2018 10:51:07 AM

Whether you are a freelance writer, graphic designer or interior decorator, your creativity and imagination is what keeps your services in demand with customers. The quality of your work speaks for itself and you take great pride in making a client’s vision come to fruition.

Freelancer

When it comes to adopting the right business communications system, however, you may be having a difficult time making a decision. Fortunately, small business virtual phone systems exist just for successful entrepreneurs like you.    

A virtual—or cloud-based—phone system gives you much of the functionality you’d get with a legacy enterprise system at a much lower cost. You can set up professional greetings, designate extensions and have your voicemail sent to email so you won’t miss an important message. Furthermore, because your system is in the cloud your settings are easily accessible and you avoid installation and maintenance costs. Last but not least, all you need to get started is a mobile number!

Another advantage of adopting a cloud-based phone system is that if you decide to expand your freelance business into a full-fledged company, you’ll be sending a signal to millennials in the workforce that you are committed to running a modern business. When considering the emphasis younger workers place on a potential employer’s technology these days, attracting the best and brightest can be a challenge—one a virtual phone system helps you meet.

Being your own boss has many advantages, but one of the potential drawbacks is dealing with aspects of business outside of your comfort zone. Fortunately, today’s best-in-class technological solutions offer freelancers more tools than ever before. Yes, that is opportunity knocking at your door. Will you answer?

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Topics: Cloud Phone, Voice Communication, Voxox, Cost-Effective Solution

Voxox Includes Outbound Calling to Mexico within All Bundled Cloud Phone Subscription Plans

Posted by Natasha Grach

May 10, 2018 10:50:51 AM

Exciting news! Voxox announces Cloud Phone subscription plan update that enables outbound calling to Mexico at no additional cost! This is a game-changer for many entrepreneurs who regulary have to conduct business with contacts in Mexico. Read the full press release below...

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Voxox Includes Calls to Mexico at No Additional Cost within All Bundled Cloud Phone Subscription Plans to Help Foster Cross-Border Entrepreneurship

Inclusion of outbound calls to Mexico is typically not offered within standard calling plans by competing virtual PBX services

SAN DIEGO April 11, 2017 – Voxox®, innovator in cloud communication solutions for businesses with the most comprehensive unified communications Platform as a Service, today announced that it has added Mexico calling within its bundled subscription plans for Cloud Phone, the cloud-based virtual phone system for entrepreneurs and very small businesses. The bundled subscription plans, which range from 1,000 to 5,000 monthly minutes to unlimited calling, previously included United States and Canada calling. All bundled plans now also include Mexico calling (outbound as well as inbound) in the minutes pool.

The inclusion of Mexico outbound calling in bundled minute plans is not typical for virtual PBX service providers. While landlines in Mexico tend to be affordable to package into bundled plans, Mexican mobile numbers can be on the high end for most providers. Voxox has established strong relationships with global carrier partners to bring costs down for customers. Furthermore, the company's sophisticated cloud technology built entirely in-house enables Voxox to bypass expensive licensing fees that competitors have to pay, allowing Voxox to give customers more price breaks with some of the most competitive rates in the industry.

"In adding Mexico calling within our standard bundled subscription plans, we hope to make communications more cost-effective for entrepreneurs who regularly have business dealings with colleagues in Mexico," said Bryan Hertz, CEO and co-founder of Voxox. "We've prioritized securing incredible calling rates to advance entrepreneurship, not just in Mexico but all around the world."

Cloud Phone enables “micro-businesses” (businesses that operate on a very small scale), as well as individuals and small organizations seeking a business-grade telephone presence, to easily obtain local and toll free numbers that support unlimited extensions and advanced call routing capabilities. With Cloud Phone, users can place and receive calls, manage call activity, access features such as voicemail transcription, call recording, device transfer, faxing, and much more -- all within a sleek, elegant design. No special equipment or advanced skills are necessary to use Cloud Phone. Once a Do It Yourself (DIY) set-up is completed online, all that a user needs is a calling device (e.g., mobile or landline phone) to which calls can be routed. The effortless user experience and set-up process, which can be completed in less than a minute, along with highly competitive global calling rates and exceptional call quality, are key differentiators as compared to alternative solutions.

Cloud Phone comes with a complementary mobile app for iOS and Android. The Cloud Phone mobile app leverages Voxox's new breakthrough VoIP codec, a technology used to encode and compress voice signals into digital form for transmission. This is particularly significant for small businesses with a disbursed or traveling workforce, as the codec dramatically improves voice quality in poor bandwidth settings, such as hotels, convention centers, rural locations, etc. To hear the dramatic difference visit, www.voxox.com/codecdemo.

To view subscription plan pricing and/or to sign up for Cloud Phone, please visit www.cloudphone.com.

About Voxox

Voxox is an innovator in unified cloud communication solutions for businesses. The foundation of the company's offerings is its award-winning unified communications Platform as a Service, which enables the company and its customers to build powerful, scalable applications and services. For end-users, Voxox provides an extensive suite of carrier-grade business phone solutions, including its flagship business app, Cloud Phone, as well as SIP trunking, hosted PBX, and a wide array of wholesale services, such as high volume SMS. For service provider partners, Voxox delivers cutting-edge mobile and desktop applications that integrate voice, video, messaging, fax, media sharing and more. Voxox is headquartered in San Diego. For more information, please visit http://www.voxox.com.

Topics: Cloud Phone, Company Announcements, Improve Your Business, Voice Communication

Cloud-Based Phone System and BYOD: Better Together

Posted by Ian LeWinter

May 10, 2018 10:49:02 AM

Increasingly, business owners and employees want the comfort and ease of using their preferred device for work-related purposes. For small business owners like you, the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend can actually be a major benefit because it means not having to purchase expensive work-specific equipment for you or your employees. 

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Photo Courtesy of Flikr User Sean MacEntee

That being said, if you want to embrace the BYOD revolution your phone settings have to be accessible from these mobile devices. As an entrepreneur you probably spend quite a bit of time traveling to trade shows, client meetings and more. You need to be able to change your company greeting or add an extension quickly and if you are like most Americans— 44 percent of whom have slept with their phone next to their bed because they wanted to make sure they didn’t miss any communications—the easiest way to make those changes is with a mobile device because at this point it is practically an appendage! 

With legacy phone technology, adding a line would require a technician to show up and changing your greeting would probably involve dialing in and rooting around in a complex system. Fortunately settings on today’s best-in-class cloud-based phone systems can be accessed from mobile devices. You can change your greeting digitally just by typing a message or add an extension in real time.  Additionally, with a web-based system you don’t need any special technological skills or knowledge to make adjustments—you just need a connected device.

Want to chime in about BYOD? Let us know in the comment section below!

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Topics: Cloud Phone, Voice Communication, Cost-Effective Solution

What is a Toll Free Number and How Does it Work?

Posted by Erica Berry

May 10, 2018 10:48:14 AM

Think toll free numbers are just for large enterprises or call centers? The reality is they can be an indispensable business asset for companies of all sizes – even a one- or two-person startup. Beyond providing customers and prospects with a free and convenient way to call your company, a toll free number offers a long list of benefits, such as brand recognition and credibility, and are a great way to expand your business into new markets.

If you’re a small business owner and haven’t cashed in on this inexpensive business asset simply because you didn't think it was easy to obtain a toll free number or because you aren’t clear on how a toll free number could help your business, read on.

Toll_Free_Woman

What is a toll free number?

A toll free number is a telephone number with special area codes (such as 800, 888, 877 and 866) that allow callers to dial your business without incurring any cost – making it an ideal form of communication for all types of businesses. Whether you run an e-commerce website or a flower shop, any business that requires customers to call in to make a purchase, connect with customer support, or inquire about a service can benefit from a toll free number.

Generally, toll free numbers are issued on a first come, first served basis, but going the extra mile for your customers and choosing a memorable number – like one with repeating digits or patterns – could make an impact on your call volume, sales and ROI. After all, making it easy for customers to contact your business is key to keeping them happy, which directly impacts your bottom line!     

Benefits of a toll free number

Toll free numbers can be extremely valuable to businesses looking to project a professional image. They not only provide your business brand with recognition and credibility, but they can also enhance your company’s perceived size and image – among other things. Here are a few ways toll free numbers can benefit your business: 

1. Appear larger than life.

Until recently, toll free numbers were most frequently used by enterprise level corporations or call centers, which is why having a toll free number – even if you’re working from your home office—can give the impression that you have a much larger operation. 

2. No location? No problem.

With a toll free number, location is obsolete. So whether you’re working from home or relocating your brick and mortar, you and your team can be reached simply by forwarding calls to your cell phone or any phone of your choice. Plus, if you're on the move, having a toll free number through a service like Cloud Phone lets you take all your important calls without being tied to a desk.

3. Improve privacy.

Not only does the added convenience of forwarding calls from your toll free number to your cell mean you don’t have to juggle multiple phones – it also means you no longer have to give out your personal number. Keeping personal and business calls separate is vital to maintaining a professional image for your business.

4. Virtual hub.

Many small businesses these days have remote workers, with no central office and no secretary to direct calls or take messages. With the right setup, a toll free number can act as a hub for your business calls – directing incoming calls to different “departments” or team members, as well as a message center. All it takes is a virtual assistant!

Does your small business have a toll free number? How does it benefit your business? Share your story with other small business owners and entrepreneurs by commenting here or on our social networks – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+.

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Topics: Cloud Phone, Voice Communication, Small Business Productivity, Toll Free Number, Improve Your Business, Cost-Effective Solution

Going on a Summer Vacation? Get a Cloud-based Phone Service

Posted by Ron Kinkade

May 10, 2018 10:47:53 AM

To most everyone’s delight—particularly after a nightmarish winter--summer has finally arrived, meaning a lot of folks will be getting ready for that long-awaited summer vacation. The salty Italian air, waves crashing on the beach, tan skin, hot sun’s rays—you have been dreaming about it for weeks!

Summer Vacation Cloud

The only thing strong enough to break you out of this dreamlike haze and bring you back to reality is the remembrance that you are the owner of a small business, and while you do trust your colleagues, you also know that as the head honcho it is always possible that something only you can handle could come up.

This is a problem scenario, but one with a solution—a cloud-based phone service. A small business phone service offers an array of capabilities that will benefit you and your business no matter where you may be traveling this season.

Let’s take a look at some of the fantastic features that a cloud-based phone service offers:

  • Auto Attendant: Customers are greeted in a big business manner, guided to the correct department. So you can rest assured that even if you are touring the Vatican or at a winery in Florence your customers are being well served.
  • Reach Me Anywhere: Connects your incoming business calls to anywhere, on any device. You won’t have to worry about missing important business calls overseas because your cloud service will connect them all to your phone. Relaxing on the Italian coast? No problem! You are still in reach for “can’t-miss” calls.
  • Voicemail Transcription: Voicemails are converted to text before they’re delivered, so you can read the message if listening isn’t an option—and on vacation, sometimes it simply isn’t.

Using a cloud-based phone service allows your small business to conquer all of the problems travel presents for a small business owner like Roman Empire conquering Italy. And doesn’t every business want a phone system that helps it triumph over all challengers?

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Topics: Cloud Phone, Voice Communication, Voxox, Business Phone Number, Auto Attendant, Improve Your Business, Mobility

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

Voicemail Transcription: Milestones in the History of a Modern Convenience

Posted by Erica Berry

May 10, 2018 10:47:04 AM

Voicemail transcription is a modern day convenience. Not only does it allow users to easily read, manage and delete voicemail messages, it also saves time and reduces stress about missing out on important info. While the days of scrambling to jot down dates and numbers are long gone, there was a time when even traditional voicemail seemed liked a luxury. 

Here's a brief history of voicemail and the development of voicemail transcription: 

Voicemail_Transcription_Phone

1877– The first public records describing voice recording were reported in a New York newspaper and the Scientific American in November of 1877, with the announcement of the phonograph by Thomas A. Edison, saying "the object was to record telephone messages and transmit them again by telephone." (Source: Wiki)

1877– In December of 1877, Edison applied for a patent and demonstrated the machine recording and playing "Mary Had a Little Lamb” and other popular tunes at the time. (Source: Wiki)

1914– Edison's phonograph business included a dictating machine (the Ediphone) and the Telescribe, a machine combining the phonograph and the telephone, which recorded both sides of telephone conversations. (Source: recording-history.org)

1970's– Judah Klausner pioneered several patents central to voicemail transcription while doing work on early PDA technologies for his company Klausner Technologies. (Source: digitaltrends.com)

1974– The mid 1970's saw the introduction of a simple, pager/beeper that was generally offered in conjunction with answering services that handled busy, no-answer overloads and after hours calls for businesses and professionals. Rather than recording a voice call, operators manually transcribed the caller's message, sent a page alert or "beep" and when the party called back, an operator dictated the message. (Source: Wiki)

1976– Robin Elkins, a blues-rock saxophonist, invented what became an important backbone to voicemail—a digital/analog storage technology—while trying to figure out a better way to record his music. His invention found a duel use, allowing paging and telecom companies to handle client messages electronically. Operators recorded a 5-6 second message which was delivered automatically when the client called the answering service. (Source: Gawker)

1979– The first modern day voicemail application was invented by Gordon Matthews. When he was on a business trip, he became frustrated that he was playing telephone tag while trying to contact the office. After the incident, he mentioned to his wife that he needed to invent a telephony system where people can send each other recorded messages and voicemail was born! (Source: Wiki)

1980– The term voicemail was coined and trademarked, but eventually became a generic name for all automated voice services. (Source: Wiki)

2000– Voicemail had become a ubiquitous feature on phone systems serving companies, cellular and residential subscribers. (Source: Wiki)


2007– Voicemail transcription was introduced to mobile users by Apple's iPhone. (Source: Wiki)


2007– Access to voicemail transcription from email or web browser through a third-party application was introduced by YouMail, a multi-platform visual voicemail service for mobile phones. By storing voicemail in the cloud rather than the mobile carrier's network, users were also able to access it through any web browser or by e-mail. (Source: Wiki)

2011– In January of 2011, Voxox consumer app launched voicemail transcription – the first ever to be integrated into a desktop messenger style application. (Source: voxox.com)


2014– Voxox Cloud Phone, a virtual PBX Service for one-10 person businesses, added voicemail transcription to its services on July 24, 2014 (Source: voxox.com

Do you use voicemail transcription? Tell us why you love voicemail transcription and how it helps you keep your messages (and life!) organized – Twitter and Facebook.

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Topics: Cloud Phone, Voice Communication, Small Business Productivity, Mobile Productivity, VoIP