Posted on September 2, 2014 by Lon Baker
According to a recent article by GovTech.com, legislators are currently trying to modify the Michigan Telecommunications Act in order to make it easier for telecommunications companies to stop offering landline phone service in Michigan. The bill, currently passed through the Michigan Senate, would restructure the process companies must go through in order to discontinue their basic local exchange or toll service. If the amendment is successful at restructuring the bill, the new rules will go into effect on January 1, 2017.
According to the article, the bill is sponsored by Senator Mike Nofs and is believed to have the authority to protect landlines for those that need them while giving companies the ability to transition to cellular-based platforms of service or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems. Nofs and others believe that companies shouldn’t be required to continue investing in outdated technology.
“The Internet has changed the way the world works, and it has already changed how millions of people talk on the phone. This bill ensures our constituents are protected while delivering new and improved technology. It’s the best of both worlds,” Nofs said.
In a recent study by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), data specifies that the number of landline customers in Michigan dropped from 6.7 million to 2.6 million over the course of 12 years (from 2000 to 2012), giving further indication that it’s time to move forward with other services, such as VoIP PBX. AARP of Michigan along with The Michigan Sheriffs’ Association, however, oppose the bill, expressing concern for older generations who depend on landlines for communication. Michigan will join a large group of states that have already condensed or even completely eradicated all state authority in terms of telecommunications if the bill is passed.
It’s imperative that state laws reflect newer, streamlined technology and residents and businesses have the opportunity to make use of this better, updated technology as well. With the passing of this bill, providers will be able to offer customers new forms of telecommunications services through other types of technology, such as VoIP. Currently, lawmakers are taking their time to look closely into this issue.
What are your thoughts on enabling service providers to eliminate landline phone services?
Custom Business Greetings – Make the Most of Your Captive Audience
Posted on August 27, 2014 by Paul Hammond
When it comes to custom phone greetings for your business, it’s important to make the most of your captive audience. A custom phone greeting ensures that callers know about any new products or promotions, if you’ve changed your business hours for a holiday, or if you have any other special or timely message you’d like to deliver to customers about your business. A good custom greeting manager makes it easy to manage, upload, or record the auto-attendant greetings so you can make changes whenever and wherever you want.
Tips for Creating Your Custom Greeting
When creating your company greeting, don’t be afraid to use your company’s personality. Customers prefer personalized greetings! Always start out with your company’s name so that callers know they’ve reached the correct number, and be sure to include hours of operation, company website, as well as a call forwarding options to pre-recorded destinations. You may also want to let customers opt-out of listening to the greeting instructions if they already know their party’s extension. By making the most of your captive audience, you can keep customers satisfied and happy with their experience, capitalize on your campaigns, and keep your company organized and running efficiently.
Features of an Ideal Greeting Manager
- Recordings for auto-attendant and your company name can be stored in their own libraries to keep you organized.
- You may view your library whenever and wherever you’d like and you can change your greeting to another with one click.
- You have the ability to create individual greetings for daytime and nighttime, along with a scheduler so they are switched automatically at a specific time.
- You may name your recordings however keeps you best organized and every greeting can be previewed before using.
- A text-to-speech synthesizer can instantly create a new greeting.
- You may script a greeting for us to record for you in our own studio, or you can use your own studio to create greetings or record them over the phone.
Want to personalize your business’ greeting? Contact VirtualPBX today to learn more at 1-888-825-0800.
How Bandwidth Can
Negatively Impact VoIP Quality
…and How to Improve It
Posted on August 24, 2014 by Rachel Anderson
It’s widely-known that business VoIP phones rely heavily on your Internet speed. A High-speed Internet connection provides VoIP with clear, high-quality calls and is a necessity in any business with an implemented VoIP phone system. However, what most people don’t know is that network bandwidth plays a large role as well. VoIP needs a certain amount of bandwidth to be usable. Businesses rely on a number of other Internet activities and while you might have enough bandwidth for VoIP to remain clear, when traffic spikes in one area of your network, your VoIP call suffer a loss in sound quality, resulting in static… or even drop completely.
So how do I determine if I have enough bandwidth?
While there are a number of network speed and bandwidth tests available online, it can be difficult to determine the right amount of bandwidth to meet your specific business needs. Because of this, you may want to contact the experts.
How do I find the right network bandwidth provider?
Once you’ve determined what amount of bandwidth is required to meet your business needs, it’s important to shop around for a reputable provider. VirtualPBX makes it easier to shop around and takes the search out of your hands. Simply request a quote, and VirtualPBX will search your local providers for you in order to provide you with the best quote for the bandwidth that you need.
Transferring Phone Calls:
5 Steps to Successful Business Phone Etiquette
Posted on August 14, 2014 by Rachel Anderson
The importance of proper business phone etiquette cannot be stressed enough, as it can leave either a positive or a negative impression on your callers and potential customers. The way you treat callers on the phone reflects directly upon the image your business portrays. By putting in the extra effort to be polite, you ensure that the customer feels valued by your business.
- Explain to the caller why the call needs to be transferred.
Whether they’ve reached the wrong person or department, or you simply do not have the resources or authority to answer their questions; be sure to explain why you must transfer them.
- Give the caller your information before transferring the call.
It’s important that the caller has access to your information in case of a dropped call or disconnection. This will also make the caller feel important knowing that while you couldn’t help them further, you are personally concerned about their situation.
- Ask the caller for permission to initiate the transfer.
This will give the caller the chance to ask any other questions they may have before being transferred, as well as give them a sense of control over the situation.
- Speak to the party whom the caller is being transferred to first.
By speaking to the next person the caller is being transferred to, you relieve the caller from having to re-explain the situation. It will also give the other person time to prepare for the call and any “insider” information that might expedite the situation.
- Introduce the caller to the name or department in which the call is being transferred to.
Make the introduction to the new contact, ask if there is anything else you can do to help the caller, and thank them for their patience.
Treating your customers right over the phone is just as important as how you treat them in person and a simple phone call can make or break a business relationship. VirtualPBX offers Advanced Transfers to ensure that all the tools you need for successful call transferring are at your fingertips. You can transfer calls to anywhere in the system, whether it’s to another employee, the operator, an outside number, or an ACD queue.
Call VirtualPBX today to learn more about our Call Routing features at 888-825-0800.
Hosted PBX vs. Standard PBX: Which Is Right for You?
Posted on August 12, 2014 by Rachel Anderson
Choosing a hosted PBX service vs. a standard PBX service depends greatly on the needs of your business. But how do you know which is right for you? Sometimes the choice is easy – for example, a hosted PBX service would make the most sense for a company with employees who work outside the main office; a company where all employees are located at the same office location may find that a standard PBX system is more beneficial. Below are more details to help you decide which service is best for you and your business.
A standard PBX system makes sense when:
- All employees are located at the same office
- The company doesn’t mind high up-front costs in order to receive the lowest possible monthly costs
- The company wants the cheapest solution available and capabilities are unimportant
- The business is larger
- Customers won’t benefit from a toll-free service
- The company is not likely to change in size
A hosted PBX service is the best choice when:
- Not all employees are located at the same location – some telecommute, work away from the main location, or need to be available outside of regular hours
- There is not a brick-and-mortar location – the company is virtual
- The business wants low up-front costs
- Customers would benefit from a toll-free service
- The business is smaller
- The company is likely to increase in size
- The business experiences a high number of incoming calls
- System reliability and fault tolerance are important
- The business would like to avoid dedicating employees to outsourcing for PBX support
- The business would like a complete set of features
A PBX service helps save your business money, as well as offers additional features that simply can’t be had with a traditional phone system. Still not sure which is right for you? Call VirtualPBX today at 1-888-825-0800 for more information on our hosted PBX service. We can help you decide what’s most beneficial for your business.