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Archives: August 2010

Show Your Company Phone Number from Any Phone!
August 18th, 2010

If you’ve called a customer using your home phone or cell phone, then you’ve probably had them call you back on that same phone number — they just redial the caller ID left on their phone.  Suddenly your personal phone is your new “business” number.  It’s like having people visit your home when they should be going to your office or store.  What a pain.  But all is not lost.  By using Virtual PBX, you have a way to show your company phone number on outbound calls without having to reveal the number from which you’re calling.  Convenience and privacy all in the same call!

This feature is called “Virtual Calling Card”.  It’s perfect for calling from a cell phone, a friend’s house, a hotel, or even a pay phone…if you can still find one that works!  And you don’t need to keep track of special code numbers and dialing strings – you just dial yourself.  This feature is accessed by logging into the phone system over the phone.  Some of our customers are unfamiliar with this feature or think it’s harder to use than it really is. Truthfully, it does take a few steps — call into your Virtual PBX phone number, press #, enter your extension number followed by #, then enter your phone password follow by #.  Realistically, all of that can be accomplished via a speed dial on your phone.  There is an alternate way to log into your phone system by pressing the CallBack button on the Call Routing tab.

Once you are logged into the system over the phone, you press 3 to make an outbound call.  The system will ask you to enter the phone number you wish to dial.  That’s all there is to it.  Once you enter the phone number, the system will dial, showing your Virtual PBX phone number as the caller ID to your call recipient. So not only is this convenient, but it’s also secure as you’re not showing your personal phone number when you call your customers, vendors, or contacts.

You do need to make sure that your system is set to show your Virtual PBX phone number on outbound calls.  This is the default setting, so unless you changed it, it should be fine.  That setting is edited under the Advanced Configuration settings of the Auto-Attendant.

Also, if you have multiple Virtual PBX phone numbers, you can show any one of those on your outbound calls.  A beautiful thing!  Just make sure to dial into the system using the number that you want to show on your caller ID.  So this feature is not just convenient and secure, but also flexible!

So now you and your personnel use your Virtual PBX to make a bunch of outbound calls.  How do you know who called whom?  You can track all of your outbound calls using the Extension Outbound Call Report.  This report shows the date, time, extension numbers, extension owner caller ID, duration of the call, and the phone number of the party dialed.  This is a great report if extension owners use the Virtual Calling Card feature to make customer call backs to customers or vendors.  It’s great detail, but it’s also great for accountability.

With the Virtual Calling Card feature from Virtual PBX, not only can you show whichever Virtual PBX company phone number you wish in the caller ID when you make your outbound calls, but you also get the satisfaction of NOT having your personal contact phone number show up on caller ID displays of your customers, vendors, and business contacts.  It’s convenience, flexibility, and personal protection at the same time.

Get Your 855 Numbers Here!
August 6th, 2010

If you haven’t already heard about it, the FCC is releasing the 855 prefix for toll-free numbers on October 2, 2010.  Since none of those numbers are currently taken, numbers like 855-Call-Now or 855-855-8558 should be available.  All of the 855 numbers — all 7+ million of them — will be available for reservation on October 2nd, all at once. When that happens, every company that has access to the nationwide toll-free number database will reserve as many numbers as they can, as fast as they can.

Since Virtual PBX has direct access to the nationwide toll-free database, you can get in line to have us make a grab for your numbers of choice on your behalf. And unlike many other toll-free number ordering services, we charge nothing to place orders for up to 25 numbers, and only $25/each for the numbers successfully reserved for you. Now’s the time to try for a special toll-free number that’s always been unavailable in the past. An opportunity like this doesn’t come around very often.

To place an order, click here and enter your request. Again, the first 25 attempts are free, just $2 each after that, and only $25 for each number successfully reserved. Other companies are marking up these numbers to make a huge profit.  VirtualPBX is just trying to give our customers what they want.

For more information about why you might need a toll-free number, please continue reading…

Why Use Toll-Free Numbers

There could be a very long list of reasons why a business or person would use a toll-free number.  However, one could narrow it down three general reasons::

Visibility: If you want to show a local presence, then market your local number so your callers know that you’re local to them.  Small to medium sized businesses typically fall into this category.  However, if you are marketing your services to customers that are not within your local area, then a toll-free number is the best way to go.

Protect Your Branding:  get your company name or the toll-free version of your local number.  In the case of this post, get the 855- version of your current toll-free numbers

Polite to Consumer:  it essentially rolls out the red carpet to the caller, letting them know that they can call you from where ever they are for no cost to them.

Convenience: With no cost to the caller, it’s very convenient for the caller to dial a toll-free number.  Sometimes people with kids in college or family members living outside the immediate area will get a low-cost toll-free number strictly for the convenience of communication.  With toll-free, it reduces the excuses for not calling!

With that information in mind, now’s the time to get your 855 number.  Remember, in order to place an order, click here and enter your request.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to let us know at 888-825-0800, option 1 for Sales.

Using Multiple Virtual Numbers to Make AND Save Money
May 19th, 2010

Lots of information flows through your business’s phone lines. Potential customers who don’t leave contact information could still be reached if you had access to their caller ID. Marketing spending results could be tracked precisely if you could find out exactly how your call volume has been affected. Managers could confirm the movement of calls, showing that they’re processing leads and their staff is working properly.

But just having a plethora of raw call information is difficult to manage and hard to decipher. So here at Virtual PBX, we give your organization the ability to host an unlimited amount of phone numbers and forward those to all kinds of different destinations, while still tracking all the information and processing it into a set of easily manageable reports. Each phone number can further be specialized by having its own greeting as well as directing callers to specific destinations within the Virtual PBX.

Basically, any company trying to track caller response to advertisements, promotions, campaigns, find out about missed sales or prove proper call management needs to be able to get the records that show those pieces of information organized based on the phone numbers dialed. And anyone trying to direct calls to dedicated sales teams, handle multiple businesses, provide access to multiple retail locations, or give VIP access to special clients would benefit from being able to have individual numbers for each of those possible purposes.

So there are many reasons to use extra phone numbers — and every reason is very specialized. Using extra numbers to support a franchise is going to be completely different from tracking marketing information from inbound callers.  The Marketing group is going to want one or more phone numbers for each advertisement, promotion, or campaign.  By doing this, they can measure their advertisement effectiveness, and thus optimize their advertisement costs. This is accomplished by tracking all call detail such as caller ID, date and time of the call, call duration, and destination of the call – even on missed calls and, in most cases, callers who have blocked their caller ID.  Franchisors, on the other hand, may want to track similar information, but at the same time they need to get the calls directed down to their franchisees and regional offices as fast as possible.

Regardless of the needs of your business — from individuals, to home offices and small businesses, to large enterprises — you only pay for what you need, with no wasted resources or dollars. With the ability to track and route a company’s inbound calls like no other call forwarding, call tracking, or virtual phone system in this market, the Virtual PBX service is the best choice for companies serious about measuring and optimizing the flow of information and budgets.

Hosted PBX Versatility – A Phone System For Any Business
July 16th, 2009

Part 2 of today’s double-header, the versatility of a hosted PBX

A not-so obvious benefit of a hosted PBX solution such as Virtual PBX is the versatility of the system and the ability to modify, configure, and use the system for almost any business or purpose. The reliability of the system allows it to act as remote backup phone system that provides instant, automatic failover. With the ability to point multiple phone numbers to different locations along with comprehensive reporting and logging services a business can implement remote call tracking solutions for marketing, advertising or other needs. And if you’re attempting to offer “virtual” customer service to your clients, there’s no more valuable a feature that you can have in a phone system than automatic call distribution – an intelligent call routing mechanism that sends callers to virtual departments and their representatives. One particular market where customer service is critical is franchising.

Our COO Greg Brashier (@gbrashier on Twitter) recently penned an article in Franchise Update magazine detailing how a hosted PBX provides a cost-effective solution for franchising organizations that are keyed in on customer service.

Who’s on Hold?: Hosted PBX Offers A Cost-Effective Fix For Customer Service

With the downturn in the economy, good old-fashioned customer service can be a major differentiator for businesses trying to keep their existing customers and attract new ones.

Businesses that interact with and sell to customers over the telephone must be particularly vigilant that their phone technologies don’t inadvertently alienate their customers. Positive perceptions can quickly erode if customers encounter too much on-hold time, unclear directions on how to reach appropriate service personnel, or (the most dreaded of outcomes) a busy signal.

Many companies are finding that hosted private branch exchange (PBX) phone service technology can be a cost-effective tool that also helps them improve their phone presence and customer responsiveness.

A hosted PBX service provides customers with advanced phone answering and call-routing features–without the expense of purchasing their own PBX hardware or the added costs of installation, ongoing maintenance, and support. It’s ideal for small and mid-sized firms, companies with a distributed workforce, and those that want toll-free number services.

Vicorp Restaurants, which owns Village Inn and Bakers Square restaurants, is widely known for its award-winning freshly baked pies. However, its archaic phone system had started to become a liability during the company’s busiest time of the year, Thanksgiving through Christmas. A large number of customers seeking to order pies received busy signals or were put on hold for long periods before reaching a live person who could help them. Vicorp decided it was time to establish a more efficient way to handle the holiday rush and provide great service for its pie-loving customers

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