The Key Benefits of a VoIP Phone System Auto Attendant

While VoIP phone systems offer many enterprise-grade calling features such as voicemail-to-email, video conferencing, live call forwarding, direct-inward-dial and the list goes on, the one that most businesses instantly fall in love with — and wonder how they managed without — is auto attendant. Here are the key benefits:

1. Fully Customizable

An auto attendant is more than just an answering machine. It’s a functional and customizable 24/7 digital receptionist that lets callers quickly connect with the right individual or team, instead of having to go through a live operator or run the risk of getting “bounced around” because someone made a call forwarding mistake (with this being said, callers who do wish to contact a live operator can be given the option to do so).  

2. Multiple Messages

What’s more, an auto attendant can be configured with multiple messages based on pre-set variables, such as where calls originate from, what number was dialed (e.g. new sales number vs. technical support number), the time of day (e.g. an after-hours message can automatically start at 5:01pm), and so on.

3. Look BIG

An auto attendant can make any business look like an enterprise — even if it has a small staff roster or recently launched. This is a critical factor that can make the difference between connecting with customers, or losing them to larger competitors.

4. Save Thousands a Month

Since an auto attendant does the work of a receptionist — and in fact, does it better and more efficiently — businesses can save thousands of dollars a month in staffing costs. That’s money that they can be put back into the business to help it grow. At the same time, staff that was previously bogged down by answering and forwarding calls have more time to deal with higher priority tasks (e.g. dealing with escalated customer issues, etc.)

Best Practices for an Auto Attendant Script

As noted above, businesses can customize a variety of auto attendant scripts based on their needs. Below are some best practices to keep in mind:

  • Configure the auto attendant to answer the call on the first ring.
  • Start each script with a warm, friendly and professional greeting.
  • For an after-hours or weekend script, inform callers immediately that the business is closed (i.e. don’t risk making them think that the business is open, only to disappoint them later on). Make sure that the script also provides the normal business hours.
  • Keep each script as brief as possible.  
  • Remind callers immediately after hearing the available options (or prior to that if desired) that they can dial their party’s extension at any time, or reach a live operator (if applicable).  
  • It’s generally advised to limit the menu to 5 options. Also provide callers with the ability to re-listen to the options (e.g. “press the pound key to repeat this message”.  

Sample Auto Attendant Script

Here is a sample auto attendant script for ACME Incorporated (under the visionary guidance of CEO Wile E. Coyote).  

Thank you for calling ACME Incorporated, where we offer the very best in anti-roadrunner technology.

If you know your party’s extension, please enter it at any time. For a staff directory, please press the star key.

To speak with our sales team, please press 1.

To speak with our customer service team, please press 2.  

For information on our hours of business, location and website, please press 3.  

If you would like to speak with a member of our team, please press 0.

If you would like to leave a message, please press the pound key.  

To hear this menu again, please press 9.  

To learn more about the benefits and advantages of a VoIP phone system auto attendant, contact the DigitalPhone.io team today. Your consultation with us is free.

Hosted VoIP Phone System Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

If your organization is thinking of switching to a hosted VoIP phone system, then you certainly have a list of questions that our team will be delighted to answer.

However, to give you the information you need even faster, we’ve put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions that we’ve received over the years. Ideally, the following will answer some of your questions, and our team will do the rest!

Question: What is the number one reason that organizations switch to a hosted VoIP phone system?

Answer: Every organization is unique, and has specific need priorities, objectives, risks and opportunities. With this in mind, generally speaking the number one reason that organizations switch to a hosted VoIP phone system is — not surprisingly — to measurably reduce telecommunication costs by anywhere from 25% to over 50% per year.

Another major reason why organizations make the switch is to take advantage of advanced carrier-class unified calling features, like voicemail-to-email, auto attendant, video calling, mobile calling, and the list goes on.

Question: Why doesn’t every organization switch to a hosted VoIP phone system?

Answer: Many organizations are locked into long-term contracts with a conventional landline telephone system provider, and breaking the agreement would be excessively or prohibitively costly (which is just the way that landline telephone system providers want it!).

In addition, some organizations aren’t fully aware of the advantages and benefits of a hosted VoIP phone system, while others (as will be discussed in a moment) believe that the implementation process is complex and disruptive.

Question: What is the hosted VoIP phone system implementation experience like?

Answer: The process is efficient and non-disruptive. Generally, our technical team conducts on-site visits to assess the existing telecommunications infrastructure, and then they create a customized implementation schedule in collaboration with our customer. Implementation usually takes less than a day, and our team follows-up with orientation and training as per the plan. Overall, the process is much faster, easier and simpler than our customers were led to believe before they found us.

Question: Will switching to a hosted VoIP phone system place a support burden on our IT team?

Answer: Not at all — and this is one of the best things about our hosted VoIP phone system! Our expert team handles all support and maintenance, which includes automatically installing upgrades when new innovations and features become available.  

Question: How reliable is a hosted VoIP phone system?

Answer: We guarantee an uptime standard of 99.99%. Plus, because our system uses multiple levels of redundancy, our customers continue to send and receive calls even in the event of a local power outage. This would not be the case if they were using a conventional premises-based PBX, which would go offline (along with everything else in the office until power was restored).

Learn More

If you’re thinking of switching to a hosted VoIP phone system, then we’d be delighted to speak with you and answer all of your questions.

Simply call us at (336) 560-4400 today, or click the Contact Button  on your right. Your consultation with us is free!

5 Reasons Why a Conventional Premises-Based Phone System is So Expensive

When we analyze a customer’s telecommunication needs and present a customized solution, the first thing we usually hear is: “wow, I had no idea that we could be saving so much!”

Of course, there are several reasons why a hosted VoIP phone system dramatically reduces telecommunications costs — and we’ve highlighted some of the key factors in this article.

However, the other side of the coin that we want our customers to understand, is that conventional premises-based phone systems are (and always have been) excessively expensive. Here are the key reasons why:

1. Maintenance Fees

Maintenance fees for a conventional premises-based phone system can reach into the thousands of dollars a year. What’s more, most businesses have no choice but to pay the exorbitant fee, because they lack the in-house expertise to maintain the system on their own. It goes without saying that this profitable detail is not lost on phone companies that view maintenance agreements as cash cows.

2. Service Charges

Few things in this world are as frustrating as getting “dinged” by vague, unexpected and usually unjustifiable service charges. Well, phone companies take this to the next level by billing for anything and everything they can that falls outside the Service Level Agreement (which as noted above, businesses are already paying for).

And that’s not even the worst of it: fixing telecommunications-related problems isn’t cheap. A single on-site visit from a technician will cost a few hundred dollars, and all replacement parts (such as a new handset) will make the bill even bigger — and more infuriating!  

3. Weird Monthly Fees

Phone companies are famous — or make that infamous — for charging weird monthly fees that show up on the bill. Sometimes it’s a few dollars, other times it can be $50 or more. Over a year, it can easily add up to several hundred or more than a thousand dollars. But for what!? Nobody really knows. The basis for these charges are rooted in an incomprehensibly complex agreement that even give lawyers a headache to read.

4. Scaling

Everyone who launches a business hopes that they’ll grow big. However, phone companies have a different dream: one in which they bill expanding businesses through the nose when they want to add new numbers.

5. Adding Calling Features

Last but certainly not least, businesses that want — or need —carrier-class calling features like voicemail-to-email and auto attendant will see their phone bill rise, rise and rise some more. Evidently, phone companies haven’t received the memo that voicemail, Caller ID and call forwarding are no longer “super-ultra-mega-advanced features”. They’re basic staples that all businesses expect, and so do residential customers for that matter. This isn’t 1990.

The DigitalPhone.io Advantage

At DigitalPhone.io, we don’t charge for maintenance, and we never tack on weird and inexplicable service charges or monthly fees. This not only helps our customers save money, but they get cost certainty as well, which makes budgeting easier and more predictable.

Plus, our hosted VoIP phone system comes with a full range of carrier-class calling features, and scaling up to add new employees is fast, easy and remarkably affordable.

To learn more, call us at (336) 560-4400 today, or click the Contact Button  on your right. Your consultation with us is free!

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Inteliquent Seeking to Raise Profile

Inteliquent connects millions of phone calls and text messages from U.S. telecom companies like AT&T and Sprint, as well as next-generation communication providers like app developers. It’s a critical role in how people around the world connect each day, but few people know its services exist.

The company’s CEO Matt Carter is looking to change that. ‘We are seeing an explosion of text messaging growth among the population and what these companies are looking for is an alternative network to help them to accommodate all that growth – and that is where we come in,’ said Carter. Last week, Inteliquent said it generated revenue of $90.8 million in the second quarter of 2016, an increase of 71.6%, or $37.9 million, from $52.9 million of revenue in the second quarter of 2015. The growth was primarily driven by an increase in minutes of use, as well as an increase in the average rate per minute. The company said its second quarter 2016 net income of $9 million compared to $10.0 million in second quarter of 2015, while its adjusted EBITDA of $19.2 million in second quarter 2016 compared to $21.0 million in second quarter 2015. Minutes of use increased 55.8% to 53.9 billion minutes in the second quarter of 2016, compared to 34.6 billion minutes in the second quarter of 2015. The average rate per minute for the second quarter of 2016 was $0.00168, an increase of 9.8%, compared to $0.00153 for the second quarter of 2015. Inteliquent has a fortress balance sheet with zero debt, $120 million of cash and plenty of borrowing capacity. Carter said the cash position serves a number of purposes including M&A and a dividend. ‘Our cash position helps us win major deals with customers,’ said Carter. ‘If a customer wants to outsource a major part of their network services to us, they can be reassured that they are working with a company that will be around tomorrow.’

Four Reasons to Move Your Phone System to The Cloud

When it comes to business phone systems, there are several decisions that an organization must make.

Perhaps the most basic, though important, is whether to pursue an on-premise or cloud-based solution. While there are advantages to both, many firms are increasingly reaching the conclusion that a cloud-based option is superior. Here are four reasons why cloud business phone systems are becoming more popular.

1. Lower Upfront Cost
One of the biggest advantages offered by a cloud business phone system is a low upfront cost. An on-site solution, on the other hand, requires significant costs on the front end, as the company needs to purchase and install a server on the premises. This makes cloud business phone systems particularly appealing to smaller businesses, as upfront costs are typically more of a burden. Of course, larger firms can also take advantage of these initial cost savings. Read At NetworkWorld Here

2. Greater Scalability
Another key reason for cloud business phone systems is greater scalability. As a business grows and expands it will require more phone lines, more features, more data storage capabilities and so on. With a cloud phone system, the business can increase its usage at any time. If the business contracts or experiences a less busy period, it can reduce usage and save money. With an on-premise solution, the firm must initially purchase a larger-than-needed appliance in order to prepare for growth. Until that time, the firm will essentially have overpaid for its Unified Communications needs, resulting in inefficiencies. When the business’s growth requires an upgrade, it will need to purchase a whole new solution, repeating this process.

3. Better Disaster Recovery
Disasters can and will strike businesses of all sizes, no matter their geographic locations. Organizations need telecommunications solutions they can depend upon in these circumstances. Cloud phone systems are undoubtedly superior in this regard. With the system based off-site, damage that affects the business will not necessarily incapacitate the service provider. The office may be shut down, but business operations can quite possibly continue. If the solution is based on-premise, any damage sustained by the office will also affect its communication system, thereby exacerbating the damage caused by the catastrophe.

4. Location Independence
Another advantage of hosted business phone systems is location independence. A hosted system enables businesses to redirect calls to any landline, international or mobile number. If a business or its owners relocate, they can continue to use their old phone numbers. This is critical for many firms since changing an established number can cause confusion among existing clients. Remote work is rapidly increasing in popularity, as it has the potential to improve employee morale and productivity while saving money. However, to be a viable solution, companies typically need to ensure that remote workers have access to robust telecommunications tools. Hosted phone systems are the most effective way of achieving this goal. Read More at this Link