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.

5 Reasons Why Sales Professionals LOVE Cloud Telephone Systems

It doesn’t matter whether a business sells professional services, cool gadgets, delicious meals or anything else: while all employees have an important role to play, the fact is — and always will be — that the gateway to organizational success is sales.

Indeed, without sufficient revenues, businesses cannot achieve their objectives or targets. And while sales numbers typically rise and fall due to cycles and other marketplace variables, a sustained drop in revenues inevitably — and terrifyingly — leads to layoffs, scale-backs, and in extreme cases, bankruptcies and shut downs.

Given the importance of sales, it makes sense that successful businesses around the world are making the switch to an innovative cloud telephone system. Here are the 5 reasons why sales professionals LOVE this technology, and would rather give up their (sacred) expense account or vacation days than revert back to a conventional landline system:

1. Integration with CRMs

Cloud telephone systems integrate seamlessly with CRM systems (such as Salesforce), which enables sales professionals to capture calling data in real time, and enhance customer experience by automatically seeing all historical information (e.g. previous touchpoints and purchases).

2. Total Mobility

Sales professionals who spend some, most or virtually all of the time away from the office (a.k.a. “road warriors”) can connect with colleagues and customers through their smartphone or desktop softphone anytime, and anywhere. What’s more, when they make outgoing calls, the business name/number shows up on Caller ID instead of their personal name/number.

3. Voicemail-to-Email

Studies reveal that a staggering 35-50% of sales go to sellers that respond first. A cloud telephone system features built-in voicemail to email functionality, which lets sales professionals pick-up time sensitive calls on-the-go. As a result, they can respond quicker than their competitors, and give themselves a crucial advantage to make the sale!

4. Web Conferencing

While many of today’s customers are fine with phone calls and emails, many want to connect face-to-face — which can be inconvenient, or in some cases, a logistical impossibility (i.e. the customer is located in Nashville and the sales professional is located in Charlotte). Cloud telephone systems feature built-in web conferencing, so that sales professionals can effortlessly close the distance gap and create some valuable face time.

5. Live Call Forwarding

Last but not least, its typical for many sales professionals to pick up a call on their smartphone, drive to work, and head into their office — or vice versa. With a cloud telephone system, they can easily forward live calls from system to system, and keep the conversation going instead of having to say “can I call you back?”

The Bottom Line

Today’s sales professionals are under relentless pressure to make quota and keep the revenue flowing. However, research shows that nearly two-thirds of their time is wasted in non-revenue generating activities. A cloud telephone system dramatically turns this around, and positions sales professionals to do what they — and everyone else — needs them to do: SELL!

To learn more about how a cloud telephone system will take your sales professionals to another level, contact the DigitalPhone.io team today at (336) 560-4400, or click the Contact Button on your right. Your consultation with us is free!

Why Financial Advisory Firms are Switching to a Business VoIP Phone System

In an article for the New York Times, Craig Pfeiffer, the CEO Money Management Institute which represents the investment advisory solutions industry, observed that: “the financial advice profession is under pressure to continue to move aggressively from a sales- and product-driven focus to a more comprehensive, advice-driven model delivering a personalized, streamlined experience to investors similar to what is happening in other industries.”

As with disruptive shifts in any field — such as legal, healthcare — some financial advisory firms are successfully navigating the client-centric landscape, while others are struggling. And it’s not surprising that many firms that see the future as filled with opportunities to embrace vs. obstacles to avoid have made the switch to VoIP.

Here are the 5 key reasons why financial advisory firms of all sizes — from small boutique operations to large enterprises — have switched to a business VoIP phone system, and their only regret is that they didn’t do it sooner:

Communicate Across Multiple Channels

Unlike conventional phone systems that must run on a separate — and costly to maintain — voice network, a business VoIP phone system leverages an existing data network. As a result, financial advisors can connect with clients through voice, web chat, video chat, and fax. Clients have the freedom and power to choose the communication channel that suits them best.

Re-Inventing Call Transfer

It’s common for clients to call one office to speak with an advisor, only to find out that he or she is at another location. With a conventional phone system, clients in this situation are forced to leave a message and wait for a call back, or hang up and dial the other location (and hope that they don’t continue getting bounced around). But with a business VoIP phone system, clients can be seamlessly transferred to any other location in a matter of seconds. At first glance this may seem like a minor benefit, but make no mistake: it’s a big deal to clients, and over time can give them ample incentive to either stick with an advisory firm or head to a different — and more accessible — competitor.

Greater Responsiveness

Even financial advisory firms with a single location typically have employees roaming across the office throughout the day engaged in meetings, conferences, and so on. A business VoIP phone system supports total mobility by enabling employees to receive and send calls (along with instant messages) using their smartphone. What’s more, outgoing calls display the firm’s Caller ID, not the employee’s personal information.

Data and CRM Integration

Because a VoIP phone system is a truly digital solution, it is fundamentally designed to integrate with other solutions in the environment, such as CRMs, billing software, and so on. As such, financial advisors can immediately access a wealth of client-specific information simply based on the incoming call number, and deliver a more personalized and impressive level of service.

Compliance, Record Keeping and Security

Clients expect and demand that financial advisory firms meet all prevailing compliance, record keeping and security requirements. A business VoIP phone system helps meet the core objective safeguarding all communications with robust enterprise-grade security, and providing options for recording calls and generating a wealth of analytics data for training, quality assurance and auditing purposes.

To learn more about how your financial advisory firm can reap the rewards of a business VoIP phone system — and lead the way on a more client-centric landscape — contact the DigitalPhone.io team today. (336) 560-4400. Your consultation with us is free.

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery: How We Keep Your Business Up and Running 24/7/365

While email and web chat are increasingly becoming preferred communication channels, many of today’s customers insist on being able to pick up the phone and get in touch with a business – whether it’s to ask questions about a potential product or service, get support for a prior purchase, or for any other reason.

But what happens in the event of a power outage caused by a disaster, or even a shorter – but certainly noticeable – brownout resulting from the country’s aging and over-burdened utility infrastructure? Well, if you have a conventional phone system that uses an on-site IP PBX, then instead of hearing “thank you for your call, how may I help you?”, your customers will hear “sorry, the number you have reached is out of service, please try your call again later.”

Unfortunately, many customers won’t “try their call again later.” Instead, they’ll head to a competitor whose phone lines are working normally – and they’ll never look back. To avoid that unacceptable scenario, here are the key ways that our hosted VoIP solution keeps your business up and running 24 hours a day, 365 days a year:

Geographically-Dispersed Cloud Infrastructure

All communication that takes place via our hosted VoIP phone system – including file sharing, video conferencing, instant messaging, and so on – is supported by a geographically-dispersed cloud infrastructure. As such, during a local power outage your business does not have to worry about disappearing from the radar screen. Everyone on your team will be able to continue sending and receiving calls, and accessing all system features – even as other businesses nearby using conventional phone systems cannot even get a dial tone.

Automatic Failover

Our hosted VoIP phone systems utilizes a broadband internet connection to transfer both audio and video (for web and video conferencing). If your ISP suffers a power outage or your internet connection goes offline for any reason, an automatic failover response takes over and switches to a secondary connection. Then, when the primary connection comes back online, it automatically switches back. Your IT team doesn’t have to make any configuration changes or modify the system in any way.

Carrier-Grade Network Security

Our hosted VoIP phone system is NOT run on the public internet. Rather, it is managed on a private and highly secure data network, which is protected by end-to-end encryption mechanisms including Transport Layer Security/TLS and Secure RTP for transmitting media. In addition, our expert team installs and configures all security patches and updates to thwart zero-day threats.

In addition, our hosted VoIP phone system features robust password protection for managed routers, as well as for web-based dashboard access. In addition, all system access and usage is tracked for compliance, quality assurance, and audit trail purposes.

Granular Security Controls

Your business will be empowered with granular security controls to ensure compliance and prevent unauthorized usage. For example, specific access and permissions can be granted to different users/groups, and restrictions can be imposed (e.g. maximum time per call, geographic calling restrictions, etc.).

24/7 Monitoring

Speaking of our expert team: we continuously monitor and test the system to ensure security and integrity. If there is any actual or potential threat or vulnerability, alarms are automatically triggered, and the issue is thoroughly investigated to resolution. We have also recently strengthened our enhanced and comprehensive telecommunications fraud management program, which covers the following:

  • Monitoring all outbound traffic to detect anomalies at the automatic number identification (ANI) level.
  • Automatically blocking suspicious calling that may be the result of subscription fraud, IP PBX hacking, abuse of service terms and conditions, internal fraud, employee theft, phishing, pharming, and payment fraud.
  • Implementing customized system rules using conditional criteria, which are based on known fraud trends and tactics.
  • Flagging calls to/from numbers linked to confirmed fraud cases noted in industry-wide “hot lists.”
  • Creating and scoring profiles based on key risk indicators, such as volume, dialed destination, etc.
  • Analyzing robocalls by researching and analyzing each telephone number, and accessing carrier and consumer reports.
  • Automatically notifying you if fraudulent activity is suspected or detected.

The Bottom Line

It goes without saying that your business can’t afford to go off the grid for even a few minutes – let alone hours, or in the case of a severe event like a hurricane, tornado, ice storm, flood or fire, for several days. That’s where DigitalPhone.io’s Business Continuity infrastructure enters the picture and closes the gap!

To learn more, contact DigitalPhone.io today for a guided demo of our hosted VoIP phone system (336) 560-4400.

How to Get Your Boss to Switch to a Cloud Telephone System

It’s not quite Mission: Impossible and you’re not expected to scale buildings or wear scanner contact lenses. However, you know from experience that convincing The Powers That Be in your business to invest in a new solution can be a challenge — or a struggle.

To be fair, it’s (probably) not that your boss delights in saying no, or enjoys borrowing a phrase from the universal parents playbook: “we’ll look into it at a later date.” It’s a lot more pragmatic and down to earth than that.

Simply put, smart bosses — which are the kind that make decisions that keep folks (including you) employed — don’t loosen the purse strings because they think something looks interesting or seems like a good idea. Instead, they approve procurements based on data and facts.

Fortunately, that’s exactly what your convincing proposal, pitch or presentation for a much-needed — and probably long overdue — cloud telephone system will include. Here’s the territory that you need to cover:

1. Your business will dramatically lower telecommunications costs.

Some cost saving promises are just that: promises. But they never come to fruition, because the savings are either paltry or negligible.

This isn’t a risk with a cloud telephone system. Depending on your usage needs, your business can expect to save anywhere from 25 percent to over 50 percent. And this isn’t just a one-time saving. It’s ongoing year after year. That’s money that your business can re-invest to drive growth — or hey, better yet, hand out some well-deserved raises and bonuses.

2. You’ll enjoy unprecedented mobility.

We’re all familiar with the convenience of being able to use our personal smartphones to connect with whoever we want, whenever we want, and wherever we are. However, conventional business phone systems are a different story. Other than call forwarding, mobility really doesn’t exist.

However, a cloud telephone system enables true — and unprecedented — mobility. You and the rest of your colleagues can make and receive calls using your smartphone anytime and from anywhere. What’s more, you won’t incur any long distance costs, you can link to your car’s Bluetooth system, and perhaps best of all: your business’s name and number will show up on Caller ID instead of your personal name and number.

3. Scaling in Either Direction is Fast, Easy and Affordable

With a conventional phone system, scaling up or scaling down can be costly and frustrating. With the former, technicians may need to dig and lay cable. With the latter, you can be stuck with costly lines and capacity that you don’t need — but are paying for month after month.

A cloud telephone system eliminates both of these risks. Scaling up is seamless, and you can easily add numbers through a web-based dashboard. There are no cables to lay, and virtually no limit — you can have 5 users, or more than 5000. On the other hand, if you consolidate operations and no longer need numbers, you simply let your affordable licenses expire. It’s as simple as that.

4. Your team will benefit from advanced carrier-grade features.

Last but certainly not least: your boss is always saying that the team needs to be more productive and efficient.

A cloud telephone system makes this happen with a wide range of advanced carrier-grade

features that either aren’t available with a conventional phone system, or are excessively (or prohibitively) expensive. These features include voicemail-to-email, video conferencing, auto attendant, and the list goes on. You and your colleagues will be doing more with less, which makes your boss happy. Everyone wins.

Need help convincing your boss to switch to a cloud telephone system? Contact the DigitalPhone.io team today. (336) 560-4400. We can help you prepare a data-driven proposal — or if you wish, we can even deliver the presentation on-site in front of your thrilled boss!

How a Cloud Telephone System Helps Your Recruit & Retain Millennials

Millennials — the people born from around the early 1980s to the late 1990s — now comprise the largest segment of the U.S. workforce. And by 2019, they’ll be the biggest adult population overall, surpassing Boomers and Generation Xers.

Given this seismic demographic shift, it’s not surprising that businesses across all industries — from small startups to large enterprises — are aggressively trying to recruit and retain the millennials they need to drive today’s success, and lead tomorrow’s growth.

If your organization is vying to onboard talented and high-potential millennials, then you’re well aware that competition is ferocious. But what you may not be aware of, is that your old school conventional premises-based landline phone system might be a human resource liability instead of an asset. Why is this the case?

It’s because study after study — like the 2017 Deloitte Millennial Survey — confirms that the number one thing that millennials want isn’t a hefty signing bonus, a corner office with a big window, or even enhanced perks and benefits. What they want more than anything else is FLEXIBILITY. And that’s precisely what a cloud telephone (VoIP) phone system delivers!

Here are the 4 ways that a cloud telephone system drives flexibility across your workforce, and ultimately helps you recruit and retain millennials who value flexibility above all else:

1 . Total Mobility

With a cloud telephone system, millennials can flexibly continue the work journey at anytime, and from wherever they’re working — such as from a home office, a hot desk environment, their favorite café, and so on.   

2. Voicemail-to-Email

Of all of the cloud telephone system unified calling features that millennials love, voicemail-to-email is usually atop the list. This isn’t surprising, because it aligns perfectly with their fondness for flexibility. They can easily listen to voicemails on their smartphone, and prioritize their tasks and time accordingly.  

3. Video Conferencing

Obliging millennials to come into head office for meetings can be a non-starter — because there just aren’t enough hours in the day, and the only thing that millennials hate worse than slow internet is tedious commuting. A cloud telephone system features built-in video conferencing, which means that face-to-face doesn’t always mean in-person.

4. Availability Updates

Millennials who work on a flexible schedule quickly grow weary — and exhausted — of emailing their colleagues telling them when they’re in the office and when they’re not. With a cloud telephone system, they can easily toggle their availability so that their colleagues know when they should or shouldn’t send instant messages or route calls.

The Bottom Line

Millennials get a bad wrap, and get slapped with some unfair stereotypes (which ironically only seems fair, since it’s the same rite-of-passage that Boomers and, Gen Xers have gone through, and Gen Zers will soon experience!).

Contrary to popular belief, millennials in the main aren’t lazy or self-entitled. They’re simply trying to carve out a career path on a relentlessly-fast paced work landscape where stability is the exception vs. the norm. Flexibility for them isn’t just a preference. It’s part of what they need to thrive, and in the bigger picture, to survive. That makes a cloud telephone system an essential investment: one that will pay dividends and delivery ROI for decades to come!

To learn more about the advantages and benefits of a cloud telephone system in your environment, contact the DigitalPhone.io team today.