Archives for category: Virtual Phone System

Avoid the hardware hassle with InteliPhone's Single NUmber Service

 

If you are running a small business odds are the telephone is the life line for your business. Take a moment and think what you would do if your phones stopped working? Not a pretty picture. You can manage, but it would make running your business much more complicated.  The same complications may occur if you use a single cell phone. Sure you can route your second simultaneous call to voicemail, but what about the third, fourth or fifth?  This is where a virtual answering service can help.

InteliPhone’s Single Number Service can answer multiple simultaneous calls, routing each one specifically as you want, whether to different employees, voicemail or even live operators.  You can customize a script to record key presses or spoken information.  Our Single Number Service can also serve as a automatic backup contingency in the event your lines stop working.

If you are ready to look into an answering service to handle the front end or to be there as a backup, check out http://www.inteliphone.com or call 800-680-8306.

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oldSchoolOps

If you rely on the phone for sales you know that sometimes a missed call means a missed sale.  A phone system can help you capture those missed calls, but sometimes people want to hear a “real” voice on the other end.  The dilemma then that most new business owners face, “How can I capture those lost leads, without investing a lot of capital?”

You can hire someone to answer your phones, but are you getting enough phone calls to warrant investing $17,000 – $25,000 a year (avg operator salary)?  Phone systems run about $1,000 per person and require installation and maintenance  but don’t necessarily get callers to a “real” person.

In trying to solve this problem for our customers, we kept a few principles in mind.

1.  Most people trust automated solutions for simple tasks (ie. prescription refills, account balances, tracking shipments).

2. Most people do not make a major decision to purchase a product or service without talking to someone first.

3. In the tight economy, small business owners are leery of any major capital expenditures.

With this dilemma and these principles  in mind, we developed our Live Operator “Blended PBX” approach to answering your phone calls.  InteliPhone blends together the best of automated systems and live operators.  So simple tasks can use the automated system (saving you money) and Live Operators (or better yet – you or your employees) for those times when people need to talk to someone prior to committing.  We developed an online control panel, and free smartphone apps, that let you decide when and how to make our live operators ‘available’ to your callers.  Giving you the capability to add extra an extra employee, but only when you need it.

For instance, you can activate an ‘Operator’ menu option based on time of day or day of week. Activate zero out capabilities on a per mailbox basis to allow certain callers to reach an operator when they feel the need is urgent. Additionally, you can override your pre-programmed schedule at any time to cover holidays, emergencies, meetings, vacations, etc.  You can even share operator responsibilities by assigning operator calls to your staff, when they are available, and to our live call center when they are not.

Our professional, US based operators will greet your callers with your company name and a script you’ve written. They can answer basic questions, provide directions, and take urgent messages for your business and employees — as though they were sitting at your own reception desk.

For more information call 800-680-8306 or http://www.inteliphone.com/liveoperators.html

If you are running a small business odds are the telephone is the life line for your business. Take a moment and think what you would do if your phones stopped working? Not a pretty picture. You can manage, but it would make running your business much more complicated.

You can have the same complications if you just use a single line or a cell phone. Sure you can route your second simultaneous call to voicemail, but what about the third, fourth or fifth?
This is where a virtual answering service can help. A virtual answering service like InteliPhone can answer multiple simultaneous calls, routing each one specifically as you want, whether to different employees, voicemail or even live operators.
You can customize a script to record key presses or spoken information.

If you are ready to look into an answering service to handle the front end or to be there as a backup, check out http://www.inteliphone.com or call 800-680-8306.

Call analytics can tell you a lot about your customers and about how they respond to your advertising. Call analytics can also help you get the most bang for your buck with your advertising budget.

Analytics are normally associated with measuring website statistics. They became main stream with the arrival of Google Analytics®. But websites are not the only communication medium businesses depend on, most businesses rely the medium that is the easiest to use – the phone. Remarkably, many businesses do not track the phone call information in terms of customer communication. That is understandable, tracking phone call information can be tedious, and take up a lot of time often yielding little in the way of useful information.

InteliPhone automatically creates and tracks your call analytics for you – nothing for you to do except look at the results and use them. Know what demographic responds to your ads, products and services. Know when customers respond or use the data to determine when you may need to add staff.

For more information visit www.inteliphone.com

InteliPhone Call Analytics

Some callers prefer automation, some prefer a real person – blending them together can save you a bundle!

The biggest expense of a live answering service is the operators themselves.  However, operators may be a necessary part of your business so completely getting rid of them is not an option. The better course of action is to find ways to reduce your bills if you are strapped for money.  That’s where our Blended PBX can help.  Our studies show even under the most extreme circumstances a percentage of your callers prefer, or at least, are willing to use automation instead of live operators.  InteliPhone’s Blended PBX can be configured to forward calls to you or your employees where ever they are and to your operators when you or your employees are not available.  Moving just a fraction of callers to a this type of  service can lower your overall bill.

http://www.inteliphone.com  for more information.

5. Where is the company based?

4. How much will it cost?

3. Does the company use its own product?

2. Can the product be tailored to your business needs?

and one of the most important things to consider:

1. How helpful is the support team?

We suggest you research and compare us to others and then visit http://www.inteliphone.com or give us a call.  We think you will find (as our current customers have) that InteliPhone will exceed your expectations in all of these areas.

Innovation by many small businesses over the years has fueled our imagination and pushed us to heights that would not have been imaginable 50 years ago.  We have all heard the stories of the guy who built something in his garage and became an overnight sensation, but we don’t hear the stories about the guy who had a great idea and went out of business before his company could get going.  The latter occurs far more often than the former.

Take for instance “Bob”, a guy who had a great idea for t-shirts, so he started his own small business to sell them.  Bob prepared a flyer that he could distribute,  he added his cell phone number on the flyer and figured he would take orders over the phone. “Piece of cake” right?  Bob and a couple of buddies distributed the flyers at an event that drew in over 40 thousand people.   It cost Bob $5 dollars to have the t-shirt made and he priced them between $10-$15 dollars each. His idea was a hit and let’s say one thousand people called his cell phone to get a shirt.  So he should be looking at a profit of between $5,000 – $10,000.

Bob gets maybe a hundred orders and instead of $5k-$10k, he only brings in $500-$1000.  Why only a hundred orders?  Think about how many callers got a busy signal? How many callers heard that his voicemail box is full? Worse yet, maybe his cell phone battery dies!?

Bob did not plan for success.  With a little research and planning Bob could have captured more orders and thus more profit.  He could have set up an e-commerce website for as little as $100/year.  But maybe Bob is not that savvy on building an e-commerce site.  He could have spent around $10/month for an InteliPhone account (think of an answering service in the cloud).  No busy signals, no full mailbox messages, just the same courteous, professional greeting every time.  Bob could have taken his idea to the next level and had a custom application designed and built by InteliPhone to take orders immediately via live operators (or completely automated for that matter) and avoided anyone having buyers remorse later.

These innovations were only affordable to large companies years ago, but are affordable to almost everyone today.  A couple hundred dollars a year to Bob might have seemed too much to spend at the time, but it could have brought ten times the profit.  The moral of the story?  Unless you plan for success, you could easily drown in it.

So many times I have heard that our competitors offer unlimited minutes.  Really!?  After hearing this a few times, I wondered if I had been out of touch with what my industry was doing and where it was going.  “How is it,” I asked myself,  “can they afford to do this?”

Now, I admit that I am not a Warren Buffet, but when I looked at the financials of attempting unlimited minutes I saw a losing proposition.  Minutes cost money, albeit pennies, but in this industry pennies add up quickly. Who specifically, is doing this?  I did my due diligence and scoured providers – maybe there was a company giving away free minutes that I didn’t know about.  My search came up empty.

I had to take another approach.  I began by looking at their  Terms of Use Policies.  I quickly understood what was happening.  It IS unlimited if you fit the “Reasonable Use Policy”.  In fact, unlimited was actually in quotes (What does that mean anyway?).  So it’s “unlimited” unless you run too much traffic, and then you run the risk of violating the reasonable use policy.  That’s how companies can “claim” that they offer unlimited (rather “unlimited”) minutes.  I guess I was always brought up to say what you mean and mean what you say.

Bottom line:  “Pull back the curtain” and read the Terms and Conditions, because you may find that “unlimited” is really limited.

I can’t see you.  I don’t know you, but I called your business because I need your particular services.  You answered your phone by saying “Hello?” 

In that one second, I have tried to determine:

  • if you are legitimate
  • if I have dialed the right number
  • is this someone I want to do business with

While ‘Hello’ is the most common way to answer your phone, it may not be the first impression you want give to a potential customer.  A lot of small businesses just starting out use their personal cell phone as their business phone.  This makes sense -who can afford two different phones?  I know I can’t.  Using your personal phone creates a dilemma –   knowing how to answer the phone when it’s a personal call vs. when it’s a business call.  “But that’s easy..”, you say, “…I can see who the caller is on my phone.”  True, but we have all been in the middle of something and answered the phone without looking, “Hello?”  What about if a customer calls and you are on the phone – personal cell phone voicemail?  It works, but again,  you are just left wondering.

A virtual phone system can help solve many of those awkward answering moments and put your customers at ease.  “Welcome to ABC company…” in a professional voice tells me a lot in that one second.  I have reached the right place, this company sounds legitimate, and it makes me a little more confident about doing business with someone I haven’t met.  A virtual phone system answers calls the same every time even if you are on the phone or somewhere you don’t have cell service.

InteliPhone can give you that leg up and a professional first impression for less than a cost of a postage stamp a day.  Don’t take my word for it, call us and hear it for yourself.  You will won’t catch us answering, “Hello?”