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?”

The purpose of this blog is to help small businesses make the most of one of their most important tools — the telephone.