Phone

WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER A CLOUD PHONE SYSTEM

(Republished with permission from Mitel)

Your phone system plays a critical role in your business operations and in your company’s success. But with more employees working from home and on the go, increasingly global markets and ever-changing customer demands, today’s workforce requires decision makers to think beyond the traditional phone systems of days past. The modern workplace requires a complete communications and collaboration system that not only lets employees interact with ease, but also empowers IT teams to easily manage and adapt to an evolving business environment.

 
Why Cloud Communications?
Chances are, you’re already using cloud technology in other aspects of your business. G Suite by Google Cloud®, Microsoft Office 365® and Dropbox® are just some examples of cloud-based applications. The cloud simply refers to software and services that are hosted by the provider and run on the Internet instead of equipment housed in your building. Since the documents, emails, photos and other software that live in the cloud are available from any device with a secure Internet connection, users can access the information and services from anywhere.

 
Cloud vs. Onsite: Considerations and Benefits
When it comes to communications, a cloud-based phone service offers unique benefits a traditional on-site phone system cannot. Let’s take a quick look at how these two deployment models differ:

On-Site Phone System

You fully own and operate the solution
You are responsible for overall maintenance, upgrades, reliability and security
Typically acquired as an upfront purchase and accounted for as …

IMPROVE EMPLOYEE RETENTION WITH UPGRADED COMMUNICATIONS

Personnel costs are a considerable portion of any company’s budget, and high churn rates make that percentage skyrocket. Companies looking to reduce costs by improving employee retention need to take a proactive approach. Waiting until the exit interview to investigate why an employee decided to move on means the business missed out on the golden opportunity of identifying the obstacles and challenges its employees face.

Employees are the lifeblood of an organization, which is why having a strong team is critical. But we all know the battle to attract top talent can be ruthless. It’s easy for businesses to be ensnared in the vicious cycle of investing valuable resources in training and developing an employee only to lose them to a competitor. When this happens, it leaves administrators in the organization ripe with confusion and asking the question of, “why?” After all, they seemed content and satisfied in their position.

With low retention, looking at just the surface-level problems will guide you to the wrong answer and ultimately the wrong solution. In today’s competitive market, wasting precious time and resources can be a business’s undoing. However, approaching employee retention doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. Often, a few key changes can yield significant results. A common cause for employees to leave is communication problems. We’ll look at how improved communications helps keep employees satisfied and productive.

 
Access to Information
Older business communication systems can make finding the right information difficult and frustrating. …

FOUR WAYS UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS IMPROVES THE CUSTOMER SERVICE EXPERIENCE

With online reviews being so easy to create and share, improving customer service is more important than ever before. In fact, it’s quickly become a top priority for 72 percent of businesses. Many call centers and service departments have switched to VoIP for cost savings, but integrating other unified communications can improve the experience even more.

Unified communication provides a high level of customers service. By combining UC tools like instant messaging, email, and phone employees can communicate simultaneously, thereby getting to the root of the problem faster. If you’re on the fence about implementing UC, here are four ways it can enhance the customer service experience.

 
1. Answer customers’ questions more quickly.
With UC, clients are able to choose their preferred method of communication, which means the time it takes to process a request is dramatically reduced. UC works by integrating a variety of real-time communication tools, with the goal of improving internal communication. Collaboration between customer service representatives and experts becomes faster and more efficient. Telephone features, like click to dial with desktop-based communications, instant messaging, web conferencing, and video conferencing are ways UC can seamlessly connect an organization. This way, you can avoid putting anyone on hold and answer questions more accurately.

 
2. Help customers find the right product.
Have you ever been working with a seemingly strong lead only to have them suddenly vanish never to be heard from again? If that story sounds familiar know you’re not alone; businesses are experiencing …

BUSINESS PHONE SYSTEMS: HOW OLD IS TOO OLD?

A business’s phone system acts as the primary method for communicating with clients. Uprooting the current system and replacing it with a new one is a delicate matter, so it’s tempting to go with the old adage—if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. However, just because something still works doesn’t mean it’s doing what it needs to be doing. Old phone systems may be draining more money out of your business than they’re generating.
Telecommunications technology is ever evolving, but what remains the same is a business’s need for a reliable communication tool. Yet when it comes to upgrading that 10-year-old push-button phone sitting on the desk, people tend to hesitate. Knowing when or if you should upgrade your phone system can be a complicated decision. Here are some signs that it’s time for an upgrade.

 
Adding or Moving Locations
If your business is moving to or opening a new location, installing an older phone system can be detrimental to your finances. The costs of uninstalling, transporting and reinstalling an older communication system can be significantly more expensive than the price of a brand new system. For this reason, alternatives to POTs (plain old telephones) are becoming more popular.

Experts say there will be over 27 million VoIP users by the year 2020, which means that a universal upgrading is practically inevitable. Alternative communication systems, like VoIP, are attractive because they offer substantial cost-saving incentives for business. You’ll find a single installation of VoIP across …

Using Shoretel Communicator to Improve Business Communications

When it comes to operating in the current century, businesses are only able to get ahead if they are able to move and work as efficiently as possible. Not only are there countless ways to accomplish this with technology, but by tapping into the power of processes and systems these new technologies can create. One thing is for certain, however, when it comes to using something like a ShoreTel Communicator, there’s a tremendous amount of efficiency created at every step of the operation. Some of the following examples best demonstrate how a plethora of businesses are benefiting from using ShoreTel Communicator:

1. Boost Productivity and Teamwork Flexibility
In any organization, if decisions need to be made or people need to find answers and authorization for any reason, there is no time to delay. The ShoreTel Communicator provides actual solutions for communication lapses that are both quick and efficient. From instant messaging service and the ability to transfer voicemail right to text or email, you’ll never miss a message. Additionally, call routing services are convenient and easy-to-use with a few simple clicks.

2. Conferencing Tools
Face-to-face communication is always best, but when that isn’t possible, the next best thing is video conferencing. With a ShoreTel system, you are able to have secured and instant access to anyone with just a few clicks.

3. Convenience Matters
With the mounting business needs of today, the ability to turn any smart device or computer into a communication tool is a key …

The 5 Best PBX Phone System Features for Businesses

When it comes to using any phone system features for your business, you need to be able to have some of the most powerful features available at your disposal. It comes down to being able to utilize the best possible features at any time to become more efficient. For PBX phone systems, there are certainly a wealth of options available. But what are the most popular features that businesses today love? Here are a four of the favorites:
1. Auto Attendant
With an auto attendant, your receptionist will have more time to work because there’s less time routing and re-routing callers to get them to the right place. The service points callers to the right extension or person by navigating them through a simple set of recorded options. Doing this means that fewer inbound calls need a live operator, saving the company both time and money.

 
2. Voicemail Transcription
Voicemail transcription takes your voicemail messages and puts them into text before sending them to you via email or text message. People find this option to be ultra convenient when it may not be an option to pull a phone out and listen to an entire message. If you can see the words written right in front of you, you can respond accordingly when it makes the most sense to do so.

 
3. Active Call Controls
When you think about the current VOIP options for a new phone system, some of the most powerful options include having the ability to control …

10 Unexpected Benefits of VoIP Phone Systems

Most business managers align themselves to the idea of implementing a VoIP phone systembecause it has one primary attractive feature: cost savings when compared to traditional phone lines and data transfer. However, when folks get a chance to dig into the details of all that VoIP can offer, the strategic benefits begin to appear. Here are ten somewhat unexpected benefits that VoIP can provide once installed:

1. Fast Data Transfer – Because VoIP utilizes the Internet as the transfer conduit, the system is only as slow as the channel it uses to move through. So, a basic 100 Mbps channel may seem slow at first, but put the VoIP on a CAT 5 channel or faster, and its speed capability begins to shine in daily use.

2. User-Friendly Connection – The hardware involved doesn’t require a degree in rocket science to get desks connected. Once the system gets set up and operating on the office network, the handsets for voice use simply have to be plugged in by Ethernet cable to the same grid. Each node then has a designated number which can be moved as easy as the employee is moved around the office.

3. Quality Performance – With a VoIP system, it will test slightly lower than the best landline connection, but most homes and offices are slapped together with short deadlines and low-cost contractor material, which means physical tests for performance don’t always reflect the practical function. Performance is noticeably a bit less where data becomes congested …

A 10-Question Evaluation for Your Phone System

Today’s business environment is fast-paced and competitive. Technology makes it possible for you to know your customers and your customers to know your business within moments. A customer can give feedback about your business then let others know about their own experience within a few easy clicks.

Most likely, you’re investing in ways to make sure you’re harnessing the power of all of your technological business resources. But what about your phone system?

If you’re not already considering how to get full value from your phone system, you should be.

Savvy business owners and their IT staff know that a cloud phone system can multiply business success by integrating mobility, applications and collaboration under one valuable umbrella.

Can your current phone system do these things?

We’ve created an easy 10-question test to evaluate if your current phone provider is delivering the full potential of a modern phone system. Any items you can’t check off suggest you may not be harnessing the full power of a world-class cloud phone system.

Do you have a clear, secure connection without any voice delays, lag, or call quality issues?
Does your system provide business intelligence based on call data and elegant integration with other important business applications (CRM, ERP, applicant tracking systems, etc.)?
Do users have direct access to a live person who can answer their questions and quickly solve their problems — without engaging you?
Are you confident that your phone system is secure and completely protected against hackers — both via the handset and the cloud data center?
Do you have access to intuitive, easy-to-use tools for …

Simplify Your Office for a Better Work Environment in 2016

All too often in business, the organization spends so much time acquiring new assets that they are never put to good use. In order to succeed in any business environment, you must organize and simplify your office space. Not only will it make you more efficient, but it will also make your office more appealing to others.
Go Paperless
One of the easiest ways to simplify your work environment is by going paperless – getting rid of anything that can be stored online instead. Instead of keeping them at the office, store them in the cloud.

You can also require applicants to apply online for open positions online. This limits the amount of paper in the office, and it reduces how much you spend on supplies. Printing hundreds of applications can get expensive and storing them can be a job in and of itself. However, going paperless is only one way to become more organized and maximize your efficiency.
Use What You Already Have
Sometimes you receive an offer so amazing that you have to take immediate advantage. However, it’s wasteful to acquire new supplies before using most of what you already have. If companies realize that you’re susceptible to bulk marketing campaigns, the offers will never stop coming. You have to make use of the ink and toner you have before ordering six more pallets. Learn to replenish your supplies just as they’re running low, and you’ll experience far more office space.
Delegate
You may …

Make More Sales With the Right Phone System

In today’s world of smartphones, texting, social media, and even email, it may seem odd to think about your phone system being a source of business revenue. However, the modern-day phone system can be a powerful tool to increase sales as well as productivity when it’s used at its full potential. The more advanced features also allow your sales, marketing and customer service teams work together more effectively.

Some of the features and functionality that can help you accomplish business growth through your phone system are:
CRM Integration
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system that partners with your phone system can save you time as well as prevent careless mistakes that can impact the relationships you have with your customers. For example, if you have a Salesforce phone integration in place, an existing customer will call in and all call identification details then show up on the employee’s screen, along with any details regarding their recent orders or calls. The person answering can then greet the caller by name, and can instantly see all customer history.
Improve Hold Times
Ring grouping and automated call routing minimizes the amount of time your customers are spending on hold. The systems can be organized so the new calls are routed to specific call center phone lines that have been idling for the longest amount of time. Additionally, ring groups can be programmed to ring through to multiple extensions simultaneously or in a sequence so a qualified employee …