What Can VoIP Offer You?

Woman using internet based phone services

Voice Over Internet Protocol phone systems

We are sure you have been told about the numerous benefits and advantages of Internet-based phone services and features. However, are you aware of how impactful these services and features can be to your business? Voice Over Internet Protocol phone systems can offer your business a variety of benefits, including the following:

 

 

  • Getting notified of your voicemails through email or cell phone notifications
  • On-hold music that you can customize
  • Auto attendant services
  • The ability to make changes to your telephone
  • Cordless telephones

While these features and services are great for helping your business for the entire year, the VoIP services can greatly impact your business during the holidays. During the holidays, many businesses will have different opening and closing hours than they do for the earlier part of the year.

Business Hours

If you have plans to close your business during the holiday season, change your hours, or schedule events for certain days, your customers can always be in the loop. You will not have to worry about your customers being placed on hold or being sent to voicemail because VoIP will allow you to remain in contact with them at all times. It does not matter if your business will take a break during the holidays or if you will have events scheduled, you can answer your customers’ phone calls even when you are not in the office.

Route Your Calls

If you will have a business event or a Christmas party on a particular day and you do not plan to take any phone calls, you will be able to route your office phone calls to your cellular device. If you receive phone calls that you do not want to answer, you can route those phone calls to your voicemail. You can answer the phone calls that you feel are important and should be answered immediately.

Take Your Work Home

If you have plans to work from the comfort of your own home during the holiday season, you will be able to do this and not worry about the progress of your business. You can answer your office phone calls on your cell phone from the VoIP control panel in your office. You can also make the decision to take the office VoIP phone home and use it on your home’s router.

Who’s Working?

Not only will you be able to answer phone calls on your cell phone while you are home, you will also be able to use your system so your loyal customers do not think you are not accepting any business during the holidays. You can make sure all of the phone calls are routed to the employees who are working. You will not have to worry about phone calls being sent to employees who are off for the holidays. Your customers will always have their questions answered when you ensure that you are routing your phone calls to the right people.

You Have A Message

One of the great things about VoIP is that it will allow you to customize your business message. You can even record a holiday greeting for your answering machine or your voicemail settings. There are various things you can include on your answering machine or voicemail, including announcing sales, promos, etc.

VoIP gives any business the flexibility, dependability, and reliability they need in a service. If you want to ease the pain and frustrations of the holiday season, VoIP can certainly alleviate some of that stress for you. If you want to keep up with the holiday pace, please do not hesitate to contact us today for additional information about VoIP.

Are You Using ACT! Contact Management Software To Attract Leads?

ACT! Contact Management Software. Attracting Leads or Lead Generation concept

Attracting Leads is easy with a good software product.

Today, more businesses are starting to move toward a different approach when it comes to their marketing strategy. More businesses are deciding that inbound marketing is a more effective approach for them. One of the most important things in inbound marketing is generating as many leads as possible. If one can get people into their customer database, a business will be able to reach them more efficiently than they have been able to in the past. When potential customers can be reached, your business will be able to maximize their entire marketing efforts, and this can lead to a significant amount of business growth.

Since inbound marketing has become so important to many businesses, you are going to need the right solutions and tools to help you achieve the level of success you need. A contact management software solution like ACT! Contact Management software has grown rapidly in recent years. However, you can only find success in this software if you know how to use it effectively and efficiently. When you use this software the right way, you will be able to reach out to all your contacts and lead them into the direction of becoming one of your customers.

Reaching Out To Your Contacts

When you nurture your leads, you are helping to push them in the direction of making a sale and becoming one of your lifelong customers. When you execute this plan the correct way, you will typically find success by using email sequences. These email sequences will generally focus on improving your business’s leadership and trustworthiness. Once you have established your credibility and the abilities of your business, you will be able to promote your business and your services or products.

Nurturing your potential leads does not have to involve sending constant emails on a daily basis. You can send an email on an occasional basis that basically gives customers and potential customers an update on your services or products. You can also send an email that gives your leads information about the benefits of using the services and/or products that you provide. When you can send intriguing emails to your leads and customers, this will encourage them to eventually make a purchase.

E-mail Campaigns

When you make the decision to use ACT! contact management software, you will be given the ability to integrate various email marketing opportunities. These email marketing opportunities will provide you with the resources you need to attract leads and eventually reel them in. When you set up a campaign that is automated, the campaign will start as soon as you enter someone’s name in your database. Once you begin this automated email campaign, you will be able to use various email templates to send the emails to your leads.

Before you create an email campaign or before you try your hand at lead nurturing, you will need to have a proper strategy. It is important that you make sure you do not send emails to your contacts that they will believe is spam. We encourage you to plan out all the moves before you carry them out. You should make sure you know what type of emails leads will want to open and read. Once you send the emails, you should make sure you properly monitor the emails so you can determine if the emails you are sending have been unsuccessful or successful. Monitoring the emails you send will give you the opportunity to find where the changes need to be made if any need to be made at all.

Are you ready to work on a strategy that will allow you to attract the contacts you have entered into your database? Contact us today for more information on ACT! Contact Management Software.

What Should You Do If You Think You Have Been Hacked?

Small business owner upset over being hacked in the workplace. Leaning head on crossed arms over a laptop

Being a small business and being hacked can put you out of business if your not prepared

There are a couple of questions many business owners ask when it comes to hacking, and those two questions are:

  • How can I tell if I have been hacked?
  • What steps do I take if someone has hacked my business?

Unfortunately, many small business owners do not know they have been hacked. Apart from ransomware, there are many cybersecurity events that go unnoticed. Can you believe that many small businesses and medium-sized businesses can have data breaches that go unnoticed for a significant period of time, including several years? The breaches that are noticed are eventually noticed by someone outside the business, including law enforcement officials.

Can you imagine being breached and not knowing this has occurred until a third-party notifies you? If you data breach occurs and it goes undetected for a substantial period of time, you may never identify what actually caused the breach to occur in the first place. When you do not know how, why, or where the data breach took place, you may start questioning if all of your company’s data has been compromised.

How Do You Know If You Have Been Hacked?

When you have a full understanding of the different types of hackers and what their intentions are, you will be able to understand how anyone can be hacked. There are different businesses, small, medium, and large, that can all become a target for hacking. Hackers look for sensitive data that has not been carefully protected.

What Type Of Hacks Are More Common?

It does not matter if a hack is basic or advanced because even a basic hack can cause severe damage to a business. A small or basic hack can result in your computers or any devices doing things that they should not be doing. Some of the common hacker techniques include the following,

  • viruses
  • Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) or Denial-Of-Service attack (DoS attack)
  • fake Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)
  • phishing attacks
  • in-house attacks

What Should You Do After A Hack Takes Place?

Do you have a plan in place if a hack does take place in your workplace? Your employees need to be trained well enough so they will be able to identify an attack on the business. When your employees are trained, they will be able to help your business get back to operating at its normal pace. Your business needs to get back to business as soon as possible after an attack has been identified.

If you have noticed that your system is behaving unusually and if you notice suspicious files that seem to be harmful, an attack has likely taken place. Professional and experienced hackers know how to carefully cover all their tracks. We suggest that you look carefully at your systems’ log files.The hackers also know how to delete those log files as well.

After you have identified you have been hacked, you should make sure the attack has been confirmed. Once there has been confirmation of the attack, you should check your computers, devices, and your networks to determine if anything else has been compromised. You will need to identify how much information the hackers have obtained.

When security breaches occur, critical data and information can be lost when your systems are down, include your network connections and content that is stored in your RAM. You will need to consult a professional so you can fully understand the options you have at this point.

It is extremely critical that you have the proper backups in place. It is also important that you have the right Managed Service Provider (MSP) that will provide you with the tools and resources you need to conduct business as usual after an attack has taken place. Contact us today for more information on how you can protect your business from hackers.

7 Reasons Voice Over IP is Great for Your Call Center

Call center representatives at a help desk using VOIP

Flexibility is a given fact with VoIP

The purpose of your business call center is to be communicating constantly. As the central point of contact for your help desk support, the call center deals with the steady incoming press of clients calling for either customer service or technical assistance. Your talented and indomitably cheerful staff members are on the phones all day long, chatting with customers, sorting out problems, and creating a positive support experience. A common and very recently outdated misconception is that any company that wants a call center will have to pay the usual hefty phone bill and go through the rigors of line installation. Fortunately, as the world of incredibly efficient software grows, new solutions to old questions are being discovered. VOIP, or Voice over IP, is gaining popularity as a practical and cost-effective replacement to the classic business phone system. Here are seven key reasons why your call center could benefit from replacing the old phone lines with VOIP.

1 Smooth Setup

The first thing to realize about VOIP is that it’s completely software based. All that hassle about phone jacks and special wiring has finally been obsoleted by the new SaaS internet world. No wires, proprietary boxes, or unfamiliar installation guys coming over to put in the wires. Installing VOIP onto one machine or hundreds of them requires nothing but a little configuration. Many VOIP services are, in fact, 100% cloud based meaning there’s not even any software that needs to be installed on each machine, simply an intuitive online interface that manages your calls.

2 Hassle Free Scaling

One of the hallmarks of a growing business is the need to add more people and teams to an already established task. With physical phone lines, every time you want to add five more call center support techs, you would need to either already have phone lines paid for that were not in use or bring in the installation guy again to wire up five more phones. With VOIP, all you need to do is add five new seats to your dashboard and get your recruits logged into their new phone system. The same principle applies to shrinking a team as well, simply remove the extra seat from your VOIP management interface. You never need to have more access points open than you have employees to fill them.

3 Mobile Flexibility

Almost every VOIP platform has complete mobile access in app form. This allows you to extend assigned phone numbers to employee mobile devices because the phone numbers are connected to a cloud service and not any brick-and-mortar location or phone line connection. With this kind of freedom, if you’ve been thinking about change then this is a great time to look at your call center policies. With diverse and mobile VOIP, your call center could work from home, be ‘remote only’ or even take working travel vacations because they will be able to answer their call center assigned phone numbers from anywhere with wifi or data access.

4 CRM Integration

Unlike phone lines, VOIP shares the same kind of data as your CRM and other business management software, and is quite inter-operable. This means you can integrate the calls made through your VOIP service with CRM data, logging who is contacted, when, and for how long. More intuitive software can even auto-transcribe the conversations and log that as well, creating a truly comprehensive client contact history through the beauty of unified systems and automation.

5 Cost Effective

VOIP services are usually based on a modest subscription fee and low per-minute rate and all together it’s still nothing compared to the exorbitant prices of phone companies supporting multiple lines. VOIP, on the other hand, runs on a surprisingly small amount of bandwidth and you’re already paying for company-wide high-speed internet. To top it all off, even international calls are less expensive with the cloud-based VOIP because the internet is a more universal system to work with.

6. Cloud Services

Most if not all VOIP providers adhere to the Saas philosophy that their clients accessing the cloud also deserve service and support of the software they’re providing you. This means that any trouble you might ever have with the VOIP function or service will be quickly and professionally addressed if taken back to your provider. Cloud services are an increasingly popular way to cater to customers and your company could profoundly benefit from the B2B support provided your chosen VOIP service.

7. Overall Better ROI

Comparing the two systems, starting from scratch, the first thing that becomes apparent is all the extra little costs that come with a traditional phone line system. The PBX, dialer, installation appointments, and necessary physical equipment are all added to the initial setup fee and then monthly costs of maintaining a traditional system. Setting up a VOIP call center, on the other hand, requires a business subscription plus a simple fee for each seat in your call center. No extra equipment is needed, though you may choose to equip your team with headsets, and if there is per-minute fee is is usually quite low. The two systems side-by-side make the comparative ROI incredibly apparent.

VOIP takes less setup, less equipment, less monthly overhead, and comes with its own SaaS support service. Whether you’re about to open a new call center or are thinking about renovating an existing office, you have every reason to invest in VOIP as your primary voice contact system. For more information on Voice over IP services, contact us today!