Monday, January 14, 2013

How Hosted PBX Simplified Company Stress during the Holiday Season

Many businesses quickly realized exactly how hosted PBX phone systems simplified the stress of doing business, during the holiday season. The hosted PBX system provided the company the opportunity to use a single phone number that could be easily answered at a variety of locations, unbeknownst to their customers and clients.

During the holiday season, companies often experience a lack of employee resources, as many take additional time off to be with their loved ones. Using a hosted PBX system, their communication lines were simply rerouted to available employees on their landline phones, cell phones, smartphones or nearly any remote location.

Having the ability to offer a single point of contact, with one single phone number to represent the entire organization, was the easiest way for the businesses to operate their communication systems. It allowed each business to function completely without the need of a traditional main office. This could happen because the hosted PBX telephone system instantly linked employee personnel to the business, with complete functionality of all of the communication system’s features.

Relieving Holiday Business Stress

Offering an extensive multi-modal contact, each employee quickly gained access to the entire company network through a whole host of telecommunication devices including landlines, ISDN, cell phone and VoIP. The hosted PBX telephony system instantly provided phone extension ringing to a single location in succession, or to multiple locations at the same time. This allowed instant 24-hour phone support seven days a week, and relieved stress on the company by always providing an employee or employees to handle any situation, even during hectic seasonal times.

Lowering Costs

Because there is no need to purchase PBX equipment when using a hosted PBX service, these companies were provided an effective call routing service at no additional cost. All unanswered incoming calls for the business were managed automatically by the PBX system by providing numerous features including voicemail, call records, faxing, automated messages, and conference calls, along with call routing touchtone menus.

Without the need of any excess additional cost for expensive software or hardware, and no cost for upgrades to change existing phone hardware, hosted PBX telephone systems offer viable solutions for many small, medium, large businesses.

These companies saw the advantage of using a hosted PBX system through the holiday season as their business increased. It gave them the ability to expand lines, without additional phone numbers. With the added flexibility and reduced cost of 24-hour client phone support along with never missing a call throughout the holidays, the hosted PBX systems offer each a viable telephony alternative.

Friday, January 4, 2013

How Small Businesses Can Harness Social Media

Small businesses make up an enormous portion of the American economy, and in many ways, they represent the portion of the economy that is best situated to take advantage of social media. After all, many small businesses rely on close, personal relationships with their clients to sustain and grow their business. These relationships can be extended if the small businesses make proper use of social media. However, a recent survey found that fully 88 percent of businesses don’t believe they are making the best use of social media.

The problem often times is that these companies wade into the social media waters without a clear idea of how they should approach social channels, or which social channels are best for their needs. As a result, they end up using Google Plus, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Tumblr, and doing none of them particularly well. The goal with social media should not be simply having a presence in all of the different channels that are available. Instead, it should be having an effect presence in one or two channels, and then perhaps expanding to others once the first channels have been mastered.

An important part of mastering social media is re-framing the way companies view it. Rather than looking at social media simply as another tool for broadcasting to consumers, companies should view it also as a means of gleaning information from their established customers and potential clients. Companies, especially small ones that stand to benefit from close relationships with a few clients, should use social media to learn about what’s happening with their clients, and then keep in touch based on those happenings. For instance, a small note from a business when a client’s birthday comes up on Facebook can make a big impression. Too many businesses miss out on such opportunities to talk to their customers.

The best part about a limited approach to social media is that it saves time. When a business spends time spreading itself thin across a range of social media, typically that’s just time wasted that could be better spent on other projects. By limiting their focus to just one or two social media channels, businesses will cut time lost to other channels, and encourage themselves to take full advantage of whichever channels they do choose to engage in. And whatever approach they choose, small businesses should always remember that the goal of social media is to strengthen their relationships and ties to customers.

When those customers start calling, you’d better make sure your phone system is ready to take on the new influx of calls! Have you looked into a Hosted PBX or SIP Trunking lately?