Archive for the ‘VoIP Phones’ Category

10 Key Features & Advantages of Hosted Call Centers

Call centers are a key component of many large organizations, especially those that provide support to their customers. Traditional call centers are extremely costly to implement, with large capital investments and significant IT support required. Additionally, making changes to the system can be time consuming and extremely complicated.

Businesses are always looking for ways to decrease their operational expenses and increase their productivity so they can better serve their customers, and a hosted call center is the answer for today’s businesses.

Whether your company currently utilizes a call center environment, or is looking to implement one in the future as your business grows, moving it to the cloud will significantly reduce your operating costs and increase your business flexibility.

So what are the benefits of moving your call center to the cloud?

  • Financial Savings: Minimal upfront costs, reduced maintenance fees, and a “pay as you go” model make it an ideal choice for today’s businesses.
  • Flexible Work Options & Virtualization:  The ease of provisioning and managing on-site and remote agents, and the ability to use a single central queue which routes calls to agents regardless of their physical location allows for flexibility that was previously unavailable.  
  • Enhanced Operational Flexibility: The ability to rapidly scale up and down and handle unexpected or fluctuating call volume quickly, without disrupting or changing infrastructure, will change the way your business operates.
  • Access to Latest Technologies: Low risk and cost to access cutting edge features e.g. video call centers ensures your business always has the best communications tools available.
  • Business Continuity: With hosted architecture, calls are queued and can be re-routed to alternate locations in the case of service disruption. You always have a business back up plan no matter what is thrown your way.

What are the key features of hosted (cloud) call centers, and what are their business benefits?

  • Call Recording: Record agents’ calls for training purposes and to improve the customer experience. This also provides you with a record of what was said on a call if there is ever a dispute with a customer or agent.
  • Automatic Call Distribution: You decide how you want incoming calls to be routed and the level of importance of each type of call. Route to the appropriate agent based on department, skill level and purpose of the call.
  • Call Queues: Organize users, teams and departments by queues. Callers will be routed to the next available agent in the appropriate queue based on the call distribution policy you specify.
  • Agent Status Display: See the status of every active agent from the web-based client. See agents who are available, on a call, have an incoming call, or are set to an alternate status. This helps to access call volume levels and agent status.
  • Call Center Reporting: Monitor real-time activity, as well as generate in-depth historical data and trends to improve performance and ensure that calls are handled efficiently. You can create customized reports based on your business needs to support unique process and monitoring requirements. Then, use the information to make informed business and staffing decisions.

To learn more about hosted call centers and the positive impact implementing one will have on at your business, please visit

5 Tips to Prepare for Your Next Phone Interview

Phone Interview - Recruitment teamApplying for a new career opportunity is a job in and of itself. After submitting countless applications, you finally receive an email or phone call from a recruiter at one of the companies you applied to (maybe even your dream job!) asking to schedule a brief phone interview. You’ve done it! You’ve finally been picked out of a pool of applicants to take the first step toward landing a job. Now what?

Nextiva’s corporate recruiting team shares their top five tips to prepare for, and nail, your all important phone interview.

Treat the phone interview like an in-person interview. 

Often times, this is the first human interaction you’ve had with the company and you want to make a good impression. You don’t get a second chance to sell the recruiter on why you’re the right fit for the job and the company. It is just as important to be well spoken and prepared during the phone interview as it is for the in-person interview.

Nailing the phone interview is extremely important in moving along in the hiring process, and generally the recruiter or HR representative you are speaking with has significant influence in the decision-making process of who continues on, and whose resume gets tossed out.

Research the company and what they do.

Do your research. There is nothing worse than being asked a question during the phone interview about the company you are apply to and not knowing the answer. Review the company’s website, social media channels, Glassdoor profile, recent news, etc.

At the very least, you should know what they do, their history, their mission, the market they serve, any distinguishing market characteristics, etc. You will want to tie these details in to the answers you provide about why you want to work at the company and how your beliefs with the company’s mission and goal. This will show the recruiter that you are serious about the position and differentiate you from other candidates.  

When asked questions, provide concise and direct answers.  

Put yourself in the recruiter’s shoes. No one likes to listen to long-winded answers where the point isn’t made until the end, if at all. As the one being interviewed, you want to keep the recruiter engaged in what you have to say and make your answers memorable. With that said, it doesn’t mean you need to answer questions like a robot. Provide genuine answers and let your personality shine through.

Understand the role you applied for as much as you can. If anything is unclear, ask for clarification.

Recruiters and hiring managers spend a lot of time on those job descriptions so take the time to read through it before your phone interview. Jot down notes of experience you have that relates to each responsibility and job function—providing specifics in your phone interview will help you stand out. This will solidify that you are qualified and a good fit for the position.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Since you’re in the early stages of the hiring process, now is the time to clarify any responsibilities or job functions you’re unclear on. This will give you more insight in to the role and the company that isn’t written in the job description. The recruiter should be selling you on the position and the company just as much as you are selling your experience and personality.

Follow up with an e-mail thanking them for their time and consideration.

The power of the thank you email (or better yet, card) is not dead. The little details really matter when it comes to differentiating candidates. As with an in-person interview, you should show your thanks and appreciation for the time they gave you. The number of candidates that don’t send a thank you email would surprise you. Even if you do not receive a response, the gesture does not go unnoticed and makes you stand out.

We hope these tips help you as you prepare for your next phone interview. The job hunt can be daunting, but with a little planning, research and preparation, you can land your dream job.

To learn more about Nextiva and career opportunities available, visit

Shared Call Appearance: Make & Receive Calls From Multiple Devices

Cloud-based phone systems are feature-rich and provide endless opportunities to improve your business’s internal and customer communication. While some features may seem basic, they can revolutionize your productivity and efficiency. One of these features that is often underrated, but deserves more attention is Shared Call Appearance.

Shared Call Appearance is a useful feature available with all Nextiva Office® plans that allows your phone number to be assigned to multiple phones/devices. This means you can have a phone at your office, your house, the Nextiva App on your smartphone and a phone at another location that all have your number assigned to it, and you can make and receive calls as yourself from any of these devices. You can also apply someone else’s line in your company to your phone to make and receive calls as them.  This feature is useful if you work out of multiple offices, or need others to have the ability to make and receive calls on your behalf. Below are additional business benefits of the Shared Call Appearance feature.

  • You work out of multiple offices: If you’re constantly jumping between one of your business locations and another, and occasionally work from home, this feature ensures you can make and receive calls from your phone number on multiple devices.
  • You want others to be able to make calls on your behalf: This is very practical for Executive Assistants, receptionists and other team members who you’d like to have the ability to make and receive calls using your specific phone number.
  • You want a specific team to use the same phone number: If you’d like a team that doesn’t make and receive a high volume of calls to have one phone number that they can all use and can see when someone else is currently using the line.

Do you use Shared Call Appearance? Is there another feature you can’t live without? Share in the comments below.

If you’d like to learn more about Nextiva’s cloud-based business phone service, please visit

Nextiva Customer Success Story: Ruscomp, Inc.

Who says that small companies can’t have the same communication features and systems that large corporations utilize? Not us! At Nextiva, we believe every business, no matter their number of employees or locations, can benefit from a cloud-based phone system. The flat monthly fee per user and minimal equipment needs make it an ideal solution for small businesses with big plans to grow. Additionally, Nextiva’s cloud-based phone service has no hidden fees (kiss those service and maintenance fees goodbye!), comes with more than 40 features (hello endless possibilities) that will improve all internal and customer communication.

For businesses that rely heavily on their phone system to communicate with clients, such as Ruscomp Inc. based in Peachtree, Georgia right outside of Atlanta, unlimited calling and mobility features are essential to business growth. Ruscomp Inc. is a company of eight employees that creates custom facilities management software for large corporations throughout the United States and the world, and most of their customer support and client communication is facilitated over the phone.

Before switching to Nextiva, Kara Carpenter, Ruscomp’s Support Manager, said the company was plagued with call quality issues, lack of mobility features and customer service issues that lead them to seek out a new phone service provider. Once Ruscomp made the switch to Nextiva, they no longer worried about dropped calls, service reliability or support calls going unanswered. The setup process was a breeze, and the company was finally able to take advantage of the mobility features they desperately needed, such as the Nextiva App. Being able to take their business phones with them anywhere, on any device, via the Nextiva App has significantly increased the team’s productivity and improved the client experience.

The company recently moved offices, and the first thing that was up and running was their phone system. Since Nextiva handles all servicing and maintenance, Ruscomp simply plugged in their phones to the office Internet and were live within minutes. The company is growing and Nextiva offers them the scalability and infrastructure they need, at an affordable price, to successfully expand their business.

Meet Kara and hear her story in the video below. 

To learn more about Nextiva's cloud-based business phone service, please visit

3 Benefits of Using Auto Attendants for Your Business Communication

8:7 Auto Attendant Benefits smallThere are a variety of ways to route incoming calls to specific departments, teams, groups of employees, or individuals. The most common ways to route calls is by an employee answering the phone when it rings, via a live receptionist, or through an Auto Attendant. All options will help a caller get to where they need to go eventually, but utilizing an Auto Attendant with your phone system will significantly improve the likelihood they reach the correct destination the first time. Not only does this improve the customer experience, but it also saves your company from wasting precious time that can be better spent on other tasks and projects.

So what exactly is an Auto Attendant? Think of it as a virtual receptionist. An Auto Attendant presents the caller with an audible greeting (that is customized for your business), which offers the caller options to select. Once an option has been made, the call will be redirected to the chosen destination.

Auto Attendants are an invaluable feature of cloud-based business phone systems, and we’ve highlighted three key benefits below.

Top 3 benefits of implementing an Auto Attendant at your business

1. Your own virtual receptionist:

Gone are the days of needing someone, whether a dedicated receptionist or team member, to answer the phone and route calls to the appropriate destination. With cloud-based phone systems, such as Nextiva Office®, you can program callers’ options and route calls automatically to the specified destination.  

2. Increase team productivity:

How many times has a customer called your office when they meant to call your location across town, or you answered a call that was meant for the Billing department? By understanding your customers and what they commonly call in about, you can customize your Auto Attendant to include these options and significantly reduce the amount of times your team answers a call that is not related to their job responsibilities. Reducing the amount of time wasted on these calls will increase your team’s productivity (less interruptions!).

3. Significant cost savings:

Eliminating the need for a receptionist or team member to route calls saves you significant operating costs and human resources. The money previously spent on these wages can be reallocated to other areas of your business that will propel it forward.

All Nextiva Office plans come with the Auto Attendant feature. To learn more about how Auto Attendants and other cloud-based features can improve your business communications visit

Advanced Call Routing with Nextiva’s Cloud-Based Phone System

7-23 Call Routing smallBusinesses are always looking for ways to maximize productivity and efficiency, while minimizing costs. It’s a balancing act that can be very hard to achieve, especially when factoring in customer service. Ensuring customers are not only happy, but loyal is the key to business success, and this can only be achieved by offering superior customer service. So how do you keep costs down, maximize productivity and deliver memorable customer service? The answer: Advanced Call Routing.  

Advanced Call Routing allows you to determine how incoming calls are handled, commonly with a welcome message containing a menu of options for the caller to choose from. With the rise of cloud-based business phone systems, implementing Advanced Call Routing at your business is now easier than ever, and you’ll begin experiencing the business benefits immediately.


  • Increase customer satisfaction by connecting them to the department they need the first time
  • Increase team productivity by decreasing time spent speaking to customers that would be better served by a different department
  • Eliminate the need for a receptionist to direct calls to the appropriate department or team member


  • Route calls based on business and after hours schedules, as well as location
  • Manager call routing and make adjustments in web-based user interface
  • Create employee groups (also known as Hunt Groups) to receive calls routed from specific numbers, based on the time of day or call volume
  • Route calls to alternative numbers, mobile devices, or to voicemail based on customizable schedules

Businesses of all sizes and industries will benefit from implementing Advanced Call Routing. Visit to learn more.

Say Goodbye to Background Noise with Polycom’s Acoustic Fence Technology

At Nextiva our goal is to simplify business communication, and one of our long-time partners, Polycom, shares this goal. The well-known business phone manufacturer has released revolutionary new software for their Polycom VVX series phones that change the way Nextiva customers who use Polycom phones communicate.

Polycom’s UC Software 5.3 release, which Nextiva was the first provider to support, features the new Acoustic Fence technology. What exactly is Polycom’s Acoustic Fence you may ask?  With this technology, surrounding audio is evaluated when you’re on a call using your Polycom VVX series phone, and the phone performs noise cancellation for the person on the other end so only your beautiful voice is heard. In order to take advantage of this technology, you must be using a handset or headset and be within proximity of your phone.

Call centers, busy office environments, restaurants, retail stores, medical offices, law firms, and a variety of other industries benefit from this technology. No ones likes constantly asking the person on the other end of the call to repeat themselves because the background noise is drowning out the conversation. A live band could perform in your office and the caller on the other end of the phone never has to know.

Eliminating background noise for callers has numerous benefits, including:

  • Reduce customer frustration: The person on the other end of the call hears your response the first time, rather than having to constantly ask you to repeat yourself because they can’t “hear you.”
  • Reduce call times: For call centers and busy offices reducing call time is vital to reducing wait times and assisting callers in a timely manner.
  • Increase productivity: Repeating yourself is a time suck, not to mention it can be frustrating. Having a conversation without constant interruption because of background noise and needing to repeat information increases ones productivity so they can accomplish the task at hand quicker. 

Want to see Polycom’s Acoustic Fence technology in action? Check out the video below featuring the legendary Sexy Sax Man. 

To learn more about Nextiva's cloud-based phone system, visit

Nextiva Introduces the Polycom UC Software 5.3 Release

Nextiva is very excited to introduce the Polycom UC Software 5.3 release, which is now available for all Polycom VVX series phones.

New Features

  • Call Recording Start/Stop & Pause/Resume soft key integration: This soft key integration gives you the ability to push a button on your phone to start/stop and pause/resume call recording while on a call.

    • Use Case: You may find this feature valuable if you need to collect sensitive customer data during a phone call, such as patient data, credit card details for payments or other personal information.

  • Acoustic Fence: This technology evaluates surrounding audio and performs noise cancellation during a call when using a handset or headset. This does require the user is within proximity of the phone.

    • Use Case: This feature is particularly helpful if you are in a busy office or call center environment or at a conference or video seminar where there is a considerable amount of background noise or activity.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I need to reboot all of my Polycom phones?

A: This software release is available for Polycom VVX series phones and does not apply to other models. Therefore, only Polycom VVX series phones need to be rebooted when you are ready to apply the software update.


Q: If I don’t accept the update by rebooting now, will it be there whenever I’m ready or will there be a forced reboot at some point?

A: By default, your phone sends update requests to our network every 24 hours to see if there are new updates available. When this occurs, your device will download the new Polycom UC Software 5.3 and reboot.


Q: What Polycom devices support the Acoustic Fence technology?

A: This feature is now available on all Polycom VVX series phones and will automatically install when you download the new software.


Q: Will the update affect other features or softkeys that are programmed on our phones?

A: This update may eliminate redundant softkeys that already exist as hard keys on your phone. This update will not affect other features on the phone.


Q: Will the update affect any custom configuration files I have in place?

A: If there are any custom configuration files on the phone, the phone will not update to the new software.


Q: Does this update support Polycom’s expansion module?

A: Yes, this update will support any Polycom expansion module currently installed on the phone.

For more information on Polycom UC Software Version 5.3.0 and a full list of resolved issues, please refer to the Polycom release notes

Nextiva Launches Zendesk-Integrated App

Nextiva and Zendesk have created the best customer experience. Ever.

Your two favorite business tools have joined forces for an enhanced customer experience! Integrate your Nextiva cloud phone system with your Zendesk console to increase team efficiency, functionality, and productivity. The best part? The app is FREE to all Nextiva users who rely on Zendesk for their customer service needs. 

Nextiva App for Zendesk - large

Key Features:

  • Make and receive calls through the Zendesk console
  • Identify the customer as soon as an inbound call is received
  • Automatically generate tickets for new customers
  • Instantly look up information for existing customers
  • Reduce wait time associated with looking up record history

For more information about the Nextiva App for Zendesk and how to install the app on your Zendesk console, click here.

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