Posts Tagged ‘VoIP Benefits’


4 Tips to Improve the Effectiveness of Your Next Conference Call

9-1 Conference Call smallAs workforces become increasingly remote and colleagues are no longer located in the same office, conference calls are now a large part of every day life (that we often dread). For anyone that has participated in a conference call lately, they know this is how they typically unfold. But why succumb to this fate? With a little effort and planning, you can improve the effectiveness of your conference calls. Stop wasting valuable time and increase your company’s productivity with these four steps. Keep them in mind when planning your next conference call.

These steps may seem simple and obvious, but they will change the way you communicate with your colleagues, vendors and customers.

Have a clear leader for the meeting that schedules the call, maintains the balance in conversation and directs questions to the appropriate participant(s).

Defining the leader before the conference call starts will save everyone time and frustration during the call. It will cut down on confusion of who should be speaking when, who will be providing follow-up and action items at the end of the meeting, and who to reach out to for any questions regarding the topics discussed.

Have a clear objective for the call.

This may seem obvious, but think back on recent conference calls you were on. Was the objective of the call clear before it began? This should be step #1 when planning a conference call.  No one wants to feel like they’re wasting their time on a conference call that has no clear direction, focus or purpose.

Define the topics of discussion.  

An agenda (especially one sent before the call) is key to keeping everyone on track and reduce the amount of time wasted on discussions that do not relate to the objective of the meeting. In short, stay on topic and everyone will be very appreciative.

Be mindful of others time.

Punctuality is very important. Start the meeting on time, end the meeting on time (or early), and treat the meeting with the same importance you would an in-person meeting.

Take additional topics of conversation off-line.

Going off track is easy to do, but can quickly derail the entire meeting. Be mindful of the objective of the call and topics of discussion outlined by the leader. Take these additional conversations and topics off-line, especially if they are only relevant to a few people on the call. Everyone will thank you for saying, “We can take this off-line and finish this conversation later.”

We’re always looking for ways to simplify business communication and increase your company’s productivity and efficiency. Nextiva offers an affordable conference call feature, aptly named Meet-Me-Conferencing, that will meet your conferencing needs and improve your company’s communication. Visit www.nextiva.com to learn more.


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 www.nextiva.com.


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 www.nextiva.com.


5 Ways to Improve Your Internal Communication With Cloud Phone Service

Effective and efficient internal communication is key to business success and an enjoyable work environment, but the execution is not always as easy as it seems. Keeping appropriate team members informed and ensuring communication is seamless between employees, departments, and different locations takes a significant amount of dedication, effort and communication tools.  Luckily, technology, and specifically cloud-based unified communications services, have streamlined processes and made it easier than ever to stay connected and communicate within your organization.

Nextiva Office® is a robust cloud-based suite of products that will improve your internal communication. Below are five key features within Nextiva Office that will change the way your team communicates.

The Nextiva App

With features such as chat and Presence, it is easy to communicate with team members when you’re in the office or working remotely. Additionally, you’ll have your business phone at your fingertips so colleagues can reach you anytime without having to call multiple numbers to track you down.

Group Paging

Sometimes an email just won’t do. The Group Paging feature allows you to initiate a one-way call to multiple users. You can easily broadcast information to a group of people from the convenience of your office phone.

Call Forwarding

Reduce your colleagues’ frustration and wait time by automatically redirecting, or forwarding, calls to a third party destination, such as a phone number or extension based on circumstances you specify, when you are away from your office phone.

Voicemail-to-Text

With the more advanced version of Voicemail-to-Email, Voicemail-to-Text transcribes your voicemails and sends them to you via email or SMS depending on your personal preferences. You’ll be able to quickly reference information mentioned in the voicemail when working with coworkers on a project. Also, easily share the message with colleagues to reduce issues that arise from miscommunication.

Quick Call Transfers

Quickly transfer calls and call team members in different locations or home offices via an extension. You no longer have to dial a full 10-digit number or ask the customer to hang up and call the other location’s direct number.

What tools do you use in your business for effective internal communication? 


Is a Cloud-Based Phone System Right for You?

Many businesses are beginning to realize that in addition to the economic advantages, cloud-based phone systems are more powerful than traditional phone lines. Cloud-based phone systems, often called VoIP, leverage broadband Internet connections instead of the standard phone line. The technology transforms voice singals in to a digital form that can travel over the Internet, which enables a low-cost but powerful way to make and receive phone calls from a variety of devices. Is a cloud-based phone system right for your business? Read through the infographic below to learn more about the business advantages of cloud-based communications solutions. 

Cloud-Based Phone System Infographic


Nextiva Customer Success Story: Carroll Organization

Businesses are always looking for ways to cut costs when it comes to their operating expenses without sacrificing the features and systems they rely on to run and grow their businesses. With a cloud-based phone system, businesses get more functionality than a traditional provider, but at a flat monthly fee per user. This significantly reduces a main operating expense—the phone system. Over the past few years more and more businesses have made the switch to a cloud-based phone system for these reasons.

We love meeting Nextiva customers, learning more about their business, and why they made the switch to Nextiva. Recently, our team had the opportunity to meet with Pavan Nanduri, Director of Information Systems at Carroll Organization in Atlanta, Georgia who is one of the larger businesses Nextiva serves. Pavan began looking for a new phone system because the company wanted to cut costs and find a solution that was easy to implement at the high-quality multi-family homes across the country the company invests in and manages. The old on-premises PBX system they were using was costly to maintain, changes to the system could take days, and it was not a scalable solution to grow with the company as they acquire and build more properties. Pavan knew a cloud-based solution would meet Carroll Organization’s communication needs. This led him to Nextiva.

Nextiva provided the value, reliability and features Pavan wanted, at an affordable price that pleased Carroll Organization’s investors and partners. Additionally, by moving to Nextiva’s NextOS platform, the company now benefits from:

  • Quick implementation of Nextiva’s cloud phone service at properties they acquire and invest in. They can plug in the phones and be operational in a matter of minutes.
  • No service or maintenance fees, and all system upgrades are handled by Nextiva so the company always has the latest technology available.
  • Crystal clear call quality that reflects the professionalism of the organization.
  • Reliable service that ensures investors, partners and residence can always reach the company.
  • Easily transfer calls between the main office in Atlanta and the properties Carroll Organization manages throughout the country.

Meet Pavan and hear Carroll Organization’s Nextiva story in the video below. 


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 www.nextiva.com.


Nextiva Customer Success Story: Spectrum Eye Care

Making the switch from a traditional phone system, such as an on-premises PBX with limited functionality, to a feature-rich cloud-based system opens up endless possibilities for your business. Simple things like personal voicemails for each employee and easily transferring calls between locations may not seem significant, but can revolutionize your business. The Nextiva team recently had the chance to visit Spectrum Eye Care in Charlotte, North Carolina who now relies on our NextOS platform for their communication needs.

During the team’s visit, Michael Hall, Operations Manager for the eye care provider, shared details about the outdated system the company was using before deciding to come in to the “new age” and move to a hosted phone system. Previously, the company was unable to transfer patients from one of their locations to the other, and each office was limited to one voicemail box (they have three locations in the city). Providing exceptional customer service to patients is a main concern of the medical office, and they knew they needed to find a solution that would provide reliable service as well as new communication features they wanted to take advantage of.

After doing extensive research, Michael found Nextiva, and knew that it was the right fit based on the shared value of providing exception customer service. Initially, the company was nervous about the switch to a VoIP system, but the Nextiva team was there every step of the way for their implementation to ensure their phones, features and call flows were set up correctly. Since moving to Nextiva, Spectrum has taken advantage of the feature-rich system and experienced the below benefits:

  • Reliability: Patients must be able to get in touch with staff and/or a doctor when an urgent situation arises. Nextiva’s reliable platform ensures that patients can always reach staff and/or a doctor that can help them.
  • Scalability: The medical office can easily add lines of service in minutes or implement a small call center without having to invest in costly equipment and infrastructure.
  • Improved internal communications: Communication between offices and employees has become seamless, providing patients with an improved customer experience and reducing miscommunication and frustration for staff.

Nextiva Office and the NextOS platform, our VoIP product, changed the way the company communicated with patients and fellow employees, but they didn’t stop there. Spectrum Eye Care implemented additional Nextiva services to further grow their business, including:

  • Nextiva Call Center: The company has three busy locations throughout the city, and implementing a small call center in their main office allows them to easily take calls from one central location and route patients to the appropriate office or employee without forcing them to hang up and call a different number.
  • Nextiva vFAX: All Nextiva Office customers receive a FREE virtual faxing account when they sign up with Nextiva. For a company that is constantly faxing patient prescriptions and medical records, they love that they never experience a busy signal when sending a fax and faxes are stored electronically for easy reference.

Meet Michael and hear Spectrum Eye Care’s Nextiva story.  


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.

Benefits

  • 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

Features

  • 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 www.nextiva.com to learn more.




 
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