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Teamwork Requires Communication: Phone Solutions for Mobile Workforces

Posted by Mark Greim on Sep 16, 2019 10:38:00 AM

To compete in the 21st century marketplace, businesses need to align their workforce with their customer's behavior and preferences.  There are many tools available to support this practice, with a Hosted VoIP platform being a key for internal and external communication strategies.

Work at Home EmployeesSmart businesses place their associates where they can be most effective.  This isn't necessarily within the same location.  They can locate functions where the right resources are plentiful, so they can choose and retain the best talents.  Work locations can be remote, at home, or very mobile.  To accomplish this, these businesses set up their infrastructure to facilitate seamless work and communication.  The best environment for this type of workforce includes cloud computing and collaboration tools and a Hosted VoIP phone service.

Remote EmployeesInternal Communications - With employees operating where they are most effective, communication becomes paramount.  With a cloud-based phone system, employees can connect to the office phone system wherever they are located and with a variety of devices.  Desk phones can be assigned for remote or home offices if that is the preference.  Alternatively, soft phones can be installed on a laptop or smart phone and operate just like a desk phone.  Employees can extension dial and transfer calls to each other without regard as to the type of device or location.

Successfully connecting remote and central work forces with a hosted VoIP systems doesn’t require huge infrastructure or investment. A single phone system can connect your team whether they are in Portland or in Philadelphia, or working at home. 

External Communications - Creating effective strategies for a 21st century workforce does not stop at simply making it work operationally.  If remote office locations and work at home strategies do not include a marked improvement in communications with the customer, then it needs to be re-examined.  Customer expectations have increased with the degree to which our society is connected.  They expect expeditious meeting of their needs, so it is important to increase the degree to which employees are reachable.

Remote locations and work at home strategies can increase the work day for your business to be available for customer contact.  Customer or technical support teams can be deployed in multiple time zones.  Additionally, work at home strategies can promote flexible work times. 

Moble WorkforceEnsure your mobile and virtual workforce is more available by connecting a variety of devices to the phone network.  This can include providing a direct dial number (as opposed to a personal cell phone number) that connects to an office desk phone, a soft phone on their laptop, and a soft phone on their cell phone.  When the soft phones are activated, employees can take calls from anywhere and become more accessible.  If they are not able to answer, the company voicemail is engaged, not a personal cell phone.  Also, when calling out from the soft phone, they are delivering the caller ID of the business and not their personal cell phone. 

Other Communication Opportunities - Businesses can look to create ring groups for certain elements of their business, like customer support, inside sales, etc.  Employees can be a part of their assigned groups no matter where they are located.  Calls can be directed to these groups from an assigned extension (for transferred calls to the group) and an auto attendant.  Auto attendants should be set up with the customer in mind.  What are the primary reasons a customer calls?  If you can cover 80% of the reasons with a few options on the auto attendant, then your customer will appreciate the ease to which they are connected to the right associate to meet their needs.  Avoid multiple tiers and many selection options if at all possible.

Hosted VoIP solutions are essential to today's business climate.  They are as flexible as businesses need to be to complete and can be customized to the specific situations they face.  Research and find a Hosted VoIP provider that understands this and can help you through the design and programming.

 

About the author:  Mark Greim is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at sipVine, a provider of a variety of VoIP phone solutions and services. Mark has extensive experience working for start-up or entrepreneurial organizations and has a passion for affordable, reliable, and purposeful technology solutions in those environments. 

Tags: Phone Service for Multiple Locations, virtual workforce, VoIP Mobility

Multiple Location Businesses Doesn't Mean Multiple Phone Systems

Posted by Mark Greim on May 13, 2019 10:07:11 AM

Businesses with multiple locations are perfect matches to reap the benefits of a Hosted VoIP phone system.  Standardizing the phone system and service across the entire organization creates operational efficiencies, financial rewards, happy employees, and delighted customers.

Phone Service for Multiple Location BusinessesAt the heart of the solution is the fact that each business location no longer needs to have an on-site phone system and a separate agreement with a phone service provider.  With Hosted VoIP, the "system" is essentially built and maintained by the Hosted VoIP provider and accessed by the business via their internet connection.  Thus, it essentially is the same phone system for the entire organization regardless of where the phones are deployed.  Local phone numbers are ported to the Hosted provider and the provider is able to secure more direct dial numbers for the location if required.

How does this solution create the best phone service for multiple location businesses?

Same Phone System Means Standardization

Each location is deploying the same type of VoIP phone and phone features.  Such a standard allows for common approaches to training and establishing call handling procedures.  Employees can move from location to location without the need for retraining, and customers can build a level of call handling performance regardless of who is handling their call.  Employees can also retain their direct dial number and internal extension if that is appropriate for the situation.

Call flows and auto attendant messaging and options can be standardized across the organization.  Again, this limits confusion among the customer base and contributes to brand consistency.

Same Phone System Means Efficiencies

Hosted VoIP creates opportunities to develop better procedures for handling communication.  Not only are multi-site businesses able to delight their customer base, they and drive real cost savings.

Virtual PhonesInternal communications are improved with Hosted VoIP.  Employees can extension dial or transfer calls to employees regardless of where each employee is located.  It is much easier to collaborate with peers in such an environment.  Internal meetings can be conducted over a conference call which can be set up as an extension to dial.  Employees who are out of the office on appointments, away from their desks, working remotely, or working from home can be more accessible with a soft phone app on their smart phones.  Extension dials or call transfers will go to their soft phone app when it is turned on, eliminating the need to leave voicemails or engage in a forwarding process to a cell phone each time these employees are away from their desks.

External communications are also enhanced with Hosted VoIP and commonality between locations.  Employees can have direct dial numbers.  Where appropriate for their role, they can provide external callers with their direct dial number and eliminate the need to go through a receptionist.  The soft phone app works well for external callers as well, and they will be happy to connect with their intended party even if they are not at their desk.  Of course, if that party is busy, voicemails can be  delivered to email so urgent messages can be reviewed and returned as quickly as possible.  Additionally, auto attendant routing can direct callers to the appropriate party for their particular need regardless of whether that employee is at the location called.  For example, the accounts receivable department may be located at a headquarter office, but each remote location's auto attendant has the option to route to accounts receivable.  When selected, callers are routed to a ring group of employees in that department at the headquarters.

Centralize Functions with Hosted VoIPCentralized processes and call flows by function is where real savings and customer satisfaction can be realized.  Each organization is different, but solutions can be customized to the unique call flow requirements and staffing scenarios.  Below are some examples:

  • Shared reception model - Each location may have a reception or main line ring group set up. In the cases where businesses want calls answered and avoid auto attendant routing, branch locations can serve as back-ups for each other.  So, if one location is busy handling callers, the next call can route to a back up location or locations.  External callers would have no idea that their call was answered in another town, just that it was answered.  Callers can be easily transferred to their intended party regardless of where that employee is located.
  • Centralized functions - Businesses can centralize the handling of certain type of call activity. Using "customer service" as an example, all calls designated for customer service can route to a centralized team.  This assumes that the responsibilities and functions of customer service are consistent between locations and can be handled centrally.  Instead of employing a customer service team at each location, a centralized approach can build a team based upon call demand and drive cost savings.
  • Decentralize teams - Now for the beauty of a common phone platform, you can actually decentralize common call flows.  Taking the customer service example again, instead of deploying the team at a central location, you can create a team regardless of the location.  So, you may have eight locations, but deploy five customer service representatives wherever they are located.  Calls can be transferred to a customer service extension which would ring to that group or callers can be directed to the group via the auto attendant.

Same Phone System Means Financial Benefits

Highlighted previously are ways to utilize the common phone system to drive efficiencies and cost savings.  These are areas where the greatest opportunities reside for creating large financial benefits.  However, businesses selecting Hosted VoIP can also receive some direct benefits on their telecom costs.

The most obvious direct financial benefit is the fact that you are not purchasing phone systems for each location, just the number VoIP phones required.  Not only is this outlay a fraction of the cost of separate phone systems, you no longer have to service or maintain a system.  This also creates an avoidance of obsolescence costs in the future, as it is the responsibility of the provider to maintain and upgrade their system.

There's also an opportunity for economies of scale on the monthly phone service costs.  Some Hosted VoIP providers have a declining rate per user on the system based upon the number of phones deployed.  Others may simply offer discounts for larger opportunities.

Finally, businesses may consider making a portion of their staffing model virtual, reducing the need for physical locations.  Because the phone system is in the cloud, employees can be set up at their homes where appropriate.  Virtual staffing models can be a good employee retention and satisfaction tool.

Every multi-location business is different and has unique opportunities and challenges.  Feel free to contact sipVine anytime to simply discuss ideas and scenarios that come to mind for your business. We love to talk through ideas and provide examples and solutions of what we have in place for similar businesses today!

 

About the author:  Mark Greim is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at sipVine, a provider of a variety of VoIP phone solutions and services. Mark has extensive experience working for start-up or entrepreneurial organizations and has a passion for affordable, reliable, and purposeful technology solutions in those environments. 

Tags: Phone Service for Multiple Locations

Tear Down Walls with Business VoIP

Posted by Mark Greim on Jan 30, 2017 10:30:00 AM

Leave the talk around building walls to the American political scene.  As a business owner, your business will benefit by figuratively tearing down walls and removing barriers to communication with the help of a Hosted VoIP phone service.  With Hosted VoIP, the walls of your business become translucent, as your phone system is no longer confined to your physical location.  Additionally, as the world becomes more and more "always-on" in terms of communication, your business can adjust communication practices to meet the evolving demands of your customers.

Hosted VoIP:  A Be Anywhere Phone System

By its very nature, Hosted VoIP delivers a single phone system to wherever your business is conducted.  Because the system is cloud-based, the business deploys physical or soft phones where it best meets the internal communication needs and the demands of their customers.  Making all of the phones work together as one system and implementing a call flow is a function of programming and does not require physical phone systems where you deploy resources.  This opens the door for extreme flexibility and creativity and will give your business an edge over the competition.  Examples of ways businesses have torn down the walls and deployed Hosted VoIP are listed below:

  • Expanding the Business Presence Beyond a Primary Location - As a business grows, pressure on square footage can become acute. Instead of adding resources to a tight environment or going through the expense of moving a business, a business owner can look at alternatives to placement of employees.  Locations can be added where resources are plentiful or economical or in areas where business volume dictates.  Virtual employees can also be deployed where it makes sense for the business, allowing for expansion without taking on the cost of new locations.  A Business VoIP phone service can tie all of these employees together on the same cloud-based system, facilitating efficient internal communication while external callers are served as if everyone was under the same roof.
  • All Locations Work as One - There are certainly direct economic advantages of all business locations being on the same phone system. Through Hosted VoIP, phone bills are typically lower as there are economies of scale built into most pricing practices of the hosted VoIP providers.  Indirectly, the business can benefit through the programming of the service to best meet the needs of the business and demands of the customers.  You can centralize main line calls, where all locations incoming calls are directed to a central group of people.  Calls can be directed to where the customer is best served.  You can decentralize functions as well.  For example, a customer service group can be made up of several employees located in several different locations.  Businesses can right size their functions based upon call requirements, not the number of physical locations.
  • Inclusion of the Mobile Work Force - Many businesses have employees spend a lot of time in the field, whether it be sales personnel, site managers, or service technicians. Most utilize the personal or business cell phones to conduct their business.  Thanks to soft phone applications, these employees can receive and make calls on their business number or extension and not have to give out the cell phone number.  When they make calls, they are delivering the caller ID of the business, not the cell phone.  Voicemail messages are crafted for their business, and not a personal cell phone.  This can be advantageous to the business in many ways.  Calls can be transferred to the employee without needing to think about whether they are in the office or on their cell phone by transferring to the extension.  External callers don't have try to reach this person via a cell phone, they just call the business or the direct dial of the contact.

Meeting the Customer Demands

Remove Walls to Communication with Business VoIP.jpgWith the flexible deployment options described above, call flows and communication practices can be revamped to meet the growing demands of an always-on customer base.  Calls can be answered all of the time, regardless of where the resources are deployed.  Auto attendants can route callers by need to the appropriate group of employees, again with no requirement of location.  Direct dial numbers can be judiciously utilized for customers who need direct contacts.  After hours on-call personnel can be equipped with soft phones.  Calls can be programmed to deliver to the entire group, but the only ones that will ring are to those designated to turn them on for the period.  No complicated programming or a physical requirement to be in the office is necessary.

These are just a few examples.  Every business is different and the caller demands can vary widely.  However, the flexibility offered by a Hosted VoIP service provides the business with the opportunity to be creative.  Let your imagine fly and think of ways your business can communicate better with your customers and prospects and set your business apart from your competition!

 

About the author:  Mark Greim is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at sipVine, a provider of a variety of VoIP phone solutions and services. Mark has extensive experience working for start-up or entrepreneurial organizations and has a passion for affordable, reliable, and purposeful technology solutions in those environments. 

Tags: Hosted VoIP phone service, Phone Service for Multiple Locations, virtual workforce, Business VoIP

Virtual World, Virtual Companies, and Virtual Phones.

Posted by Mark Greim on Jul 22, 2015 2:39:29 PM

The world has gone virtual.  Businesses have adapted by utilizing Hosted VoIP phone service to better connect their customers and employees.  The flexibility inherent in VoIP services provides businesses with many options to differentiate their service to their customers and improve the production and responsiveness of their employees.Virtual_Office_Phones

I'll define virtual for this purpose as the deployment of products and services where and when demand is present.  This is the nature of the world we live in.  Consumers of products and services buy differently today, and seek out support differently as well.  Matching the full communication suite of your business with the needs of the customers is critical for on-going success.  Utilization of the company's web site platform and phone communication platform are key components of the communication strategy necessary to meet the needs of the virtual world.

By its very nature, Hosted VoIP phone service is virtual.  The phone system resides in the cloud with your hosted provider and all phones are connected to it via the internet.  Therefore, the "system" doesn't reside under the roof of a single business location, thus providing the business with extreme flexibility in resource deployment among other advantages.

  • Deploy Resources Anywhere - Imagine setting up your business to your most extreme advantage!  This could mean many things.  Your business may have a particular skill set of employees that are plentiful and less expensive in another part of the country.  You can establish a presence there and recruit the best and most affordable talent.  You may also have a need to deploy resources at key client locations, whether on-site or in the same town.  Hosted VoIP allows you to do this but appear to all callers as if you are under the same roof.  Routing calls, extension dialing, conferencing, and call groups can all occur regardless of the location of the employee.
  • Addressing the Mobile Employee - Many companies have resources that are "out and about" providing sales and service to the customer base.  These employees can be easily reachable to customer calls through the utilization of a combination of Hosted VoIP features.  For example, calls to their extension or direct dial number can be forwarded to or simultaneously ring their cell phone.  For android or iPhone users, a softphone application can be programmed to match or replace their desk phone rather than the simultaneous ring.  This has the added benefit of being able to call customers and deliver the business caller ID rather than the cell phone caller ID.  Finally, any voicemails left for these employees are emailed to them for quick playback and responsiveness.
  • Location Agnostic Functions - With Hosted VoIP, businesses have incredible flexibility in how they deploy resources.  In a multi-location environment, you can choose to centralize certain functions for managerial oversight and other economies.  For example, say every branch had a support function that could provide the service centrally.  These businesses can deploy a centralized model to conserve resources and provide some consistency of service management.  To the caller, they would have no idea where the call was routed, only that it was answered quickly and their need was handled successfully.  Conversely, if this support function was decentralized or included a remote work force (like work at home), calls to this group would be routed as if they were all under the same roof.  Again, businesses could build the workforce to match the call volume and time of day needs rather than one at each location and be subject to the hours of operation of the branch.
  • Call Routing Options - Once again, there are a myriad of ways Hosted VoIP can conform to the needs of the customer.  No matter where resources are deployed, calls can be routed to the best resource to serve the customer needs.  Call groups or queues can be set up for the various functions of the business.  Calls are routed to these groups by a common extension or auto attendant option or both.  Specific routines can be programmed to ensure the best experience for the customer.  Benefits are not just limited to groups of employees, but also to individuals.  Direct dial numbers are provided as a means to provide customers with a direct way to reach key people supporting them.  Calls are also able to be routed to them by extension transferring, extension dialing from an auto attendant, or a directory option on the auto attendant.

These are just a few ways Hosted VoIP phone service addresses the new ways businesses need to address their customers.  Each business and their customers present a unique opportunity.  The key is to find a Hosted VoIP service provider who will listen to these needs and customize the programming of the platform to maximize the benefit.  Cookie cutter or self-service platforms will not pull out all of the benefits and lead to frustration.  Research the alternatives, but definitely plan on joining the mountain of companies who are transitioning to a VoIP service.  Do it before your competition and leave them in the dust!

About the author:  Mark Greim is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at sipVine, a provider of a variety of VoIP phone solutions and services. Mark has extensive experience working for start-up or entrepreneurial organizations and has a passion for affordable, reliable, and purposeful technology solutions in those environments. 

Tags: Phone Service for Multiple Locations, VoIP Mobility

Support Your Business Growth with Hosted Phone Service

Posted by Mark Greim on Aug 7, 2013 9:20:00 AM

A Hosted Phone System and Service grows with your business with its inherent flexibility and affordability.  Cloud telephony has changed the model for telecom investment to the benefit of business start-ups and growth companies.  Traditional approaches to phone system investment made it necessary for companies to accurately predict their system needs in the face of over investment in systems when capital can be best used elsewhere or under building their system and dealing with replacement as growth occurs.  Hosted phone service has essentially made this approach a relic!Hosted Phone Service

Because the physical phone system is no longer a requirement on-site and is managed by the hosted phone service provider, companies only purchase the desk phones or soft phones required for their business as it stands at that current time.  As employees requiring a phone are hired, additional handsets are purchased and deployed at that time.  The monthly service cost are typically built on a per user basis, as there are no more phone lines required or restrictions in terms of incoming or outgoing calls.  Therefore, companies are only investing in the capital and service as they need it.

The hosted service is basically a software program that can be re-configured as your company’s needs change.  Good hosted providers consult with you and build the configuration of the system to match your needs.  As you grow, your desire to change call flow, create departmental ring groups or queues, and institute other programmatic changes can be administered by your hosted provider.  Finding a provider that can serve as your phone department also helps keep your costs of maintaining and growing a system to a minimum.

Company growth also puts pressure on infrastructure costs from a facility perspective, whether you’ve outgrown your current location or need to explore additional branches.  A hosted phone system can help in many ways:

  • Deferring Facility Relocation – Moving a business is extremely expensive.  A hosted phone service can help defer the timing of facility expansion through the facilitation of a work at home model or a temporary office set up.  Because the phone system is not dedicated to a physical site, you can deploy employees at their homes or temporary office merely by purchasing the handsets and programming the call flow accordingly. 
  • Facilitating Branch Models – Whether the branch is located in the same town as your headquarters or in other towns across the country, a hosted phone system can make this economical in several ways.  First, phone numbers for the particular locality can be provided, but calls between locations can be extension dials.  Administrative personnel do not have to be duplicated branch by branch.  Callers to the branch looking for billing or customer service support, as examples, can be directed to where those personnel are located and retain the perception that they are being served locally.  Finally, many hosted providers offer a reduced price per user as you grow.
  • Supporting Targeted Employee Recruitment – If your headquarters is located where certain employee skill sets are difficult to find or expensive to secure, you can establish an office in a town where such skills are plentiful and affordable.  Your hosted service can direct calls for such employee groups to that location and callers will be unaware that they are being supported outside of the area.

The economy is improving and there are many jobs being added every month.  If your business is so fortunate to be addressing the “pains” of growth, help ease the pain by investigating a hosted phone service today!  The investment will have benefits for years to come and free you to grow without the restriction of traditional phone systems.

 

About the author:  Mark Greim is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at sipVine, a provider of a variety of digital phone solutions and services. Mark has extensive experience working for start-up or entrepreneurial organizations and has a passion for affordable, reliable, and purposeful technology solutions in those environments. 

Tags: Phone Service for Multiple Locations, hosted digital phone service, VoIP Trends in Business, start up business phone service

sipVine is a Great VoIP Solution for Franchises

Posted by Mark Greim on Feb 19, 2013 10:23:00 AM

Deploying VoIP services within a franchise environment can deliver a host of benefits.  To the franchisor, this provides an opportunity to deliver value to the franchises in the form of a group purchase and some communication enhancements.  Of course, the franchise owners benefit from pricing levels they wouldn’t see as an individual purchaser of the service.  sipVine, a national provider of hosted VoIP services, has developed a program specific to franchise operations with special pricing and other benefits included.phone service for franchises

Details of sipVine’s program are as follows:

  • Special Pricing – Currently, sipVine discounts our unlimited local and long distance user fee based upon the number of users a company deploys.  We have created a similar schedule to apply discounting for businesses in a common franchise arm.  sipVine expects an active involvement of franchisors or individual franchisee customers to spread the word so the benefit can be driven to many participants and drive the cost down for all!  Current franchises participating are seeing a benefit of a 30 to 47 percent off normal sipVine pricing!
  • Centralized Features – sipVine can work with franchise operations to provide participating franchises the benefit of some centralized features.  An example would be simplified procedures for emergency routing of calls or redirection of callers to a central customer servicing arm, such as a claims department for an insurance agency franchise.  Another example would be some extension dialing capability to key contacts with franchise operations.  sipVine can customize the approach to work for the specific franchise operation.
  • National Account Management – Franchise operations are provided with a national account manager and an implementation coordinator that will ensure the smooth roll out of locations.  A customized web portal with unique resources for the franchise operation is provided, including a direct link to our service ticket system which routes your service to a team supporting franchise operations.

Every franchise operation has unique attributes and communication processes.  sipVine excels at the customization of its hosted service to match such needs, whether it be for a franchise operation, a company with multiple branch locations, or a stand-alone business.

If you are in franchise operations or are a franchise owner, contact sipVine today at 855.SIPVINE to explore what we can do for you!

About the author:  Mark Greim is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at sipVine, a provider of a variety of digital phone solutions and services. Mark has extensive experience working for start-up or entrepreneurial organizations and has a passion for affordable, reliable, and purposeful technology solutions in those environments. 

Tags: Phone Service for Multiple Locations

Business VoIP – Nationwide Presence; One Service Provider

Posted by Mark Greim on Nov 7, 2011 9:52:00 AM

One of the greatest advantages of digital phone service relates to businesses with an established nationwide presence or to businesses establishing a nationwide footprint.  A business VoIP system and service can deliver several benefits to these businesses.

  • Single Phone System – If your business has established branches or points of presence in different cities across the nation, you can create a common phone system platform by choosing a hosted VoIP provider who specializes in nationwide delivery.  This will allow for employees at branches to extension dial each other, create a common or shared reception function, and streamline call flow.  Consolidation of “departments”, such as a service function, can be accomplished with ring groups.VoIP delivers economies of scale
  • Economies of Scale – Many business VoIP providers provide discounts based upon the volume of users/phones on the system.  Additionally, most plans deliver unlimited local and long distance calling.   This could significantly reduce your monthly phone costs and create other efficiencies between locations.
  • Virtual Teams – Hosted applications do not require a physical business location for implementation.  You can create virtual teams of work at home associates, thus lessening your need for additional square footage at your business location to accommodate an expanding organization.  Common applications are for sales or service groups to work from home.  Call detail records and other system features can help you measure productivity in such environments.
  • Creating a Footprint – For companies expanding into new locations, your business VoIP provider can establish a local phone number for those cities.  You can do this before you have a physical presence in the area, giving you the opportunity to develop campaigns or other marketing tactics before fully investing in the area.

If your business can benefit from such feature sets, call a hosted VoIP provider today.  Make sure they can customize the system and applications to meet your needs, as this is a big differentiator in VoIP providers.

About the author:  Mark Greim is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at sipVine, a provider of a variety of digital phone solutions and services. Mark has extensive experience working for start-up or entrepreneurial organizations and a passion for affordable, reliable, and purposeful technology solutions in those environments.  

Tags: Hosted VoIP, Phone Service for Multiple Locations, Benefits of VoIP

Hosted Phone Service Perfect for Companies with Multiple Locations

Posted by Mark Greim on Jul 26, 2011 10:00:00 AM

Companies with multiple locations are perhaps the perfect example of how to maximize the benefits of a hosted phone system.  These companies achieve cost efficiencies, centralize activities, lower investment costs, and enhance customer and employee communication by deploying cloud telephony.Multiple Offices Using Hosted Telephony

Cost Efficiencies – Whether the locations are across the town, state, region, or country, a hosted phone service consolidates the phone service providers into one.  Typical hosted phone service providers deploy quantity discounts and provide all-distance calling plans.  Long distance costs are eliminated and the overall monthly service costs are reduced.  These direct cost efficiencies are beneficial, but the tangible advantages found in centralization of activities and improvement in communication flows is where significant savings can occur.

Centralization of Activities – One of the greatest advantages of hosted digital platforms is the ability to customize the programming of call flow.   “Companies with multiple locations” is a very generic category, but deploying this type of a system can get very specific to the needs of your company and customers.  Whether you choose to centralize call flow with a primary reception model or an auto attendant, or maintain location specific incoming calls, you can still centralize various functions.  Common functions, such as sales, customer service, scheduling, technical support, or any other common function, can be set up in a ring group.  These ring groups can be consolidated in one location or even spread across locations.  To the caller, it is irrelevant as to the location where the call ultimately lands as long as their specific need is met.  Such programming can create cost savings and improved efficiency.

Enhanced Customer and Employee Communication – Through the programming mentioned above and the consolidation of the phone service under a single platform, customers enjoy a seamless communication experience.  Their needs can be met by being directed (automated or manually) to a ring group, or via a simple transfer to the specific associate required.  Automated attendants can be set up in various stages of the call flow, whatever suits your customer service desires and philosophies.  Additionally, employees can extension dial or transfer to any employee in the company, regardless of their location.  Finally, you can even set up employees virtually, as they can work from home and still appear to be on your communication system!

Low Investment Costs – Under traditional phone system deployments, a separate PBX would be required at each location and remote virtual users would fall outside of such a model.  With a hosted digital phone system, you only need to purchase the phones and some minor location specific equipment.  The “system” is provided and administered by your hosted phone service provider.  This provides for a very low cost of entry, and the savings achieved directly through lower monthly phone service costs and indirectly through centralization and improved call flow maximizes return on investment and decreases the payback period.

If you are a company with multiple locations or wish to deploy a virtual workforce, investigate a hosted digital phone provider who can cover your geography and customize the deployment to meet your needs.

About the author:  Mark Greim is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at sipVinea provider of a variety of digital phone solutions and services. Mark has extensive experience working for start-up or entrepreneurial organizations and a passion for affordable, reliable, and purposeful technology solutions in those environments.  

Tags: Phone Service for Multiple Locations

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