3 Ways that a VoIP Phone System Increases Employee Efficiency

Recently, we highlighted the main reasons why a VoIP phone systems helps organizations dramatically reduce their telecommunications costs.

However, while saving money is always a winning strategy, there are several other reasons why more and more businesses, government agencies and educational institutions are choosing a VoIP phone system — and one of the most compelling that it measurably increases employee efficiency.

Here are 3 key ways that a VoIP phone system helps organizations get more out of their workforce:

  1. VoIP Phone Systems Gets New Hires On-the-Grid Right Away

With a conventional landline phone system, it can take weeks for new hires to get their own phone number. Until then, they either have to share a number with a colleague, or all of their calls are automatically routed to a voicemail box that they must check throughout the day (and perhaps the evening as well). Neither of these are efficient, and they certainly don’t enhance customer experience.

On the other end of the spectrum, with a VoIP phone system organizations can immediately give new hires — regardless of whether they work in-house or remotely — their very own number or extension. This enables them to get on-the-grid rapidly, and be efficient and productive from day one.

  1. VoIP Phone Systems Streamline Communication

In just a few years, we’ve gone from email being the best thing to happen to workplace communication in, well, forever, to being overwhelmed by an epidemic of email overload. Indeed, according to statistics published in Harvard Business Review, email takes up a whopping 23% of the average employee’s workday, and the average employee sends and receives a staggering 112 emails per day.

A VoIP phone system streamlines communication by connecting all employees on a centralized, single platform where they can check each other’s status in real-time (e.g. available, on the phone, busy, away, etc.), send/receive instant messages, and jump on an audio or video call with a single click — which isn’t just faster and easier, but it eliminates tedious dialing errors.

Now, does this eliminate email from the work landscape? No — since that’s not possible (or even desirable!). But it certainly does shrink the virtual email mountain, so that employees can be more efficient and less distracted.

  1. VoIP Phone Systems Track and Optimize Performance

Increasing efficiency — but without compromising quality assurance and other standards — can be done at the employee level; and the two examples above illustrate how a VoIP phone system makes this happen. For example, literally within minutes of joining the team, a new hire can get his or her own phone number, and send/receive an instant message (instead of yet another email!) to any colleague, regardless of where they’re located.

However, to boost efficiency organizations also need to look at performance management, and once again a VoIP phone system helps make this happen. For example, executives can:

  • Analyze whether a recently-launched customer knowledge portal is reducing the volume and duration of support calls.
  • Optimize staffing levels based on call volumes, and if necessary, launch a recruitment campaign to maintain customer experience standards.
  • Monitor call durations, and identify whether employees need coaching or training to satisfy more customers in less time.

These are just some of the ways that a VoIP phone system generates valuable data-driven intelligence to optimize performance management, and improve employee efficiency at the team and individual levels.

To learn more about how a VoIP phone system will make your employees more efficient — and your organization leaner, stronger and more competitive — contact the DigitalPhone.io team today at (336) 560-4400. Your consultation with us is free.

4 Signs that Your Business Should Upgrade to a VoIP Phone System

In life, there are signs that alert us to potential trouble — and if we’re attentive and wise, we heed these warnings and avoid bigger problems in the future.

For example, our car may be sluggish and sputtering, and pleading with us for a tune up or some preventative maintenance. And our bodies often tell us through various aches and pains that we need to dial things down and take a break — or else a break may be thrust upon us.

Now, what does this have to do with telecommunications? It’s this: businesses also receive warning signs that their conventional landline phone system is no longer supporting their success and growth — on the contrary, it’s bogging them down and pulling them back. And while these signs aren’t as blatant as a car dashboard warning light, they’re pretty easy to spot if you know what to look for.

And so, here are 4 signs to help you clearly see that it’s time (or make that past time) for your business to upgrade from a conventional landline phone system to an advanced VoIP phone system:

  1. Your telecommunications costs are much higher than they should be.

Here’s something that most people don’t know: phone companies don’t make a great deal of profit from residential customers; in fact, sometimes they even lose money. But business customers are another matter entirely! They’re nothing short of cash cows, which is why bills range from the hundreds to the thousands of dollars per month — and that’s on top of a wide range of other fees, such as for maintenance, technical support, and so on.

VoIP phone systems dramatically lower business telecommunication costs — and not just for the first year. The savings continue into the future, since there are no maintenance costs, no update or upgrade costs, no long distance costs, and adding numbers or extensions does NOT require physically adding new underground lines — which makes doing so extremely affordable.

Add up the numbers, and most businesses can expect to see a year-over-year savings of at least 40% compared to a conventional landline phone system. And it’s certainly not uncommon to realize savings of well over 50%.

  1. Your remote workers are out of the loop.

While remote working isn’t new, in the last few years it has skyrocketed. As noted by Global Workplace Analytics, 50% of the US labor force now works remotely at least 20 percent of the time. And with the rise of tablets and other mobile technology devices, these numbers will only increase in the years ahead.

The good news is businesses that enable remote working substantially reduce overhead costs — which is especially valuable and vital for startups and small businesses who don’t just want to maximize working capital, but need to in order to survive.

The bad news is that conventional phone systems typically keep remote workers on the outside looking in, which makes collaboration difficult, drains productivity and reduces customer satisfaction. That’s where VoIP enters the picture and changes the game!

With a VoIP phone system, all employees, contractors and other authorized system users are connected on a unified, centralized cloud-based platform, which they can access anytime from and any device: computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone.

Instead of working on disconnected islands, remote workers — whether they spend 100% of their time out of the office, or occasionally work in the field or from a home office (or their favorite Starbucks!) — are always in the loop, and can effectively collaborate, communicate and contribute.

  1. You’re losing business to larger competitors.

These days, SMBs can’t afford to be perceived in the marketplace as having less capacity and credibility than their enterprise-level competitors — or else some customers will take their business elsewhere. Unfortunately, this is what happens when SMBs are saddled with an old fashioned conventional phone system, which offers little more than features that haven’t been innovative since the 1980s: call forwarding, call waiting, voicemail, and so on.

Of course, this begs the question: why don’t these SMBs simply add advanced calling features? The answer is even simpler: because phone companies charge an arm and a leg (and often a few other valuable body parts as well!). Remember what we said about business customers being cash cows? This is a perfect example.

A VoIP phone system permanently eliminates this excessive cost barrier, by providing SMBs with a full range of advanced enterprise-grade calling features at no extra cost, such as: voicemail-to-email, voicemail-to-text, video calling, auto attendant, one-number service, direct-inward-dial, and the list goes on.

The end result is that a VoIP phone systems significantly helps SMBs compete with the “big boys” in their marketplace — which is critical for short-term success, and long-term survival.

  1.  Your business is located in an area where brownouts are common.

As noted by a study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the nation’s aging and over-burdened utility infrastructure triggers thousands of brownouts each year. These are relatively brief — but certainly noticeable — power outages that can last for a few seconds to a few minutes.

The problem for business is that going off the grid — even for 10 seconds — can mean the difference between impressing a customer, or losing them to the competition. It can also mean critical internal communications get delayed and costly misunderstandings occur.

With a VoIP phone system, fearing brownouts are a thing of the past. That’s because the system is supported on an on-premise network of backup power systems, which immediately and automatically spring into action in the event of power loss. Even if computers and laptops can’t be turned on, users can simply access the VoIP system from their smartphone. Incoming calls from customers, partners, suppliers, vendors or anyone else continue as usual with no disruption or reputation-damaging “we’re sorry, the number you have called is not in service” recordings.

If your business is experiencing any — or possibly all — of the above, then it’s clearly time to upgrade to a VoIP phone system! To learn more, contact the DigitalPhone.io team today at (336) 560-4400. Your consultation with us is free.

5 Questions to Ask Prospective VoIP Solutions Providers Before You Sign on the Dotted Line

As we have looked at previously, there are three categorically different types of VoIP business phone system companies in the marketplace: do-it-yourself mass market vendors, carrier service providers, and established VoIP Solutions Providers.

voip business phone systemClearly, you want to partner with a VoIP Solutions Provider, and steer as clear as possible from the other types of companies — because your happiness, success, ROI and shortest path to value all depend on it.

To help you make this critical choice — and filter out companies that are unworthy of your time from those that deserve your consideration — here are 5 questions to ask prospective VoIP Solutions Providers before you sign on the dotted line:

  1. Do you specialize in business VoIP phone systems?

It’s vital that any vendor on your shortlist specializes in business VoIP phone systems. It cannot be something that they “dabble in” as they focus on other product and service lines. They must be legitimate experts in the field who understand the technology inside and out, and have several years of verified experience.

  1. Are you independent and “brand agnostic”?

A qualified and experienced VoIP Solutions Provider will recommend certain technologies and brands for items such as managed routers, back-up power supplies, certified IP phones, and so on. However, these recommendations will be based on evidence and experience — not on any self-interest, ulterior motive or hidden agenda. You need to know that any advice you receive is based on what’s best for your unique business, and you’re not being pushed and prodded into buying something that you may not want or need.

  1. What is your service commitment and capacity?

The importance of this question cannot be underestimated. If you have a question, concern, issue, or simply want to learn more about a certain aspect or feature of your business VoIP phone system, you need to know that your VoIP Solutions Provider is committed to addressing your needs, and that they have the in-house capacity to provide responsive support. Instead of leaning backwards after the sale, your VoIP Solutions Provider should learn forwards to ensure that you are getting optimal value from your investment, and reaping ALL of the rewards — not just some of them!

  1. Can we see testimonials and talk to your customers?

An experienced and credible VoIP Solutions Provider will be delighted to provide you with testimonials, and connect you with customers so that you can have a private conversation (or email dialogue if you prefer) to discuss their experience. Any VoIP Solutions Provider that hesitates to provide you with “social proof” that they keep their promises should be crossed off your list.

  1. Will you help our team use the system?

Some employees love new technology and are the first to embrace it. Others can be somewhat less enthusiastic, while some can be outright resistant; not because they are anti-technology, but because change — even the positive and progressive variety — can trigger uncertainty and anxiety. It’s vital that your VoIP Solutions Provider is ready, willing and able to provide your team with the training and support they need. This includes working with employees who are not excited about or adept with technology, and who therefore need to be introduced to the VoIP phone system from a more fun and functional perspective vs. a technological one. It may also include training “super users” on your team, who serve as on-site support resources, and who facilitate routing questions and issues to your VoIP Solutions Provider.

DigitalPhone.io: 5 for 5

voip business phone systemsAt DigitalPhone.io, we proudly answer the bell on all 5 of these questions. Specifically:

  • We are recognized experts in the field with nearly 20 years of experience, which is far more than most companies in the marketplace.
  • We are 100% brand agnostic, and only provide advice and recommendations that are best for our customers — not for us or for hardware manufacturers.
  • Our commitment to service before, during and after implementation is unmatched. We don’t succeed unless and until our customers do.
  • We love sharing testimonials and recommendations from our roster of satisfied customers. Upon request, we’re also happy to connect prospective customers with existing ones, so they can have a confidential and private discussion about anything they deem necessary.
  • We know that a VoIP business phone system is only an investment if employees USE it to its full potential. We provide full training, and we have the seasoned ability to take fear, confusion and anxiety out of the experience, and replace it with clarity and confidence!

To learn more, contact (336) 560-4405 or visit the DigitalPhone.io team today for a free, no obligation consultation. Our experience is your advantage!

Telecommunications Fraud Management: What it is, and How We’re Preventing It

Let’s start with this: telecommunications fraud isn’t new. Since phone systems were invented centuries ago, there has always been a very small — but not insignificant, and certainly not harmless — segment of the population that has sought to exploit them, in order to benefit improperly or illegally.

Growing Costs  

However, what has changed in recent years is the growing cost and prevalence of telecommunications fraud. A recent survey by the Communications Fraud Control Association (CFCA), a not-for-profit global education organization, pegged worldwide telecommunications fraud losses in 2017 at $29.2 billion. The CFCA also listed the top 10 methods that fraudsters use to breach telecommunications systems:

  1. Subscription Fraud (Identity)
  2. PBX Hacking
  3. IP PBX Hacking
  4. Subscription Fraud (Application)
  5. Subscription Fraud (Credit Muling/Proxy)
  6. Abuse of Service Terms and Conditions
  7. Account Takeover
  8. Internal Fraud/Employee Theft
  9. Phishing/Pharming
  10. Payment Fraud

How We’re Protecting Our Customers 

At DigitalPhone.io, we have recently strengthened our enhanced and comprehensive telecommunications fraud management program, which is offered to all of our customers. Key features include:

  • Monitoring all outbound traffic to detect anomalies at the automatic number identification (ANI) level.
  • Automatically blocking suspicious calling that may be the result of subscription fraud, IP PBX hacking, abuse of service terms and conditions, internal fraud, employee theft, phishing, pharming, and payment fraud.
  • Implementing customized system rules using conditional criteria, which are based on known fraud trends and tactics.
  • Flagging calls to/from numbers linked to confirmed fraud cases noted in industry-wide “hot lists.”
  • Creating and scoring profiles based on key risk indicators, such as volume, dialed destination, etc.
  • Analyzing robocalls by researching and analyzing each telephone number, and accessing carrier and consumer reports.
  • Automatically notifying customers if fraudulent activity is suspected or detected.

These methods integrate with the system security management strategies and best practices that we implement for our customers. To learn more about these, please click here.

The Bottom Line 

At DigitalPhone.io, nothing — we repeat, nothing — is more important protecting the security of our customers, and ensuring they get full value for their telecommunications system. To that end, we will continue making investments and evolving our fraud management program, and are proud to lead the way on this mission-critical issue.

To learn more about what we do to keep our customers safe and secure 24/7/365, contact us today. Your consultation is free, and our experience is your advantage! Call 336-560-4405