One2Call Blog

5 point checklist for your Christmas communications.

Dec 12, 2016 9:35:43 AM / by One2Call posted in Blog, checklist, Christmas, pbx, Phone, Phone systems, tips, guide

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Lots of businesses will close down entirely to customers at some point over the Christmas period, but in the ‘always on’ world that doesn’t mean you won’t still get calls. That's why it’s vital to ensure your phone system is fully prepared for the holiday period and is able to give your customers the maximum level of customer service, even when you’re not there! So One2Call have put together our pre-Christmas phone system checklist to help your holidays go smoothly.

1. Decide on the level of service you will offer over Christmas

Will you be running a skeleton staff, closing the office altogether or do you want to ensure customers can still get through in an emergency?

Things to consider:

  • Do you have a less well-know number you can use for emergency calls over Christmas and publicise only to key customers?
  • Some phone systems can be configured to let only specific named numbers through, such as key customers.
  • If you do have phones that need to be manned over Christmas, if you have a VoIP phone system (voice over internet) you could allow workers to take their handsets home with them and answer them from home.

2. Review your call routing, hunt groups and ring groups

Most people design their call routing around a full office, not a half full office, so when Christmas comes around you can end up with phones ringing in empty rooms!

Things to consider:

  • Work with managers/HR to see where areas may be left with too few people on a call group and plan how to reroute these calls.
  • Does your system support ‘presence’? Consider an additional training session before Christmas to ensure users are updating their status so that callers aren’t kept on hold too long.
  • If you have a company like One2Call maintaining your system for you, make sure you give them plenty of notice of your changes! Some system are more complicated to program than others!

3. Christmassify your Auto-Attendant/Hold Messaging

At its most basic this means re-recording your On Hold Messaging to include your Christmas opening times and service levels.

But why miss an opportunity spread a bit of Christmas cheer? Bring out the sleigh bells and the ‘ho-ho-ho’s’ and record an especially Christmassy message.

Or add an extra sheen to your customer’s experience with a slick professional production, like this one One2Call recorded for its customer WAcademy, which can cost as little as £70.

4. Record Christmas-specific voicemails

Remember that many of your customers will direct dial the people they’re used to working with, bypassing your Auto-Attendant altogether.

Encourage your teams to record a Christmas-specific message in advance of their last day detailing the days they will be in and out of the office, and who to call if they need to get in touch with someone. And don’t forget to remind everyone regularly to switch them on before they leave!

5. Clear your voicemail inboxes

A simple tip that’s easy to forget. If the first message of the holidays fills your voicemail, you won’t get any more!

Also, some systems share mailbox capacity across all users, so just clearing your own mailbox of recorded messages might not help – it needs to be a company wide effort!


 

We’d advise you to go through this checklist as soon as possible to ensure you have enough time to put everything into action before you break for Christmas.

If you’re unsure if your phone system supports some of the features mentioned above please get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help.

And also don’t forget…

- To send your customer Christmas cards/gifts nice and early.
- Set our email out of office message before you leave
- Use your email signature to communicate your Christmas opening times
- To have a great Christmas!

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World's most advanced crime lab uses Cisco phone system...sort of.

Feb 2, 2015 4:32:21 PM / by One2Call posted in Blog, Cisco, pbx, Phone, Telecoms, TV

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Some of the technology used in TV crime drama CSI is not just cutting edge, it's science fiction, but the Cisco video phone technology seen in the latest episode is affordable to businesses of any size.

It's a terrible affliction to have your TV viewing pleasure interrupted because you've spotted a phone handset and you want to pause the TV to see what type it is, but such is the life of a phone system nerd.

Our latest spot was at the end of the latest episode of Channel 5's long-running techno-fetishist crime drama CSI in which silver-haired former Cheers hunk Ted Danson, AKA CSI Russell, was seen wrapping up that episode's storyline via a speakerphone conversation on a Cisco 9900 series handset (see picture).

The amount of technology the fictional CSI team use in solving even the most minor case suggests that they are extremely well funded, but we're bringing these high-tech solutions even to the smallest businesses with our recently added Cisco Small Business in a Box solution.

So if you want lift your businesses into the Hollywood A-league, at least in terms of phone systems, get in touch!

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FIRST LOOK: New NEC Univerge SV9100 business communications platform (phone system)

Oct 15, 2014 5:12:04 PM / by One2Call posted in Blog, business communications, BYOD, Phone, SV8100, SV9100, Telecoms, Unified Communications, univerge, NEC

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One2Call was kindly invited by NEC to their preview roadshow in the Long Room at Nottingham's historic Trent Bridge Cricket Ground to get a first look at their new Univerge SV9100 business communications platform, the successor to the SV8100. Here's a quick run down on some of the things we found out.

Handsets - New vs Old

Firstly, a game of spot the difference (pic below). The phone on the right is from the NEC SV8100, the phone on the left is from the new SV9100 range (and has a 12 button hot key expansion module attached). Can you spot the difference?

Well, the answer is, there aren't that many! But that's no bad thing. There was nothing inherently wrong with the old SV8100 handsets, and this also means legacy handsets are fully compatible with the new system, keeping upgrade costs low.

    In case you didn't spot them, the main changes are:
  • Backlit keypad buttons
  • White on black keypad buttons
  • Segmented toggle in the bottom left, making selection easier
  • Some slight differences in materials you can't quite see from the picture
  • Call alert light in the middle (top) rather than over to the right.

There were some other changes I don't have notes for! We'll update these when we add a page to our website on the NEC SV9100.

Handsets - Revolution vs Evolution

The presentations talked a lot about 'evolution nor revolution', but there were 2 new handsets which caught the eye, both of which act as regular system handsets, but also run Android OS to allow for a greater use of apps by the business (like productivity apps, email apps etc...).

NEC UT880

 

Pictured (below right) this is the new top of the range phone which is essentially a phone receiver bolted to a 7" Android tablet with built in camera and hands-free capability. Ideal for companies or executives looking to embrace video conferencing, as a CCTV linked door entry phone, or for customer-facing employees who just want a really impressive handset! They can presumably even play Angry Birds on it if they so wish.

NEC DECT G966

DECT (or wireless) phones are useful in all kinds of environments where mobility is essential; from hospitals and schools to hotels and warehouses. However, the look of traditional DECT phones are uninspring to say the least, usually resembling the manufacturers cheapest cordless phone from 5 years previous.

Which makes it all the more refreshing to see this new smartphone-inspired DECT handset from NEC. This is not a smartphone as there's no SIM slot (thereby ensuring calls are kept of costly mobile networks) but it does, like the UT880, run Android OS to allow web browsing and app use also. Disappointingly it didn't seem to have a camera, so using barcode scanners in a warehouse environment is ruled out, but nonetheless we can see this being a popular option where DECT is necessary, especially as we were advised that costs will not be too dissimilar to existing DECT models.

 

The PBX - Specs

The SV9100 has been beefed up in a number of areas over the SV8100, the takeaway message of which from NEC was that it is "5 times more powerful" than it's predecessor. Obviously on a short introduction like this it's difficult to really test what affect this has, but can't really be a bad thing.

It's also good to see the SV9100 is handling 400 SIP trunks, and from multiple carriers (against the single carrier SV8100), thereby offering a greater deal of flexibility during setup, more resillience, and a greater range of potential customers.

>> More about the SV9100, including brochure download



Requet a quote:

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Another satisfied phone system customer...Saxton Mee Estate Agents in Sheffield.

Jun 19, 2014 12:02:36 PM / by One2Call posted in Blog, pbx, Phone, phone system, Testimonial, ip phones

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It's great when you receive a nice testimonial about your services. Here's what Theresa Hurst, Associate Director with Saxton Mee Estate Agents in Sheffield said about One2Call :

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Unattended receptions don't have to be unfriendly

Jun 17, 2014 10:52:14 AM / by One2Call posted in Blog, BYOD, Phone, reception, Sheffield, solicitors, Telecoms, UC, Unified Communications, unmanned, Mitel

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A blog by <a title="Alex Hodgson Google+" href="https://plus.google.com/u/0/115155314534220768050/posts" target="_blank">Alex Hodgson</a>.

Being asked to wait in an unattended room for an appointment can seem unfriendly and impersonal, but not if you do it right.

Quality Solicitors SSB in Sheffield provide a great example of how an unattended reception can still be a friendly environment.

 

Step 1: A bright a welcoming space, with a nice comfy chair!

Nice bright colours which compliment their logo, and a big welcoming chair, along with a bit of reading material - perfect!

Step 2: Make it clear what you're expected to do.

Just sticking a handset on a table isn't welcoming, and is probably a bit intimidating for the shy. This nice big sign makes it clear what you're expected to do, and puts you at ease.

Step 3: Answer the phone quickly!

When I was there the phone had virtually no time to ring, and I got a nice friendly welcome.

This is where having the right phone system and having it set up properly comes in.  The reception phone can't be set to too many rings before it seeks someone else, otherwise it could take ages if just a few people are away from their desks. You also need to ensure caller id is set up to let everyone know that it's the reception phone ringing so they can prepare a nice sunny welcome for this new potential customer.

I thought Quality Solicitors did this really well, and I felt immediately at ease, even though I hadn't yet spoken to anyone face to face!

 


If you've had any other good experienced with nicely precented unattended receptions, tweet us at @One2CallUK to let us know.

Blog by Alex Hodgson
Marketing Manager
One2Call

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