Working Safely In The Big Freeze

We are all seeing the stories of snow covered roads, stranded motorists and people braving snow storms to get to the office.

These are all ordinary risks associated with living in the UK, where we get bad weather, freezing winds from the Arctic, and icy cold fronts blowing over from Siberia.

Or are they? Is it possible to run your business without taking these risks?

What would the knock-on effects be if you could guarantee your employee safety, make sure no-one is late to their desk, and that people don’t have to be sent home early due to blizzards?

If this sounds like an ideal solution, then you should consider a Hosted VoIP solution.

Due to the technical abilities of such a system, workers can be geographically located anywhere, and still work as if they were at their desk. As long as the employee in question has a good, stable internet connection, they can work for you from literally anywhere.

At times like this, many workers repeat the golden phrase – ‘working from home’. If you don’t have a VoIP system, then this is just a warming daydream, taunting you as you trudge through slush with shoes filling with ice water.

But if you do have a VoIP system, then suddenly other possibilities open up for you.

Not only do you have the ability to allow your workforce to work from anywhere, but you can allow this to become policy. You can hire remote workers, avoiding the need to supply desk, chair, utilities, security etc. Indeed, some companies now work entirely from disparate locations, without a physical office housing them all.

They transfer calls just as if they were in the office, phone out using the company number, and have the same company Music on Hold and auto-attendant menu for callers as the standard phone system.

Another factor to bear in mind is the company’s Duty of Care. No-one wants a staff member injured due to travelling to work, or travelling home at the end of the day. Allowing working from home removes that risk.

Working from home can increase productivity in general, increase your company’s growth potential, and increase staff safety.

It can also give you the edge over the competition. Remember, if a VoIP system puts you ahead of the curve, so you are also ahead of all your competitors. As they struggle with staff not attending, or taking time off to look after kids on snow days, or staff slipping on the ice and heading to hospital, so you are up and fully functional, answering customer phone calls without a ‘slip up’.

Contact us to put a VoIP service in place, for a competitive advantage and to increase staff safety.

How To Connect Remote Workers In Different Locations

As Providers of VoIP, we manage communications for many different styles of office set-up.

One of the most challenging set-ups to tackle and manage, is one for a larger company operating from many disparate locations.

There are a few challenges with such a set-up, including keeping everyone in the team connected, and ensuring calls coming in are handled correctly.

If we look at the situation without using a VoIP system, then we have a bunch of remote workers, working in different offices, answering their own phones. they will need to use their own home phone, or their own mobile. They will be displaying these numbers when calling customers. Customers will be calling them on their own numbers. And remember, all this is happening whilst these workers represent your company.

Now let’s look at the situation with a VoIP system.

In this scenario, we have an over-arching phone system, serving the needs of all the remote workers. Workers will receive calls to your official company number, and can call out displaying the same.

Workers can transfer calls between themselves and call each other internally. They can also see if colleagues are on a call or are currently available*.

Using a SureVoIP® Hosted VoIP service, a company can set up a phone service where their advertised numbers rings to any or all employees specified, no matter where they are working. Sally could be working from a satelite office in another city. Allan could be based on a remote island off the coast of Scotland, and Jim could be travelling to meet an important client, only able to use his smart phone to communicate. They will all be included in the company phone set up. They will all receive calls to the company number, and they can all transfer calls from one to the other. They can also call each other as an internal call, which provides another benefit – all calls between SureVoIP® users are free, so employees will save on their bills!

Employees can also call out and display the official company number, giving a far better impression than calling customers with their own mobile or home phone number showing. This presents a far better image, giving the customer a sense of dealing with a more cohesive organisation. It also acts as an aid to employee security (as it removes the possibility of revealing personal info to customers).

An additional advantage is how the incoming calls are handled. You can have all employee phones ring, or have them ring in sequence if some workers are prioritised. With our Fully Managed service, you can even have a virtual receptionist. Using this, you can then have calls routed to the most appropriate person. For instance, a customer calls in, and wishes to talk about a recent invoice. Your virtual receptionist (or IVR menu Auto-attendant, to give it its proper title) listed the option ‘Press 2 for invoicing queries’. When they press 2, the customer will be directed to Allan (the invoicing person), who is on his island off the Scottish coast.

Not only that, but if the customer wants to discuss a quote with Sally, the sales executive, then Allan simply transfers them through.

And if the customer wants to talk to Jim, then Sally just transfers him on. Not only does the call transfer seamlessly, but it will also reach Jim anywhere he has a 3 or 4G connection. A Soft phone app joined with a Hosted VoIP service means your office is in your pocket.

So, as you can see, an office of three people has been transferring, collaborating and taking part in the customer journey. And one was in a different office, in a different city. One was miles away on an island. And one person was using an app whilst travelling.

The list of available functions and features doesn’t end there. Our Fully Managed Hosted service gives conferencing, so you can set up calls with multiple people. It gives Time of day Routing, so you can divert all your calls at certain times to a specific destination (for instance an on-call engineer). It also gives call recording, so you can rest easy that you have the facts at hand should there ever be a dispute with a customer.

So not only a telecoms solution like a traditional office, but a lot more besides!

Get in touch to find out just what a Hosted VoIP service can do for you.

See more about our Fully Managed Hosted service.

Find out more about our Hosted services.

* Requires BLF function on hardware

Your Answer To Coping With Customer Phone Calls – Leave The Office And Head To The Park

Have you ever wanted to leave your desk behind and head off? Where doesn't matter – the park, the pub, on top of a mountain.

 

The solution to needing freedom but still keeping your business running could be a softphone.

 

A softphone uses your smartphone as an Internet connected device. Using your smartphone like this allows you to utilise a business VoIP service.

Your smartphone is not working as a phone connected to the mobile network, but rather as a way to connect to the Internet.

 

A VoIP service delivers your calls over the Internet, rather than using a phone line or mobile signal.

 

Join the two together and you gain much more flexibility than being tied to a desk with a standard phone. Using a VoIP service you can appear as if you are in the office. You will use your standard phone number, and you can even display this number when calling your customers. You can transfer calls to colleagues, and callers will hear your Music on Hold music.

 

So you can walk away from your desk, and head off wherever the fancy takes you.

 

Your smartphone, running a softphone, can serve as your 'mini' office. You can use any features which form part of your business VoIP service. As long as you are connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi or 3G/4G, your calls will be delivered as if you were in the office. Any other functions and features, such as an Auto-attendant (Menu system), will work in exactly the same way. Your calls will reach you using exactly the same routing, and offering exactly the same functions, as you have come to expect.

 

More and more business users are coming to rely on VoIP for their communications. Offering increased functionality with decreased cost, it is becoming a sought-after alternative to traditional telecoms. Using this with a smartphone gives you a portable business-grade telecoms solutions which can fit in your pocket.

 

And remember – psychologists say that the colour green is calming and reduces stress, so working from the park may just be the best idea you ever had!

 

If you wish to know more about Hosted VoIP, softphones or anything related to business telecoms, just ask!

 

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