Today I am going to tell you a story about Bob, a local wine merchant and a client of ours. Bob switched from conventional phones to VoIP phones and a hosted PBX and was able to not only present a more professional image to his clients, but save money too. This is how he did it.
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Bob is a retailer and sells a premium range of wines and wine related products from his five shops in towns across Surrey and Hampshire. His customers can also place orders online through his web site and by mail order from a catalogue that he distributes in the region. In addition to his shops he also has a head office and distribution centre that he uses for running his business, keeping additional stock and processing online and mail orders.
Bob had a phone line in each of his shops so that customers could call their local outlet directly. He also had two phone lines at his head office: one for online and mail orders; and the other for back-office functions.
One day Bob gave us a call because he was concerned that his phone setup did not meet the needs of the business. Sometimes customers would call the shops to place a mail order, or phone the head office to make an enquiry that should have gone to one of the shops. During busy times, he had often received feedback that customers were unable to get through to his mail order number and he was concerned that he was losing business. In additional, a significant proportion of his monthly phone bill was spent on internal calls between his various locations.
I went in to see Bob at his office the following day. We worked through his requirements together and came up with a solution that would work for him. I recommended that he switch from his conventional phones to a virtual hosted PBX and VoIP phones because it would it would provide all of the functionality that he needed and would even save him some money. Because we already managed his IT systems for him, Bob knew that he could trust us so he went with my recommendation.
For the head office he wanted six internal extensions: three for his sales team, one his book keeper, Sarah one for his office administrator, David and one for himself.
Bob wanted any calls routed to the sales team to ring on all three handsets simultaneously so that any of his sales team could take the call form their own desk. We set up a hunt group that included all of the sales team extension numbers and also a call queue in case all three extensions are busy. Customers held in the call queue are kept informed of their position in the queue while they wait.
Because his online and mail orders cover a wide geographic area, Bob chose a non-geographical phone number for his sales team, in this case an 0845 nymber. However, he also wanted to ensure that any callers trying to reach his retail shops were able to get through them. To achieve this we set up a voice menu and now, when customers get through to his sales number, they are presented with the option of dialling 1 for online and mail orders queries, 2 for his first shop, 3 for his second shop… and so on. There is also one additional option for “any other business” that is routed to his office administrator, David.
For his backoffice phone number Bob chooses another 0845 number and we set up a voice menu to route calls to either himself, David, or his book keeper, Sarah. Sarah works from home every Tuesday and Thursday so we add another extension and set up a routing schedule to put calls through to her desk extension on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and her home extension on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Bob wanted to maintain local phone numbers for each of his high street shops so that customers can identify with them. We choose a phone number with the dialling code for each town and pointed them to the extension numbers for the respective shop in each town. Now each shop can use their own direct dial number for local marketing purposes and if they receive any calls that should be handled by the head office, the call can be easily transferred from their handset.
Bob also wanted direct dial numbers for himself, Sarah and David, so we supplied those too and point them to their extension numbers.
Now Bob has an integrated phone system that meets his business requirements and, because his hosted PBX is cloud based, he can log on to his control panel whenever he likes and change his set up, check is call logs and bills and even manage which external numbers each extension can call.
His entire phone system costs him less than £30 per month, and because his head office is a serviced office and includes an internet connection, he has cancelled his old landline subscriptions saving himself £32 per month. In addition, internal calls between extensions are completely free meaning that Bob saves money on his phone bills too.
VoIP phones are efficient and affordable for businesses of any size, Why not give us a call and hear the call quality for yourself.