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  • 5 Ways VoIP Boosts Office Productivity

    Let’s talk about productivity, why it matters, and how a simple decision like upgrading to a VoIP phone system can transform your business. VoIP has revolutionized the way businesses communicate by providing cost-effective and feature-rich solutions compared to traditional legacy systems, which are growing more and more obsolete as time goes on. What is Productivity? Prioritizing productivity has so many benefits for businesses, employees, customers, and even for the economy at large. That said, let’s be clear on what productivity means. Just so everyone is one the same page, here’s Merriam-Webster’s definition of “productive:” The Bureau of Labor Statistics says, “With growth in productivity, an economy is able to produce—and consume—increasingly more goods and services for the same amount of work. (emphasis added)” You won’t find us glorifying overextension in the name of productivity here––not when there are much smarter options. Remember the old adage, “work smarter, not harder?” That’s what we’re going for here. Increasing productivity is about creating more output without adding more input. This is a major factor in developing technological advancements like VoIP. We’re looking for ways to improve our processes, meet the needs of customers, and give everyone a better quality of life. Let’s explore 5 ways VoIP can increase your business’s productivity. 1. VoIP Cost Savings = Better Resource Allocation Traditional telephone systems can be costly to install and maintain, with high monthly bills for local and international calls. VoIP, on the other hand, allows you to make calls over the internet, significantly reducing costs. When a business saves money on communication expenses, it can allocate those funds to other areas. This can include a lot of different things, so let’s go over a few. Cost savings from switching to VoIP can be channeled into adopting or upgrading other technological solutions that streamline processes and improve workflow. Maybe you’ll feel inspired by the ease and usefulness of VoIP and look for other areas of your business to improve. Additionally, cost savings can be directed towards creating comprehensive training initiatives that invest in employee development. Better trained and educated employees just makes sense. They feel empowered, which boosts morale, and therefore productivity. Well-trained staff make fewer errors and are better equipped to handle complex tasks––again, ultimately contributing to increased productivity. In essence, cost savings provide a financial cushion that allows businesses to make strategic investments, whether that be new tech, training programs, or even business expansion opportunities. It's not just about cutting costs but leveraging those savings to create a more efficient and competitive environment. 2. Enhanced Mobility With VoIP = Happier Employees VoIP systems enable employees to make and receive calls from anywhere with an internet connection. This flexibility is especially valuable for remote workers, hybrid offices, or employees on the go, and it empowers individuals to choose environments that suit their preferences and productivity levels, whether it's working from home, a coffee shop, or during travel. This way, employers get to offer those flexible work options while never sacrificing productivity. In fact, happy employees are generally more productive employees. Owl Labs has found that employees who get to work remotely at least monthly are “24% more likely to feel happy and productive in their roles.” Mobility like this supports a better work-life balance by providing individuals with the opportunity to manage their schedules. With the ability to work remotely, employees can better integrate work responsibilities with personal and family commitments, leading to increased job satisfaction and overall well-being. 3. Unified Communication Tools = Seamless Collaboration VoIP integrates various communication channels, such as voice, video, and messaging, into a single platform. This unified communication approach fosters collaboration and efficiency within your team. With features like video conferencing, file sharing, and instant messaging, employees can seamlessly connect and collaborate on projects, reducing the need for multiple communication tools. This reduces the barriers to effective teamwork, ensuring that projects progress smoothly. For customer-facing roles, this can lead to more efficient interactions as well. By integrating things like a CRM with your VoIP system, customer questions or issues can be addressed promptly and consistently. This not only improves satisfaction but also allows employees to focus on resolving issues rather than wasting time on communication logistics or switching between multiple apps. 4. Advanced VoIP Features = More Efficiency VoIP systems come with a range of advanced features that go beyond traditional phone systems. Features like call forwarding, voicemail-to-email transcription, and automated attendants enhance productivity by streamlining communication processes. These features are highly customizable, not just for your business as a whole, but down to each individual user’s preferences as well. This means your employees can tailor the system to their specific preferences. We’ve seen this enhance user experience, reduce learning curves, and enable employees to find a workflow that works best for them, ultimately boosting productivity. 5. VoIP Scalability = Less Roadblocks For Growth As your business expands, so do your communication needs. VoIP systems are highly scalable, allowing you to easily add or remove users without the need for extensive infrastructure changes. As a business expands, adds new employees, or opens additional locations, a scalable VoIP system can meet the increased demand for communication services. This ensures that your business communication remains efficient and reliable, supporting the productivity of a growing workforce. Whether it's onboarding new permanent employees or incorporating temporary staff during busy periods (the holiday season is a great example), the ability to quickly and easily scale up the number of users ensures that everyone has access to what they need to do their jobs well. The same concept applies to businesses looking to expand to new locations as well. Allow VoIP To Do More So You Can Do Less Adopting or upgrading your business phone system to VoIP technology can significantly enhance office productivity by reducing costs, providing mobility, fostering unified communication, offering advanced features, and accommodating the scalability needs of growing businesses. As technology continues to advance, integrating VoIP into your office communication strategy is an easy, worthwhile way to get more output with the same input. If you’re curious to learn more, contact us, and we’ll help your business do more without actually having to do more.

  • Enhance Customer Service with the Right Phone System for Small Business

    Every business and business owner have unique qualities, services, products, and needs, but one thing every single business has in common is a need for speed––wait, that’s not right. Every business has a need for great customer service. Without it, customers won’t stick around. Ever returned to a restaurant, having thoroughly enjoyed the food the first time, and then went back and had a really bad customer service experience? Did it leave a bad taste in your mouth? (Ha, pun) Did you go back again after that? Some people might give it one last shot if they really like the food, but most won’t––and if it happened a second time? That restaurant most likely lost a customer forever, no matter how delicious the food. Businesses of all kinds are like that. You can offer the best products and services to your customers, but if your customer service is lacking, watch them leave in droves. Businesses without quality communication fail because it’s just how humans are. Customer Service is the Secret Sauce I’m hungry, so let’s stick with the restaurant metaphor for a minute. If your products and/or services are a Michelin star meal, then your customer service is the secret sauce that keeps customers coming back. Far be it from the future of UCaaS (that’s us) to resist growth, so please don’t misunderstand. Yet even as technology changes the way business works going forward, we’ll never underestimate what a friendly, informed chat with customers (AKA quality communication) can accomplish. In reality, that’s what changing the future means to us––bringing the wisdom gained from the past and present into an evolving future. Consider this: a personalized response versus a generic one can be the difference between a lead left behind and a loyal customer for life. Relationships matter, and in business and in life, relationships = high-quality communication. What’s the Rub for Small Businesses? So, now that we’re all salivating over a fancy meal and we know why customer service matters, we need to know: what’s the rub for small businesses? There seems to be this fairly universal notion that “small business” automatically translates to “better service than the big guys.” There’s a balance though. Bigger businesses have more resources (money, manpower, etc.), and if allocated wisely, they can maintain their size and quality customer service because of those resources. Whereas smaller and medium-sized businesses––especially successful, growing ones––often come to find themselves in a tight spot, striving to maintain exceptional customer service while growing without spending too much money, being overwhelmed by growing too quickly, or succumbing to a lack of manpower. There’s a sweet spot in growth, and it's like attempting to recreate that Michelin masterpiece on a budget––challenging but most definitely possible. How? So glad you asked. Picture this: The head chef walks in with the secret ingredient to success. It’s a cost-effective, high-quality business communication system. When your team is equipped with state-of-the-art VoIP phones and given proper training, they’re gonna be handling your business communication efficiently and leaving customers raving about your service. A VoIP phone system is a cost-effective solution that keeps your customers and employees coming back for seconds. Better Collaboration, Better Service. Okay, but how so? Of course, the value of VoIP versus a traditional phone system matters, but let’s table that and talk about how it affects your team. How can your small business implement a VoIP phone system and dramatically transform your customer service right now? VoIP isn't just about answering calls; it's like a well-oiled kitchen machine where every cook has a job, knows it well, and executes the menu consistently. Imagine hosting a conference call where ideas flow seamlessly, or using Microsoft Teams integration to unite your team in real-time. With instant messaging and video conferencing, your teams will be so connected, they'll practically finish each other's sentences. Collaboration becomes the backbone of your exceptional customer service. VoIP Features Add Flavor to Your Communication There are so many features available on a great phone system. Here’s a few we find especially helpful for transforming customer service. Call Routing: Call routing gets calls to the right person, sure. How does that translate for customers? When a customer calls with a specific question or issue, thanks to intelligent call routing, they're instantly connected to the expert who can answer their question/resolve their issue. If that’s not a chef’s kiss, I don’t know what is. Getting questions answered and not having to wait in an automated nightmare on hold for hours sounds like a great customer experience, no? 😙🤌 IVR (Interactive Voice Response): Consider IVR as the maître d' that welcomes your customers by name and guides them through personalized menus based on their preferences or previous interactions. Voicemail-to-email: With voicemail-to-email, responsiveness and service time improve because your team can tackle urgent matters even when they’re away from their desks, ensuring your customers never feel ignored. Call recording: Forget those "he said, she said" moments. Call recording becomes your business's communication service manager, helping resolve disputes, train new team members, and capture those brilliant moments that often happen during customer interactions. Remote accessibility: With VoIP, you’ve got a virtual office in your pocket. No matter where your team is, they can answer calls, check voicemails, and keep the business running smoothly, meaning everyone can work together to keep customers satisfied and coming back again and again. Implementing Like a Pro Let’s dig in a little deeper. Here are 3 practical tips for implementing VoIP features for better customer service. Customize Your IVR: Tailor your IVR to reflect your brand's personality. Instead of a generic "Press 1 for support," consider something like, "To speak with a voice kung fu master, press 1. We’re here to guide you!" Call Recording Beyond Monitoring: Train your teams on the art of call recording. Highlight its benefits for improving customer interactions and demonstrate how it can be a tool for growth, not something managers use to “big brother” employees. If teams feel they’re just being monitored and evaluated all the time, it can get a little sticky. Managers can and should use these tools for enhancing customer service. User-Friendly Tools: Speaking of training, choose a VoIP system that is user-friendly in the first place. Your team doesn't need a PhD in telecommunication to operate the system. The smoother the transition, the happier your team––and customers––will be. Make sure you find a provider that offers in-depth training and support when you’re considering switching phone service providers. The right business phones can turn your customer service from a plain baked potato into an engaging five-course meal. If you're eager to level up your communication game, give us a call or use our contact form and let us give you our recipe for success.

  • Customizing Your Office Phone System to Reflect Your Brand

    Branding is the heartbeat of effective business communication. While we often (correctly) associate branding with logos, color schemes, and marketing materials, it’s not just about visuals and copy. Branding extends to the way you communicate. A strong brand communicates not only what you do but why you do it and how you do it differently from the competition. It instills trust, consistency, and recognition, fostering a sense of loyalty and connection. In a crowded marketplace, branding is the compass that guides your messaging, ensuring that every interaction aligns with your core values, resonates with your audience, and leaves a lasting, positive impression. The Importance of Branding Your Office Phone System One often-overlooked area of branding is your office phone system, but customizing it to reflect your brand can leave a lasting impression. This is where VoIP service comes into play, offering a wide array of services and features that can help you tailor your phone system to your brand's unique identity. This identity shapes the perception and tone of your company in the eyes of your customers, partners, and employees. ​​Before we dive into the ways VoIP service can assist in customizing your phone system for your brand, it's important to understand why branding your phone system is valuable in the first place. 1. Professionalism A customized phone system reinforces the professional image of your business. It shows that you pay attention to detail and take your brand seriously, leaving a positive impression on clients and potential customers. 2. Consistency Brand consistency is vital in establishing trust and recognition. When your phone system aligns with your other branding elements, such as your website or marketing materials, it creates a cohesive and memorable experience. The more consistent you are, the more memorable your brand becomes. 3. Brand Identity Your phone system is an extension of your brand identity. It should reflect your company's values, mission, and personality, making it easier for callers to connect with your brand on a personal level. 4. Marketing Opportunities A customized phone system offers opportunities for marketing. You can leverage features such as on-hold messages, call routing, and automated attendants to promote products, services, and special offers. How VoIP Service With Vested Networks Can Help We offer features that can be tailored to your specific branding needs. Here’s a few ideas that can transform your phone system into a consistent extension of your brand: 1. Custom Greetings and On-Hold Messages VoIP systems allow you to record custom greetings and on-hold messages or use an automated attendant. Use this opportunity when potential customers call to convey your brand's personality, share important information, or promote your latest offers. We have a user-friendly web portal for recording and managing these messages with plenty of step-by-step guides, as well as our tech team, ready to support you. 2. Branded IVR Menus Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems are commonly used to route callers to the appropriate person, department, or information. We can help you create IVR menus with custom scripts and prompts that align with your brand voice, ensuring a consistent and professional caller experience every time. 3. Local and Toll-Free Numbers We also offer the flexibility to choose local and toll-free phone numbers. Selecting a number that resonates with your target audience or geographic region can enhance your brand's local presence. 4. Call Routing and Smart Call Handling At Vested Networks, we provide advanced call routing options. You can set up rules for call forwarding, call routing, and voicemail handling to ensure that callers always reach the right person or information. This personalized approach helps reinforce the fact that your brand values its customers, partners, and employees. 5. Mobile and Remote Connectivity The business world has gone mobile. VoIP systems support remote or hybrid work and mobile connectivity. Employees can use the same branded phone system on their smartphones or laptops, allowing for consistent communication regardless of their location. 6. Analytics and Reporting You also get analytics and reporting tools that can help you monitor call performance, customer satisfaction, and call volume. This data can be invaluable in making data-driven decisions to improve your customer service and brand experience. Customizing your office phone system to your brand is a powerful tool for establishing professionalism, consistency, and a strong identity. VoIP service helps you achieve this goal with custom greetings, IVR menus, and more, you can create a unique and memorable caller experience that aligns with your brand's values and mission. Invest in your office phone system, and you'll find that it becomes a vital component of your brand's overall success!

  • Feature Spotlight: Upgrade Your Communication with Automatic Call Routing

    Efficient call management makes for easier business communication with less effort. Automatic call routing is a powerful feature that optimizes the way you handle incoming calls, helps keep things running smoothly, and offers the advantage of seamless connectivity even during internet and power outages. Let’s talk more about what automatic call routing is and how you can milk this feature for all it’s worth. Automatic Call Routing = Effortless Communication Automatic call routing is like a traffic cop for your phone system and is designed to intelligently guide incoming calls to their intended destinations. Efficiency With automatic call routing, calls are dispatched instantly to the appropriate recipient, reducing hold times and ensuring a quick, efficient caller experience. This not only boosts customer satisfaction but also minimizes the risk of losing potential clients due to long wait times. More time and money for you. Personalization Callers are automatically routed to the right department or extension based on their input, be it choosing from a menu or entering an extension number. This high level of personalization guarantees that every caller's needs are addressed effectively. Uninterrupted Service A sometimes overlooked benefit of automatic call routing is its capability to maintain communication even during internet and power outages. This ensures that your business remains accessible even during challenging circumstances, severe weather conditions, or technical issues. Automatic Call Routing = Continuous Connectivity Let’s talk about that some more. One of the most significant advantages of automatic call routing is the ability to maintain connectivity, even in adverse situations. Here’s how it works: Internet Outages During an internet outage, your system can be set up to route calls to alternative phone lines, ensuring that you remain accessible even when your primary internet connection is disrupted. Power Outages With the right configuration, calls can also be routed to mobile phones, preserving communication if your office experiences a power outage. Business Continuity These failover options contribute to your business continuity, enabling you to maintain contact with clients, partners, and colleagues regardless of external circumstances. This is how you stay connected and avoid downtime. Customized Call Routing Scenarios But automatic call routing isn't just about ensuring connectivity during outages; it's also about designing tailored solutions perfect for your unique business. Here are a few examples: Department-Based Routing Calls can be directed to specific departments, ensuring that customers reach the most appropriate personnel to address their needs quickly. Location-Based Routing For businesses with multiple offices or locations, calls can be routed to the nearest or most suitable office, enhancing local service. Time-Based Routing Calls can follow different routing paths depending on the time of day, allowing businesses to manage after-hours, lunch, holiday, and emergency calls effectively. VIP or Priority Routing Key clients or partners can be assigned priority, ensuring their calls are expedited to the right personnel. How to Implement Automatic Call Routing Enabling automatic call routing with Vested Networks is a straightforward process. First, we work with you to establish the ideal call routing scenarios for your business. This can include setting up departmental routing or any of those other scenarios above. Once the routing rules are in place, we help design the call flow, including options for callers to choose from menus, enter extensions, or navigate through different routing paths. After it’s all set up, it's essential to test the call routing system rigorously to ensure it operates as intended. We take all that guesswork out and help you along the whole way. Any necessary adjustments can be made. Whether you're a small startup or a large corporation, this feature guarantees that callers experience personalized, efficient service. It enhances customer satisfaction while fortifying your business against unexpected disruptions. By implementing automatic call routing with failover options, you can maximize the potential of your business phone system, delivering uninterrupted and responsive communication to callers.

  • Feature Spotlight: Enhance Your Business with Professional Voicemail

    Your business voicemail box is a crucial point of contact between you and your clients, partners, and colleagues. Ensuring that your voicemail system is equipped with professional features can significantly boost your communication and overall customer experience. Let’s talk about the essential professional voicemail features, including voicemail-to-email, remote access to messages, and text-to-speech greetings. Voicemail-to-Email Transcriptions Voicemail-to-email transcriptions are a modern solution to an age-old challenge – managing voicemail messages efficiently. Here's why so many businesses love this feature: Efficient Message Handling Voicemail-to-email transcriptions automatically convert voice messages into text and deliver them to your email inbox. This allows you to read and prioritize messages without needing to sit and listen to each one, saving you valuable time. Quick Response Time With written transcriptions, you can respond to messages more rapidly and accurately. No more rewinding and replaying to ensure you catch all the details. Documentation Transcribed messages can be easily archived or shared with colleagues, ensuring that important information is never lost and ends up with whomever needs to. App and Remote Access to Messages The business world has gone mobile, so the ability to access your voicemail from anywhere is a must. App and remote access to voicemail messages offer a host of benefits. Access on Any Device With our dedicated Vested mobile app or remote web access, you can check voicemail from your smartphone, tablet, or any computer with an internet connection. No Missed Messages That anywhere access means you never miss a beat. Whether you're in the office, on the road, or working from home, you can stay connected and receive important messages as they arrive. Settings Management The ability to manage your voicemail settings and messages remotely gives you full control over your communication, even when you're away from the office. Text-to-Speech Greetings Your voicemail system should convey your brand identity and provide a warm welcome to callers. Text-to-speech greetings offer a personalized, professional touch that still keeps you efficient. Customized Greetings Text-to-speech technology allows you to create personalized, professional greetings for your voicemail. You can include your company's name, working hours, or any other important information. Consistency With text-to-speech, your greetings are consistently delivered, ensuring that every caller receives the same professional message. Ease of Update Updating greetings is simple and can be done in real-time. If your business hours change or you have special announcements, you can quickly and easily update your voicemail greeting. This, along with automatic call routing, is fundamental in your business’s ability to adapt while staying connected. How to Implement These Professional Voicemail Features We can help you get set up sending voicemail transcriptions directly to your email and help make sure your email system is set up to receive those messages. We also give you a complete training and ongoing support on our Vested mobile app, so you can easily access your messages remotely. Setting up text-to-speech greetings and customizing or updating your voicemail messages are easy when you have a voice kung fu master there to guide you. Having the best of the best in voicemail empowers your business. By implementing these features, you can take your voicemail system to the next level, ensuring that you stay connected, never miss an important message, and present a polished, professional image to your callers.

  • Feature Spotlight: Elevate Your Business Communication with Advanced Call Features

    Effective communication is the cornerstone of success. When it comes to your business phone system, you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your features. Let’s explore some essential call features and how they can benefit your business communication. Simultaneous Multi-Ring Simultaneous multi-ring is a versatile feature that offers you the flexibility and convenience to manage incoming calls. Here's why it's a game-changer: Never Miss a Call Simultaneous multi-ring allows calls to ring on multiple devices simultaneously, such as your office desk phone, mobile phone, or even a softphone on your computer. This means that no matter where you are, you'll always be reachable. Respond Quickly When important calls come in, you can answer them promptly, ensuring quick and efficient customer service. This feature is particularly beneficial for businesses where responsiveness is key. Work on Your Terms Whether you're in the office, on the go, or working from home, simultaneous multi-ring ensures that you can tailor your phone setup to match your preferred working style. No more missed opportunities or delays in communication. Comprehensive Caller ID Knowledge is power. Comprehensive caller ID goes beyond displaying just a phone number; it gives you extra data about your incoming calls. Caller Name When a call comes in, you'll not only see the caller's number but also their name if it's available in the system. This allows you to identify callers at a glance, and prepare mentally for the call. Company Name For B2B interactions, knowing the caller's company name can be invaluable. It helps you prepare for the call and provide a more personalized experience. Call History With comprehensive caller ID, you can access call history and see previous interactions with the caller. This historical context can be helpful in providing exceptional customer service based on whether this is a first-time caller, repeat customer, etc. Spam Alerts Spam alerts offer a layer of defense for unwanted calls. These calls can be a significant disruption to your business operations and frankly, they’re a real nuisance. The spam alerts feature equips you with tools to protect your business and your precious time. Automatic Identification Incoming calls that are identified as spam are automatically flagged, saving you time and preventing you from engaging with irrelevant or potentially harmful calls. Customizable Filters You can customize your spam call filters to suit your business needs. This means you can fine-tune the level of call screening to your liking. Enhanced Security By reducing the risk of falling victim to fraudulent or phishing calls, spam alerts help safeguard your business's data and financial integrity. How to Implement These Call Features It’s simple when you go with Vested Networks. We can get you set up with simultaneous multi-ring on your phone system, allowing you to define the devices where you want your calls to ring and when. We ensure your phone system is configured to display caller names and the additional information you want from your contact list or CRM. We also customize your spam alerts for you, making sure your business is protected from unwanted calls. By implementing these features, you can take your business communication to the next level, ensuring that you never miss an important call and have the information you need at your fingertips, all while defending against unwanted interruptions.

  • Feature Spotlight: Enhance Your Business With an Automated Attendant

    First impressions matter when it comes to your business because when customers or partners call your company, their initial experience sets the tone for your entire relationship. That's where awesome features like automated attendants come into play. These virtual receptionists ensure that every caller receives a professional, efficient, and personalized greeting, regardless of the time or day. What is an Automated Attendant? An automated attendant is a key feature of a modern VoIP phone system. It's a virtual receptionist that answer your calls for you. Whether you're a small startup or a large corporation, automated attendants can streamline your communication process and improve the customer experience. Benefits of Automated Attendants Professional Image: Your company's image is critical. With an automated attendant, your business presents itself as professional and organized. Callers receive a consistent, polished experience every time they reach out. 24/7 Availability: Automated attendants don't take breaks or vacations. They are always available to assist callers, even outside regular business hours. Customers can call any time and get information like business hours, location, or access an after hours number. This ensures you never miss an important call or opportunity. Customized Greetings: You have complete control over the greeting message, and Vested Networks offers a great variety of voice options. Craft personalized messages that suit your brand, promote special offers, or provide essential information. This flexibility helps your business make a memorable impression. Call Routing: Automated attendants route calls to the right department or extension, and we can help you get all of that set up. No more wasting time transferring calls manually. Callers reach their intended destination quickly and efficiently. Cost-Efficiency: By automating tasks traditionally handled by a receptionist, you can reduce labor costs. Automated attendants are a cost-effective solution for businesses of all sizes, especially when you consider the overall savings of a VoIP system over a traditional, premise-based phone system. Use Cases for Automated Attendants Just about any business or office can benefit from automated attendants, whether it be during business hours or just for after hours calls. Here’s a few examples of where this feature can add real value to your communication. Small Businesses: A small startup can create the impression of a larger and more established company by using an Automated Attendant to manage calls. Medical Practices: Patients can be directed to the appropriate department or even make appointments through an automated system. Government Offices: ESL speakers can access menu options in multiple languages, ensuring that all constituents can access government services and information comfortably. This inclusivity enhances the government's commitment to serving a diverse population. E-commerce Stores: Automate order tracking and customer inquiries, freeing up your team's time for more important tasks. International Businesses: With 24/7 availability, you can efficiently handle inquiries from different time zones, ensuring global customer satisfaction. How to Implement Automated Attendants If you already have Vested Networks as your service provider, it’s as simple as logging into your portal and adding an auto attendant. You can customize your greetings, call routing, and other settings to match your unique needs, and if you need any help, our support team is always here for you. With Vested Networks, setting up an automated attendant is easy. And, once in place, it's a valuable tool for managing your calls efficiently and professionally. Invest in your success, and use your Vested Networks features to their highest potential! Make a great first impression, provide excellent customer service, and streamline your call-handling process with automated attendants.

  • VoIP Advantages for Government Offices: Why Make the Switch?

    A lot of government offices use phone systems that are installed on-site in their buildings. These premise-based systems have limitations and can hold operations back. They cost a lot to install, maintain, and upgrade. Plus, if something goes wrong you’re likely waiting for a technician to come out and fix it. That’s what we call downtime. We don’t like downtime. If your phone system isn’t operational, that means you can’t reach your constituents, and they can’t reach you. It’s not a good look for your office. Luckily, there’s a better option. Let’s talk about the advantages of your government office switching from a premise-based phone system to a cloud-based or VoIP phone system. Cost Savings Cost savings with a VoIP system is going to be variable depending on your current system and your communication goals, so we always recommend making an informed decision based on cost-benefit analysis. However, it’s no secret that cloud-based systems are more cost-effective than traditional phone systems. VoIP phones are much simpler to maintain than traditional phones because they use your internet connection rather than hefty wiring. This means you won’t be paying for expensive on-site service calls or hardware that has to live in your office. Switching to a better phone service for a better price just makes sense. It frees you up to spend your budget on things that matter most to your office. Scalability VoIP systems are inherently scalable. This makes it easy to accommodate fluctuations in staffing or office locations. As government offices expand or contract, VoIP systems can adapt to these changes without the need for significant hardware upgrades. It’s like building with LEGOs. You can easily add or remove pieces (phone numbers, users, etc.) as needed. So, when your office grows and you need more phone lines, it's a snap to add them without hassles or extra costs. Plus, if you ever need to downsize or make changes, it's as simple as rearranging those pieces. This means you can tailor your phone system to fit your office size, no matter how big or small it is, and it can grow and change as you do. Flexibility VoIP phone systems allow for geographical freedom, so your employees can work from the office, home, or out in the field. With a cloud-based system, you’re not tied down by phone lines and can use your business line on any internet-connected device. This kind of flexibility is crucial especially in emergencies when you need to be connected to the people you serve no matter what. You also get the flexibility to integrate your phones into unified communications with things like email, messaging, and video conferencing, making it easier for teams to collaborate. Advanced Features VoIP phone systems offer some great features your office will find useful. Some of our most popular and raved about features include things like automated attendants, automatic call routing, professional voicemail features like voicemail-to-email, and business call features like comprehensive caller ID and simultaneous ring. Faun Cullens at Bastrop County Appraisal District says, "Love this service! Reporting on calls inbound and those that go to voicemail assist in reports to the Board of Directors. The ability of our appraisers to use their cell phone as a work phone has been the greatest investment we have made.” Check out our feature spotlights if you’re interested in reading more about how these features help businesses stay efficient in their communication. System Reliability Here’s a big one. One of the major advantages of a VoIP system over traditional phones, especially for a government office, is system and service reliability. Traditional phone systems rely on physical lines, and when those lines get damaged in a storm or otherwise, your phone goes silent, and that means downtime. VoIP, on the other hand, uses the internet, which is pretty resilient. If one path is blocked, it can find another way to keep your calls coming and going. Plus, there are those nifty features like automatic call forwarding, so in the event of an outage, your office phone calls can automatically ring to your cell phone. This way, you’re never really offline. You and your office are covered even if your internet or power goes down. The Bottom Line Switching from old-fashioned phones to a modern VoIP phone system offers a bunch of benefits for government offices. It helps save money, makes your phone system flexible, secure, and gives you tons of cool features. You can work from anywhere and stay connected on your computer or phone. It's also still reliable even in bad weather or outages, so you never miss important calls. Plus, they're more sustainable––VoIP systems have a smaller carbon footprint than traditional lines, aligning with efforts to reduce environmental impact. In a world where governments need to be quick and connected to their citizens, VoIP is your not-so-secret tool for success.

  • Scaling Small Business Communication: 7 Steps to Picking a VoIP Provider

    In today's fast-paced business world, staying connected is everything for small businesses. In part 1 and part 2, we learned a little more about how crucial scalability is to effective business communication and how to determine if your current system will grow with you or not. Now that you’ve decided you’re ready to make the switch to a cloud-based business phone system, let’s walk through the essential steps for choosing the perfect VoIP provider. Whether you're just starting out or looking to take your small business to the next level, these 7 steps will guide you through the process of picking the best fit for you. 1. Research Compile a list of potential VoIP providers that match your business needs. Look for providers that have a reputation for reliability and good customer support. 2. Review Take all that wonderful research and dive into each company on your list. Review online resources, customer reviews, and recommendations from peers or industry associations to gather insights into the provider's performance and customer satisfaction. 3. Request Call, email, send a smoke signal (just kidding––it should be easy to get in touch. If not, that’s a red flag) to each of the providers on your list to request quotes, product demonstrations, or trial periods. Pay attention to their responsiveness, willingness to answer your questions, and the clarity of their pricing and contract terms. Take notes during your conversations. 4. Prepare Prepare a list of questions to ask providers during your evaluation process. Some questions to consider include: What is your uptime record, and do you have redundancy measures in place? Can you provide references from businesses similar to mine? How does your customer support work, and what is the average response time for support requests? Are there any security measures in place to protect my data and communications? What is the process for scaling up or down as my business grows or changes? 5. Compare This is pretty straightforward. Look at the features, pricing, scalability options, and support services offered by each provider. Take note of any hidden fees or limitations. If you’re a pro/con person, make a list! If you’re more of a go-with-your-gut person, compare the feelings you got from each company. 6. Verify Take the best of the best and narrow it down to 2 or 3 companies. Contact any references given by those providers to gather feedback about their experiences. Ask again about reliability, customer support, and whether the system meets their business needs. 7. Trial Contact your top choices for a trial or pilot period and test their service in a real-world setting. This hands-on experience can help you assess the ease of use and compatibility with your business operations. The bottom line is there are a lot of providers out there to choose from. There really are a lot of VoIP providers, and a lot of the features are the same from company to company. There’s a lot to consider when you’re choosing who to switch your business communication service to, so we hope this was helpful, and we want to leave you with this: The truth is, any cloud-based service is going to be an upgrade from your traditional phone system and help your business scale for growth. The difference is that Vested Networks operates from integrity and transparency. We want you to find the best provider for your needs, whether that’s with us or not. What sets us apart is our commitment to your success. With us, you can expect all those wonderful features you want at a competitive price. You’ll also get a seamless transition from your old system as well as thorough training and ongoing support for your new system. We are upfront, honest, and hardworking experts in our field, so if you’re considering a change, we’d love for you to head over to our contact form and request a demo from us.

  • Scaling Small Business Communication: 7 Questions to Determine if Your Phone System Needs an Upgrade

    Like we discussed in part 1 of this series, you should think about switching out your communication system when your business encounters specific problems or needs that your current system can't handle. It's like getting a new tool when the old one can't do the job right. To figure out if it's really time for a change, look at what your business requires now but also where you want it to go in the future. If the current communication setup isn't meeting those needs or is holding you back, then it's probably time for an upgrade. Additionally, if your system won’t hold up to future goals, maybe it’s time to consider switching. Let’s take a look at 7 questions you can ask yourself to determine if your phone system needs an upgrade. 1. Do I want my business to grow? Hear us out. This sounds like a lobbed softball question but take a second to really consider it. Are you (and perhaps those in your circle) ready for your business to grow? This is a time to evaluate work-life balance. How can you take care of yourself before you––well, take care of business? If you are ready, a cloud-based system can help make for an easier transition and free up your mental energy for things that matter to you most––both at work and at home. 2. Do I have all the features I need to support my business growth? Your communication needs will evolve as you grow. This can include advanced features like video conferencing, call analytics, voicemail-to-email, the ability to forward business calls to your cell phone, and integration with other business software. Transitioning to a new system can provide access to these features. If any of these would make your life easier, operations run smoother, or save you headache, it’s probably time to switch. 3. What current feedback can I tune into? Check your user experience both internally and externally. Assessing your communication needs is a great way to tune into feedback from customers and employees. If communication is breaking down, likely other things are too. Is anyone frequently encountering issues with call quality, dropped calls, or any other kind of problems communicating? What have your customers said about their experience with you? What are your employees saying about the processes they oversee? If there are issues, a new system could help streamline operations and keep customers well taken care of. 4. Is my current phone system worth what I’m paying? By this, sure we mean sheer number cost, but it goes deeper than that. We’re really talking about value here. Are you truly getting what you’re paying for or are you paying too much for a service that doesn’t offer what you need? If your current communication system is expensive to maintain and lacks cost-efficient features, think about upgrading. 5. Is my call volume increasing? If your business deals with or is beginning to deal with a high volume of customer inquiries or relies heavily on customer interactions, you probably need a system that offers features like call queuing, interactive voice response (IVR), and customer relationship management (CRM) integration. Premise-based systems aren’t going to cut it for you. 6. Is my business growth stunted by geographical or physical limitations? If your business has already adopted or plans to embrace remote work, you'll need a communication system that can connect remote employees, provide collaboration tools, and ensure quality communication regardless of location. Even in the absence of formal telecommuting, the ability to be connected to business operations from anywhere is something to consider, especially in the case of potentially expanding to multiple locations. 7. Am I satisfied with my current service both for the present and for where my business is headed? Really, this is what it boils down to. When was the last time you sat down and evaluated the services you’re currently paying for? As a business owner, you have a lot on your plate, so if it’s been a while since you thought about your phones (and other operational costs!), take a second to do so. If you’re currently having problems with your communication service provider, including unreliable service, poor customer support, or inadequate maintenance, it’s time to switch. If you’re having problems now, odds are as you expand, so will the issues. If you’re not certain you’ll be able to grow, expand, and do things like add new lines, users, or features as you grow without significant downtime and cost, it’s time to transition to a more flexible system that can grow with you. Once you’ve considered your needs and decided you’re ready to switch, it’s time to start researching your options. We’re understandably partial to our services, but we’d like to offer you a roadmap to choosing the best telecommunication company for you, whether that’s with us or not. Join us for part 3 where we lay out 7 steps to picking a VoIP provider.

  • Scaling Small Business Communication: Limitations of Traditional Phone Systems

    Effective communication is the foundation of a successful small business. It helps in building relationships, improving operations, solving problems, and therefore ultimately, achieving your business goals. Put simply, small businesses that prioritize best communication practices are more likely to succeed. One way to ensure your business or office can communicate effectively is by updating your phone system for scalability. At Vested Networks, we are invested in your success. Our question is this: are you investing in your own success by making sure your business phone system can accommodate your growth? In this 3-part series on scalability in business communication, we’re going to help you answer that question. Traditional premise-based phone systems have limitations, especially for growing small businesses. A cloud-based solution is a more cost-effective and scalable system with better quality, service, and features. Let’s compare the two. Then we’ll give you 7 questions you can ask to determine if you’re in need of an upgrade and a 7-step plan to picking the right provider for you. Let’s dig in. Traditional phone systems are not cost-effective. Typically, these systems require an upfront investment in hardware, including a PBX server, phone handsets, and sometimes additional wiring. There are ongoing costs associated with hardware maintenance, software updates, and IT support as well. If you’re relying on IT staff to handle routine maintenance and troubleshoot issues, that adds to operational costs for you. Traditional PBX systems are also becoming obsolete over time, especially with the desire for cloud-based systems growing. Cost to upgrade outdated systems will only rise as more time goes on, making it exponentially more difficult and expensive to keep up with the latest communication technologies and features. Traditional phone systems are not easily scalable. In addition to their overall high price tag, trying to scale a traditional PBX system for your growth can be really complex. Adding new phone lines or extensions often requires buying additional hardware, and expanding the system may involve significant downtime, which means time you’re unavailable to communicate with your customers. Any downtime disrupts your business operations and can negatively affect customer service and sales. Plus, all that equipment has to live somewhere. This can be make or break for offices with limited space. As businesses change and grow, the need for greater flexibility grows too. Say you want to open up a second location, or you and your employees need to operate outside of the office at times. What do you do then? Additionally, with hybrid workers and telecommuters, it’s nearly impossible to communicate effectively with a traditional premise phone system. A distributed workforce will almost surely be getting their wires crossed (pun intended, and we’re not sorry). It’s really pretty simple. If something is to grow, it has to stretch, and that’s not possible with an outdated system. Traditional phone systems don’t have the features growing businesses need. So they cost too much, they don’t scale well, and they don’t have the features a growing business needs to communicate well? Wait, why are we still talking about these phones? That’s kind of our point. These systems will fall to the wayside, and businesses who haven’t upgraded could suffer. Let’s talk about a better option for your growing small business. Cloud-based systems offer you a communication solution that accommodates your growth without limitations. We want you to succeed. As your business grows, so will your needs. We know this first hand because––not to toot our own horn, but––we’ve been a successful growing small business. We’ve done this before, and we’re here to help you. As you hire new employees, offer new services, or open a new location, you’re going to need more phone lines and features for a better price. How do cloud-based phone systems do this? They’re inherently scalable and flexible. Unlike traditional systems, our VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone system doesn’t rely on cumbersome, expensive hardware. There are no physical or geographical limitations. You can work from anywhere, and you don’t have to worry about having the space to store all that equipment anywhere. Cloud systems also allow you to implement any upgrades quickly and seamlessly. Adding new employees or locations is as simple as provisioning new user accounts and phones through an online portal. Features available on an upgraded system like video conferencing, call recording, automatic routing, voicemail-to-email, and app integrations all enhance your business operations and streamline communication. We know clearcut processes drive customer satisfaction and sales. This all means more efficiency in your processes, more room to grow, and more money in your pocket. Growth is funny like that. Given the right tools and consistent motivation, growth feeds more growth. So now you know about some of the limitations of traditional phones and some of the benefits of a cloud-based phone system. How do you really know if it’s time to upgrade? Join us for part 2 where we give you 7 simple questions you can ask yourself to determine if your phone system needs an upgrade.

  • Who We Are: The Vested Difference

    There are a lot of phone service providers out there, so what makes us different? We’re changing the way the telecommunication industry works from the inside out. We don’t want you ever feeling lost or confused, so we have dedicated ourselves to integrity and transparency throughout your whole journey with us. The Vested Difference is our promise to our customers, employees, partners, and communities. At Vested Networks, we believe that an entrepreneurial spirit lives in us all. When properly cared for, that spirit can inspire us to accomplish magnificent things. That’s why we genuinely invest in each and every one of our customers, our team members, our partners, and in the very communities that we are a part of. That investment is the foundation behind our award-winning standard of service. We want to be the communication company that you can rely on. We work tirelessly to ensure that you have all the tools you need to succeed. We know that when you partner with Vested Networks, you’ll feel empowered to tackle anything head-on because with us, you no longer have to worry about poor service, frustrating phone calls, or wasted hours spent on hold. We are committed to addressing any question, concern, or issue with speed, accuracy, and empathy because we are truly invested in your success. “We’re here to serve you well––not just to get a check from you every month. We know how to make sure you have what you need.” - Evan Huff, Founder & CEO Whether you're the owner of a beloved neighborhood café or the CEO of a multi-million dollar company, we value your time and appreciate your trust in us. Again, we want to be the communication company you can rely on. Our founder and CEO, Evan Huff, says this: “Where we really shine is in advocacy for our customers. Our goal is to fight battles with and for you because a lot of the other providers out there don’t have the time or simply don’t care. For instance, you’re never going to get one of the big guys to actually call your internet provider for you and be the advocate if you’re running into trouble. We’re here to serve you well––not just to get a check from you every month. We know how to make sure you have what you need.” We have customizable features, a reliable system with a stunning 99.99% uptime, and a truly stellar team whom we coach continually on our core values. OUR CORE VALUES: We prioritize transparency and integrity in all areas. We guarantee open and honest communication with our clients, partners, and employees. We believe that trust is the foundation of any successful business relationship, and we cultivate that trust by providing clear, accurate information about our products and services. Period. Vested Networks maintains the highest ethical standards in all aspects of our business operations. In addition to transparent communication, we also of course abide by all applicable laws and regulations. Beyond that, we treat our clients, partners, and employees with respect and fairness. By upholding these principles, we have created an environment that fosters lasting relationships and continued success. We want to share that success with you! Lastly, as a responsible corporate citizen, Vested Networks is dedicated to making a positive impact on the communities in which we operate. We contribute to charitable organizations, support local initiatives, and actively seek opportunities to engage in meaningful social and environmental projects. We’re always open to exploring new ways to make our corners of the world a better place. We would love for you to become part of The Vested Difference and change the face of telecommunication with us.

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