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Voip or Landline? Which Does Your Business Need? This Will Help You Decide

If you’re looking for a phone system for your business or local office, you have two options to choose from: VoIP or landline. Every business, regardless of industry, needs a phone system. Let’s compare VoIP vs Landline. According to Forbes, as much as 71 percent of leads are wasted due to extended/delayed response times. Statistics show that it takes most businesses two days to return a phone call. A Google study revealed that as much as 70 percent of mobile users click the call feature from their smartphones when they search for a business. Based on these statistics, it’s clear that having a reliable business phone system should be among your top priorities. The big questions then are: Should you go with landline or VoIP? How will VoIP vs. landline impact your business? In order to help you choose the right phone system for your business, this guide will compare each of the two options in detail. Here is an overview of what you’ll learn in this in-depth comparison: What is VoIP and a landline? How each one works Pros and cons Features Cost Reliability Technology used What is VoIP? Voice Over Internet Protocol (or VoIP) is also known as Internet calling, IP telephony, voice over network and Internet telephony. Whatever you call it, VoIP uses your Internet connection to make calls. Your voice is transmitted as data over the Internet. IP telephony isn’t new: the first transmission was sent back in 1973, though the technology was far more limited 40+ years ago. As the Internet has evolved and become universally available, so has VoIP. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2013 that 25% of U.S. households are now using VoIP in place of their old landlines. Today, businesses all over the world are using it, and it is expected to continue to grow rapidly between now and 2021. The shift that both households and businesses are making from landlines to VoIP phone systems is mainly due to the benefits and features now available (displayed below). How a VoIP Telephone is Different from a Landline Phone: There are several differences between the two systems – from technological contrasts pricing and scalability. Here is a list of…

Keep Your Workforce Motivated and Boost Productivity, Read These Easy Tips

Every company wants to see that their employees are happy and engaged with the work they’re contributing towards the business. Engaged and motivated employees give their best work and contribute to a positive working environment. It is in every businesses best interest to promote job satisfaction for all employees. If you begin to notice your employees are less than happy when they sit down at their computers every day, you may feel and look for ways to improve morale. Here are some insightful tips to help you boost employee productivity. Instead of throwing around arbitrary solutions, we can turn to psychology for answers on how to motivate employees. What Psychology Tells us about Motivation Psychologist Frederick Herzberg, who studied Pittsburgh populations in the 1960s, came up with a job satisfaction theory he called the motivation-hygiene theory (it has also been called the two-factor theory or the dual-factor theory). Herzberg said there are two parts to job happiness: having job satisfaction and not having job dissatisfaction. It might seem like the two parts to job happiness are redundant, but Herzberg thought each situation (satisfaction or dissatisfaction) were created by different factors. Motivation Factors and Hygiene Factors For instance, Herzberg found that employees were satisfied with their jobs if they felt challenged, recognized, and in control of some aspects of their work. These elements are the “motivation” factors. The other set of elements are the “hygiene” factors — if employees lack these in their jobs, they will be dissatisfied.Hygiene factors include things such as security, reasonable compensation, benefits, or vacation time. The best possible working environment would be a high motivation and high hygiene situation, where employees feel challenged and appreciated, and also enjoy good pay and generous vacation time. The worst possible working environment would be a low motivation and low hygiene situation, where employees dislike the work itself and also aren’t compensated well. These employees have almost no reason to stay at their job. How Herzberg’s Theory can Work in your Office However, according to Herzberg’s theory, you can’t remedy employees’ lack of motivation by offering them higher paychecks or more paid time off. This would lead only…

The A-Z of Keeping Your Customer Surveys Fresh

Businesses have used surveys to gather information for a long time. What started as the general store clerk asking, “Do you prefer your five pounds of flour in a cloth or paper sack?” has evolved into online surveys gathering sophisticated marketing data. Surveys are an incredibly important tool for business intelligence. The information age has made surveys more robust — and prevalent — than ever before. Some statistic companies report over 1 billion surveys are completed by consumers each year in the United States. That’s twice as many Big Macs sold each year! What Is Survey Fatigue? Now that you know the power of surveys, your want to use them all the time, right? The wealth of information available through customer surveys is tempting. But you can have too much of a good thing. Just like eating too much ice cream can make you sick, surveys can make your customers feel sick, too. It’s called survey fatigue. Survey fatigue happens when the survey taker becomes apathetic, bored, or just tired of the survey process. This can result in abandoned surveys, ineffective results, or inaccurate survey results. Even though it sounds like a vague concept, survey fatigue is very real. In fact, Stanford University conducted a study that found survey fatigue in three of the four survey areas measured. Types of Survey Fatigue There are two main issues here — survey response fatigue and survey taking fatigue. Survey Response Fatigue This happens when your customer is prompted to take a survey and they quickly click “no thanks” followed by an eye roll and a sigh. You see, your customer was already invited by another company to take a survey today. Add that to the survey they completed yesterday and the three they’ll be prompted for next week. Surveys are a useful tool, so now it seems everyone is doing them. But consumers can get tired of taking surveys, plain and simple. Survey Taking Fatigue This happens while your customer is actually taking the survey. If your survey questions are hard to understand or don’t apply to the customer, they’ll quickly lose interest. If your survey is…

What is Visual Email and What are the Benefits for your Business?

In addition to saving you money, one of the most compelling reasons to switch to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone service is that it can provide your business with a wide range of features that a traditional phone system simply can’t offer. Many of these features, such as visual voicemail, work by utilizing the data from your phone calls in new ways — opening up a world of possibilities. Of these features, visual voicemail is one of the most useful. When it’s activated, your voicemail messages will be automatically transcribed from audio files into text so that you can access them just as you would your email. Though simple in concept, visual voicemail contains significant potential to improve business communications – but how? The Benefits of Visual Voicemail Take a closer look to see how visual voicemail can save time, streamline workflows, and more. Increase productivity With visual voicemail, you no longer have to dedicate time to listening to voicemails or taking notes while you listen. You’ll spend less time by reading instead of listening, and you can see the message in the same place as your emails, chats, and other communications. Access messages from any location When voicemails in your business voicemail inbox are transcribed and turned into emails, you don’t have to be at your desk phone to keep in touch. Visual voicemail allows you to check your voice messages consistently, no matter where you are. Even when you’re in a situation in which you can’t pick up the phone, you can be on the go and still stay in touch. Maintain your privacy This is a great reason to use visual voicemail. If you need to listen to a time-sensitive message containing potentially confidential information, you don’t want to be worried about someone else overhearing. Use visual voicemail to keep your private details private. Forward messages with ease If you receive a message by mistake that wasn’t meant for you, you can fix it easily with visual voicemail. Because this feature turns voice messages into text, you can simply forward the message along to the correct party as you…

Give Us 9 Minutes, We’ll Give You the Benefits of Voicemail to Email

Business professionals today have to deal with more forms of communication than ever before, which is why voicemail to email is such a wonderful feature. There is a constant stream of emails, faxes, text messages, phone calls and voicemails coming in, and you’re expected to keep up with all this information, make sense of it all, and to get back to these people in all these different locations. It’s easy to see how some business professionals can become overwhelmed with the task, and why some customers are being overlooked unintentionally. One simple solution to this problem is to combine different communication streams into one another with voicemail to email services. This makes it easier to see those messages and to respond to them. Most businesses are already doing this very thing with fax to email services, but far fewer are using a service to transfer voicemails over to an email account. These services allow you to listen to voicemails from within an email inbox just as you would on a phone, just more efficiently and in the same place that all your other business emails are coming in from. It’s easy to see some immediate benefits to such a solution right away, but there are more benefits to voicemail to email services than you might realize. Forward Voicemail to Email Below we break down 6 of the most applicable benefits of voicemail to email and how they might benefit the everyday business professional. How Voicemail to Email Services Work Once you pay for a service that’s designed to record and transfer your messages to email, using the service is surprisingly simple. The first step is to connect your voicemail inbox with the service provider. This is usually as simple as providing the voicemail inbox number and code. Follow the straightforward steps provided to connect your account and you’ll be ready to go. Once you have your voicemail connected to the service, you will be asked to provide an email for where the messages should be sent. You can have it sent to a private email address for personal viewing, or have it…

The Ultimate Guide to Using your Business iPhone for Voip Calls

iPhone VoIP is a powerful tool that more businesses are using. The versatility of the iPhone is never understated. In terms of using VoIP, the brainchild of Steve Jobs is particularly handy for professionals in all fields. VoIP technology has changed the face of calling, just as the iPhone has reimagined the phone itself. When these two technologies come together, making and receiving calls using a VoIP iPhone app, is easier than ever. Using the iPhone for VoIP It’s no secret that the iPhone is the most coveted phone on the market to this day. In fact, each new iPhone release is an event, attracting millions of people waiting anxiously outside their favorite Apple location. The versatility, accessibility, availability, popularity and user friendliness are just some reasons why people love the iPhone. The iPhone allows its users to connect with the world within seconds—and this includes via VoIP. Using VoIP is very simple with the iPhone, as detailed on the support website. Simply toggling a virtual switch allows the iPhone to use WiFi as the default calling mechanism. This is just one way the iPhone makes VoIP calling easier than ever. For businesses that also use other Apple devices, such as an iPad or Apple Watch, Apple makes it easy to connect all these devices to an iPhone to enable WiFi calling. For example, instead of using your phone to make a call, you can simply tap your wrist or tap an app on your iPad to connect to your iPhone to make a call. Talk about convenience! Similar to the iPhone, setting up these devices to work with VoIP services involves a simple swipe of a (virtual) switch. ? Additional Resources for VoIP Calls on iPhone One of the best ways to make VoIP calls on your iPhone is with a third-party app or service. These particular services are helpful for logging calls, tracking call volume and activity, and also ensure a level of anonymity. Third-party apps are also great for international calling. Here are some reasons to consider using third-party apps for your business: International Calling: VoIP services make it easier and more…

Master the Art of Creating a More Productive Workspace with these 5 Tips

Good employees are productive employees — but it’s not all just about motivation and work ethic. It can sometimes also be that they don’t know how to create a productive workspace. Managers, supervisors, and company executives should always be striving to increase the productivity of their companies and their individual employees. An often overlooked strategy in improving employee productivity is ensuring that the team’s surroundings are considered. Organizing Your Desk for Productivity Research has shown that an “empowered office environment” can increase employee productivity by 25 percent. It’s easy to see why this is true. If you’ve ever tried to work in an uncomfortable, uninviting space, you can attest to the difficulty of getting anything done in an environment such as that. A comfortable and inviting space has proven to actually boost productivity. Avoid having a drab work office set-up and instead  focus on encouraging a positive work environment. Check Out these 5 Ways you can Optimize your Area for a Productive Workspace 1. Redecorate with Purposeful Color Color is not just about personal preference. The color of a room, a cubicle, or a conference space can affect people’s mood and outlook in a subtle but noticeable way. Some colors encourage calm and peace, while others bring out anger and attention-to-detail —all of them have an effect. Unfortunately, most office spaces are “decorated” in drab, lackluster colors, such as beige and off-white. Nothing is less inspiring and more yawn-inducing than this color palette. Update your office space with intentional colors, which you can select based on your field and the type of reaction you’re hoping to get from your employees. Blue — shades of blue tend to bring out calm, clear thought and promote a sense of peace and focus. This is the most reliable choice for increasing employee productivity regardless of your field. Red — decorating in reds will tend to increase your employees’ heart rate and give a sense that time is passing faster than it really is. This is an appropriate choice for fields that require employees to be physically active and high-energy. Green — most people react to greens by…

Secrets No One Ever Told You about Sending Business Faxes Online

Believe it or not, many businesses still rely on traditional fax machines. It’s time to bring your business to the future and learn how to fax online. On the other hand, many offices have changed gears and adopted online faxing. Online faxing has become a more efficient, easier, and clearer way to send and receive documents. However, to truly understand how online faxing works, we are going to take a brief journey back to the time of the traditional fax and learn how it works. How to Send A Fax Online So, how do you send an online fax? First, scan or locate the document. For example, if you store your documents in the cloud, then this will help make locating your document that much easier. Next, open up your online fax service application. You will have the option to enter a number, attention name, and an area to enter any other necessary information. This is similar to what you would include in a fax cover sheet. Then, simply upload the document. Although most online faxing services are designed to send online faxes in various file formats, PDFs are the best files to fax online. Finally, click the send button. You will immediately receive confirmation when the fax was sent and received—no more standing by the fax machine to see if your fax went through or to receive a fax transmission report. How to Receive Faxes Online Receiving a fax is as easy as receiving an e-mail—literally. When you sign up for an online fax service, the service will provide you with a dedicated phone number for faxes. So, when a sender needs to send you a fax, you will receive an e-mail with the message and document attached. Receiving faxes via email also makes it easier to preview documents. Once you preview the document, you can then choose the option to print it or store it in the cloud. No more waiting endlessly as a traditional fax machine slowly trickles out a fax. All the information you need is right in your email. The information you need is right there.…

The A-Z of VoIP Phone Systems and How They can Transform Your Business

‘VoIP’ has become a buzzword when talking about business telephones of late. But VoIP is more than just a funny sounding acronym; it represents a huge step forward in business telephone communications. This article will help you learn more about the many choices when it comes to VoIP, and give you the information you need to make decisions for choosing the best VoIP phone service for your company. To quickly navigate to the section you need, click your preferred option below: What is a VoIP phone? Which VoIP phone should I use? What is a VoIP Phone System?   Quick Definition: A VoIP phone is a device that uses the internet instead of a pair of direct connect copper wires. VoIP phone systems give you almost unlimited options for mobility, interoperability, and connectivity. You are probably reading this because you’ve already heard about VoIP’s key features like: Easy install and setup Easy scaling Phone numbers that follow you and your employees The technology supports older technology Wide availability and economical implementation Simple integration with other software applications. Range of device options Seamless set up on existing internet connections This article will focus on how to choose the best equipment for your needs. We will be covering the types of VoIP phones available, how VoIP phones work, features, and how to compare devices to make the best choices for your business. Types of VoIP Phones Hard Phones – Hard phones are are like traditional phones in that they sit on your desk or in a conference room. You can use hard phones for: Direct calls Conference calls Accessing voicemail Communications through handsets, headsets, Bluetooth and speaker phones Softphones – Softphones are virtual phones that live in an app on a device (such as a computer, tablet, or smartphone) and can also be used much like a hard phone. We will be talking about the many options for softphones in a future article. How VoIP Phones Work   In the past, phones were wired to an on-premise PBX (Private Branch Exchange). This bulky machine would handle all routing and ensure each call reached its proper destination. VoIP phone features far exceed those…

The A-Z Guide to Creating Surveys for Small Businesses

Conducting surveys is a smart business practice that enables you keep your finger on the pulse of your organization. Surveys allow you to get critical feedback from the people who matter the most — your customers and employees. You can use this feedback to make better business decisions that will ultimately strengthen your relationship with your audience and boost your organization’s success and bottom line. These days you don’t even have to spend a whole lot on printing out paper questionnaires to distribute to survey takers. Whether you have plans to introduce a new line of products, expand your services, or organize a large event, an online survey offers a cost-effective and easy alternative to finding out whether your plans are viable. Implementing survey best practices at every stage will ensure that you design a survey that asks all the right questions. This is most crucial to getting concrete answers that you can act on. Best Practices for Surveys That’s why we’ve put together this A-Z best practice guide! We’ll walk you through each of the following topics so that you can design and send out perfectly crafted surveys to your target audience. Designing Effective Surveys Writing Effective Questions Survey Distribution Best Practices Interpreting the Results Choosing the Best Survey Software Designing Effective Surveys The first thing you need to think about is how you are going to develop and design your survey. Survey development is a science. Every aspect of your survey, from the number of questions you ask to the order in which you ask them, will trigger a different response. A haphazardly designed survey with no thought to the structure, order, or number of questions will give you random results. You won’t get anything concrete that you can act on. Understanding and implementing survey design best practices is a key factor to creating an optimal survey. These survey guidelines will do just that. 1. Identify Your Target Audience Before you write out your first question, you need to be crystal clear about your target audience. Start with a broad audience, and drill it down as much as you…

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