Get VoIP-ready for the holidays

Small business owners understand the nuisance that comes with the holiday season. Fortunately, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems offer numerous cloud-enabled features that ought to help you handle large volumes of calls and cover periods when you are closed throughout the shopping season. However, if you don’t optimize their utility, you may run into some problems. Beat the rush with these tips.

Check your VoIP equipment

Sometimes, problems with VoIP don’t have anything to do with your service provider or even the underlying servers that host the solution. Instead, issues may stem from the physical VoIP lines and phones themselves. One common issue with VoIP is that if your equipment is stacked too closely, users may experience a degradation in call quality.

You can ask your employees to check call quality, especially if two VoIP devices are close to one another. If there are issues, moving them further apart should clear this up.

Beyond this, take the time to inspect all cables and connections to ensure they are in good condition and are able to deal with increased wear and tear during the holidays. If your equipment is old and outdated, you may need to look for replacements.

Establish VoIP system monitoring

With people rushing to get their last-minute shopping done, your staff will likely experience a sharp spike in inquiries and assistance. A monitoring solution can help predict when issues may arise. Whether you are open or closed for the holidays, make sure to implement the following:

Busy periods
Set up call queuing with hold music or estimated wait time.
Leave recorded messages with complete information and an alternative way to contact support such as a hotline, an email address, or your website.
Change your configuration to help you manage shorter business hours.
Set diverts for reduced hours.

Closed periods
Set automated messages or announcements to say that your business will be closed during the holiday season and what day you will reopen.
Update receptionist greetings before Christmas to remind callers of your holiday hours.
Set up call diverts for employees who will be working remotely.

Enable dedicated support

The great thing about VoIP is the support that comes with it. You can keep call costs low as employees working from home can still communicate with the office. A good VoIP system can be configured to work for you and your customers no matter what hours you are open during the holidays.

Whether it’s diverting calls to mobile devices or remote machines, a good VoIP service provider understands that your business needs to be operational even over the holidays, and their support service underpins that.

Work with an experienced IT provider

Christmas is busy enough without having to worry about something like a phone outage. If you need help with your phone systems, or want to discuss how VoIP could help your business, call us today and we’ll make sure to recommend the best VoIP solution to ensure that your customers are happy and satisfied.

Posted in General Articles C, VoIP | Tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

Do you need VoIP this holiday season?

The holiday season is upon us — and businesses are likely to experience their phones ringing off the hook. As a business owner, you need to make sure that your Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems are ready to cope with the holiday rush. To ensure crystal clear calls, follow these useful VoIP system tips.

Check your VoIP equipment

Sometimes, problems with VoIP don’t have anything to do with your service provider or even the underlying servers that host the solution. Instead, issues may stem from the physical VoIP lines and phones themselves. One common issue with VoIP is that if your equipment is stacked too closely, users may experience a degradation in call quality.

You can ask your employees to check call quality, especially if two VoIP devices are close to one another. If there are issues, moving them further apart should clear this up.

Beyond this, take the time to inspect all cables and connections to ensure they are in good condition and are able to deal with increased wear and tear during the holidays. If your equipment is old and outdated, you may need to look for replacements.

Establish VoIP system monitoring

With people rushing to get their last-minute shopping done, your staff will likely experience a sharp spike in inquiries and assistance. A monitoring solution can help predict when issues may arise. Whether you are open or closed for the holidays, make sure to implement the following:

Busy periods
Set up call queuing with hold music or estimated wait time.
Leave recorded messages with complete information and an alternative way to contact support such as a hotline, an email address, or your website.
Change your configuration to help you manage shorter business hours.
Set diverts for reduced hours.

Closed periods
Set automated messages or announcements to say that your business will be closed during the holiday season and what day you will reopen.
Update receptionist greetings before Christmas to remind callers of your holiday hours.
Set up call diverts for employees who will be working remotely.

Enable dedicated support

The great thing about VoIP is the support that comes with it. You can keep call costs low as employees working from home can still communicate with the office. A good VoIP system can be configured to work for you and your customers no matter what hours you are open during the holidays.

Whether it’s diverting calls to mobile devices or remote machines, a good VoIP service provider understands that your business needs to be operational even over the holidays, and their support service underpins that.

Work with an experienced IT provider

Christmas is busy enough without having to worry about something like a phone outage. If you need help with your phone systems, or want to discuss how VoIP could help your business, call us today and we’ll make sure to recommend the best VoIP solution to ensure that your customers are happy and satisfied.

Posted in General Articles B, VoIP | Tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

VoIP tips to get ready for the holidays

As a business owner, you know how important it is to attend to your holiday customers. To ensure customer satisfaction, optimize the use of your VoIP system. Here’s how to do just that.

Check your VoIP equipment

Sometimes, problems with VoIP don’t have anything to do with your service provider or even the underlying servers that host the solution. Instead, issues may stem from the physical VoIP lines and phones themselves. One common issue with VoIP is that if your equipment is stacked too closely, users may experience a degradation in call quality.

You can ask your employees to check call quality, especially if two VoIP devices are close to one another. If there are issues, moving them further apart should clear this up.

Beyond this, take the time to inspect all cables and connections to ensure they are in good condition and are able to deal with increased wear and tear during the holidays. If your equipment is old and outdated, you may need to look for replacements.

Establish VoIP system monitoring

With people rushing to get their last-minute shopping done, your staff will likely experience a sharp spike in inquiries and assistance. A monitoring solution can help predict when issues may arise. Whether you are open or closed for the holidays, make sure to implement the following:

Busy periods
Set up call queuing with hold music or estimated wait time.
Leave recorded messages with complete information and an alternative way to contact support such as a hotline, an email address, or your website.
Change your configuration to help you manage shorter business hours.
Set diverts for reduced hours.

Closed periods
Set automated messages or announcements to say that your business will be closed during the holiday season and what day you will reopen.
Update receptionist greetings before Christmas to remind callers of your holiday hours.
Set up call diverts for employees who will be working remotely.

Enable dedicated support

The great thing about VoIP is the support that comes with it. You can keep call costs low as employees working from home can still communicate with the office. A good VoIP system can be configured to work for you and your customers no matter what hours you are open during the holidays.

Whether it’s diverting calls to mobile devices or remote machines, a good VoIP service provider understands that your business needs to be operational even over the holidays, and their support service underpins that.

Work with an experienced IT provider

Christmas is busy enough without having to worry about something like a phone outage. If you need help with your phone systems, or want to discuss how VoIP could help your business, call us today and we’ll make sure to recommend the best VoIP solution to ensure that your customers are happy and satisfied.

Posted in General Articles A, VoIP | Tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

How to fix Office 2019 issues

Microsoft Office 2019 has become one of the most popular productivity suites used by schools and offices alike. It is one of the most sought-after software products in the market and is Microsoft’s main income generator. If you need help with an Office program, here’s what to do.

F1

Let’s assume you have Office installed and an application is running, but you need to figure out something. Put an end to your frustration with any of these options for quick answers to your problems.

First, press F1 to open the help database and search for a solution. Or click the question mark (?) in the upper right corner of any Office program to do the same thing.

MS Diagnostics

When an Office program crashes or fails to launch, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the software has been corrupted or needs to be reinstalled. To be sure, consult the suite’s in-house physician called MS Diagnostics. This tool tests the program for existing and potential problems and provides repair options too.

Office Support

If the problems are not solved with MS Diagnostics, turn to Office Support. This is one of the six main tabs on the Office website.

Once you open Office Support, it asks: “What do you need help with?” Select a specific application or product or choose All products in the field. In the search box, enter the keywords that are relevant to the issue. This brings up a list of results that match the words you have entered. Many users normally find what they need on this page.

Community forums

Sometimes, the information on the Microsoft website is too general and doesn’t give you a clue to what’s wrong. For a more thorough fix, check out the online Office forums. Many of them tackle various issues about Office and offer solutions. Joining forums can be helpful, especially when you want to learn new things.

Tech support

If everything else fails, get in touch with Microsoft’s technical support. Air your concerns and an expert will come to your aid. In case of recurring issues, call us now and we will do our best to help you.

Posted in General Articles C, Office | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

How to solve Office 2019 problems

Microsoft Office 2019 is one of the world’s most renowned cutting-edge office suites. It has a lot of productivity tools that can be used at work or at home. This may well be the single most powerful tool your business needs to succeed since you can use it to make and edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. But if you need help with an Office program, here’s where to find it.

F1

Let’s assume you have Office installed and an application is running, but you need to figure out something. Put an end to your frustration with any of these options for quick answers to your problems.

First, press F1 to open the help database and search for a solution. Or click the question mark (?) in the upper right corner of any Office program to do the same thing.

MS Diagnostics

When an Office program crashes or fails to launch, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the software has been corrupted or needs to be reinstalled. To be sure, consult the suite’s in-house physician called MS Diagnostics. This tool tests the program for existing and potential problems and provides repair options too.

Office Support

If the problems are not solved with MS Diagnostics, turn to Office Support. This is one of the six main tabs on the Office website.

Once you open Office Support, it asks: “What do you need help with?” Select a specific application or product or choose All products in the field. In the search box, enter the keywords that are relevant to the issue. This brings up a list of results that match the words you have entered. Many users normally find what they need on this page.

Community forums

Sometimes, the information on the Microsoft website is too general and doesn’t give you a clue to what’s wrong. For a more thorough fix, check out the online Office forums. Many of them tackle various issues about Office and offer solutions. Joining forums can be helpful, especially when you want to learn new things.

Tech support

If everything else fails, get in touch with Microsoft’s technical support. Air your concerns and an expert will come to your aid. In case of recurring issues, call us now and we will do our best to help you.

Posted in General Articles B, Office | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

Where to get help with Office 2019 issues

Microsoft Office 2019 is a popular and top-selling productivity suite. A one-time purchase gives you access to an array of applications that you can use to create and edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations for school or work. While the program is easy to use, there are times when people need help. Here’s where to get help.

F1

Let’s assume you have Office installed and an application is running, but you need to figure out something. Put an end to your frustration with any of these options for quick answers to your problems.

First, press F1 to open the help database and search for a solution. Or click the question mark (?) in the upper right corner of any Office program to do the same thing.

MS Diagnostics

When an Office program crashes or fails to launch, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the software has been corrupted or needs to be reinstalled. To be sure, consult the suite’s in-house physician called MS Diagnostics. This tool tests the program for existing and potential problems and provides repair options too.

Office Support

If the problems are not solved with MS Diagnostics, turn to Office Support. This is one of the six main tabs on the Office website.

Once you open Office Support, it asks: “What do you need help with?” Select a specific application or product or choose All products in the field. In the search box, enter the keywords that are relevant to the issue. This brings up a list of results that match the words you have entered. Many users normally find what they need on this page.

Community forums

Sometimes, the information on the Microsoft website is too general and doesn’t give you a clue to what’s wrong. For a more thorough fix, check out the online Office forums. Many of them tackle various issues about Office and offer solutions. Joining forums can be helpful, especially when you want to learn new things.

Tech support

If everything else fails, get in touch with Microsoft’s technical support. Air your concerns and an expert will come to your aid. In case of recurring issues, call us now and we will do our best to help you.

Posted in General Articles A, Office | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

Facebook marketing mistakes to avoid

Over the last few years, the number of Facebook users has been growing at an astounding pace, and many businesses are advertising on the platform to better reach and target their audiences. Yet plenty of Facebook advertisers have been burned by low engagement, high costs, and negative feedback from followers. To avoid these issues, you need to avoid these common Facebook marketing mistakes.

Mistake #1: Treating Facebook like a one-way communication tool

The content you post on Facebook should encourage followers to express their thoughts. After all, Facebook is a social media network, which means people use it to connect with friends and communicate with family members. They don’t want to be showered with advertising messages! Instead of talking at customers, talk with them and create dialogues that promote engagement and feedback. Try asking probing questions, sharing fun quizzes, or posting images and videos that get your followers talking. Remember that engaging content has a better chance of going viral and attracting more followers to your profile.

Mistake #2: Ignoring follower metrics

When it comes to Facebook marketing, the content that works for one page may not work for another page. To figure out what type of posts are resonating with your business’s audience, look at the metrics in your Facebook Insights located in your admin panel. You’ll be able to see the types of posts that rank high on the list (e.g., text, links, images, or videos) and analyze the statistics from there.

Mistake #3: Targeting ads poorly

While Facebook has more than two billion active users, most of these people don’t want to see your ads! So make sure you use Facebook’s powerful set of audience targeting tools, which allow you to choose potential ad viewers based on their location, age, education, interest, and more. You can even create multiple advertisements to display at different times to various audience groups so you can test and see which ones work best.

Mistake #4: Abandoning your audience

When it comes to Facebook marketing, consistency matters. People won’t be very impressed if they visit your page and see that your last post was a few months ago. On the other hand, when you post regularly, your followers will get into the habit of expecting posts from you — they might even look forward to them if the content is really good! If you find it hard to stick to a schedule, try using tools that can automate your posting for you like Hootsuite.

If you’re not using Facebook to expand your online business presence, you’re missing out on one of the most powerful marketing tools out there. Want more tips on how to expand your business through Facebook? Get in touch today and our experts will be happy to help.

Posted in General Articles C, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

4 Biggest Facebook marketing mistakes

Facebook makes it possible for companies to showcase their products and services to targeted prospects more effectively and take their online presence to the next level. However, many businesses are struggling to get the results they want from Facebook marketing despite having spent large amounts of money. With that said, make sure you don’t fall victim to these Facebook marketing mistakes.

Mistake #1: Treating Facebook like a one-way communication tool

The content you post on Facebook should encourage followers to express their thoughts. After all, Facebook is a social media network, which means people use it to connect with friends and communicate with family members. They don’t want to be showered with advertising messages! Instead of talking at customers, talk with them and create dialogues that promote engagement and feedback. Try asking probing questions, sharing fun quizzes, or posting images and videos that get your followers talking. Remember that engaging content has a better chance of going viral and attracting more followers to your profile.

Mistake #2: Ignoring follower metrics

When it comes to Facebook marketing, the content that works for one page may not work for another page. To figure out what type of posts are resonating with your business’s audience, look at the metrics in your Facebook Insights located in your admin panel. You’ll be able to see the types of posts that rank high on the list (e.g., text, links, images, or videos) and analyze the statistics from there.

Mistake #3: Targeting ads poorly

While Facebook has more than two billion active users, most of these people don’t want to see your ads! So make sure you use Facebook’s powerful set of audience targeting tools, which allow you to choose potential ad viewers based on their location, age, education, interest, and more. You can even create multiple advertisements to display at different times to various audience groups so you can test and see which ones work best.

Mistake #4: Abandoning your audience

When it comes to Facebook marketing, consistency matters. People won’t be very impressed if they visit your page and see that your last post was a few months ago. On the other hand, when you post regularly, your followers will get into the habit of expecting posts from you — they might even look forward to them if the content is really good! If you find it hard to stick to a schedule, try using tools that can automate your posting for you like Hootsuite.

If you’re not using Facebook to expand your online business presence, you’re missing out on one of the most powerful marketing tools out there. Want more tips on how to expand your business through Facebook? Get in touch today and our experts will be happy to help.

Posted in General Articles B, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

Common Facebook marketing mistakes

Facebook has grown rapidly in the past decade and now boasts over two billion monthly active users. These users are constantly liking, sharing, commenting, and posting on the platform. Many businesses see this as an opportunity to grow their customer base so they integrate Facebook advertising into their marketing strategies. To guide you, here’s a list of the most common Facebook marketing mistakes you should avoid.

Mistake #1: Treating Facebook like a one-way communication tool

The content you post on Facebook should encourage followers to express their thoughts. After all, Facebook is a social media network, which means people use it to connect with friends and communicate with family members. They don’t want to be showered with advertising messages! Instead of talking at customers, talk with them and create dialogues that promote engagement and feedback. Try asking probing questions, sharing fun quizzes, or posting images and videos that get your followers talking. Remember that engaging content has a better chance of going viral and attracting more followers to your profile.

Mistake #2: Ignoring follower metrics

When it comes to Facebook marketing, the content that works for one page may not work for another page. To figure out what type of posts are resonating with your business’s audience, look at the metrics in your Facebook Insights located in your admin panel. You’ll be able to see the types of posts that rank high on the list (e.g., text, links, images, or videos) and analyze the statistics from there.

Mistake #3: Targeting ads poorly

While Facebook has more than two billion active users, most of these people don’t want to see your ads! So make sure you use Facebook’s powerful set of audience targeting tools, which allow you to choose potential ad viewers based on their location, age, education, interest, and more. You can even create multiple advertisements to display at different times to various audience groups so you can test and see which ones work best.

Mistake #4: Abandoning your audience

When it comes to Facebook marketing, consistency matters. People won’t be very impressed if they visit your page and see that your last post was a few months ago. On the other hand, when you post regularly, your followers will get into the habit of expecting posts from you — they might even look forward to them if the content is really good! If you find it hard to stick to a schedule, try using tools that can automate your posting for you like Hootsuite.

If you’re not using Facebook to expand your online business presence, you’re missing out on one of the most powerful marketing tools out there. Want more tips on how to expand your business through Facebook? Get in touch today and our experts will be happy to help.

Posted in General Articles A, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

Which web browser is the safest?

Enterprise cybersecurity is a holistic system that involves employing security practices at every level of use. This includes picking out the most secure application for web browsing. Consider the security features of these popular web browsers when picking yours.

Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge, Windows’ current default browser, is an improvement over its predecessor Internet Explorer (IE). Edge was developed with Windows 10 integration and IE end-of-life in mind, resulting in a powerful and more efficient browser that has Cortana (Windows’ answer to Alexa and Siri) integration and Microsoft Store extensions.

Edge’s main advantage is that it is Windows 10 computers’ native browser, which means it should integrate more seamlessly with the Windows OS ecosystem in terms of power usage and data security. Its built-in security features, called the Code Integrity Guard (CIG) and the Arbitrary Code Guard (ACG), prevent malicious codes from loading into a computer’s memory.

Safari

Safari is a graphical web browser developed by Apple for its iOS, iPad OS, and macOS. The current iteration is Safari 13, which was released alongside macOS Mojave and macOS High Sierra in September 2019.

Safari 13 is highly secure, as it utilizes Safari 12’s baseline security features such as Automatic Strong Passwords and Intelligent Tracking Prevention 2.0. These features are augmented by a built-in password strength analyzer, FIDO02 USB security key authentication support, “Sign in with Apple” support, Apple Pay capabilities, and increased speed and encryption. Its main drawback, however, is that it is only available on Apple devices, with full capabilities found only on MacBooks and Macs.

Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla Firefox is a free and open-source web browser developed by the Mozilla Foundation. It is widely available across platforms, even on Unix and Unix-like operating systems such as FreeBSD, OpenBSD, illuminos, and Solaris Unix.

Because of Firefox’s open-source development platform, it can be quite unsecure to use on publicly accessible computers. For personal and single-user business devices, however, Firefox is relatively safe, especially once all security features are activated and tweaked to your needs. Some key features are its “Do not track” privacy feature, phishing and malware blocking features, the Noscript Anti-XSS add-on (so you can determine which sites are allowed to execute scripts), the Noscript Anti-Clickjacking add-on (a detector that reveals invisible, malicious links and buttons), and its renowned pop-up ad blocker.

Firefox is also unique in that Mozilla has a bug bounty program, which offers a financial reward to anyone who can identify gaps and holes in Firefox code, so that it can be patched and improved as urgently as possible. Mozilla also promises no legal action against anyone who complies in good faith under its Bug Bounty program, including any claim under the DMCA for circumventing technological measures.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome is a cross-platform web browser developed by Google. It is the default browser for Google’s line of laptops and Google Chromebooks. Chrome utilizes a process allocation model to sandbox tabs. “Sandboxing” is a security mechanism for separating running programs to keep software vulnerabilities from spreading.

Chrome also regularly updates two sets of blacklists, one for phishing and one for malware, which it uses to warn users of potentially harmful sites. It also touts site isolation and predictive phishing protection features that receive regular and critical updates every six weeks and within 24 hours of a known threat, respectively.

Being aware of how your web browser stacks up against its competitors is only half the battle. WannaCry spread to uninfected systems through a gap in the Windows security framework, and most other ransomware infections prey on human error. What your business needs is a comprehensive security audit. For more information, call us today.

Posted in General Articles A, Web & Cloud | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed
  • Internet Presence Management for Small Business Owners

    pronto logoFull-service, pay-as-you-go all inclusive websites, from design and content to SEO and social media management for one low monthly price.

    Learn more about our small business online marketing services.