How to take advantage of your VoIP data

You hear a lot about big data nowadays, but not in connection with small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). To compete with the big guys, SMBs need Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to get better access to customer data. Read on for the best ways to leverage your VoIP data to serve clients.

Time/Date data

The information that nearly any VoIP system should be able to access easily are the time, date, and duration of calls. Since most businesses usually have tight budgets, they can learn a lot from analyzing this data to help decide how many employees are needed to answer the phones and at what particular times. 

For instance, most calls happen on Mondays, but the lines are usually dead by Tuesday afternoon. Knowing this can improve the way your staff works. Find the right time and day that calls are expected and days where no one has to work the phones. 

If you’re making outbound calls, pay close attention to the time that customers are most receptive. No one likes to get a call during dinner time, so don’t waste other people’s time. VoIP can help you refine your call schedule to ensure that you reach the person at the end of the line. 

Location data

Location data is easy to track and a simple way to perfect your call strategy. Understanding how purchasing habits differ in various locations can improve your marketing, customer service, and client retention skills. 

Ask your VoIP service provider about call-routing options, so you can direct the call to the right person depending on the customer’s needs. With the right amount of preparation, you can help anyone regardless of that person’s location as if your company were right around the corner. 

Customer intelligence

Combining VoIP services with your customer relationship management (CRM) software can reveal new data points. How many times have you called a support line regarding an issue and have had to explain your history with the company all over again? 

Even if you spoke to the same representative every time, the chances of the latter remembering you and your story are slim to none. With proper CRM integration, your VoIP system can route callers to the same service representative every time they call and provide your staff with a detailed support history. 

Customer habits/personalities

Analyze call habits and predict how to contact and assist clients even before they need help. Match clients with your service and sales representatives based on their personalities. Take note of your employees’ age, gender and average call time to route customers to the best possible representative. 

Product/Service trends

Whenever possible, tie data to specific products and services with every call and look for patterns that result in a successful connection. If you notice that most customers who bought your product come back to buy accessories within three months, don’t waste money marketing accessories during the original sale and trust what your data tells you. Follow up in a month and ask if they’re interested in that ancillary product. 

VoIP services track all your data, all the time. SMBs can easily view and analyze up-to-date data in no time. This can revolutionize how you design your customer interaction strategies. 

Do you feel like you could get a better ROI from your VoIP services by examining your call data? The solution may be as simple as organizing your usage statistics better, or as intricate as installing specialized analytics software. Regardless of how you want to go about it, we can help you, so contact us today!

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5 Ways to benefit from VoIP phones

If you’re making or receiving Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls, you may gather a lot of valuable data without knowing it. Whether you’re still getting accustomed to your new telephone system, or you’re simply unaware of your VoIP data, here are five things you can do to benefit from it.

Time/Date data

The information that nearly any VoIP system should be able to access easily are the time, date, and duration of calls. Since most businesses usually have tight budgets, they can learn a lot from analyzing this data to help decide how many employees are needed to answer the phones and at what particular times. 

For instance, most calls happen on Mondays, but the lines are usually dead by Tuesday afternoon. Knowing this can improve the way your staff works. Find the right time and day that calls are expected and days where no one has to work the phones. 

If you’re making outbound calls, pay close attention to the time that customers are most receptive. No one likes to get a call during dinner time, so don’t waste other people’s time. VoIP can help you refine your call schedule to ensure that you reach the person at the end of the line. 

Location data

Location data is easy to track and a simple way to perfect your call strategy. Understanding how purchasing habits differ in various locations can improve your marketing, customer service, and client retention skills. 

Ask your VoIP service provider about call-routing options, so you can direct the call to the right person depending on the customer’s needs. With the right amount of preparation, you can help anyone regardless of that person’s location as if your company were right around the corner. 

Customer intelligence

Combining VoIP services with your customer relationship management (CRM) software can reveal new data points. How many times have you called a support line regarding an issue and have had to explain your history with the company all over again? 

Even if you spoke to the same representative every time, the chances of the latter remembering you and your story are slim to none. With proper CRM integration, your VoIP system can route callers to the same service representative every time they call and provide your staff with a detailed support history. 

Customer habits/personalities

Analyze call habits and predict how to contact and assist clients even before they need help. Match clients with your service and sales representatives based on their personalities. Take note of your employees’ age, gender and average call time to route customers to the best possible representative. 

Product/Service trends

Whenever possible, tie data to specific products and services with every call and look for patterns that result in a successful connection. If you notice that most customers who bought your product come back to buy accessories within three months, don’t waste money marketing accessories during the original sale and trust what your data tells you. Follow up in a month and ask if they’re interested in that ancillary product. 

VoIP services track all your data, all the time. SMBs can easily view and analyze up-to-date data in no time. This can revolutionize how you design your customer interaction strategies. 

Do you feel like you could get a better ROI from your VoIP services by examining your call data? The solution may be as simple as organizing your usage statistics better, or as intricate as installing specialized analytics software. Regardless of how you want to go about it, we can help you, so contact us today!

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Which Office 365 plan is right for you?

Collaboration, file sharing, and data management are made easier with Office 365. You can use its apps anytime, anywhere, and on any device, but do you really need all the features of the fully fledged subscription plan, or is a smaller package a better fit for your business? We’ve provided a list of the different features of each O365 plan to help you make the right choice.

Business or Enterprise

Office 365 Business and Enterprise are the obvious choices if you’re running cloud-based business systems. Both of these plans will give you access to the data management app Office Online and file hosting service OneDrive, but there are some notable differences between the two.

Office 365 Enterprise E3 and E5 plans have unlimited archive and mail storage space, while Business plans have a 50 GB storage limit. Furthermore, Business plans don’t provide archive access from the Outlook client.

In terms of SharePoint, a collaborative platform and document and storage system, Business plans are short on enterprise search, Excel services, and Visio — a diagramming and vector graphics app — features. They also lack in unified communication solutions, such as Power BI, an interactive data visualization tool, and Delve Analytics, which provides real-time work analytics to businesses.

With these points in mind, it may seem like Enterprise subscriptions are superior — and in some ways, they are — but Business plans are more suited for smaller companies running on a tight budget. Office 365 Business and Business Premium cost $10 and $15 per user per month, respectively, while the highest-end Enterprise plan costs $35 per user per month.

As a general rule, only consider subscribing to the Enterprise plans when your employee headcount exceeds 50 people and users require more storage space solutions. Otherwise, business plans are the perfect choice for you.

E1, E3. or E5?

Once you’ve decided to go for the Office 365 Enterprise plans, you need to choose which plan (E1, E2, or E5) suits your business requirements.

E1 offers basic solutions, such as Outlook, Word, OneNote, PowerPoint, and Excel for only $8 per month. It also provides access to SharePoint Team sites, video conferencing, and Yammer for social media for businesses.

E3, on the other hand, provides all E1 features together with data loss prevention, rights management, and encryption to ensure your business’s security and compliance.

Lastly, E5 is a full enterprise-grade solution with all the aforementioned features plus analytics tools, advanced threat protection, flexible Skype for Business conferencing, and unified communications solutions.

Small- and medium-sized businesses often select either E1 or E3 and subscribe to third-party applications for their cloud security and VoIP needs. But if you have the resources and prefer a single provider to manage your suite, the E5 plan is the way to go.

Migrating to Office 365 is not an easy task, and if you’re still undecided about which plan to opt for, contact us today. We won’t just provide Office 365; we’ll also assess your business to find the best plan that fits your budget and business goals.

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The perfect Office 365 plan for your business

With its state-of-the-art tools and features, Office 365 helps businesses manage data, share files, and improve team collaboration. You might be thinking of using this tool to improve your operations, but with the different Office 365 plans available on the market, how can you make sure that you’ll get your money’s worth? This article will help you choose the right plan for your business.

Business or Enterprise

Office 365 Business and Enterprise are the obvious choices if you’re running cloud-based business systems. Both of these plans will give you access to the data management app Office Online and file hosting service OneDrive, but there are some notable differences between the two.

Office 365 Enterprise E3 and E5 plans have unlimited archive and mail storage space, while Business plans have a 50 GB storage limit. Furthermore, Business plans don’t provide archive access from the Outlook client.

In terms of SharePoint, a collaborative platform and document and storage system, Business plans are short on enterprise search, Excel services, and Visio — a diagramming and vector graphics app — features. They also lack in unified communication solutions, such as Power BI, an interactive data visualization tool, and Delve Analytics, which provides real-time work analytics to businesses.

With these points in mind, it may seem like Enterprise subscriptions are superior — and in some ways, they are — but Business plans are more suited for smaller companies running on a tight budget. Office 365 Business and Business Premium cost $10 and $15 per user per month, respectively, while the highest-end Enterprise plan costs $35 per user per month.

As a general rule, only consider subscribing to the Enterprise plans when your employee headcount exceeds 50 people and users require more storage space solutions. Otherwise, business plans are the perfect choice for you.

E1, E3. or E5?

Once you’ve decided to go for the Office 365 Enterprise plans, you need to choose which plan (E1, E2, or E5) suits your business requirements.

E1 offers basic solutions, such as Outlook, Word, OneNote, PowerPoint, and Excel for only $8 per month. It also provides access to SharePoint Team sites, video conferencing, and Yammer for social media for businesses.

E3, on the other hand, provides all E1 features together with data loss prevention, rights management, and encryption to ensure your business’s security and compliance.

Lastly, E5 is a full enterprise-grade solution with all the aforementioned features plus analytics tools, advanced threat protection, flexible Skype for Business conferencing, and unified communications solutions.

Small- and medium-sized businesses often select either E1 or E3 and subscribe to third-party applications for their cloud security and VoIP needs. But if you have the resources and prefer a single provider to manage your suite, the E5 plan is the way to go.

Migrating to Office 365 is not an easy task, and if you’re still undecided about which plan to opt for, contact us today. We won’t just provide Office 365; we’ll also assess your business to find the best plan that fits your budget and business goals.

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Choose the best Office 365 plan

Office 365 has become the go-to all-in-one tool for businesses in recent years. With different Office 365 plans — Business, Business Premium, Enterprise E1, E3, and E5 — you can have a set of services and features that are perfect for your business. We’ve summarized a list of the different features of each plan to help you select the right one.

Business or Enterprise

Office 365 Business and Enterprise are the obvious choices if you’re running cloud-based business systems. Both of these plans will give you access to the data management app Office Online and file hosting service OneDrive, but there are some notable differences between the two.

Office 365 Enterprise E3 and E5 plans have unlimited archive and mail storage space, while Business plans have a 50 GB storage limit. Furthermore, Business plans don’t provide archive access from the Outlook client.

In terms of SharePoint, a collaborative platform and document and storage system, Business plans are short on enterprise search, Excel services, and Visio — a diagramming and vector graphics app — features. They also lack in unified communication solutions, such as Power BI, an interactive data visualization tool, and Delve Analytics, which provides real-time work analytics to businesses.

With these points in mind, it may seem like Enterprise subscriptions are superior — and in some ways, they are — but Business plans are more suited for smaller companies running on a tight budget. Office 365 Business and Business Premium cost $10 and $15 per user per month, respectively, while the highest-end Enterprise plan costs $35 per user per month.

As a general rule, only consider subscribing to the Enterprise plans when your employee headcount exceeds 50 people and users require more storage space solutions. Otherwise, business plans are the perfect choice for you.

E1, E3. or E5?

Once you’ve decided to go for the Office 365 Enterprise plans, you need to choose which plan (E1, E2, or E5) suits your business requirements.

E1 offers basic solutions, such as Outlook, Word, OneNote, PowerPoint, and Excel for only $8 per month. It also provides access to SharePoint Team sites, video conferencing, and Yammer for social media for businesses.

E3, on the other hand, provides all E1 features together with data loss prevention, rights management, and encryption to ensure your business’s security and compliance.

Lastly, E5 is a full enterprise-grade solution with all the aforementioned features plus analytics tools, advanced threat protection, flexible Skype for Business conferencing, and unified communications solutions.

Small- and medium-sized businesses often select either E1 or E3 and subscribe to third-party applications for their cloud security and VoIP needs. But if you have the resources and prefer a single provider to manage your suite, the E5 plan is the way to go.

Migrating to Office 365 is not an easy task, and if you’re still undecided about which plan to opt for, contact us today. We won’t just provide Office 365; we’ll also assess your business to find the best plan that fits your budget and business goals.

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Promoting your SMB with Pinterest

Social media platform Pinterest launched “Promoted Pins,” a premium advertising service aimed at large enterprises, then later released a similar product called “DIY Promoted Pins” for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). These prove how popular social media has become when it comes to establishing an online presence for companies. The following tips will help you get started.

Know your audience

According to a study by Ahalogy and AcuPOLL Precision Research, Inc., Pinterest is largely used by women, mostly “Millennial Moms.” If your typical customer demographic is predominantly male, your marketing efforts would probably be better spent elsewhere. But if your business caters to women between the ages of 15 and 29, you should consider creating a Pinterest account.

Think like a content marketer

Users are looking for engaging content, which is why 59% of active Pinterest users go for Pins that lead to blog posts, articles, and even photos. The most popular topics on the platform are more visual (e.g., food, fashion, decor, etc.), so if you don’t have highly visual content, then infographics, images from blog entries, and even photos of staff members will also do the trick.

Look for inspiration

Getting stuck in a creative rut happens to the best of us, so check out the boards that are saving your Pins to get some fresh insight. There’s a good chance that people saving your Pins have related content that can help you gain insight into what your typical customer is interested in. Not only that, it also helps you identify trends and come up with new ideas for a marketing campaign.

Categorize your boards

By creating and properly labeling multiple boards — one for each of your products or services — your users are able to engage not only with your general content but also with content they’re more interested in.

Determine posting frequency

Excessive pinning might overwhelm or annoy your audience, but not pinning enough might cause followers to lose interest. Create a posting schedule and gauge audience reaction before making any changes to the frequency of Pins.

In order to surpass stiff competition, you’ll need all the help you can get, and that includes social media marketing. If you have any questions about Pinterest and how it can help your business grow, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

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How to market your SMB with Pinterest

Helping SMBs establish a firm online presence, promote corporate content, and drive web traffic, Pinterest is every entrepreneur’s dream. Here are some pointers to consider when using Pinterest for promoting your business.

Know your audience

According to a study by Ahalogy and AcuPOLL Precision Research, Inc., Pinterest is largely used by women, mostly “Millennial Moms.” If your typical customer demographic is predominantly male, your marketing efforts would probably be better spent elsewhere. But if your business caters to women between the ages of 15 and 29, you should consider creating a Pinterest account.

Think like a content marketer

Users are looking for engaging content, which is why 59% of active Pinterest users go for Pins that lead to blog posts, articles, and even photos. The most popular topics on the platform are more visual (e.g., food, fashion, decor, etc.), so if you don’t have highly visual content, then infographics, images from blog entries, and even photos of staff members will also do the trick.

Look for inspiration

Getting stuck in a creative rut happens to the best of us, so check out the boards that are saving your Pins to get some fresh insight. There’s a good chance that people saving your Pins have related content that can help you gain insight into what your typical customer is interested in. Not only that, it also helps you identify trends and come up with new ideas for a marketing campaign.

Categorize your boards

By creating and properly labeling multiple boards — one for each of your products or services — your users are able to engage not only with your general content but also with content they’re more interested in.

Determine posting frequency

Excessive pinning might overwhelm or annoy your audience, but not pinning enough might cause followers to lose interest. Create a posting schedule and gauge audience reaction before making any changes to the frequency of Pins.

In order to surpass stiff competition, you’ll need all the help you can get, and that includes social media marketing. If you have any questions about Pinterest and how it can help your business grow, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

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Use Pinterest to promote your SMB

A lot of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are forsaking conventional marketing schemes in favor of social media platforms, and for good reason. A social networking site that is gaining popularity is Pinterest, where businesses can promote their pins to boost website traffic, improve reach, and increase click-throughs. But wait, there’s more!

Know your audience

According to a study by Ahalogy and AcuPOLL Precision Research, Inc., Pinterest is largely used by women, mostly “Millennial Moms.” If your typical customer demographic is predominantly male, your marketing efforts would probably be better spent elsewhere. But if your business caters to women between the ages of 15 and 29, you should consider creating a Pinterest account.

Think like a content marketer

Users are looking for engaging content, which is why 59% of active Pinterest users go for Pins that lead to blog posts, articles, and even photos. The most popular topics on the platform are more visual (e.g., food, fashion, decor, etc.), so if you don’t have highly visual content, then infographics, images from blog entries, and even photos of staff members will also do the trick.

Look for inspiration

Getting stuck in a creative rut happens to the best of us, so check out the boards that are saving your Pins to get some fresh insight. There’s a good chance that people saving your Pins have related content that can help you gain insight into what your typical customer is interested in. Not only that, it also helps you identify trends and come up with new ideas for a marketing campaign.

Categorize your boards

By creating and properly labeling multiple boards — one for each of your products or services — your users are able to engage not only with your general content but also with content they’re more interested in.

Determine posting frequency

Excessive pinning might overwhelm or annoy your audience, but not pinning enough might cause followers to lose interest. Create a posting schedule and gauge audience reaction before making any changes to the frequency of Pins.

In order to surpass stiff competition, you’ll need all the help you can get, and that includes social media marketing. If you have any questions about Pinterest and how it can help your business grow, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

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Protection through browser extensions

In these times of internet fraud, phishing scams, and high-profile hacks, you can never be too careful. Even if you think you have enough precautions in place, it always helps to take another look at your online safety. Here are some browser extensions you can add to improve your online security.

Prevent browser tracking

If you don’t like the idea of a third party being able to track your browsing habits, try installing a tool that offers private browsing. These programs offer protection against tracking by blocking third-party cookies as well as malware. Some extensions also boast secure Wi-Fi and bandwidth optimization and can guard against tracking and data collection from social networking sites such as Twitter or Facebook. Some examples include Disconnect, uBlock Origin, and Ghostery.

Blocking ads

While online ads may seem harmless, the truth is that they can contain processes that might send your data back to a third party. A decent ad blocking program, like AdBlock Plus and uBlock Origin, will block banner, rollover, and pop-up ads, and also prevent you from inadvertently visiting a malicious site. Many blockers contain additional features such as the ability to disable cookies and scripts used by third parties on websites, the option to block specific items, and even “clean up” Facebook, and hide YouTube comments. The major blockers work with Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox, and you’ll be able to find everything from user-friendly solutions to more advanced tools that are customizable down to the tiniest degree.

Consider installing a VPN

A VPN (virtual private network) browser extension is a simple way to connect your web browser to a VPN server. VPNs encrypt your internet traffic, effectively shutting out anyone who may be trying to see what you’re doing, and then routes it through the server to hide your location and IP address. Commonly used in countries such as China where the internet is heavily censored by the government, a VPN enables users to access blocked sites — in China’s case, that’s anything from blogs criticizing the government to Facebook and Instagram. There are a huge number of VPN browser extensions in the market, like NordVPN and ExpressVPN, so do a little research and find one that suits you best.

If you’d like to know more about staying safe on the internet or would like to schedule a security assessment for your company, get in touch with us today.

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Browser extensions and online security

Think you’ve got enough online security measures in place within your company? It’s hard to tell since you’ll never really know what the next malware or online scam will bring. Plus, it only takes one employee’s mistake to put the company in danger. It’s time to add another layer of online security using browser extensions.

Prevent browser tracking

If you don’t like the idea of a third party being able to track your browsing habits, try installing a tool that offers private browsing. These programs offer protection against tracking by blocking third-party cookies as well as malware. Some extensions also boast secure Wi-Fi and bandwidth optimization and can guard against tracking and data collection from social networking sites such as Twitter or Facebook. Some examples include Disconnect, uBlock Origin, and Ghostery.

Blocking ads

While online ads may seem harmless, the truth is that they can contain processes that might send your data back to a third party. A decent ad blocking program, like AdBlock Plus and uBlock Origin, will block banner, rollover, and pop-up ads, and also prevent you from inadvertently visiting a malicious site. Many blockers contain additional features such as the ability to disable cookies and scripts used by third parties on websites, the option to block specific items, and even “clean up” Facebook, and hide YouTube comments. The major blockers work with Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox, and you’ll be able to find everything from user-friendly solutions to more advanced tools that are customizable down to the tiniest degree.

Consider installing a VPN

A VPN (virtual private network) browser extension is a simple way to connect your web browser to a VPN server. VPNs encrypt your internet traffic, effectively shutting out anyone who may be trying to see what you’re doing, and then routes it through the server to hide your location and IP address. Commonly used in countries such as China where the internet is heavily censored by the government, a VPN enables users to access blocked sites — in China’s case, that’s anything from blogs criticizing the government to Facebook and Instagram. There are a huge number of VPN browser extensions in the market, like NordVPN and ExpressVPN, so do a little research and find one that suits you best.

If you’d like to know more about staying safe on the internet or would like to schedule a security assessment for your company, get in touch with us today.

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