How To Forward Calls On The Executone IDS M18 Phone

 

Forwarding calls to the appropriate party can help to improve your customer service. On the Executone IDS M18 phone, the process is simple and easy.

To forward calls, begin by pressing Forward (FWD). You may then do one of the following:

  • To forward to an outside telephone number, select an outside line and dial a telephone number.
  • To forward to an extension, dial the extension number.
  • To forward to your voice mailbox, dial the voice mail extension.

To cancel Call Forwarding, press FWD.

And that’s it! Check out this and other video tutorials on our YouTube channel. You may also connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest for updates.

For an excellent selection of business phone systems and equipment, you may visit us online or call 1-800-564-8045.

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How To Improve Your VoIP Strategy

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) allows users to make calls via the internet. Initially, to get the system to work, service providers and their call control partners worked together to stabilize the technology. Over the years, as VoIP continued to improved, a growth in VoIP business ensued. Lately, most providers have adopted Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)-based VoIP services, which incorporate day-to-day enterprise features for users. As VoIP persists in the telecom industry, let’s take a look back at how it came to be.

Background
For a better understanding, the telephone network can be broken down into three main segments. First is the core network infrastructure, which is maintained by service providers and is now called the cloud infrastructure. Second is the network that ties the core to the customer, also known as the internet. Lastly is the customer premise network, which involves user-hosted wide area network (WAN) gears and the local area networks (LAN). VoIP’s main focus was stabilizing the core, but since that has been accomplished, the new goal is to concentrate on the maintenance of WAN/LAN networks.

Operational Effectiveness
This is about creating a fine-tuned process which effectively uses all of your resources. When applied to VoIP, service providers measured and monitored the core network to ensure proper functioning and maintain customer satisfaction.

Basically, any changes made to the network were thoroughly tested before release. Even then, any major changes were rolled out through a beta release to select customers. Under a controlled change management process, these changes and updates caused minimal impact to existing customers.

Highly available core networks that were geographically redundant helped to deliver complete reliability and stability free from any inefficiencies. The rate of service outages and disruptions saw a major decline, resulting in improved customer satisfaction.

The new issue was that almost all VoIP providers were meeting the same standards. The need to differentiate from other providers was high.

Differentiation
With the network stabilized, the new goal was to find a way to stand out among the competition. Since most VoIP providers have the same group of suppliers and vendors, the differentiating factor lies in the customer’s Local Area Network (LAN). Providing top notch support to customer issues promptly will greatly improve customer satisfaction. Albeit costly, a team of engineers that is well-versed on the technical side of the VoIP system could solve this, as these highly-skilled people can work directly with customers.

Team
When creating this team, the process can be difficult and time-consuming as managers and senior leaders need to work together, along with a hands-on technical leader. However, harvesting a team of engineers who work hard at their craft and are constantly learning in order to improve themselves and better serve customers can be an invaluable asset. In the long run, this effort is a small price for retaining happy customers year after year.

Share your advice about improving your VoIP strategy with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest!

For a great selection of affordable VoIP and SIP business phones and more, please visit Startechtel.com. If you have any questions or need assistance, call 800-564-8045 today!

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How To Use The Intercom On The Allworx 9224 Phone

 

The Intercom button on the Allworx 9224 phone allows you to use the phone as an intercommunication system between two handsets. Any discussion through the intercom is not private, as the conversation is broadcast over the speaker of the receiving phone. The button turns solid green to indicate the feature is in use. To learn how to use the Intercom on the Allworx 9224 phone, follow these steps.

Start by lifting the handset or pressing the SPEAKER button. Next, press the INTERCOM button and dial the extension. The call connects when “Active Call” is displayed on the LCD screen. You may then start speaking. As mentioned, the conversation will transmit through the speaker on the receiving phone. To end the call, you may press INTERCOM or SPEAKER, or you may hang up the handset.

To deny an incoming Intercom request, press the IGNORE softkey.

And that is how you use the Intercom on your Allworx phone. Check out this and other video tutorials on our YouTube channel. You may also connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest for updates.

For an excellent selection of business phone systems and equipment, you may visit us online or call 1-800-564-8045.

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Conduct The Best Virtual Meeting

There are a variety of factors that can make or break a virtual meeting. Even with the best intentions, things like technical difficulties, poor planning, and disorganization can ruin your virtual conference, causing more harm than good for your company. Thankfully, proper planning and execution can prevent this from happening.

Successful virtual meetings deliver great benefits for your business, like saving time, money, and space. Travel time is diminished, and the budget for travel and lodging can be applied elsewhere. Also, you eliminate the need to house your guests in your conference room, or worry about renting a large venue to accommodate the size of the meeting.

Virtual meetings can also create new opportunities for your business. Since you can virtually invite anyone to participate, you are able to build networks and relationships with partners that you may not have been able to reach in the past.

While they can be a great asset to different companies and industries, conducting a smooth virtual conference takes great care and thought. Here’s how to deliver the best virtual meeting:

Plan Your Agenda
To keep things timely and orderly, it is pertinent that your meeting is carefully planned. There should be enough copies of the final agenda for each participant so that they can prepare for the meeting as well. To keep everyone’s attention, try breaking up the content into short chunks with detailed mini-agendas for each segment. To keep participants engaged, you may want to open the virtual floor to questions and discussion between segments.

Make Effective Use Of Technology
Make sure everyone “meets” at the right time and place with the proper documents. Prior to the meeting, send out a comprehensive email with all the necessary paperwork (ex. agendas, instructions) and any additional information that the participants should know. You should also ensure that your internet connect is stable. If possible, use a wired connection for better reliability and speed.

If you are using additional tools (ex. a slide-sharing program, supplemental software), be sure to practice before the big day. You should be comfortable with all the software and tools you will be using during the meeting. If any issues arise, you will be better equipped to navigate through these, reducing the likelihood of any embarrassing moments during the meeting.

Prepare Participants
Get your participants engaged beforehand. Rather than having your guests simply show up, not give their full attention and rush out, when you send out agendas, seek questions that they would like to be answered during the meeting. Or you may ask them to prepare a set of questions or a statement to be read, answered, or discussed at the event. By asking for meaningful contributions, you will likely get more genuine interest, participation, and engagement.

Keep Them Focused
Simply providing breaks isn’t going to keep your audience focused. It may help, but you should also have a few tricks up your sleeve. Try to inject some kind of interactive activity every so often (10-15 min). As mentioned, opening the floor for discussion or Q & A can help, or you can get creative with fun activities.

Create A Safe Environment
As with any type of large discussion, meeting, or conference, your guests should feel comfortable discussing issues with you and each other. Creating a safe and trusting environment will promote collaboration and enable a more honest, productive discussion. If you are creating an ongoing virtual team that will meet and communicate regularly, you may want to build morale within the team. Setting up small group activities for your virtual team will help build their relationships and trust.

Do you have any virtual meetings tips or horror stories to share? Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Shop our great selection of video phones and conference phones for your business at Startechtel.com. Browse online or call 800-564-8045 to speak with a helpful representative.

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How To Transfer A Call On The Avaya Merlin BIS-10 Phone

 

Transferring calls to the appropriate parties on the Avaya Merlin BIS-10 phone is simple. Follow along as we guide you through the steps to complete this task.

To begin, while on an active call, press the TRANSFER button. Next, if it is not already selected, press the ICOM (Intercom) button or SA (System Access) button. Dial the extension or phone number of your desired party. If you would like, you may announce the transfer. If not, you may press the TRANSFER button then hang up or return to the call on hold.

For a one-touch manual transfer, press the AUTO DIAL button, and then announce the call. Press the TRANSFER button, then hang up or return to the call on hold.

To complete a one-touch auto transfer, simply press the AUTO DIAL button. Please see your System Manager for the availability of this feature.

And that’s it! Check out this and other video tutorials on our YouTube channel. You may also connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest for updates.

For an excellent selection of business phone systems and equipment, you may visit us online or call 1-800-564-8045.

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Criteria For Hosted VoIP Phone Systems

Upgrading to a hosted VoIP phone system for your business is no small feat. As demand increases, more and more options are available, making it more difficult to discern which provider and plan is right for you. Before signing the contract, be conscious of these critical criteria:

Easy Deployment & Management
Typically, all that is necessary to deploy hosted VoIP solutions is an IP phone, a voice gateway device, and a voice router. Providers usually give you the option to install your own equipment or have a professional do the job. If you choose professional installation, an account manager is assigned to act as a liaison and ensure that everything goes smoothly.

Once installed, administering your system should be simple. An online portal which requires minimal training allows you to manage your system and access support services easily and in a timely fashion.

Quality-of-Service (QoS) Benefits & Security Safeguards
Proactive monitoring of the network to ensure proper performance and around the clock support is crucial. The system should also offer appropriate security measures, which should include monitoring user logins to prevent hacking, and ensuring that passwords adhere to industry standards and are encrypted during use.

Considering the extensive list of network and security requirements, choosing a solution that is fully managed by your provider is a smart option. Whether there is an issue with your network or service, you only need to contact one company.

Avoid Hidden Charges
It’s true that hosted VoIP services can be a more cost-effective alternative to traditional phone services, however, you must beware of hidden costs and charges. Always read the fine print before choosing a vendor.

Vendor History & Financials
While hosted VoIP has been around since the late 90s, some providers are still in the early stages of deployment. You will want to choose a vendor who has solid experience and a trustworthy reputation.

Disaster Recovery
Be sure your provider has a disaster recovery plan in case of natural disasters like floods or earthquakes and that it is included in your plan or contract. Do not assume that it will be provided – You do not want to be stranded in an emergency situation.

Features
Some features that you may think are standard may not be included (ex. call forwarding). Go over the features offered within your plan and be sure everything you need is included (popular features include auto attendant, Internet fax, conferencing, and call recording). Inquire about seat types as every function in your business is different and this should be addressed. Be sure your provider can cater to your specific needs with hardware and feature packages that simplify your purchase while offering cost-effective pricing.

If you choose the right provider and plan, hosted VoIP phone systems can save your business money as well as offer a multitude of features you may not have had access to previously. If you currently employ a hosted VoIP system, share your experiences with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Visit Startechtel.com to browse our selection of new and refurbished IP phones, VoIP phone systems, and telephone equipment. If you have any questions, please feel free to call 800-564-8045.

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How To Place A Conference Call On The Executone IDS M18 Phone

 

Conference calls allow colleagues to collaborate over the phone, saving time and money on travel costs. Follow along as we break down the steps to make a conference call on the Executone IDS M18 phone.

Please note that on SIP phones, conference calls are limited to three parties.

While on the first call, press the CNF (Conference) button and the call will be placed on hold.

To add another party, place an intercom or outside call, and then press the flashing CNF button to place the call on hold. You may repeat these steps to place a third party on hold.

Lastly, press the flashing CNF button to join all of the calls together in the conference.

And that is how you place a conference call on your Executone phone. Check out this and other video tutorials on our YouTube channel. You may also connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest for updates.

For an excellent selection of business phone systems and equipment, you may visit us online or call 1-800-564-8045.

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Livestreaming For Businesses

For those of you unfamiliar with livestreaming, it is the process of broadcasting in real time over the internet (think live television, but online). In terms of social media, it started with Meerkat and Periscope, followed by Facebook Live and Instagram Live Stories, all of which are similar yet offer unique features.

Not limited to personal use, businesses can benefit from livestreaming as well. If implemented correctly, it can be another way for businesses to connect with customers on a more personal and fun level. Rather than jumping right in, businesses should devise a thoughtful plan to get the more out of livestreaming.

Planning | Before The Stream
A good thing to always remember is that livestreaming is not about selling. Instead, use it to connect with your audience and showcase your brand and products while truly engaging the customer by delivering meaningful content. Here are some main points to focus on when planning:

  • Continuity

Your livestream should not exist on its own – it should tell your brand story. As it continues, it should support your story and reflect the customer experience.

  • Relevance

If your content is not relevant to the viewer, why would they continue to watch? For example, rather than providing the viewer basic information on a new service, present stories of how this new service has helped others, and maybe even include customer accounts. You want to put out content that represents and relates to your consumers and who they really are.

  • Well-Composed

Take as many aspects into account beforehand. Where will the livestream take place? Will you stay in one place or be mobile? Who will speak and about what? And remember to be mindful of what you are displaying in the background. Be sure that any employees or bystanders are aware that they may be recorded, and be sure not to leak anything inappropriate or confidential.

  • Well-Communicated

Promote your livestream and build up hype before the event. The more people know about it and anticipate it, the more they will be enticed to watch and may adjust their schedules to tune in.

  • Set Goals

By setting goals and metrics, you will be able to evaluate your performance and see what does and does not work. These insights will help you plan a better livestream, allowing you to improve and perfect your approach.

Executing | During The Stream
Things to keep in mind during the actual event:

  • Avoid Scripts

Talk with your audience, rather than to them. Avoid creating a script and sounding robotic. Instead, make a loose outline of topics you want to cover and take a glance before you speak.

  • Don’t Fake It

Most viewers will see right through you if you pretend to be an expert on an unfamiliar subject. Not only will this hurt your livestream, but it can damage the credibility of your business. If you are not comfortable covering a topic you have little knowledge of, bring in an expert or someone who can better address it. Having a guest speaker can positively affect your livestream and possibly draw more viewers.

  • Be Natural

Conversational style is key. Make your delivery seem personal by maintaining eye contact, but know that it is okay to look away or glance at notes here and there. Don’t be discouraged by mistakes and slip-ups because we know we are all human and these things happen.

  • Don’t Stream In Vain

Include a call to action for viewers after the completed stream. You want to give your audience an opportunity to act. You can offer a preview of what’s to come or simply prompt a “like” or “follow” for your pages or profiles.

Repurposing | After The Stream
You should always think ahead to what will happen after the stream is over. Will you save the stream, and if so, how? How will you repurpose and leverage this content? How will you gather data? How did your engagement results compare to your goals?

Once your stream is completed, be sure to update the description and names of people involved, and include any relevant links and additional resources as mentioned.

Evaluate & Review
Lastly, watch the stream to see how and what you can improve. Get feedback from other viewers and use this constructive criticism to produce better streams.

Have you tried livestreaming for your business? Would you consider using livestreaming to build and engage with your audience? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Find great prices on new and refurbished business phones systems and telephone equipment at Startechtel.com. Browse online or call 800-564-8045 to speak with a representative.

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How To Transfer A Call On The Allworx 9224 Phone

 

When it comes to transferring calls on the Allworx 9224 phone, you have two options: the unannounced transfer or the announced transfer. The unannounced transfer is also known as a blind transfer since the user does not talk to the transfer recipient prior to transferring the call to that extension. The announced transfer is also known as the attended transfer as the user speaks with the transfer recipient prior to transferring the call to that extension.

To learn how to perform these different transfers on the Allworx 9224 phone, follow these steps.

The TRANSFER button enables sending the active call to another number. After starting the transfer, the TRANSFER button is solid red, which indicates transferring (whether Blind or Attended). Depending on your Allworx server software version, the transfer option works differently. To determine which Allworx server software version your system is using, please see your Allworx Server Administrator.

For Allworx Server Software Version 7.3 or Lower:

Blind Transfer
Start by pressing the TRANSFER button. The current call will be placed on hold. Please note that the Allworx Server Administrator may configure this method for server 7.4 and greater based on the phone configuration.

Key System Mode: Press a free Line Appearance Programmable Function Key (PFK), and then dial the number.

PBX Mode: Wait for the dial tone, and then dial the number to transfer the call.

You may hang up, press the TRANSFER button, or press the XFER (Transfer) softkey to complete the transfer.

Attended Transfer
Start by pressing the TRANSFER button. Press an unused Call or Line Appearance PFK, and then dial the phone number of the recipient of the transfer. When they answer, you may speak to the recipient and announce the transfer. To connect the two parties, press the TRANSFER button again and then press the PFK of the original call. You may hang up the handset when you are finished.

To cancel the transfer, press the RELEASE button. To return to the original caller, press the PFK indicating the held call.

For Allworx Server Software Version 7.4 or higher, please verify that the INTERCOM button or an Appearance PFK is free.

To complete a one-step transfer, please verify that the Allworx Server Administrator has enabled this function. Also, the user must have a Busy Lamp Field (BLF) or Speed Dial PFK for the recipient of the transfer.

On an active call, press the BLF or Speed Dial PFK for the recipient of the transfer. For an Attended transfer, you may speak with the recipient of the transfer. For a Blind transfer, you may hang up, press the TRANSFER button, or press the XFER (Transfer) softkey to complete the transfer.

A two-step transfer is necessary if a PFK is unavailable for the intended recipient. Start by pressing the TRANSFER button and the current call will be placed on hold.

Key System Mode: Press a free Line Appearance PFK and then dial the phone number.

PBX Mode: Wait for the dial tone, and then dial the extension to transfer the call.

For an Attended transfer, you may speak with the recipient of the transfer. For a Blind transfer, you may hang up, press the TRANSFER button, or press the XFER (Transfer) softkey to complete the transfer.

To transfer a call to voicemail, press the TRANSFER button, and then press the VMAIL (Voicemail) softkey. Next, dial the extension, press a BLF key, or press the Speed Dial key. Lastly, you may hang up, press the TRANSFER button, or press the XFER (Transfer) softkey.

And that is how you transfer calls on your Allworx phone. Check out this and other video tutorials on our YouTube channel. You may also connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest for updates.

For an excellent selection of business phone systems and equipment, you may visit us online or call 1-800-564-8045.

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How Restaurants Can Benefit From Phone Systems

Restaurants are relatively fast-paced environments, with busy workers always on their feet and on the go. Considering this, a mobile solution seems like it would be a good fit. However, restaurants should invest a dedicated business phone system with smart features. In order to choose the correct one, the needs and budget for your restaurant must be evaluated.

Reliable Provider
First and foremost, find a solid phone service provider. Without reliable service you could end up losing important calls and customers. Poor call quality can also negatively affect your business image. It would be wise to do some research on providers, see what they offer in terms of service level agreements, and ask other restaurants which service they use and how pleased they are with their systems. There will likely be a few providers which suit your needs, and from there you will simply need to choose which one you prefer over the others.

Single vs. Multiple Lines
Call volume can be unpredictable, which is why it is advised to get at least a couple of lines. For fewer than five phone lines, you can install regular phone lines with a business plan from a local provider. Should you need more lines, you will likely need to consider a key service unit in which your phones will be routed.

VoIP
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) can be a cost-effective option, however, because it relies on internet connection there is a higher risk for spotty service and dropped calls. If you choose to go the VoIP route, be sure to choose a quality internet provider and a plan with plenty of bandwidth and speed. You will need to invest in IP phones as well, but luckily, prices are relatively low.

Additional Features
Depending on your restaurant, extra features and functions could be helpful. For example, voicemail allows you to receive messages after hours, while call forwarding will allow you to take calls while you run errands. Custom messages provide your callers with important information, like answers to frequently asked questions, while they wait to speak with staff. You can even set up a menu to give callers the specials of the day, directions, hours, or route them to another line to make reservations.

Aside from all of these things, you want a provider that offers scalability. You never know how successful your business can or will be, so a provider who can grow with your needs is a must.

Find business phone systems and telephone equipment to suit your restaurant needs at Startechtel.com! We offer great prices on new and refurbished items. Shop online or call 800-564-8045 to speak with a representative.

You can find us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest for the latest news and updates!

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