Monthly Archives: September 2011

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Buying a New Phone System?

Purchasing a new phone system can be a very trying experience. What type of hardware/software do I need? What are the features best suited for us? How many lines should I order from the phone company? While most people understand this can be a costly yet necessary expenditure, you may not fully know what to consider when investing in this type of solution for your business. We would like to provide you with some simple things to consider when evaluating a new system for your company.

How will calls be answered – Will you have a full-time employee dedicated to answering and directing calls or will there be several members of your staff responding to them? With today’s technologies, this is an unnecessary practice look here. You should consider automating how calls are answered and allow the system itself to route them to the appropriate person or department. Menu-driven messages can easily determine how and where calls are directed within your business freeing up staff time to focus on other company-related issues. On the same token, if the menus are created effectively, it offers a great convenience to your customers as they might not even know who they should be asking for without a little guidance from you.

Remote Workers – Do you have staff in multiple locations? Work-from-home employees? In this type of scenario, you should consider a voice over IP (VOIP) solution. This would tie your phone system into your remote users via any Internet connection allowing them to place and respond to calls as if they were sitting locally in your office no matter where they were in the world. Imagine this… a customer dials a local Miami number trying to reach your sales representative but the rep is in Chicago. No problem! With VOIP technology, your rep will get this call in The Windy City without any additional long-distance charges to your company. Whether your staff is in Singapore or downtown Ft. Lauderdale… all calls within your organization come at no additional cost to you.

Unified Messaging – This is a popular solution for today’s mobile workforce or sales teams. Selecting a system with this type of functionality allows email, faxes and voicemail to be delivered to your staff through one centralized location. For example, imagine being able to review and respond to your company email on your mobile phone, listen to a voicemail from Microsoft Outlook or view a fax that you have received right from your desktop… and fax back your response from the same place. All the communications necessary for the success of your business right at your fingertips!

Scalable – This is an extremely important factor to consider. It is everyone’s goal to grow their business so it is critical your phone system be able to grow with you and easily accommodate expansion. You should be able to add and modify users and components, easily change or re-direct how calls are answered and increase capacity without the need for unnecessary expenditures. You definitely don’t want to be in the situation where you are hiring more staff but need to purchase another phone system just to add their phone extensions. The solutions Teleco South Florida can provide you with can accommodate your business needs for years to come.

Change Services/Save Money – Are you paying too much now to your voice and Internet providers? We’re finding this to be the case with the majority of new customers contacting us with questions regarding their current solutions. You should definitely consider looking into either changing or combining providers, while still enhancing performance, but cutting your operational costs. We’re almost certain you may be paying for services or features you’re not even using. At Teleco South Florida, we’ve been successful at reducing these expenditures to the extent our customers were able to upgrade their existing phone systems and having the savings we’ve introduced pay for the entire experience.

Manage Internally – All too often, people are purchasing new phone systems with updated technology in order to accommodate growth, improve on overall performance or just keep up with today’s increasing business demands. While we commend them for doing so, we caution them to be aware of what the maintenance and upkeep of the systems will represent to the company. It is important to consider a system that can be managed internally and easily by your staff in order to avoid costly maintenance agreements or service calls from third-party vendors. As an example, you shouldn’t need to contact your telecom vendor simply to add another user or change a greeting or call flow setting on your system. Most of the technologies surrounding new phone systems today are geared around “ease-of-use” and simple administration. It’s all just a matter of education. At Teleco South Florida, we always ensure our customers are fully trained and aware of the features and functionality of the systems we provide.

Warranty – This is an area we advise our customers not to “go cheap” with. There are literally hundreds of systems from which to choose from at relatively inexpensive prices. A lot of them, unfortunately, come with short-term warranties which can represent very costly fees after the warranty has expired. A lot of vendors will make their money with this type of sale. Sure, you get a brand new system, out-of-the-box, with all the bells and whistles but when it breaks down… wham, costly repair fees!

ROI – This is a simple one for you. Following the advise we’ve provided above, you can easily see where making the right decision when purchasing a new phone system will typically pay for itself within as little as one year! For example, what would you pay a receptionist as far as salary goes? With an automated system, this cost is completely eliminated. Combine this with the potential cost-savings by combining, switching or re-negotiating carrier services… your brand new system is really not all that expensive is it?

At Teleco South Florida, we specialize in putting together solutions for our customers where they can typically upgrade their current solution to a new system, with far more advanced technologies, for little to no money out of pocket! Give us a call today and see where we may be able to get your business up-to-date with the latest and greatest and also streamline your overall operational efficiencies by taking advantage of the newest technology solutions on the market today.

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Get Your Marketing Message Heard

A great marketing message targeted at the right audience leads to more sales and further growth of your business. The challenge facing most companies today is how to ensure they are getting these communications across to the right people at the right time as well as in the appropriate timeframe.

Teleco’s Perfect Communicator is a powerful tool that gives this timely messaging delivery control back to the business owners. This dynamic audio distribution system offers control of when, where and how marketing messages are delivered and presented at each company location in an enterprise from one centralized source.

One of Perfect Communicator’s main features assists with the management of pre-recorded marketing messages which can be scheduled for targeted delivery at specified times through either an overhead paging announcement, message on hold, caller-targeted message or even an automatic main greeting for all. Utilizing the Windows-based Media Communications Server (MCS), audio files can easily be dragged and dropped into specific time slots and distribution lists can be created to manage the delivery of updates to designated locations. These updates are automatically received and downloaded at the remote sites for use during prime operational hours.

Just some of the many other features Perfect Communicator includes are Automatic Updating, Overhead Paging, Music On-Hold and Background Music and Caller Targeted Messaging. To learn more about the various features offered please contact us today to schedule a personal demonstration of Perfect Communicator and see how this powerful tool will help your business increase its sales and overall growth.

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My Email has been Blacklisted or Blocked!

Denied Have you ever sent an email message to someone which they claimed they never received? Worse yet, are your customers not getting any of your email communications? There is a good chance your company may have been blacklisted or your messages are being blocked by spam filtering systems. Most of us today utilize electronic email messaging as a means of communicating with current as well as potential customers. It is extremely critical to fully understand how to use this valuable tool while maintaining professionalism and adhering to specific guidelines. Please allow Teleco South Florida to offer just a few tips on how to help avoid being blocked or blacklisted.

Anti-Virus Software – Not keeping your anti-virus and anti-malware software up-to-date on your employee’s workstations and company servers is an extremely easy way to get yourself blocked or blacklisted with Internet providers and spam filtering software. If your email messages are “infected” with either viruses or malware, these services will block any and all content coming from your business as they are seen as a threat to the recipient. This is a simple thing to avoid as most anti-virus/anti-malware software applications are relatively inexpensive and easy to maintain. Invest wisely in this protective measure as, we’re sure you’re aware, viruses can literally cause your business to shut-down completely depending on the damaging effect of the virus.

Security – You should ensure to have adequate security built into both your networking equipment as well as your email servers and workstations to ensure hackers or individuals outside of your company cannot gain access to confidential information. We’re sure you’ve heard of, or actually experienced, a time where email believed to have come from your company (or you) were actually fictitious messages. Without the appropriate security in place, hackers can easily infiltrate your systems and access company and personal address books providing them with addresses to send advertising and/or spam messages on your behalf.

Avoid Spamming and Bulk Email –Businesses today like to send out promotional pieces and advertisements via email. While we understand this is a good means of marketing, we strongly suggest you utilize third-party vendors to handle these types of communications. Internet carrier providers frown upon individual businesses sending multiple messages to hundreds of recipients at one time and will block you from doing so which, in turn, will prevent your company from sending out normal communications entirely. Once you have been blacklisted by any Internet carrier that has labeled you as a spammer, it is a rather difficult and lengthy process to be removed and will prevent you from conducting normal day-to-day operations via email. There are many third-party vendors that have the tools and the resources to handle bulk mailings for reasonable fees.

Graphics/Images – Try and avoid large graphics and an inordinate amount of typefaces within the content of your email messages. Spam filters will often consider these as advertising and will subsequently block them from being delivered to the intended recipient. If you have a legitimate need to include graphics (i.e. logos) in your email, keep them small and not over-dominant of your content. The bottom line here is keep your messages simple and to the point and avoid any unnecessary hype by overpowering your content with graphics.

Be Professional – When emailing customers and vendors, remember to keep your messages on a professional level. Avoid the use of foul language and ensure your conversations are focused on the topic at-hand. Today’s spam-filtering software has very intelligent algorithms built-in and can easily detect unprofessional or non business-related content and will often block these messages from being delivered. Let’s face it here, we need to maintain professionalism throughout all aspects of our business. Leave the joke telling and forwarding pictures of your favorite football team to your personal email.

These are just a few of the simple rules to follow. There are many other, slightly more complicated, guidelines that should be followed when maintaining an email environment for your business. Contact Teleco South Florida today to provide you with further information on how to prevent your company from being blacklisted or email messages blocked by spam filters or let us help you determine whether your company has already been blacklisted by Internet service carriers.