Automated Attendant

An automated attendant, in telephone systems, is a software-driven system that answers and routes incoming calls without the intervention of a live operator. Can your business benefit from an auto-attendant voicemail system?

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Posted by Bob Rankin on September 16, 2010 | Category: Phone Systems

Answering Service Software

If you need an answering service and are the do-it-yourself kind of person, then you may be interested in "answering service software." That's one of the terms for software that helps you manage incoming phone calls. It's also called call management software; phone message software; call service software; or just telephone software. What answering service software is right for you?

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Posted by Bob Rankin on September 08, 2010 | Category: Answering Services

What is Unified Messaging?

Unified Messaging is the integration of all your different communication media: voice phone calls, email, Instant Messaging, SMS, fax, etc., into one user interface that may reside on a desktop computer, laptop, or mobile device such as a cell phone or Blackberry. With UM, you're always in touch with coworkers and customers, even if they are trying to contact you via a medium that you don't happen to have access to at the moment.

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Posted by Bob Rankin | Category: Messaging

Virtual Office Phone Systems

A virtual office phone system is a service that provides the efficiencies and professional audio image of a business office without the usual overhead. A virtual office system is ideal for many kinds of small businesses. Find out if one is right for your business...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 17, 2010 | Category: Phone Systems

Voice and Fax Broadcasting

Phones are generally considered a means for people to reach you, or for you to call a particular person. Faxes can also be sent and received via phone lines, and they usually are point-to-point transmissions. But voice broadcasting and fax broadcasting are ways to get messages to many people simultaneously via phones. These technologies have good and bad uses...

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Posted by Bob Rankin | Category: Voicemail

Choosing a Small Business Phone System

If your business is very small - a sole proprietorship, or a mom-and-pop retail store - you may need just a couple of standard telephones and POTS - Plain Old Telephone Service. But once you have several employees with their own offices, you will need to consider a more sophisticated phone system. Here's some advice on how to choose a small business phone system…

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 03, 2010 | Category: Phone Systems

24-hour Answering Services

The most expensive answering service consists of live operators available 24 hours a day. Do you need a 24-hour answering service? It depends on how urgently people call you and whether you can get a good return on the investment by answering their calls around the clock...

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Posted by Bob Rankin | Category: Answering Services

Avoid Voice Menu Mazes

Are you one of those people who hates Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems - otherwise known as "voice mail jail"? Automated voice menu systems can be annoying, frustrating, and time-wasting. It is especially irritating when a voice-recognition system "didn't understand your request" and makes you repeat yourself in an ever louder voice. Wouldn't it be great to cut through the maze of options and get a live human being on the line? It can be done in many cases, if you push the right buttons or say the right words...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on June 16, 2010 | Category: Voice Response

What is Interactive Voice Response?

If your business gets a high volume of phone calls from customers, you may want to consider Interactive Voice Response (IVR), sometimes called Automated Voice Response (AVR). IVR is a computer telephony system that accepts incoming calls; speaks options to callers; and responds to their voice or touchtone commands with more options or information. Read on to learn more about automated interactive voice response systems...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on June 09, 2010 | Category: Voice Response

Setting Up Voicemail

Setting up voicemail when you first get the service takes a bit of attention and planning, if you want to do it right. Of course, you could simply do nothing except enter a new PIN number to activate your voicemail service. Callers, typically, will get a mechanical voice reciting your phone number, followed by standard instructions to leave a message, and then a beep. That's not very polite, or helpful. Here's how to do it right...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on June 03, 2010 | Category: Voicemail

Virtual Receptionist

Many small businesses are using virtual receptionists these days, outsourcing the job of answering incoming customer calls, and taking voice mail messages. Can your small business benefit from having a virtual receptionist? Read on...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on May 21, 2010 | Category: Answering Services

Telephone Answering Services

Telephone answering services have been around for decades. Answer United, for example, is one company that has been answering other people's phone calls for over 45 years. Voicemail, even though it's essentially free, has failed to kill off the telephone answering service. There are several reasons for that. Here are some reasons for hiring an answering service that uses real humans...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on May 20, 2010 | Category: Answering Services

Internet Voicemail Services

Are you looking for a better way to manage your voicemail? These online voicemail service providers offer an array of services for individuals and small businesses who want the convenience of handling voice messages online, and a professional sounding "virtual office" presence for callers...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on May 10, 2010 | Category: Voicemail

Get a Toll Free Number

"I have an online business and would like a toll-free number for customers to reach us. How do 800 or toll-free numbers work, and how can I get a specific number that I want?"

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Posted by Bob Rankin on May 05, 2010 | Category: Toll Free Numbers

Virtual PBX

When shopping for a new business phone system you will undoubtedly hear the term "virtual PBX" many times. Millions of businesses, from large enterprises to sole proprietorships, use a virtual PBX (Private Branch Exchange) to save money while enjoying first-class telephone features and benefits. Here's how it works...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on May 04, 2010 | Category: Voicemail

800 Number Voice Mail Services

Whatever business you're in, it's critically important that customers and prospects be able to contact you. The more of both who can contact you easily and free of charge, the more business you should be able to do. A toll-free, 800 number voice mail service maximizes your potential business in many cases, but not all. Here are some pros and cons of 800-number voicemail service; where to get it; and an idea of what it costs...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on April 27, 2010 | Category: Voicemail

Voicemail to Email

Checking for new voicemail messages can be a hassle. Sometimes you don't even have a phone available from which to check voicemail. But if you have a computer and Internet connection, voicemail will come to your email inbox. Here's how to make it happen…

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Posted by Bob Rankin on April 21, 2010 | Category: Voicemail

Virtual Voicemail

You may have heard of "virtual voicemail" or Internet voicemail and wondered what it was about. Basically, virtual voicemail is an online answering service that makes a physical telephone optional. Small businesseses and mobile professionals can use it to handle their incoming calls and voice messages online. Here's how it works...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on April 20, 2010 | Category: Voicemail

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