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Covering your business without sacrificing well-deserved annual leave

As if we didn’t need reminding that summer is upon us, the heatwave that vast swathes of the UK have enjoyed (or endured for those longing for cooler nights) over the past week has done exactly that.

With the school holidays still to come this means for many of us there is annual leave to look forward to, with the prospect of relaxing on a beach or around a pool becoming more of an unmistakable reality as each day and week ticks by.

However, for small business owners this can bring worry and tension just as much as it can relief and satisfaction. In fact, a OnePoll survey conducted in 2015 found 76% of small businesses owners and entrepreneurs have sacrificed their holidays in order to fully focus on keeping business operations running smoothly.

But newer innovations over recent years have effectively removed the chains that previously tied businesses to a fixed location. As a result you neither have to be completely cut off from business while you enjoy a holiday, or sacrifice a holiday completely so you can dedicate yourself to your company.

Cloud based VoIP technology means you can work completely independently of your ordinary office location, allowing you to effectively carry out any critical business activities from a sun lounger beside the pool.

The following are just some of the scenarios you may find yourself in as a business owner on holiday, and the inclusive features VoIP supports that will help you enjoy well-deserved time off whilst also covering your business.

I want to stay in the loop by having the ability for calls to be forwarded to me

With the Call Forwarding feature you can easily forward calls to any location in the world. As it is a flexible feature with a number of forwarding options, it means you can cover a range of different scenarios.

If you want all calls forwarded to you, you would simply create one step in your routing plan that would instruct the system to ring the number of your choice – likely to be your mobile number. However, you can also set-up an app on your smartphone that will allow you to take calls on your mobile through your VoIP number.

But remember, if you receive large volumes of calls it may not be ideal receiving every single one while you’re away on holiday. Luckily, there are a number of ways you can tackle this, including utilising Multi Route so calls ring simultaneously at multiple destinations.

By setting up multiple forwarding rules in your routing plan you can configure calls to ring on your colleagues’ phones or mobiles for them to pick up, and if not answered, to then forward to you in a following step so the call is not lost.

I want customers to easily be directed to the correct person based on enquiry type

In addition to enhancing customer satisfaction and making your business look professional, the Call Director/IVR feature easily connects customers to the correct person or department.

Customers initiate this by pressing a number on their keypad – “For Sales, Press 1”. You can personalise your menus exactly as you wish. For example, if you only wanted customers with urgent or emergency enquiries routed to you, you could setup a step for this and utilise other steps for other departments in your business.

Therefore, customers with general sales or customer services enquiries can be routed to colleagues to take care of whilst you remain undisturbed, while any urgent or emergency enquiries that you would rather know about yourself will firstly come to you.

I want calls taken on my behalf so I can retrieve the messages left in my own time

You risk missing potential business leads while you’re away if all or most of your calls go unanswered.

The Virtual Receptionist feature allows your business to capture each lead. The receptionist will take the caller’s name, their number and their enquiry. You will then receive the number of the caller through to your email, along with details of the message left for you and a recording of the call between the receptionist and the customer.

You can then conveniently go through the emails and messages in your own time.

I want to play a message to callers and ask them to leave a voicemail

Even if you have multiple call forwarding options in place, it does no harm to have a professional plan ready and waiting to be executed on any rare occasion you miss a call. If you aren’t taking advantage of any call forwarding options, it’s even more important.

With VoIP you can easily record and upload introductory audio greetings to play to your callers when they dial your number using Messaging While Routing. In this case, if you’re on holiday, you could: reassure callers they have reached the right company; that you’re on annual leave; and when you will return.

Doing so will positively shape perceptions of your organisation, whilst capturing the details of customers so you don’t lose any potentially good leads. This is done using Voicemail to Email. With this feature you can retrieve voice mail messages (including a recording of their message) via email, via your IP phone or by dialling in from your mobile.

Want more information?

Contact Support for more information on any of the features highlighted in this article.

  • Tel: 03333 443 443
  • Email: support@soho66.co.uk

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