Category Archives: Uncategorized

Why Your Business Needs a Toll-Free Number

A toll-free number is a great asset to businesses with customer bases spread across a country. It allows callers to reach the company without paying long-distance fees. Instead, the business covers all inbound charges – an act of professionalism and gratitude. The per-minute fee is quite low, especially over VoIP, making it a small cost compared to the value gained.

Traditionally, people associate toll-free numbers with businesses involved in customer service and telemarketing. Nowadays, any business with a website needs one. The online world has given all businesses a chance to target new markets outside of their immediate communities.

Customer Convenience

Toll-free numbers invite more customer calls. People are eager to get in touch when it doesn’t cost them money. Not to mention, local numbers create barriers for those who live far away. It makes them question your business’ reachability and support for non-local markets.

Brand Awareness

Your business likely plasters its phone number in many places: the website, business cards, brochures, directories and more. In effect, it becomes a vital part of your brand identity. Thus, you should procure a number that lends professionalism and credibility to the brand. Toll-free numbers do this well, as they construct grander corporate images.

Toll-free numbers resonate with consumers more so than local ones, especially when used together. For example, a Canadian 1-800 plus a 1-613 and 1-416 creates the illusion that you’re rooted in Toronto and Ottawa but operate nationwide. The benefit of combining numbers is that you appeal to the local market without alienating those outside of it.

Indirectly, toll-free numbers garner trust. This is less true now than in the past when consumers assumed toll-free numbers were hard to obtain. Nevertheless, some of the authority remains.

As an aside, you may choose to solidify your brand with a vanity number. Vanity numbers are easy to remember and recognize because the digits correspond with a phrase. For example, 1-800-Example translates into 1-800-392-6753. Vanity numbers are not necessary to attain the aforementioned benefits.

Call Flexibility

Commonly, businesses employ toll-free numbers in their marketing schemes. Doing so makes it easier to track leads per campaign. Afterwards, the business forwards the number to some other destination for general purposes (or they get rid of it altogether).

Call forwarding is a useful aspect of toll-free. You do not need special phones or phone systems to place and receive calls. In fact, you can send calls to a regular mobile phone or landline.

Toll-free numbers help businesses future-proof their brands, too. A business with a 1-416 that relocates to the 1-613 area code must now adjust its market position. With a 1-800 number, neither moving nor travelling is a concern. It’s super easy to direct call flows when paired with an online phone system.

Contact FFB VoIP Services today! Call us at 855-515-8647 or email sales@ffbservices.com

VoIP features that can benefit your small business

Find me/follow me call routing
Mobile workers will appreciate this feature. Find me/follow me call routing allows you to create a list of numbers where you can be found before the call gets pushed to voicemail. So, for example, you might have your office phone ring twice, but on the third ring, your cell phone starts to ring, and then on the fifth, your home phone. If the list is exhausted, the caller gets sent to voicemail.

Music on hold
If your company often has to put callers on hold, this feature is a necessity. Do not subject your callers to terrible elevator music — or worse, silence. This feature allows you to choose what your callers listen to as they wait. (Tip: You can’t go wrong with Journey.)

Bandwidth utilization and inbound/outbound call detail reports
Data! As a business, data tracking is essential to figure out where to direct your company’s time and energy. A managed, cloud-based VoIP service can provide bandwidth utilization information that allows you to view data usage over a period of time. Inbound and outbound call detail reports let you view details of your company’s call history, including rate centers, duration, originator, destination, and cost.

Call screening
Call screening is an often-forgotten feature of the VoIP business world that can come in handy. It allows you to look at a number on the caller ID and choose how to treat it. For example, if your spouse is calling, you can redirect the number to your cell phone. Or if it’s a caller that keeps trying to sell you energy supplements, you can disconnect them or better yet, block them all together.

Coaching tools
Instead of giving your employees advice after they’ve hung up the phone, give them advice while they’re on the call. Two features can help you train and monitor your employees’ on-phone performance: barge and whisper. Barge allows you to listen to a conversation between an employee and a client without interrupting. You can alert them — or decide not to. Whisper allows you to provide advice, tips, and information to your employees while they are on the phone with a client without the client being aware.

Auto attendant
An auto attendant is one of the hidden gems of FFB VoIP services. This feature allows callers to interact with a menu to choose an appropriate extension. Your business will suddenly seem more professional and impressive. It’s like having an electronic receptionist!

Conferencing
Most people know about conferencing with VoIP services, but not everyone takes advantage of all the features that might come with it. Often, you can set up a conference floor monitor. This allows you to manage invitations, “hand-raises,” muting individuals, etc. Online conferences can get messy and confusing if not managed correctly, so this is a great tool to learn how to use.

Do not disturb
This feature does exactly what its name implies: leaves you undisturbed. You can turn it on to temporarily stop incoming calls to your phone. This becomes especially useful during conferences, lunches, and meetings. Best of all, you can program it so that it does not just ignore callers, but directs them toward voicemail or another destination of your choice.

Contact FFB VoIP Services today! Call us at 855-515-8647 or email sales@ffbservices.com

The VoIP Reliability Myth

Many customers we talk to have the same concern with VoIP, “Traditional or analog services don’t need electricity to work so they are more reliable.

It is true that POTS (plain old telephone service) are line powered but it is very difficult to find a telephone device that does not require an electric connection. In the event of a power failure your line would work but the phone connected to it probably wont so that line is worthless anyway. In larger businesses that utilize PRI connections the phone system AND all the individual phones require power so unless you are putting a UPS system at each desk your services are down too.

VoIP is just as reliable as your standard phone service and in some cases, even more so. With the local telephone company almost all of their systems are housed in a small datacenter that’s located close to where you are. With VoIP, we have the ability to spread our services over many physical locations, providing redundancy and backup in the event that there’s an outage in one location.

VoIP as well as many traditional phone services today, rely on the same lines connecting your office to the internet. Meaning that if your internet goes out, chances are your traditional phone system is out too. If this were to happen with your traditional phone service all your calls would just ring busy, costing you business. With FFB Services Voip, we provide automatic call forwarding. Meaning your calls are still coming through and you’re still in business. Even when disaster strikes.

FFB Services strives to provide our clients with the maximum amount of uptime and reliability possible. Here’s some ways that we do this:
Multiple Locations. FFB Services has servers in three data centers across the country, each one is constantly replicating to the others so that if one does go down, your phones will switch to the next one within seconds
Auto Call forwarding. We encourage all of our customers to setup auto-call forwarding, this way if you’re not at your desk or there’s an outage in your building, calls are forwarded to your cell phone automatically.
Underlying Carrier call forwarding. In the event that there is a major outage, we always provide an underlying carrier call forwarding. This means that even if our systems are down, your calls will still get forwarded to your cell phone. Over 8 years of business in the VoIP industry and we have never had to rely on this feature.

“My traditional phone system in the back hasn’t been down in years, I can’t say the same for my computer.”

VoIP systems aren’t the same as your PC. FFB VoIP Services use industry leading maintenance plans and architecture that provides uptime that’s well above that for most computers. Additionally a hosted phone system in the cloud gives the opportunity for redundancy traditional equipment cannot offer. Multiple data centers provide geographic diversity for routing and call processing. Deploying more than one bandwidth provider at your office not only gives computers two routes out it does the same for voice traffic; that isn’t very easy with traditional telecom. Even in the event of an outage at your office calls processing in the cloud means your customers don’t get a busy signal; they can be routed to mobile phones, other offices, or voice mailboxes.

Contact FFB VoIP Services today! Call us at 855-515-8647 or email sales@ffbservices.com

Top 10 Reasons to Switch to Hosted VoIP

Outdated Technology. What happens when your current 10 year old system breaks down? Can you get parts, do you have service, will you be down for days? Don’t make another huge capital investment on phone hardware and there are plenty of added features if you ditch the dinosaur.

Limited (or no) IT resources. Many smaller businesses have no IT professionals – and those that do typically have two or fewer. They are responsible for accomplishing multiple tasks on any given day. Why be concerned with managing a phone system?FFB

Business process improvement. You want communications integrated into your business processes, and some of the features you can add once you move to Hosted VoIP make that possible. Once your voice traffic travels the information superhighway, you can integrate unified communications (UC) software or contact center features. You can’t do that with a traditional phone system.

Predictable costs. From a pricing model perspective, Hosted VoIP is a predictable business expense. You know what you’re spending each month because of its fixed per-user cost structure which includes local and long distance voice usage. That’s a huge advantage.

OpEx > CapEx. Plenty of companies today don’t want to buy equipment and have that capital expense (CapEx) weigh them down with a depreciating asset. Most businesses want an operating expense (OpEx) model. Benefits including paying as you go and simplified accounting. Cash flow is crucial for your business success. Don’t tie your cash up in unnecessary telecom equipment purchases.

Connecting multiple locations. Connecting locations with different telco providers can be complicated and add up to higher costs. With a Hosted VoIP system, those negatives fall like dominos.

Office on the move. Do you really want to schlep an old phone system to a new location? Chances are the current phone system isn’t so current. Why reinvest in it by updating service contracts and doing more with the phone company? Make your escape.

Not a phone company fan. Everyone who’s owned a phone system has had to talk with customer service, either with the phone company or with the on‑site telephony company. One points the blame finger at the other. With Hosted VoIP, one trusted provider controls everything.

Easy upgrades. Why pay someone to upgrade a private, on‑site telephony system? Put that same system in the cloud to receive automatic upgrades. You don’t ever have to worry about upgrades again.

Outages aren’t acceptable. People like to think traditional phones are more reliable, but that’s simply not true. A phone system sitting in a closet down the hall is vulnerable. Power outages and bad weather are just two scenarios most of us have experienced in an office environment. Put a phone system in the Cloud to sharply reduce your outage potential. Then further decrease the risk with a provider that has multiple Hosted VoIP clusters in their cloud and redundant data centers that can fail over for those rare times they experience an issue.

Contact FFB VoIP Services today! Call us at 855-515-8647 or email sales@ffbservices.com

Referral Program Rules

Program Overview: The FFB Services Business Referral Program is offered by FFB Services, LLC (“FFB Services”) and provides the opportunity to refer your friends, colleagues, and associates to FFB Services and receive compensation. You must be an FFB Services customer to participate in the Referral Program.

Program Details: FFB Services will account credit (“Reward”) to any Eligible Referrer (as defined below) who refers an Eligible New Customer (as defined below) in compliance with these Referral Program Rules (“Rules”). Rewards will be calculated based on the number of unlimited or metered lines activated by the Eligible New Customer at ninety (90) days of service. The Reward will be issued only after the Eligible New Customer’s account has been active and in good standing for ninety (90) days. FFB Services reserves the right to add, modify and/or delete any Rewards and/or requirements to receive any Rewards. FFB Services’s decision with respect to all aspects of the Cash Referral Program is final and binding.

Definition of an Eligible Referrer: To qualify as an “Eligible Referrer: (1) you must be a legal resident of the fifty (50) United States and District of Columbia or Canada, who is 18 years of age or older, and (2) if you are an existing FFB Services customer, your existing account(s) must be active and in good standing at the time of the referral and must remain active and in good standing for a minimum of ninety (90) days after the account for the Eligible New Customer that you referred has been activated. Existing FFB Services customers, and former FFB Services customers whose accounts were cancelled or terminated as of November 18, 2013, are prohibited from referring themselves. Business owners are prohibited from referring their respective business(es) and are ineligible to receive a reward. Employees are prohibited from referring their respective employers and are ineligible to receive a reward. FFB Services Partner Program participants are ineligible to receive a reward pursuant to this Referral Program.

Definition of an Eligible New Customer: An “Eligible New Customer” is a business that (1) is not currently, and has never previously been, a FFB Services customer, (2) is not already registered as a FFB Services lead in FFB Services’s records, (3) signs up for a FFB Services plan with one or more unlimited or metered extensions while this Referral Program is still active, and (4) that maintains an active FFB Services account in good standing for at least ninety (90) days after activation of account in compliance with FFB Services Terms of Service. Former FFB Services customers are prohibited from qualifying as an Eligible New Customer.

How to Earn Rewards: In order to be eligible to earn Rewards, you must first be a current customer of FFB Services in good standing. Once you have completed the registration process, you will have the option of making referrals in two (2) ways: (1) by submitting your referrals directly to FFB Services via the form provided on the Referral Website, and/or (2) by using the tools provided on the Referral Website to create a personal link which you can then share via social media and/or email. If a business clicks on your personal link and follows the instructions to sign up for a FFB Services plan, and if that referred business ultimately qualifies as an Eligible New Customer, you will be eligible for a Reward for the referral (assuming you meet the definition of Eligible Referrer above).

If you choose to invite businesses to sign up for FFB Services via social media and/or email then (1) you must include the personal link provided to you from the Referral Website in your post/email, (2) you must state in your post/email that you are participating in this Referral Program and are eligible to receive Rewards, and (3) your post/email must be created and distributed in a personal manner that is appropriate and customary for communications with friends, colleagues and family members.

If an Eligible New Customer is referred by more than one Eligible Referrer, only the original Eligible Referrer validated by FFB Services shall be entitled to receive the Reward.

You agree not to abuse the tools in the Referral Website by conduct which is detrimental to the interests of FFB Services, including without limitation, attempting to make referrals or receive rewards in a manner inconsistent with these Rules or the intent of these Rules, attempting to earn rewards through illegitimate channels, participating in fraud, or tampering with Referral Program or its tools.

Reward Issuance: If there are options within the Program for method of Reward issuance (e.g., cash or account credit), it is the sole responsibility of the Eligible Referrer to communicate the desired method of Reward issuance to their FFB Services sales rep, or Customer Care at 855-515-VOIP. If the Eligible Referrer submitted the Eligible New Customer via the form on the Referral Website, the Reward method (i.e., cash or account credit) will be determined based on the selection made by the Eligible Referrer on such form. A W-9 form must be completed, submitted and approved for all Rewards, regardless of method, prior to issuance of Reward. The W-9 form must match the name of the person or company receiving the award. If no specific election of Reward issuance method has been made, the Reward will be issued to the Eligible Referrer in the form of a check. If a valid W-9 form has not been received and approved within one hundred and eighty (180) days of Reward eligibility ninety (90) days after New Customer has activated their account), the Reward will be forfeited. In the event the Eligible Referrer’s account has a past due balance, that balance will be deducted from the Reward. Rewards are considered taxable income and are subject to local, state and federal taxes. When the value of the reward items for which you have redeemed points reaches $600 or more in a calendar year, a 1099 tax form will be generated and mailed to you for tax reporting purposes. FFB Services recommends that you keep all statements sent to you for your record keeping purposes.

General Conditions: By participating in the Referral Program, you agree (i) to release, discharge, indemnify and hold harmless FFB Services, its parent, subsidiaries, affiliates, retailers, and advertising and promotion agencies, and all of their respective officers, directors, shareholders, employees and agents (collectively, “Released Parties”) from any liability or damages which may arise out of participation in the Referral Program or out of the acceptance, use, misuse or possession of any Reward or products attained through this Referral Program. All applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations apply.

Released Parties are not responsible for late, lost, incomplete, delayed, inaccurate, garbled, undelivered, misdirected referrals or Rewards or other errors or problems of any kind relating to or in connection with the Referral Program, whether printing, typographical, technical, computer, network, human, mechanical, electronic or otherwise, including, without limitation, errors or problems which may occur in connection with the administration of the Referral Program, the verification of Eligible New Customers, the tracking of referrals and Eligible New Customers, the announcement of the Rewards or in any Referral Program-related materials. Persons found tampering with or abusing any aspect of this Referral Program, who are acting in a disruptive or unsportsmanlike manner or who are otherwise not in compliance with these terms as solely determined by FFB Services will be disqualified and all points will be void. Released Parties are not responsible for injury or damage to participants’ or to any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participating in this Referral Program or downloading materials from or use of the Referral Website.

FFB Services reserves the right at any time to modify, suspend or cancel Referral Program at any time. Any changes FFB Services makes will be effective immediately on notice, which it may give either by posting the new terms on the Referral Website or via e-mail. Your participation in the Referral Program after such notice will be deemed acceptance of such changes. You should review these Rules periodically to ensure familiarity with the most current version. You will always be able to tell when the version was last updated by checking the “Last Revised” date at the top of these Rules. All questions or disputes regarding the Referral Program, including without limitation, those involving eligibility, participation, fraud and abuse will be resolved by FFB Services.

Your participation in the Referral Program constitutes permission for FFB Services and its designees to use your name, biographical information, image, likeness and/or statements about the Referral Program for advertising, trade, promotional and other purposes, in any manner, in any and all media now or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity, without additional compensation, notification or permission, unless prohibited by law.

Except where prohibited, all issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Rules, or the rights and obligations of the participant and FFB Services in connection with the Referral Program, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of New York, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of the State of New York, or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of New York.

PERSONAL INFORMATION: Your personal information collected in connection with this Program will be used in accordance with FFB Services’s Privacy Policy, available at m/privacy-policy/.

QUESTIONS? Should you have any questions about the Referral Program, please call 855-515-VOIP.

The Referral Program is offered by FFB Services, LLC.