Hosted IVR Gets the Job Done!

Ifbyphone.com beats Angel.com when it counts

Those responsible for disaster recovery and telecom backup plans should be sure to look at how hosted IVR can help ease the pain and offer a solution. Here’s why I take the time to write this post.

My company, VoIP Supply, has a good sized call center with customer support, engineering, purchasing and sales associates. With hundreds of phone calls each day, thousands of new customers each month and existing customers counting on us, allowing our phone system to go down is not an option. Even with a hot swappable PBX, other factors can come into play such as a truck running into the pole that supports your fiber connection to the Internet and/or phone company.

Earlier this month, we experienced a similar situation. To resolve the inbound and outbound telephone issue, we needed to setup a quick and easy call distribution system where callers could select from a list of departments and be transferred to a group of cell phones; simulating our existing call center setup without distracting the customers with our tech issues. Making my way to google.com and searching for “Hosted IVR” I stumbled upon Angel.com. Having used them in the past, I attempted to setup an account online and create my solution. After twenty minutes, three phone calls and multiple voice mail messages left (none of which have since been returned), I returned to my search results and found Ifbyphone.com. Having also used them in the past and knowing the capabilities of their platform, I went back to creating my solution.

Success! Within 10 minutes (probably less) I had created my account, setup my solution, plugged in a couple of voice prompts and cell phone numbers. Five minutes later, bandwidth.com (our connectivity provider) had redirected all of our phone numbers to the ifbyphone.com solution and the cell phones began to ring. From landing on their web site to receiving phone calls took a total of 15 minutes and cost less than $40.

A few hours later our phone system and connectivity were restored and numbers moved back. In the end it was a typical day at the office and all departments potentially impacted were successful with little inconvenience.

Nice job ifbyphone!

Hiring Opportunities and Pitfalls

How to shoot yourself in the foot.

Everyone once in a while I get a resume from what appears to be an ideal candidate, you will to. As with most things in life, you can’t judge a book by its cover and if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Do yourself, your company, shareholders and employees a favor and find out why this person is suddenly available and knocking on your door.

Recently I received one of these ‘ideal candidates’ and thought better of pulling the trigger. There are a few similar, if not competing, tech equipment companies in my neck of the woods. When an excellent candidate comes knocking after being with a different company for a long time, there is probably a valid reason why and not likely to be the reason you will hear from them. Why would a superstar want to jump ship voluntarily only to make a lateral move? I wouldn’t be a very good businessman if I jumped on the opportunity without examining the possible consequences.

What if this person had been fired for harming or endangering another employee, stealing corporate information or assets for personal gain? Even worse, what if they were fired for harassment and are in the midst of a legal battle? Do I really want to invite this behavior into my organization? Hiring this person may have some short term positives, but ultimately the reason they are available will be repeated and will become your problem before long.

Wisely, I called the former employer and got the real story before making a bad decision.