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Two Tools to Stay in Touch
Submitted by csmith on 2012-08-15T10:15:14
It’s an exciting time for i.c.stars. After twelve years at our original location, we moved to a larger place where we can all be on one floor. In the midst of all this excitement, some challenges also came up. There were some work-from-home days, as well as, days when I did not have a phone line in the new office. It usually takes a couple of weeks to get all the kinks figured out when moving to a new location. For example, my office phone, for whatever reason, just keeps dropping calls.
However, with Onebox I was able to transition smoothly from one building to the next. My number stayed the same, even though it actually rings on a different phone line when people call it. If I am unable to answer my desk phone after three rings, it is then setup to forward to my cell phone. It’s helpful for all our current clients and sponsors as well as the prospective contacts I’m talking to, since we are so close to our next CIO conference on August 24. This is a really hectic time for me, so moving in the middle of planning a conference has been a bit stressful. But knowing that I could forward any call that I wanted to my cell phone, which is pretty reliable, made that transition much smoother.
What I really love is you only need to have one phone number on your business card and you can be sure by using Onebox that it’s transferred to different locations. You can say, “Group 1 is my desk phone - ring there three times. If I don’t answer my desk phone, ring my cell phone three times.” And no matter what number they call, or where they call from, they’ll always get my voicemail, which is quite helpful.
Another Onebox feature I like is that it sends my voicemail to my e-mail. It’s nice to see immediately that I have voicemail, so I can easily click on and listen to the voice message on my mobile phone as I’m traveling. I don’t have to wait until I get back to my office to hit play. I also don’t have to call in to a certain number, like a lot of offices do. It’s a one-click through e-mail, which is very convenient.
A free option you can use is Google Voice. It has many similar features. I like Onebox a little bit better, because Google Voice will tell callers, “Please hold while Google Voice tries to connect you to the person you’re trying to reach.” Onebox doesn’t do that. There is smooth transition from calling my direct line to ringing my desk phone and then ringing my cell phone. The caller never knows that they’re being transferred anywhere and thinks they are calling you directly.
Another beneficial feature of the Google Voice service is that it rings all of the forwarded lines you have listed simultaneously. It doesn’t move from line to line, which can cause your caller to wait longer for you to answer. Google Voice also transcribes the call (roughly) and sends the transcription, as well as a link to play the message to your e-mail. The downside to using this service is that you must use your Gmail account or your work e-mail, but only if it is hosted by Google.
I never knew about Onebox until I came to i.c.stars. I had to call in to my voicemail for the first ten years that I was employed. Then I came to i.c.stars a year ago and was introduced to this tool, which has really saved my life. What technology have you recently been introduced to that has been effective in maintaining a smooth transition or smooth conversation?