To Phone or not to Phone

XFS_Duke

XFuse Solutions, LLC
Verified Provider
Hey guys,

What do you use for phone support for your customers? We currently have a toll-free number and several local numbers right now. I am using Google Voice setup through FreePBX and our IVR setup with it. I'm actually setting up a SIP trunk through Vitelity right now as well to replace Google Voice as it is ending in May.

What do you guys use? If nothing, how do you prefer to be contacted? I'm thinking about ditching the toll-free number due to the "ghost" calls lately... Ones that don't hit my PBX but only route through the provider, odd....

Let me know what you guys use...
 

NodeWest-Dan

New Member
We use Google Voice for our phone number, but it's only for sales.  We don't offer telephone support as we want all issues 100% tracked in tickets for reference and research/training.  Obviously that puts us at somewhat of a disadvantage because plenty of people look for phone support.  We however, prefer to not be blindsided by a he said she said issue.
 

XFS_Duke

XFuse Solutions, LLC
Verified Provider
We use Google Voice for our phone number, but it's only for sales.  We don't offer telephone support as we want all issues 100% tracked in tickets for reference and research/training.  Obviously that puts us at somewhat of a disadvantage because plenty of people look for phone support.  We however, prefer to not be blindsided by a he said she said issue.
Yea, good idea. What I tell my staff is to open the customers account and notate things. If they see it's going to be an issue then open a ticket for the customer with a description of the issue and if they have anything to add they can add it themselves... Normally people go Oh, ok, i'm good then... lol
 

cubixcloud

Member
Verified Provider
We local, toll free and Google voice route to Elastix box works like a champ when the Sangoma card doesn't need to be recomplied against kernel updates :D .

We had one customer call CubixCloud for support over phone. Other than that basically 100% of our transactions are conducted over email, tickets and Skype more recently. 100% way to track them. Probably OT but we are looking to ditch live chat too for Skype.

Granted any larger customer wanting to reach us for peace of mind we do occasionally provide additional contacts but they know to open tickets otherwise we get  :angry:. Naw, they understand it's always best to track things for quality improvement.  
 

jebat_ks

New Member
Just an opinion based on experience,


I used to work as Linux sysadmin(the company have this policy where every staff is also customer service; so they publish everybody name, title and phone number extension) with some local web hosting that offer full range service from domain & shared hosting to dedicated & colocation.


My advise would be to either don't provide tech support through phone at all, or limit it to certain client(business/corporate). I can't recall how many times I spend half an hour to explain difference between hosting & domain, or IMAP & POP3, to shared hosting client who believe their hosting account is having problem due to their incompetence.


The worst part is shared hosting(not VPS nor dedi) client usually is the one who complaint and curse a lot. Why? because most of them don't understand enough and want it to just works(I blame Apple for this).


This is also one of the reason I quit, despite working with great team with great perks. The thickness of some is beyond me.


So I vote no for tech phone support. Maybe save it for sales & billing. Have some pity for your support staff, may god have mercy on their soul.


/rant
 

Jade

NodeServ
Verified Provider
We have a local number with a PBX system, however the majority of our support is handled via support tickets.
 

drmike

100% Tier-1 Gogent
"Google Voice as it is ending in May"

What's up with this?   Was there some official announcement that they are shuttering Google Voice?
 

drmike

100% Tier-1 Gogent
I like phone support, as a customer, when and if I ever need it.

As much as I hate phones, I keep a simple VOIP line for various contacts/customers/etc. just in case.
 

Kruno

New Member
Verified Provider
I prefer emails. Got an urgent issue? Fine, I will have it pushed to my iPhone instantly. 

I always found doing support via phone annoying from some reason. 
 
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KS_Phillip

New Member
Verified Provider
We have a toll-free, and numerous per-country numbers that all route to the IVR on our PBX.
 

Maximum_VPS

New Member
Verified Provider
We also have a Toll-Free number for fully managed clients useing Elastix.
 
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scott2020

New Member
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cubixcloud

Member
Verified Provider
I will add if you have a PBX you can record your phone calls so things can be tracked also just not as easily as tickets, live chat, emails, and IM. You will of course need to let the caller know as it's illegal in the US to not inform them.

For budget VPS I am all for no support. You will spend hours on the phone and you just spent more money paying the support guy than revenue coming in. We've got face a provider that can't be profitable as we all know will soon close its doors. Phone support makes more sense for managed VPS on the higher end as others have said.
 

raindog308

vpsBoard Premium Member
Moderator
I will add if you have a PBX you can record your phone calls so things can be tracked also just not as easily as tickets, live chat, emails, and IM. You will of course need to let the caller know as it's illegal in the US to not inform them.
Not quite accurate.

In some states, it's legal as long as one party (e.g., you) consents the call is being recorded.  The other party can even be ignorant the call is being recorded.  

In other states (a minority), all parties must consent. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone_recording_laws#United_States

Of course, as you say, it's best to just tell people their calls will be recorded.
 

drmike

100% Tier-1 Gogent
I haven't seen Obihai being outted yet as a culprit.   If they get cord cut from Google, that will be sad since the Obihais were sold to many people.   Good thing, unlike so much VOIP gear is they are SIP compliant and can use them elsewhere.   So all is not lost.

So much for Google and this open environment. experiment.  Close the door, pick the pockets heavily from the addicts.
 

javaj

New Member
I guess they are cracking down on 3rd party apps who are "unauthorized".

http://thenextweb.com/google/2013/10/31/google-shut-unauthorized-google-voice-apps-may-2014/#!rl09q

I wonder if my Obihai box will no longer work?  Doesn't look like it.  Oh well, back on topic.
Yeah, that sucks, paid $49 for my Obihai and its works great, kinda of a thing with google though, all great things come to an end with them.

But yeah, there are lots of $7 dollar a month plans out there though, I bought mine just to have a home phone, and with google voice it was free so it was a win win. But yeah a $7 a month voip is a lot better than you can get through a phone company. But it looks like the free ride is soon over.
 

BuyCPanel-Kevin

New Member
Verified Provider
We use Google voice for our phone system, but I feel like being contacted via tickets is better, there is record of everything that is said and invoice numbers can be copied and pasted instead of dictated.
 

bdtech

New Member
I haven't seen Obihai being outted yet as a culprit. If they get cord cut from Google, that will be sad since the Obihais were sold to many people. Good thing, unlike so much VOIP gear is they are SIP compliant and can use them elsewhere. So all is not lost.


So much for Google and this open environment. experiment. Close the door, pick the pockets heavily from the addicts.
Obi is using XMPP which the Goog plans to switch off. Obi isn't obsolete as there's plenty of VOIP/DID providers for cheap and GV will still forward anyway
 

Artie

Member
But yeah, there are lots of $7 dollar a month plans out there though, I bought mine just to have a home phone, and with google voice it was free so it was a win win. But yeah a $7 a month voip is a lot better than you can get through a phone company. But it looks like the free ride is soon over.
Umm, where are these $7 plans? I haven't seen any. Been browsing recently.
 
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