Broker Exchange Network is a small company with big goals. We operate three online business communities in the IT, IC and solar energy industries. Our office of 25 employees is based in Rochester, Minnesota. Our clients are located throughout 63 countries. To attract and retain members, it is crucial that we have access to a reliable business phone system.
Our customers expect high quality voice communications
My role as the Director of Sales & Marketing at Broker Exchange Network requires that I equip employees with the necessary resources to do their jobs well. Their top priority is to support our members and their businesses via phone.
Although a variety of communications tools exist, including email, video conferencing and messaging, our members prefer to connect on audio phone. Our account managers spend the vast majority of their workdays on the phone. The job description dictates fifty outgoing sales calls a day, including international calls.
Account managers are also responsible for handling all of their clients’ incoming calls, to help out personally, or to forward to the appropriate department such as technology or billing. Many of their calls, including international dials, average 45 minutes in length, which means a lot of phone time.
Searching for a reliable business phone system
When I was considering switching to a cloud based phone system, I was first and foremost concerned about voice-audio quality. It is imperative that our phone system is reliable, clear of any static, and can handle heavy traffic. It is just as important that our phone system allows for multiple extensions, a receptionist switchboard and other features that help us manage our call volume in a manner that puts our members first.
In our day-to-day operations, we use phone features such as do-not-disturb (DND), so calls are not sent to a representative who is away from their desk, call recording, dialing into others’ calls, conference calling, phone intercoms, and call recording – to name a few. Our employees use headsets (many prefer wireless headsets), and we receive our voicemails in our email inboxes. We have the ability to forward our desk phones to our mobile phones.
In addition to these features, we require our phone provider’s software to produce accurate reports that monitor communications – the number of dials made, the length of the call, the numbers dialed, etc. Plus, the software must have the ability (via API) to connect to our customer relationship management (CRM) system.
You can imagine, given the demand on our phones that we are particular about the phone provider we choose to partner with. You can also guess that our phone bill is a hefty expense for our small business.
Going with a local provider saved money
As I researched phone providers, I was adamant that a prospective provider be capable of offering the critical features we demanded at a price we could afford. That’s when I discovered MidWest Telecom, a local, full service cloud based communications provider. About a year ago, we made the switch from a large, well-known provider, to MidWest Telecom, and we could not be more pleased.
First, we saw a significant decline in our monthly phone bill – a decrease of $600/month or $7200/year, which amounts to more than 30% in cost savings! This includes the hardware of 30 new Yealink phones, conference phones, and a front desk switchboard.
Second, the cloud based phone technology reduced the overhead required to maintain the system. “We no longer have to manage a clunky server,” explains Zach Zinsmaster, our Network Systems Administrator III. “The MidWest Telecom system is more flexible, allowing us the freedom to make changes that fit our specific needs without a ton of work.”
Work from home made easy
Like all businesses, following the onset of coronavirus, we needed to pivot quickly to set up our employees to work from home. I anticipated our greatest challenge was going to be connecting our team members to the phone system while working remotely. I worried how it would even be possible to maintain open communication lines between members and their account managers.
Would we have to send out mobile numbers in an email to our members? Would we have to move the phones from the office to each employee’s house? Do our employees have the home connections needed to plug the phones in?
Turns out the MidWest Telecom phone system provided a seamless transition thanks to the gloCOM soft phone app option. Every employee was able to download the app and literally log in to our business phone system. MidWest Telecom exceeded my expectations by offering additional support to train employees on using the app. Account managers could call their domestic and international clients using B.E.N.’s plan on their mobile phones. Calls could be transferred to and from our usual extensions.
Most importantly, our members could call our main number and have the exact same customer experience as if we were working from our main office.
A smart decision to switch
Though we have recently resumed work in our main office, we now know we are fully operational from anywhere we work thanks to the flexibility of our MidWest Telecom phone system.
All in all, MidWest Telecom has excelled in providing our company a cloud based phone system that meets our communication needs while saving us money on our phone bill.
If you’re a small business owner wondering how you might also benefit from switching to MidWest Telecom, I encourage you to request a quote.
Renee Kuehl is the Director of Sales & Marketing at Broker Exchange Network and a MidWest Telecom customer since June 2019.