I've had a virtual number for more years than I can remember. I never got calls on it as everyone knew my mobile, so I cancelled it. But then I thought, "is that such a good idea? Shouldn't I transfer it to YourPCM?". Well, no. I wanted to play with Zoom Phone ...
I'm the proud owner of a full-blown Zoom Phone call handling system for YourPCM!
You see, Zoom had recently been telling me all about it's latest product, Zoom Phone. I use Zoom all the time for group networking, 121s, demonstrations and subscriber training. I figured that if it's open on my PC all the time then why not take a look at Zoom Phone?
"I was immediately impressed with the features, although it's a little confusing at first!"
I'm not a phone engineer. I've never built an IVR before and my usage of VOIP was limited to my previous virtual number and having it route to my mobile phone. But I wanted to do this properly and build something to use with YourPCM.
Of course, 2023 is about sales and marketing for YourPCM and I shouldn't really be playing with techie stuff beyond bug-fixing the platform. But I figured I could do it over the weekend in my spare time, so I got to work.
Trying to get a subscription was a bit of a nightmare, but I got there in the end. If you go for an upgrade to something like Zoom Pro Plus (which has Zoom phone included and seemed the cheapest option), it actually tries to get you to have 10 subscriptions at once, and I only wanted one! I upgraded to Zoom Pro on its own, then added in a standard Zoom Phone subscription. It's going to cost me more, which is annoying, but I'm ok with it for now.
Getting the number was easy. I could have gone for an 0800 number (and I still might in future), but I went for a local number instead, and as I live in a village north of Milton Keynes, chose 01908 875991 as it sounded a bit catchy and easy to remember.
"Setting that up and getting it working on my account was straightforward!"
I spent some time just wandering around, looking at the features of Zoom Phone. There are many settings and it'll work for one person all the way up to a huge call centre with queue boards on the wall. It lets you integrate external systems too, but I don't need any of that, so decided to work on an Auto Receptionist (IVR) to route some calls.
I've got one user, but I now have four queues. My user belongs to queues for my Growth Team, Subscriber Team, Developer Team and Billing Team. If anyone navigates the IVR it will always call me on my softphone and mobile at the same time and let me know which queue they're in.
It also has voicemail for when you don't pick up (audio & transcript), and for out of hours too. It's all very cool, though I didn't like the standard prompts so decided to create my own. And that's easy to do as you just upload MP3s in place of the standard prompts and away you go. I use something called Speechello (part of Blastersuite) to create mine as I use it to make audio versions of my blogging clients' posts.
So, I have a welcome message, IVR prompts, voicemail messages and out-of-hours prompts too. I also have my own custom voicemail message, all done with Speechello. One thing I will point out is that you should write all your message and prompt scripts in Notepad as you may change them when you test the Zoom Phone Auto Receptionist and IVR to refine what and how it says things.
What I really like about it is that you can trigger a webhook when a call comes in. I've got mine set to do a search on YourPCM for the phone number that's calling. That way, I'll have a subscriber's record right in front of me when they call. I'd like to be able to integrate the other way and get contact details from YourPCM into Zoom itself (preferably synchronised), but haven't worked out how to do that yet. I'm still exploring.
"So, now I'm the proud owner of a full-blown call-handling system for YourPCM!"
All I need to do now is add a new user subscription for each team member I take on in future and assign them to various queues, then unassign myself. It really is as simple as that.
I really like Zoom Phone. Yes, it's costing me more than just having a virtual number routing to my mobile, but it gives a much more professional impression of YourPCM when people call and it's flexible enough to work with as my company grows.
Why not try out my IVR on 01908 875991 and let's have a chat about YourPCM.
Love, light and logic ...
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