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13 December 2023

Christmas in Gintelberg! How does Cloud PBX help our essential shops and local businesses during a busy period?

Snow was general all over Gintelberg. It was falling softly over the town’s shoe shop and softly falling further westward, covering the law offices of Brokken & Fixt in a thin sheet of white. The local takeaway, Takk Owt – its neon sign piercing through the snowy drifts – hadn’t escaped the deluge, either.

In the town’s shoe shop, Martin and Sandra (the small businesses owners) happily contemplated their recent rise in footfall; Christmas was one of the busy periods and a fine pair of shoes made a good gift for husbands, wives, and children alike. They did, though, wonder if they were coping with the increased traffic as well as they might. Enquiries were flooding in, not least over their phone lines.

Clogged lines at Christmas

To address this happy problem of their seasonally booming enterprise, Martin and Sandra have expanded their team. Their children are home for the holidays and are now helping with, as before, the commercially sharp oldest daughter Victoria playing a leading role. The children’s mobile numbers have been added to the shop’s calling group, so that the newcomers can use their mobiles to handle incoming calls.

This easy transition provides great (and much needed) support for the shop during the busy period, (and lets the children expand their savings accounts before they head back to college). It’s an easy way for Martin and Sandra to handle demand as there’s no need to buy another subscription to the cloud PBX; they just add the additional numbers for call termination and handling.

There’s another plus, too – they can use the opening hours feature to handle calls and so ensure they get some much-needed down time with the family. The shop will close at 1500 on the 24th and reopen on the 26th at 0900 when the queues for Boxing Day sales will launch them into one of the busies days of the year. So, they simply change the settings – and, voila! - no calls will be forwarded or handled during that roughly 48-hour period. Instead, all calls to the business number will be sent to voicemail where a message will explain that the shop is closed for Christmas and inform callers when they will reopen.

Christmas is Brokken. And then Fixt.

Meanwhile, over at Brokken & Fixt, the law firm’s proprietors – Aldo and Lucy – though they were enjoying their annual Christmas party, were also discussing a challenge. Over a bowl of Nissegrøt and a steaming cup of Varm sjokolade, they noted that this was their last day at work. They and their lawyers were looking forward to a break, so B&F would be closed from 21/12 to 04/01, outstripping the shoe shop for down time!

However, even with their office emptied, Aldo and Lucy knew they may need to be available. The wheels of the law never grind to a complete halt and inevitably at some point over the holiday season, emergency legal counsel would be required by someone. With this in mind, clients had to be able to reach one of the team if they needed to do so, using the availability rules the firm had previously established.

These stated that when the office is closed, most calls to the main number will go to voicemail (unless a priority client is recognised). But the accumulated voicemails would be sent to nominated individuals in the team – with each taking it in turn to receive them over the holidays. Handled in such a manner, every enquiry would be addressed, even though not everyone would be on duty all the time, even on Christmas day!

Kari Owtt at Christmas

With the snow still falling on every part of Gintelberg, it now lay thickly drifted on the bold neon sign outside the town’s takeaway too where the owner, Kari Owtt, was finding himself buried under a wave of increasing demand. It seemed to him that with a Christmas Day meal to prepare, the town’s residents were outsourcing food preparation in the run-up to the big meal to his business! Still, he was happy about that.

From Kari’s perspective, more than anything else the upsurge in orders meant higher call volumes. Thankfully, with the cloud PBX to which he’d subscribed earlier in the year, for once he felt ready to meet demand without missing a beat.

Takk Owtt’s cloud PBX offers queuing, so multiple callers waiting for an answer wouldn’t be a problem. With the new Cloud PBX subscription, this year, the calls (meaning the orders!) would be sent to the employee’s different mobile devices according to a hunting algorithm and depending on the availability of the individual. The numbers had been set via a mobile app, and the calls would be sent over the native mobile connection (which to Kari’s delight, works perfectly).

Just like the shoe shop, the takeaway team has been boosted with a couple of temporary workers added to help handle the increased flow of orders – assisting with deliveries and also supplementing the management team. As a result, the temps’ personal mobile numbers have been added to the takeaways calling groups, so the newcomers too can handle calls as part of the established hunt groups.

The Cloud PBX allows Kari’s VIP customers to bypass the queue and go straight to one of the full-time members of staff. This whitelist function means important accounts continue to get the premium service they expect, even at the busiest times even though all calls are initially made to the virtual main number and then routed to the designated mobile numbers.

As you’d expect (and as with the shoe shop and the law firm), Takk Owtt will close on Christmas Day (and Boxing Day too). All calls during this time will go to voicemail and will be dealt with on the 27th when the team returns. The voicemails don’t need urgent replies, so no forwarding rule has been chosen.

It’s a happy holiday in Gintelberg, thanks to the Cloud PBX!

As you can see, thanks to the Cloud PBX offered by a nimble MVNO, small businesses no longer rely on their personal mobile phones and consumer-only offerings – so this Christmas 2023 is turning out to be a happy one for the towns SMEs.

The step forward sounds simple and logical enough but for Martin and Sandra, Aldo and Lucy, and Kari Owtt having their communications service provider recognise their commercial needs has been a massive boon. They’re all finally getting access to the much-needed enterprise services that have been required for some time. For which from all three of them to you, God jul!

Get smart with B2B services. Talk to Gintel

But none of this is possible without the right tools. Solutions like this. If you have been inspired by our stories from Gintelberg and are thinking of how you can target SME customers, we’ll show you how you can incorporate a winning proposition and service into your existing portfolio, with true digital-first activation and engagement.

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