One of the biggest concerns potential customer have about switching to an internet-based phone system is: “What will my business do if our internet goes down?” Though this is a very real concern, as your VoIP provider, we would never leave you in the dust. We know you can’t miss your customer calls, conference calls, and sales & support meetings. While VoIP systems do tend to be much more reliable than traditional landlines, the risk of downtime is still there. Because the entire system is on the internet, if your internet goes out due to ISP issues or a power outage, you will lose your business phone service. Power outages and failures can happen when you least expect them, and usually at an extremely bad time. We’ve compiled this quick & easy list to check out 3 things you can do during a power outage. These will help you stay connected. Also included are 3 things you can ahead of time to better prepare for the chance of it happening.
Staying Connected During a Power Outage:
We always like to reassure our customers that in the event of a power outage, we have ways to keep you connected. Though your physical phones will be down in the office, here are a few different options you have to keep the calls coming. These three things will make sure your business calls are up and running in no time.
Switch to mobile app or web softphone
CallHarbor includes our mobile app and our browser-based web softphone in the cost of every user. That means every user gets access to these two features that make it possible to work from anywhere. Both of these options give you access to your business phone number from wherever you need to be. Having full accessibility of your contacts, voicemails, inbound/outbound calling all while utilizing your business phone number is a huge perk.
The CallHarbor Mobile app allows you to take your business extension with you. You can place calls, receive calls, adjust answering rules, and check voicemail. Send chat + SMS, and view the status of your other staff members right from your mobile phone. You simply login with your existing CallHarbor portal login and instantly access your extension and personalized settings.
A web softphone is a phone or feature for making telephone calls over the Internet using a computer. This avoids having to use your dedicated phone hardware. The softphone can be utilized through our internet web portal on a desktop, mobile device, or other computer, and also functions in the same way as our web softphone on the mobile app. It allows the user to place and receive calls, see their coworkers’ online status, and engage in chat and SMS. Read more about how to utilize our web softphone here.
Bring your phone home with you
Our hardware offering has a wide range of business desk phones. Some of those offerings have WiFi capabilities, meaning all they need is a WiFi connection to work as usual – no wiring required! This is an extremely convenient option for employees that work between home and the office, because they can simply unplug their desk phone and plug it back in and connect to WiFi to work as normal. If you come into the office and realize the power is out, you actually have the option of grabbing your desk phone and taking it home for the day.
Set up call forwarding to another phone
Another option we have is to simply forward all of your calls to a different number, location, or phone. The best part about this is that you can simply call our support team and we can do it for you on the fly. You’re already stressed due to your power outage, so we want to make it as easy as possible on you! If you have multiple locations to your business and only one location is dealing with the power outage, you can forward all of your calls to your calls to a different location. In this case, you could also simply adjust your auto attendant to let callers know you are closed for the day due to a power outage, and to try location X by calling (123)-456-7890. In the case of forwarding calls to a cell phone, you would have complete control over inbound calling, but you would not be able to call out utilizing your business phone number unless you are connected via mobile app or web softphone.
Preventing Disconnection From Power Outage:
You cannot control things such as weather or accidents that cause outages, but you can take some steps to be extra prepared. Setting up specific redundancies, or having backup options to keep your VoIP phone system online will make outages less stressful.
Choosing a reliable VoIP provider
Some outages are due to your phone system itself. Even if the weather is great, your internet is kicking, and the power is on, there is still a small chance that your phone will not work due to your provider. Doing research on your provider is important, and looking into their service level agreement can help you avoid issues with your system.
At CallHarbor, our service level uptime is 99.99%. We are invested into maintaining our business as reliable and trustworthy. We preach redundancy, which is why we have three separate locations where your phone system is hosted out of. Even in the off chance that one of our server locations goes down, your system will simply bounce over to another location, without latency or jitter. You won’t even notice that one of our locations went down, because your entire system will still function as normal.
Set up automatic call forwarding when unavailable
Another option you have the ability to setup before something such as a weather emergency or power outage happens is to have your system itself already prepared to forward calls when you are unavailable.
Have a backup Internet Service Provider (ISP)
Installing a backup internet connection can save you from potential outages and keep your business working through the service disruption. You can implement a secondary internet connection before you experience any downtime. The backup service is a safety net, as your company won’t have to use it unless the primary connection experiences a failure. Having it ready to go and accessible will minimize your losses and downtime in the case of an outage. Backups are also called internet redundancy. This is a smart option for places such as medical facilities that are not able to work from home.