5 Ways to Prepare Your Business for the Coronavirus

5 ways to prepare your business for the coronavirus

What is the Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe respiratory diseases. COVID-19 is a new illness, caused by a Coronavirus, that can affect the lungs and airways.

The first case was reported in Wuhan, China, on 31 December 2019 and there have since been cases confirmed in 105 countries around the world.

The symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a cough
  • a high temperature
  • shortness of breath

Some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness including older adults, and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease.

Because it’s a new illness, it’s unknown exactly how it spreads from person to person, but similar viruses are spread via coughing. There is also currently no specific treatment for coronavirus.

 

What is the Government’s Current Response?

People are being asked to self-isolate in response to COVID-19 to help prevent the virus from spreading.

People may need to isolate themselves if they have travelled to an affected area, or have been in close contact with an infected person. Here, spending 15 minutes within 2m of someone with the virus, or having face-to-face contact, is judged to be a significant risk.

 

How might COVID-19 Affect your Business?

With people being advised to self-isolate for 14 days, businesses can be impacted in two key ways:

  • Loss of staff: If a staff member has come into contact with someone infected with COVID-19, they are recommended to self-isolate for 14 days at home. Should this happen to one or more of your employees, this can lead to a significantly reduced workforce. This poses even more of an issue if your staff are unable to work remotely and need to be in the office to carry out their responsibilities.
  • Loss of visitors: As more people begin self-isolating, the number of physical visitors to business’ premises will reduce. Hence, being permanently accessible on the phone, and online more generally, is going to become more important than ever.

 

5 Ways to Prepare your Business for the Coronavirus:

Softphones

Softphones allow you to make and receive business calls from your computer. The software mimics a physical phone handset, allowing you to use all the call handling features that you’re used to, right from your desktop.

Should your staff rely on their desk phones to carry out their role, investing in softphones is a great way to get ahead and ensure your business’ productivity doesn’t suffer as a result of COVID-19.

Mobile Extensions

What would happen if your premises were empty but customers were still trying to contact you? Would the phones just ring and ring, and your workforce return to a mountain of voicemails from unhappy customers?

Having a mobile extension allows all calls to your business to be forwarded to your mobile, seamlessly. Callers are unaware of this redirection, meaning there is no disruption to them, and you can answer their call from anywhere in the world, whether it be a sun lounger on holiday or your sofa during coronavirus self-isolation.

Remote access

If your workforce needs to be at home, getting your systems set up for remote access allows business to continue as usual, without disrupting the service you provide or the day-to-day running of your company. Access all of your programmes and software from any PC.

Mobile Apps

Are essentially the mobile equivalent of a softphone. Take advantage of all of the features of your business telephone right from your mobile. This includes the use of internal numbers, call recording and call logging.

Laptops

Do your workforce primarily work on desktop computers based in the office? If required to work from home, do they have the resources to allow them to do such? Providing your employees with work laptops prevents your business becoming unstuck should the premises temporarily close due to self-isolation.

Whilst employees might have their own devices at home, they may not be able to run the programmes that your company uses or may have security issues leaving your company vulnerable to hacking.

 

Here at Yo Telecom we offer all of the services mentioned in this post. Fill in the form below and we’ll help prepare your business.

 

Don’t miss any opportunities due to COVID-19! Give us a call on 02381 733966 to get this sorted for you. 

3 Benefits of WiFi Data Capture for Hotels

3 Benefits of WiFi Data Capture for Hotels

It’s 2020 and we’re more connected than ever. When was the last time you visited a bar or restaurant that didn’t offer a free internet connection to its visitors? But, what if you could offer free guest WiFi and actually receive something in return… Enter WiFi Data Capture for Hotels. 

 

What is WiFi Data Capture?

WiFi data capture allows your customers to access a free guest internet connection using a really simple login process. 

But what is this simple login process? Visitors only need to login with a social media account or email address. 

It’s as simple as that.

Rather than giving out your WiFi password and allowing your guests to use your connection, you’re providing a totally separate WiFi just for your guests. This has many benefits, one being that your internet speeds don’t reduce during peak times. A guest WiFi connection with Yo Telecom is also totally secure. This ensures you’re keeping all of your customers’ personal information totally confidential. 

 

What are the Benefits for Hotel Visitors?

  • Fantastic WiFi 

With a fast, free and secure connection, your guests will be able to browse the internet, complaint-free. Do we need to say anymore?

  • Very Easy Login Process

Rather than having to repeatedly ask for the WiFi password in different areas of the hotel, guests can just log in, in all spaces, using their social media credentials.  With many people already having these autosaved, it really takes no time at all. 

 

What are the Benefits of WiFi Data Capture for Hotels?

  • Increased Facebook Likes

Following a guest logging into your WiFi with their Facebook account, you can ask them to like your page in return. Not only does this boost your following, which on its own is beneficial as it helps to make your hotel look more popular, it also has other benefits too. 

When someone interacts with a page, it shows up in their friends’ feeds. This not only increases the awareness of your brand but can even lead to additional room bookings should their friends check out your page and like what they see. 

A third benefit of an increased social following is that all organic content will have a bigger reach. With a bigger following, your posts will have a bigger audience, win, win. 

 

  • More Google Reviews

With so many hotels all over the country, having the most Five Star Google Reviews in your area is a great way to stand out compared to your competitors. 

Following logging into your WiFi, our software allows you to contact your visitors asking them how they found their visit to your hotel. If a customer clicks that they had a great experience, this takes them straight to a Google Review page allowing them to leave a brilliant review of their visit. 

But what happens if people indicate that they didn’t have the best experience at your hotel? This sends an email directly to your team allowing them to resolve the issue timely and privately. 

 

  • Creation of a Bumper Mailing List 

Having collected email addresses from all of your WiFi users, why not send out regular promotional emails to market your current offers or events? This is a great way of re-engaging old visitors and getting them back into your hotel for another stay. 

 

If you’d like WiFi Data Capture for your hotel, drop your details in the form below and we’ll be in touch! 

Why Your Company Needs Core Values

Why Your Company Needs Core Values

What are core values?

Put simply, core values are principles that are believed to be really important. 

Core values exist at many different levels. Individuals can have their own personal ones, corporations also can, and on an even bigger scale, religions also have their own core values followed by millions of people worldwide. 

Ultimately, they underpin a key purpose and act as guiding principles for what people should do across all situations at all times.

For example, one of Google’s Core Values is ‘Great just isn’t good enough’. This can be applied to any situation within the organisation and means their employees are always looking to go one step further, whether it be with innovation, customer service or the company working environment. 

Accountability: If it is to be, it’s up to me’ is one of Coca Cola’s Core Values and hence exemplifies how individuals should be autonomous and take control of their own task lists and expectations. 

 

What are the benefits of having core values for your company?

There are a whole wealth of advantages to having core values. These include:

  • Ensuring you’re hiring the right people

An easy way to see if a potential employee is a good fit with your company is to check whether their personality and motivators align with your company’s. This can be tested in a pre-interview quiz, or by asking for examples of times they’ve exhibited the values. Another way to figure out their fit is to ask what values they’d like to see from their dream employer. Not only does this check that they will fit in your workplace and get along with your other members of staff, it also leads to higher staff retention as everyone is heading towards the same end goal.

  • Makes sure all decisions are aligned with the ultimate vision.

Every decision in a business can be pointed back to core values. From how to react in a given situation to choosing a new supplier, core values are a great way to make decisions that help reach your end goal.

For example, one of our core values is ‘Go above and beyond with service to WOW everyone’ so, when our engineers are out and about and our telemarketers are on the phone to clients, they always have this value in mind. This is to ensure that the service they are providing is the best it can be, and that this is consistent across all of the company. Not only this, it also ensures that the marketing team knows what to say and how to present the brands’ image, and the recruitment team knows what to look for in a potential employee.

  • Clients can quickly understand what your company is about

A quick way to get accustomed with a new company is to read their ‘story’ or their about page. More often than not, this is where their core values are located and clients can quickly decipher whether their values align with that of the new company that they have just found.

It’s beneficial for these to be in a similar vein to ensure that the transactions are mutually beneficial and for the same purpose. If a client is looking for a company that specialises in providing the cheapest products at the cheapest prices and your company has a great focus on the best products, customer service and aftercare, then these values will never match up and your company isn’t providing what they’re looking for and vice versa.

  • Succinctly explains your brands personality

Trying to explain your company’s personality to someone new can often be a difficult task if you haven’t got a very specific purpose. Core Values are a great way to explain the underpinnings of your brand in just a few, easily digestible words without having to go into all of the ins and outs of your entire brand.

 

Yo Telecom’s 10 Core Values 

Here at Yo Telecom, our Core Values have been around since mid 2017 and have helped us guide our entire business to the success that it is today. Our Core Values are as follows:

  1. Go above and beyond with service to WOW everyone 
  2. Inspire and lift the spirits of the world
  3. Be passionate, determined and courageous 
  4. Dream and live big
  5. Persistence beats resistance, keep on going 
  6. Be loyal, honest and humble 
  7. Make good works well known 
  8. See “problems” as challenges, face them with optimism 
  9. Learn, use and share good knowledge 
  10. Communicate, communicate, communicate

My personal favourite core value is number ten: Communicate, communicate, communicate. Effective communication is vital for pretty much every business transaction, and our purpose here at Yo is to help our clients’ communicate effectively with their clients. 

 

How to Choose Core Values for your Company

The Core Values you choose should align with your company’s purpose and vision. Whilst compiling a list of potential values, here are some questions to think about: 

  • What makes your company unique and sets you apart from your competitors in your industry?
  • Why should people work for your company over others?
  • What would your company fail without?
  • How do other brands see you?
  • What do you want to be known for? Is it your inclusivity? Your environmental efforts? Your world-leading innovation?

Common core values include:

  • Honesty
  • Accountability
  • Passion
  • Diversity 
  • Innovation

 

How to Check the Fit of your Core Values with your Company

So, you’ve had a brainstorming session, chosen a few Core Values and now want to check their fit with your company. A few easy questions to find out if you have the right key values are as follows: 

  • If they were losing your company profit, would you still keep them? 
  • Would you fire someone if they weren’t showing these values? 
  • Will these still fit with your business in 10 years time? 

If the answer to any of the above questions is ‘No’, it might be worth reassessing them as the answer to all three questions should ultimately be yes. This is often an iterative process, being fine-tuned with each subsequent amendment until the final list is produced. 

Having Core Values for your company acts as a solid base for all decisions, negotiations and transactions, and allows your entire workforce to be on the same wavelength. So, if you haven’t already solidified yours, add this to your to-do list today! 

 

What are your company’s core values?

What is the Best Phone System for Opticians?

What is the best phone system for opticians?

Perhaps the phone system in your opticians is a little outdated and you’re curious what other features are now available? Or, you’re unhappy with the customer service given by your current provider? Or are experiencing any number of these issues:

  • Your customers are getting frustrated when the line is frequently engaged as they try to book an eye test or follow up appointment with one of your optometrists.
  • Your current phone system doesn’t link with your opticians software so you’re manually having to retrieve customers’ details whilst they’re on the line, wasting time that could have been spent delivering excellent customer service.
  • You’ve had some issues mishearing people’s details and would like to be able to listen back to your calls but you can’t.

Yo Telecom are here to help! 

We specialise in bridging the gap between businesses and their customers and in this post we’ll outline the best phone system for Opticians having outlined the pros and cons of all of the other systems currently available on the market. 

 

Types of Phone Systems: 

There are three main types of telephone systems available:

  • Digital phone systems
  • Internet based (or VoIP; Voice over Internet Protocol) phone systems 
  • Hybrid phone systems 

Digital Phone Systems for Opticians 

A digital phone system has a physical phone system located somewhere in the building. It consists of a small box which connects to your phone lines and all of the handsets in your building. The benefit of a digital phone system is it’s very reliable. It uses the physical phone lines so doesn’t solely rely on an internet connection. This, however, has its disadvantages because it isn’t future proof. 

VoIP Phone Systems for Opticians

Are internet based phone systems and can also be known as cloud-based phone systems. These do not have a physical system in your building, rather, a VoIP system is located in a data centre somewhere in the world. One of the biggest benefits of a VoIP system is that it can save you money on call charges. A disadvantage of a VoIP based system, however, is that they aren’t as reliable as the other systems available. If your internet connection cuts out or slows down at peak times the usability of your phone decreases.

Hybrid Phone Systems for Opticians

The hybrid phone system is a mixture of a digital phone system and a VoIP phone system. The hybrid system is located in your premises and offers full flexibility, allowing a choice of fixed or cordless handsets. The greatest benefit of a hybrid phone system is that it offers you more reliability than any other type of system. If one type of line fails for you (i.e. analogue or internet), it can automatically route calls in and out through the other.

 

Features for Opticians: 

A hybrid phone system also offers a range of other innovative features that are beneficial for Opticians:  

Optician Management Software Integration:

All of our phone software can link with platforms such as Optix or Optisoft. The benefit of this is that customer records and appointments are linked to their phone numbers. This saves both you and your customer time as there’s no need to ask for their personal details to check who they are – you can get straight to asking them why they’ve got in touch today and help them with their enquiry.

This can also create a far more personal experience for the customer should you choose to greet them with their name following it popping up on your screen. 

Call Logging:

What happens when your phone rings but a member of staff can’t take the call? Assuming the caller doesn’t leave a voicemail, do you have any way of checking who phoned so that you can get back to them? If you don’t, this is where our Call Logging feature is incredibly beneficial. It allows you to see all missed calls and get back to the callers at the touch of a button so you don’t miss out on any opportunities!

Call Recording:

Sounds like a very basic feature but is a great asset to any business. When training new staff on customer service delivered over the phone, listening back to excellent examples of communication is invaluable. 

Call recording is also extremely handy should you mishear someone the first time around or didn’t get the chance to note down all of their details at the time of the call. This feature allows you to listen back to the call at any given time and gather this information without having to call the customer back to ask again. 

Call Transfer:

Allows seamless transition mid-call should another member of your team be better equipped to answer a question or has an ongoing relationship with a customer. This saves a customer having to arrange a call-back or sit on hold whilst the other member of staff comes over to pick up the call manually.

Cordless Handsets:

At Yo Telecom we provide full coverage meaning your cordless handsets – should you choose to have them – work consistently throughout your entire Opticians. This is particularly beneficial should you need to look for a specific product in a back stockroom or on the shop floor whilst on the phone to a customer.

On-Hold Marketing:

Whilst putting people on hold isn’t ideal, sometimes it’s unavoidable. This time is prime marketing time. Your audience is a captive one, they’re waiting to be spoken to. Sitting in silence or listening to the phone’s beeps doesn’t scream excellent customer service. Don’t waste this time and opportunity, use it to inform your customers of your opening hours, latest news or of any special discounts available at the time. Do you have a particular product or service that you’re trying to push, mention it on your On-Hold Marketing, tell people about it! 

 

Of all the phone systems available, a hybrid phone system is by far the best option for an Opticians. With its high reliability and whole host of useful features including call logging, call recording, and software integration it’s the best phone system to invest in for your business in 2020. 

See how these features can benefit you, head to the form below to book a free call and find out how we can increase your success! 

Yo Telecom Made Best Companies’ Top 100 List 2020

Yo Telecom Made Best Companies' Top 100 List 2020

Last night, Best Companies hosted their annual awards celebration for their Top 100 Lists and….

…Yo Telecom made their Top 100 Small Organisations to Work For 2020!!

 

Who are Best Companies?

Best Companies help organisations become better places to work by measuring, improving and recognising engagement. Their accreditation programme recognises organisations and managers who genuinely value and respect their employees and hence spotlights the best organisations to work for, helping them retain and attract top talent.

 

How is it calculated?

Information surrounding employee engagement is collected via a survey consisting of 70 questions covering how staff members feel about various aspects of their working lives. 

The results are then scored and those with a high enough score earn a Best Companies accreditation and a place on their Best Companies to Work For List, and this is just what we did! 

We have been awarded a three star accreditation – the highest available – which represents ‘ organisations that truly excel’. 

 

But, where did we place in the Top 100?

Yo Telecom rank as the 87th best small company to work for in 2020 amongst some fantastic other small businesses located in the UK. Considering there are just under 6 million small and medium sized enterprises in the UK, this is no mean feat! 

 

We’re so proud to have made the Top 100, let’s dooooo this! 

What is Telecommunications? An Introduction to the Industry

What is Telecommunications?

 

So, you’ve probably heard of Yo Telecom by now and if you haven’t, Yo Telecom are an award-winning, ambitious and energetic telecoms company specialising in bridging the gap between businesses and their customers. But, perhaps you’re wondering exactly what telecommunications is and how an effective system can boost your business’ success? 

In this post, we’ll cover the definition of telecommunications, how telecommunication systems work, a run down of what telecom companies can provide for their customers and information on how these services can increase your business’ success.

 

What is the definition of Telecommunications?

According to the Oxford Dictionary, Telecommunication is ‘Communication over a distance by cable, telegraph, telephone, or broadcasting’ and hence accounts for a vast amount of our conversations today in the modern world. 

Technology has massively changed our social landscape, in particular, the way we communicate with one another both socially and professionally. When was the last time you visited a business or establishment that didn’t have a phone or internet access? These are the two key players in the telecommunications industry and form the basis for many business transactions in the 21st Century. 

Before we get anymore technical, let’s cover a couple of the Key Acronyms used in the Telecoms Industry to make the rest of this post a little easier to understand:

  • IP – Internet Protocol. A set of rules for routing and addressing packets of data so that they can travel across networks and arrive at the correct destination.
  • VoIP – Voice over Internet Protocol. This is the transmission of voice data (calls) over the internet rather than via traditional phone lines. 

 

How do telecommunications systems work?

A very basic telecommunication system contains three parts:

  • Transmitter. This converts the information into a signal that is suitable for transmission.
  • Transmission Medium. This carries the signal between the transmitter and receiver. 
  • Receiver. Converts the signal back into usable information. 

The internet, for example, works using this fundamental structure. The messages sent from each computer are converted into signals using a ‘protocol stack’ (transmitter). Here, the messages are broken down into smaller chunks of data called packets. These packets are given a port number and an IP address, changed into electronic signals, and transmitted along the phone line (transmission medium). A router then determines where to send the information using the IP address provided. When the packets reach the destination computer, they are reassembled into the original message sent by the first computer – by the destination computers’ protocol stack (receiver) – in a form that we can understand.

 

What does a telecommunications company provide?

The products, services and packages vary company to company but typically, telecoms companies will provide phones and broadband. 

Here at Yo Telecom, we provide bespoke systems that integrate with your business to give you great features like; Call Logging, Call Recording, WiFi Data Capture, Full System Integration and On-Hold Marketing

There are different types of business phone lines and hence different types of phone systems. In short, these are Digital Phone Systems, VoIP Phone Systems and Hybrid Phone Systems. Each of these have their own benefits and are suitable for different business needs and requirements. 

For example, a VoIP system typically has lower costs making it suitable for businesses with a smaller budget to invest, whereas a hybrid phone system is the most reliable – it’s the best of both worlds – it has the functionality of an internet based system but the reliability of an analogue based system. Different telecommunications companies provide different products, but here at Yo Telecom, we only provide the hybrid systems to ensure that you are always connected with your clients.

 

How can a telecommunications company boost the success of my business?

  • Fast, full coverage WiFi across your building.

Whether you rely on WiFi to run your business (including your card machines) or offer free WiFi to your customers when they visit, a good internet connection is vital in the 21st Century.

  • Collect valuable marketing information using WiFi data capture.

Offering free WiFi using Wifi Data Capture is a great way to collect data from your customers to later use for marketing purposes and analytics. Have your customers connect with their social media or email accounts, giving them free WiFi and giving you a comprehensive marketing list. This very simple transaction then allows you to send tailored emails, discount codes on birthdays, and ask for feedback on recent visits without having to manually collect this data from visitors to your premises.

  • Call logging and call recording.

Call logging allows you to view missed calls hence reducing missed opportunities which in turn increases potential revenue. Call recording also has its own benefits to a business. It allows for staff training as new staff members can listen back to calls to learn what to say when they answer the phone. It also allows your business to save phone calls to file should you need to refer back to check any details you misheard the first time around. 

 

A Yo Case Study: The Ralph.

The Ralph are a start-up veterinary referral clinic based in Marlow that needed a whole communications set-up – this is where Yo Telecom step in. Prior to our services, The Ralph had no internet or telecoms in their building due to it being a new build. We arranged a leased line, a whole telephone system and a complete network solution for all of their computers. Here’s how Yo has improved their business: 

Internally within the hospital we’re able to communicate with each other seamlessly. On the telephone side, calls are received and if the office is busy it automatically transfers to our receptionist. If they’re busy it automatically transfers to the admin side. Calls are able to be transferred to one department to another and back again and across seamlessly. 

On the IT side, we’ve had all of our software running seamlessly and we’re using several pieces of software to communicate internally and to communicate externally with our referring practices.”

 

The world wouldn’t be what it is today without the Telecommunications industry. We’re able to communicate almost instantly with people all over the world at just the touch of a few buttons. We can also browse the internet, send emails, share files and make card payments, all thanks to various telecommunications systems!

 

Keep scrolling, let us know the best way to contact you and we can discuss how Yo Telecom can help increase your success today!