SMB phone system lets your small business stay personal

Summary:RingByName is smart enough to know if someone has called previously and to route them to their preferred contact within your organization.

One of the biggest advantages small and midsize businesses have over the big guys is the sense that they can respond more personally to customer inquiries and needs. So why shouldn't the IP phone system that your company chooses embrace that same philosophy? The fact is, most of them get pretty impersonal when they get automated.

That focus on staying personal is what RingByName hopes will set it apart from other business telephone systems delivered over the Internet, said Matt Bramson, chief revenue officer for the Miami-based company.

RingByName's goal is to provide small businesses with a smart phone system that will help companies find who they need within your company more quickly. What's more, if you have called into the system previously, it will greet the person by name. RingByName doesn't sacrifice the personal touch for efficiency's sake.

"A phone system should welcome you by name," Bramson said. "If you have called previously, it should ask you if you would like to speak with the person you spoke with last time."

RingByName will greet callers by name if they have called previously and been added to the system. It can route those callers to the employee with whom they spoke previously and even provide customized hold music. Your employees will received a personalized, detailed call report.

The hallmarks of RingByName's application include a detailed management system that tells your organization who called and prompts your team to follow up quickly. (I had evidence of this after I interview Bramson, who called me later in the day when he noticed my unknown number on his incoming call list.)

Employees can set different rules for individuals included in the contact directory such as VIP, which would send the caller to someone live rather than allowing him or her to fall into voicemail or that might route the call to a mobile phone after hours. Conversely, you could blacklist a caller. Yes, there, I said it.

Speaking of mobile, RingByName released its Android application in late March. An edition for the Apple iPhone is slated for the second quarter of 2012.

The SMB phone service can be integrated with more than 25 different customer relationship management (CRM) systems, including, Zoho, HIghrise and Batchbook, the company said.

RingByName starts at $35 per user per month, including a full-feature IP phone, depending on the length of commitment that a company makes to its service, Bramson said. The company doesn't charge to port existing numbers over to its service, however, if you want the free IP phone, your company will need to make a commitment of at least one year.

RingByName currently supports approximately 200,000 consumers and 50,000 businesses, Bramson said.

Topics: Mobility, SMBs, Telcos


Heather Clancy is an award-winning business journalist specializing in transformative technology and innovation. Her articles have appeared in Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, The International Herald Tribune and The New York Times. In a past corporate life, Heather was editor of Computer Reseller News. She started her journalism lif... Full Bio

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