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Characteristics of Good Communicators in VoIP

Communication is one of the most fundamental skills that we develop as human beings. One of the main reasons new resellers join the VoIP industry is to help aid others in their communications efforts. But in order to convince businesses to join the VoIP revolution, you need good communications skills. Here are some of V1 VoIP’s sales tips for being a good communicator and getting VoIP’s positive benefits across to potential sales.

1. Leave no room for doubt
Making the switch to VoIP sounds scary for those not in the technology industry as well as those who are used to the system they have. Make sure they understand that not only is VoIP the way of the future, but that this will improve their business functionality and lower their bottom line.

2. Listen

In the business world, communication permeates everything and due to this good communication is, of course, extremely important. From deciding on top level strategy, a manager giving instructions, teams working together and most importantly, the organisation’s relationship with customers, the price of bad communication is high.

Over the course of history, a lot of time has been wasted due to poor communication, there has also been many a disgruntled employee and ultimately an underperforming organisation.

So what about these principles that make up a good communicator, or an organisation that is good at communicating, that ultimately can help the performance of businesses.

1. Leave no doubt

Perception and interpretation are powerful things. Rarely will you find someone who thinks exactly the same as you. Therefore, when giving a message, good communicators are precise and clear.

Some instructions and topics can be quite confusing and complex. Breaking a message down into digestible chunks for the receiver can be a necessity. What are the most important points you need to get across? Make sure that you cover them without any ambiguity.

No doubt should be left in the mind of the receiver of the message as to what the message means. If there is scope or room for creativity or the receiver’s own ideas, then this will be outlined in the message.

Asking if the message is understood or if the receiver has any questions on it is a good practice. You can be sure then that they have the information that they need.

What if the message you had just received wasn’t precise and clear….?

2. Asking for clarification

Have you just come out of a meeting not understanding what you have been asked to do next?

In this situation some people may be hesitant to ask for more information, thinking that if they haven’t understood it is their fault.

Not necessarily, maybe the boss has not been concise or clear about what they want? The best thing to do is to ask for clarification. You should always do this if more clarification is needed. After all, if you don’t understand something, how productive or helpful are you going to be. You will save a lot more time by finding out exactly what is expected of you before you start to work on it.

3. Timing

One of the biggest contributors to poor communication in organisations is timing, specifically, giving people messages about something to be done near or after the deadline for it. The results of it can usually be seen in stressed employees, rushing to meet these deadlines.

This sounds fairly basic, don’t ask for something to be arranged or done after the deadline for it has passed. Are you going to ask them to come to a meeting that happened yesterday? Probably not.

However, is asking for a deliverable one day before the deadline any better? Well that depends on your message, if you just want an email forwarded, then you are probably OK. If you need a design project to be done, the likelihood is the deadline won’t be met.

When giving a message to someone, what is a suitable amount of notice time that they need? This varies from item to item but of course generally, the more notice time that you can give, the better. Perhaps planning meetings can be a good remedy for this issue, where work is scheduled and everyone involved knows the relevant deadlines for work.

4. Positivity and empathy

Attitude goes a long way, it’s nicer to interact with someone who has a sunny disposition about the topic. As humans, we are rather more receptive to a positive attitude than a negative one. Nobody can be positive all the time but providing positive reinforcement as well as including positive elements of feedback along with criticisms is a good tactic.

Empathy can be described as emotional awareness, and those who can put themselves in the shoes of those they are speaking to can anticipate and guide a conversation to a successful conclusion. Different people respond differently to the same situation.

Getting to know your co-workers and teammates and how to have fruitful conversations with them will help.

5. Listening well

We could be accused of saving the best for last. If you want to be a great communicator, you need to be a good listener. Communication, by its very nature involves at least two people.

Good communication is definitely not a one way street. Make sure that when someone is talking, you are really listening to what they are saying and taking on board their message.

Without this, how can you hope to provide them with the information they need if they are asking a question, or relay an accurate picture of the situation to the next person you talk to about it?

Promoting good communication within your business will have positive effects. Your team will know exactly what they have to do, and when it has to be done for. Not only does this help from a productivity and efficiency standpoint, but due to this the team can avoid working against impending deadlines, avoid the stress that comes with that, stop being reactive and start working proactively. That is a good position for any organisation to be in.

Improving your communication habits can be difficult. After all, those habits have probably ingrained via thousands of interactions over years. When starting off, try to be conscious in the moment of each interaction with your co-workers and remember the principles, trying to incorporate them into your communication.

Here at Blueface, it’s our mission to make business communications easier, because we believe that’s the way it should be. We’re working to provide the most innovative and reliable business landline and mobile phone solutions, why not see for yourself.

A big business phone service at a small business price

Blueface is aiming to reduce telecoms costs for SME’s nationwide by offering a flat rate €9.99 phone service : Business Starter.

Blueface, Ireland’s leading internet telephony provider has today launched a special offer for small to medium sized businesses (SME’s) this Christmas. Blueface is offering SME’s throughout Ireland the opportunity to reduce their business costs with a recession-busting phone service for just €9.99 per month (ex-VAT), covering unlimited UK and Ireland land-line calls*.

SME’s can also take advantage of other recession busting add-ons such as 15c per minute anytime mobile calls or avail of amazing international call rates which are over 50% cheaper than other telecoms providers. Free add on services and features are also provided, such as fax-to-email, follow-me functionality and voicemail-to-email. It’s the perfect package for the entrepreneurial business.

Alan Foy, CEO, Blueface, commented: “We are offering SME’s the opportunity to significantly cut their telecoms costs and get their business in shape for the New Year. Irish businesses are paying way too much for their telecoms service and most small to medium sized businesses just aren’t receiving the service they need and want. Prices are too high and their service is basic at best. The Blueface promise is to offer better value, convenience, and transparency to our customers. Our service is tailored to the cost and service needs of individual businesses. We also offer keenly priced ‘big business’ add-on services that help SME’s compete more effectively in what is a challenging business environment.”

Blueface’s current SME customers include some of the most successful Irish enterprises, such as Daft.ie, Champion Sports, Jackie Brown Medical, and Micksgarage.ie.

Philip English, System Support Manager, Champion Sports, commented: “We will enjoy savings of over €8000 in the first year using the Blueface phone service. Apart from the savings the support has been first class.”

Learn more and get in touch, now!

Businesses reacting to the cost of doing business by looking to switch telecoms operators

The recent price hikes by Eircom at a time when businesses need to keep costs down in order to maintain competitiveness internationally and pay the monthly bills is just another illustration of the incumbent’s lack of appreciation of the enormous loyalty SME customers have shown them with over seven out of ten SME using Eircom as their supplier in the past.

But in the new arena of business survival, it is interesting to note that business are starting to review their costs with 26% of business claiming to have changed their telecommunication supplier in the past 12 months in a recent InterTrade Ireland survey.

Interestingly, organisations in the south are more likely to have switched operators 30% vs. 16% in the north which shows that businesses are starting to tap into the alternative telecoms providers. Of course, when it come to Blueface we not only offer considerable cost saving but we also believe that SME should have access to big business services at a small business price!

So if you’re reading this blog you’re probably one of the 30% who have made the switch already but if you have business friends and colleagues who need a helping hand, pass this on.

How to Optimize Your Computer for Better VoIP QoS

Sometimes the internet speed promised by your provider differs greatly from the speed you experience on a day-to-day basis. While sometimes, slow and unstable connections are an external problem, often the network or computer is to blame.

As we’ve discussed before, the router commonly impacts VoIP’s efficiency. For this reason, clean the dust from your router and perform a few simple configurations before moving forward. Similarly, upgrade your router’s firmware online. Although most new routers do this automatically, some computer settings conflict with maintenance schedules and prevent upgrades from downloading.

Getting to Know Your Computer’s Components
Slow internet on a computer can be caused by many things. Firstly, older operating systems may not work properly on today’s modern broadband connections. For newer models, however, VoIP quality is mostly influenced by network interface cards, network cables, audio cards, and RAM.

Instead of repurchasing or upgrading these components, start by cleaning your hard disk. To do so, regularly defragment your computer, run system clean-ups, and uninstall/disenable programs that consume too much bandwidth or CPU power. Ideally, keep 15% of the hard disk free at all times to avoid sluggish performance. Additionally, optimize your computer for VoIP by keeping it safe and secure. This means running virus, malware, and spyware scans weekly, removing unnecessary or suspect toolbars and bloatware, and switching browsers (if necessary). Clear-out your browser’s cache every few weeks too because this can affect performance negatively.

When using USB headsets and softphones, swapping out your standard audio card for a VoIP optimized alternative can make a big difference in call quality. The same goes for network cards when operating wirelessly. These components continue to drop in price, so do some market research to find hardware compatible with your system. There are always additions to boost VoIP’s performance, but first work with what you have to reduce start-up and maintenance costs. The majority of users will experience perfect quality without tweaking or upgrading.