Voice over IP service helps a Volunteer over IP service succeed
Michael Carr finds that bundling his RingCentral Professional service with RingCentral’s DigitalLine VoIP service solves a lot of problems, and saves money, too.
Michael Carr started his business unknowingly when he co-founded a campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity in 1996 as a graduate student at the University of Michigan.
“I immediately got bombarded with students who wanted to volunteer,” Michael says. “But being a student, I didn’t have time to work the phones, so I wrote an automated Web site for volunteer sign-up and directed everyone there. Pretty soon, other Habitat for Humanity chapters in the area asked if they could use it, and it kind of took off from there.” Today that system is known as VolunteerHub (www.volunteerhub.com), and offers a range of features from automated event registration to volunteer workforce management.
Soon after taking VolunteerHub commercial in 2002, Michael set up a toll free service to handle incoming calls. But it didn’t out work so well. “My callers were frequently getting a message saying ’All circuits are busy,’” he explains. “We were probably missing 20% of potential customers. So, I started looking for alternative services.”
That’s when he found RingCentral. “Aside from its superior reliability, I liked the fact that RingCentral integrates PBX and toll free services together in one. Having multiple extensions and PBX features gives us a professional appearance that makes us seem like a larger company than we really are.”
Michael also tried a Voice-Over-IP (VoIP) service, but after experiencing several configuration issues and getting stonewalled by customer support, he dropped the service. Later he discovered that the VoIP telephone he had purchased was permanently locked into his old system and couldn’t be reconfigured. “I had to throw that right into the trash,” he says.
For Michael, the SoftPhone software is particularly helpful. “One of my employees works at her house two days a week, but she uses the same laptop everywhere. With the SoftPhone, she’s not locked to a particular location. Wherever her laptop is, that’s where her phone is,” he says.
Another feature Michael uses is RingCentral’s VoIP conference calling ability. While looking for a conference call service provider, he was surprised to find that conference calling was actually included with the RingCentral VoIP SoftPhone. “It saved us from having to sign up and deal with another company,” he said. “One conference call alone would have been more expensive than a month of RingCentral service.”
There were other savings as well. “One roaming salesperson was using a cell phone to make calls when away from the office. That added up to $600 in one month.” Then she started using RingCentral’s VoIP to offset her cell phone use. “It’s a significant savings,” Michael says.
“Overall, RingCentral solved eight or ten different problems that we were experiencing from three or four different providers,” Michael concludes. “Now all those services are in one place. And with the Web-based dashboard, we can see everything that’s going on and set up everything exactly how we want it to be configured.”
- Event management
- VoIP SoftPhone
- Virtual PBX
- Conference calling
- Professional image
- Cost savings
- Online control