By Stefanie Hahn
Yelp has become a verb in my world. Where should we meet for lunch? Let’s Yelp! Yelp lets me see restaurants near my current location or a location that I chose. Yelp shows me the name, address and type of food, plus the overall rating by reviewers and bonus — I can see how many people have reviewed the place. When I select a restaurant off the list, I have more options… map, phone number, I can read reviews; see photos and really feel comfortable with my dining decision.
Want more from your texting? chompSMS is a replacement for your standard Android text messaging platform and is loaded with customizations and extras galore. Of course you can change the look and layout of your text messages, add a signature, use quick compose and reply features, but they have some super cool features too. You can customize how you are notified when a new message comes in, down to the color of the LED light that blinks and even select a ringtone for a specific contact. chompSMS has a “speak text” feature that will speak your text messages to you so you don’t have to actually read them. Who doesn’t need that?! Continue reading »
By Jonathan Osman
Eight months ago, I started investigating the idea of buying my own telephone system. With my mobile number on every sign that I owned and in every ad, I received calls at all hours of the day and night, which got old fast. The idea of simply turning off my ringer at night was not an option either since I no longer have a land-line at home.
After discovering how expensive it would be to purchase, install, and operate my own phone system, I discovered a number of virtual phone systems that are currently available; the most popular being Google Voice.
For the solo agent or for personal use, Google Voice is a must-have. Google Voice is free to register (although you must be invited) and you can order a “local” number to receive voicemail and text messages. You can even dial out using either the Google Voice website or the free mobile app. Both the app and the website will mask your real phone number with your Google Voice number. I love using voicemail through Google Voice because the voice-to-text transcription allows me to read an e-mail of a voicemail even though the translations are hit or miss.
For groups or agents demanding more robust features, I would highly recommend a paid virtual phone system through a service like RingCentral, Grasshopper (formerly Got Vmail), or Phonebooth. All have the capabilities to provide you with a local number, a toll free number, e-fax, company directory, VoIP, and more. When a client dials in, a recording directs them to the department or extensions which are available. Continue reading »
By Stefanie Hahn
When you work with new agents (or any agents for that matter) one of the constants seems to be that they are looking for ways to get the best of everything, and are trying to get it for free. If I shared with you some of the MacGyver strategies I have seen over the years you would … but you already know.
So when I sit with these agents there are a few constants – the first of which is to get on board with Google. Not the search engine Google (we can discuss the joys of that later) but the super-cool-productivity-tool-creating Google. That’s right; the team at Google is creating all sorts of wonderful stuff to make your business more productive; and best of all they’re giving it all away for free!
Here is a rundown of some of my must-haves from the Google toolkit. There are so many more, but this is a good starter package for you to consider before stepping into the big time:
1. Google Profile – http://www.google.com/profiles
I know I said I wasn’t talking about search, but who honestly doesn’t want to come up on that first page when their name is Googled? We all do – and setting up a Google Profile should be the key to getting you on that coveted first page of results. How? Your name, a small thumbnail photo and a link to your Google Profile will appear at the bottom of the first page of results. As a bonus, you can tie in all of your other sites, social and otherwise, as well as your photos. If you don’t have a Google Profile yet, stop reading this and go set it up … then come back (please)! Continue reading »