How to Use Hosted VoIP to Communicate From a Technology Black Hole
Have you ever been off-site somewhere and really needed to make a business phone call, but didn’t have access to any of your normal communication systems? I’m talking about a real technology black hole—where your cell carrier doesn’t have service; you don’t have Wi-Fi; and you’re stuck somewhere where the nearest computer looks like it runs on steam. Maybe you’re visiting your Luddite uncle, or maybe you went somewhere to get away from it all, and now you have to get back to it all, if only to make or receive a quick business phone call.
Even if this only happens once a year, you can bet it’s on that day when an important call will need to be made, and then what will you do? Well, if you have an 8x8 Virtual Office hosted VoIP phone system, you’re in luck because chances are that we have a feature that can help you.
Make Technology Work for You in Any Situation
8x8’s Virtual Office business phone service provides several ways to make a phone call using your work extension and work identity in almost any situation. So I’d like to tell you about a real-life black-hole incident that happened to me, then show you how to make your 8x8 hosted VoIP service work for you no matter what.
Say you’re off-site seeing a client, and wouldn’t you know it, you can’t get any signal on your cell phone. Don’t fear, you have a couple of options:
- If you have access to any computer with Internet, a microphone and speakers, simply go to 8x8.com, click Sign In at the top, enter your login credentials and you’re ready to go with all your synced business contacts, recent calls, and the ability to talk over the computer with your softphone.
- If you don’t have a computer, but CAN get Wi-Fi, then simply connect to the Wi-Fi with your smartphone or tablet (assuming you can get the password, of course), turn on your 8x8 Virtual Office app, and put in your login credentials.
Now you’re ready to make calls from your business phone, complete with transfer, conference, and even call recording (if you have Virtual Office Pro). This feature is especially useful when you’re overseas and need to make calls back home to the office or customers!
This one’s easy as long as you have any device with Internet on it. Either log into your 8x8 app on your mobile device and use it over 3G / 4G, or just find a computer with a high-speed Internet and login to your extension at 8x8.com. Remember, we don’t use proprietary downloads, so our system can be accessed on most public computers, including hotels, airports and libraries (just keep it down, would you?)
No 3G/4G, Wi-Fi, or Computer with Microphone and Speaker
Did you know that 8x8 allows you to use any existing phone with an active phone number–and make 8x8 calls over it? I discovered this feature one day while visiting my mother, who just so happens to live in a technology black hole: My cell service doesn’t work, there’s no Wi-Fi, her Internet connection is quite slow AND she doesn’t have a computer with a microphone! Her phone is a rung or two up from a few tin cans and a string, but it’s one of those black rotary jobs from the 1950s, so even push-button dialing would be an advancement.
I had barely arrived when I got an email from an agent saying they needed my help on a client call. Normally, that’s not a big deal, but the only device I had available at the time was my mother’s home phone line. Now in addition to the fact that it would be a long distance call on my mother’s bill, I just had an issue using her phone and letting her caller ID be associated with a business call. So even though her Internet connection was not business-grade, I was able to:
- Log into Virtual Office Online on her computer
- Add my mother’s phone number as an option under Settings > My Profile > My Phone Numbers
- Set her phone under I’m calling from: at the top of the page
- Put in the number I wanted to call into the softphone and hit call
My mother’s phone rang, just like an inbound call. I picked up the phone and it thanked me for using 8x8 Connect, and then connected me to the phone number I put into the softphone.
I was able to make my call over a landline; the customer on the other end saw my business number and not a family line; and my mother didn’t have to pay for long distance. Oh, and the salesperson I was helping got the sale.
So when I talk about 8x8’s ability to give you access to your small business phone system in almost any circumstance, I really mean it.