Edible Arrangements Finds the Perfect Mix of Features and Cost Savings With 8x8

Edible Arrangements gifts are carefully crafted with delicious fruit and gourmet chocolate, then hand-delivered to the lucky recipient’s doorstep. This franchise owner was frustrated with the cost and limited functionality of basic phone service. When he opened a second franchise his IT experts recommended 8x8. Now he doesn’t miss calls from customers, even when he is working remotely. And 8x8 costs half as much as basic phone service.

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People everywhere celebrate life’s special moments with a freshly made gift or treat from Edible Arrangements. Each gift is carefully crafted with delicious fruit and gourmet chocolate. Phone and internet orders are arranged by experts at one of 1,200 independently owned neighborhood franchise locations and hand-delivered to the lucky recipient’s doorstep.

The challenge: Missed calls meant lost revenue

Vernell Balton opened his first Edible Arrangements franchise store in 2005. That location has basic phone service from AT&T. It is expensive – phone lines and a dedicated fax line cost the store over $2,400 per year. And it is frustrating because, even with three AT&T voice lines, sometimes callers can’t get through.

"We hate to miss a call, because that means we missed an order," Mr. Balton says. "If customers don’t reach us, they call another store and I lose their business."

Whenever Mr. Balton left the store for lunch he had to forward his business number to his mobile phone. And when he called out from his mobile phone, some customers would not answer because they did not recognize the caller ID.

Managing the AT&T phone system was a chore. Seasonal on-hold messages came on a USB drive from the franchisor and Mr. Balton had to manually copy them into the phone system.

When Mr. Balton opened a second store in Dallas, he saw an opportunity to find a phone system that would take less money and time away from his businesses.

The solution: Fresh start using cloud communications

Edible Arrangements franchisees turn to the franchisor’s IT service provider, Netsolace, for their IT support and software needs. Mr. Balton contacted them about the phone system for his new store and Netsolace recommended 8x8.

With a single platform from 8x8, Edible Arrangements franchise employees can communicate by voice, chat, video meetings and fax, in the stores and remotely.

The benefits: Sweet savings and no more missed orders

8x8 costs half as much as the AT&T system and provides business functionality not found in basic phone service packages.

"I'm always looking for ways to save money and trim expenses," Mr. Balton says. "8x8 is definitely saving me money. I save $1,200 a year on phone service alone.”

The business phone system from 8x8 also saves lost orders. Desk phones throughout the store give employees quick access to answer incoming calls, without the three-line limitation. Even missed calls no longer have to mean missed opportunities.

"I can see voicemails in email and call customers right back," Mr. Balton says. "When customers call and we’re closed, I can see who it was and have an employee return those calls first thing when we open."

Being away from the store no longer requires call forwarding. Mr. Balton logs into the 8x8 Mobile app on his smartphone and callers don't even know he is at lunch or working from home. Outbound calls show the store's Caller ID. Sometimes, when he is working in the back of the store, Mr. Balton logs in on his iPad so he won't miss a single call.

Managing the 8x8 phone system is effortless compared to the AT&T system at the other store. On-hold messages are easy to change from anywhere. Web-based administration is simple and requires only a browser with an internet connection.

"This is a fun business because we get a chance to provide an alternative to flowers that people can customize to their unique tastes,” Mr. Balton says. “8x8 provides a better alternative to basic phone service and it’s the perfect mix of features and cost savings for us."

About 8x8

8x8, Inc. (NYSE:EGHT) cloud solutions help businesses transform their customer and employee experience. With one system of engagement for voice, video, collaboration and contact center and one system of intelligence on one technology platform, businesses can now communicate faster and smarter to exceed the speed of customer expectations. For additional information, visit www.8x8.com, or follow 8x8 on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

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