Avaya Cloud-based Solution Allows Small Business to Put Best Foot Forward
Based in Toronto, Stacey Cohen Design (SCD) is a fast-growing, five-person residential and commercial design firm. For small businesses, presenting a professional image to existing and potential clients is critical. But as Principal Designer, Stacey Cohen, explains, her communications solution was doing anything but that.
“My staff and I were using our own personal cell phones for all client communication, and that was causing problems on several fronts,” she says. “The biggest issue was the lack of professionalism it portrayed to our clients.”
In addition, using personal cell phones for business was compromising the privacy of her employees and hampering her ability to provide clients with the highest level of customer service.
Cohen knew it was time for a change and made the switch to a Powered By Avaya IP Office cloud solution for her unified communications.
Overall, the Avaya solution has helped us function better as a company.
Principal Designer, Stacey Cohen Design
SCD faced the same technology challenge as most small businesses: the need for enterprise-level connectivity without an enterprise-level budget. That’s why Avaya’s cloud-based IP Office solution was such a good fit for SCD. It offers the functionality Cohen needs to put her best foot forward with clients at a reasonable price.
Avaya IP Office in a cloud environment offers core IP Office telephony and unified communications features to small businesses. The IP Office equipment is hosted off site by TelAgility and its functionality is offered as a service.
“The Avaya IP Office is a good value, and having all communications under one umbrella has done great things for us,” says Cohen. “I think it’s a perfect solution for a small business.”
Today, SCD has one landline for reception and call transfer, and Cohen and her staff each have an extension. They work strictly off of iPhones using the Avaya one-X® Mobile for IP Office application.
My staff and I are always on the go, which means we’re off site a lot. The twinning feature makes us available to vendors and clients when we’re away from the office.
Principal Designer, Stacey Cohen Design
According to Cohen, the biggest benefit of deploying the Avaya IP Office cloud solution has been her ability to present a professional front to clients.
“There are so many features available to us now that we have IP Office,” Cohen explains. “First and foremost, calls now go to reception, which gives me that professional front I’m looking for.”
The ability to transfer and put calls on hold is a close second on her list of favorite features.
“The transferring capability is phenomenal,” Cohen says. “Before, if a vendor or client reached the wrong person, they would have to hang up and dial the cell phone number of the person they were trying to reach. Now they can be seamlessly transferred to that person.”
The IP Office mobile twinning feature is making Cohen and her staff much more accessible to clients, leading to better overall client satisfaction.
“My staff and I are always on the go, which means we’re off site a lot,” Cohen says. “The twinning feature makes us available to vendors and clients when we’re away from the office. And if we’re not available to take a call, the caller can be transferred to reception immediately by dialing zero. Thanks to that functionality, I get far fewer voicemail messages than I did before we implemented Avaya.”
Cohen also points to things that larger companies take for granted as an example of the business-changing nature of IP Office for SCD. In the past, when SCD closed for the December holidays, there wasn’t a main number to dial into that would have an outgoing message letting clients know about the closure.
Her employees are equally enthusiastic about the Avaya solution. It allows them to differentiate between work and personal calls and they no longer have to give out their personal cell phone numbers.
“The Avaya solution has been great for my staff in terms of privacy,” says Cohen. “When we were all using our personal cell phones, the caller ID that showed up when we made calls was the employee name and cell phone number, now the caller ID is the company name and the SCD telephone number.”
Wence Wong, who manages client relations for SCD and answers the company’s single landline, describes her experience with the Avaya solution. “Not only is the app on my cell phone easy to use, I answer the desk phone as well and it’s very user friendly.”
Cohen reports that even her clients have taken notice. “When clients call in and it says ‘Stacey Cohen Design’ they notice the level of professionalism,” she says.
Present professional image to clients
Provide world-class customer service
Boost staff availability and responsiveness
Ability to portray a more professional front to existing and potential clients
Affordable, cloud-based solution that will grow with the company
Improved client satisfaction thanks to increased employee availability
A Trusted Partner
For the deployment of the Avaya IP Office cloud-based solution, Cohen worked with Avaya Sapphire partner Telanet, which had the system up and running in a matter of days.
“Telanet was extremely professional and on top of things,” says Cohen. “They were very knowledgeable about the Avaya one-X® Mobile for IP Office app and always available to us. I’m not a technical person and I didn’t need to be because Telanet took care of everything. I can’t say enough good things about Telanet as a company.”
Growing, By Design
There is nothing but growth ahead for SCD and Cohen appreciates the fact that her Avaya IP Office cloud solution will grow with her. “We’ve already added another staff position since we deployed Avaya and getting that person onto the system was seamless.”
Cohen and her employees will also start using the conference dial-in functionality offered by IP Office. This will be extremely valuable for commercial jobs that often require conference calls with numerous participants.
“Overall, the Avaya solution has helped us function better as a company,” Cohen concludes.