Anyone Use This?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by landscaper22, Dec 29, 2007.

  1. landscaper22

    landscaper22 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 829

    I heard an ad for this business on the radio. It is a professional phone system for your small or even solo business. You even get your own toll free number. Does anyone use this service or know anyone that does? Read up on the Onebox Executive. It seems like an inexpensive way to have a professional phone system. Even if you are a solo LCO, potential customers would think you run a professional outfit. What do you think?

    http://www.onebox.com/
     
  2. racer56

    racer56 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Kansas
    Posts: 285

    I'm not sure I understand it really but I can forward my calls and everything for free already with voice mail all from our cell phones. Am I missing something else?
     
  3. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,988

    We used to have an answering service. Every caller got to speak to a real person. Problem was, all that person could do was basically take a message, so I still had just as many calls to make.

    I don't see the point in having a system that makes your co. look big. Most people who choose a small business do it for the personal attention, not to get, "for sales, press one, for billing questions press two" etc. etc.
     
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I would have to agree, just another middleman you don't need, I suppose it might be worth it for some but...

    Probably more for the kind of folks who lease office space, middle end executive type business owners who have the use of a conference room, cubicle minded but headed for bigger and better and wants to give an impression, but most places who offer the cubicles also provide this service, perhaps this is intended for those that don't.
     
  5. landscaper22

    landscaper22 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 829

    Well, the way I understand it is the onebox excutive is not a answering service. It is a phone system package. The advantages I was thinking of is first you can be a solo LCO with only a cell phone and you don't have to put your cell or home numbers on your business cards. You would have your own 800 number. So when someone calls the number they get a professional phone greeting just like any other large business would have. Then you are able to put different options like press "1" for this or "2" for that, etc..So, you can have an option that transfers them to your cell phone if you wanted. Some customers may not like it, but I don't see where they would mind. I look at it as you would be able to give some detailed info over the automated system that may answer many of the potential or existing customers questions without having to talk to you. You could direct them to your website, give payment and address info, etc...Then they can still leave a message if they wanted or connect to you directly on your cell or home phone during business hours. I am personally tired of giving out my cell and/or home numbers.
    Oh well, I just thought it was neat. It is a low cost alternative to have a professional phone system that you see in many businesses. I was just wondering if anyone had ever used it, and could tell me how they liked it.
     
  6. maintenanceguy

    maintenanceguy LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 156

    I want to talk to someone, not a "professional phone system". I hire a lot of contractors, hundreds over my career.

    If I don't already have a go-to guy for a particular job, I get out the phone book and start calling. I hang up on every answering machine and move onto the next number, especially in a field like landscaping with a hundred or more companies listed in the phone book. There's just too many options for me to have to deal with playing phone tag.

    In my experience 80% of contractors wont' call back or will not make an appointment. I'm not leaving a message when the chances are I won't hear back anyway. I only spend a few hours a day in my office so I will probably miss the call-back if I get it and a week of phone tag is just frustrating. So I call until somebody answers who can actually answer my question. That's usually a guy that has his phone forwarded to his cell and runs his business from the work site.

    But If you want an 800 number and a "professional" phone system, why not just sign up for an 800# with your phone company and set up the voice mail options any way you want. I don't see the advantage of a middle man here.
     
  7. landscaper22

    landscaper22 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 829

    I don't know many contractors that are always available for phone calls. It sounds great in theory, but I for one am not going to keep shutting off my equipment to answer my cell phone. And I can only give very limited info over the phone anyway. I go look at the job before I talk too much about it. I would much rather people leave a message and I can call them back when I have a chance to sit at my desk and give them my full attention. If they are that impatient about landscaping or lawn maintenance that they can call someone else.
    Maintenaceguy it seems crazy that you would not leave contractors a message. You are probably missing out on some good contractors with that attitude. If they don't call you back, then they don't call you back. Phone tag sucks, but when I am busy I am busy. If potential customers can't understand that then I am not the right one for the job in the first place.
    As far as why not call the phone company about an 800 number...You could, but again, you have to have some expensive equipment to have a professional phone system. This onebox thing is a less expensive alternative to this not a "middle man."
    Anyway, I didn't this question to get beat up about it. I just wondered if anyone had any experience with it.
     
  8. fknippenberg

    fknippenberg LawnSite Member
    Posts: 49

    We use GotVMail which is a similar service - it's great...Lots of different options and ways to use it.
     
  9. racer56

    racer56 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Kansas
    Posts: 285

    I do like not having to give out our cell number. Never really thought of that as first I guess it just sounded like a fancy answering machine. I wonder if you could set it up only forward say a number that is a new customer. I guess you would have to enter all your folks in in order for that to work but that would be great to get only new folks and just check messages a few times per day or something.
     
  10. landscaper22

    landscaper22 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 829

    I have never heard of it. I will look into it. It think some type of phone system would be great if you have several employees or you are just solo. I guess eveyone has his/her own opinion, but I can really see some atvantags to having it.
     

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