Ooma, a leading small business VoIP provider, layers a new service onto its communications platform that's aimed at giving small businesses an edge in acquiring new customers and boosting their marketing efforts.
Dubbed Ooma Office Business Promoter, the lead-generation product represents the company's strategy of empowering small business owners with advanced capabilities that integrate with the Ooma's extensible platform, according to Jim Gustke, vice president of marketing for the voice over IP (VoIP) specialist. "Ooma views communications as a connected service," he told Small Business Computing.
Ooma has already laid the groundwork in its consumer-oriented products. The company's product for homes features integration with Nest, makers of smart thermostats and smoke alarms.
When linked, Ooma can call home owners when a smoke alarm is triggered, and it offers the option to call emergency services to relay the proper address. In another example, Ooma can call caretakers if Nest's sensors fail to detect the presence of children or elderly relatives at expected times.
Now, Ooma focuses on helping small businesses grow. "Our mission is to deliver communications and other connected services solutions that enable our customers to expand and manage their businesses more efficiently," said Eric Stang, CEO of Ooma, in a prepared statement.
Say Hello to New Customers
"The biggest challenge for small businesses is getting new customers," said Gustke. As any entrepreneur can attest, standing out from the crowd and reaching potential customers can be a challenge. Getting them to patronize your company can be tougher still.
Making matters worse, not everyone is a marketing expert. Ambition, hard work, and business savvy can get a small business owner far, but effectively reaching and keeping new customers takes specialized knowledge.
Ooma's new lead-generation service helps businesses score those crucial first moments of kicking off lucrative customer lifecycles.
Ooma Office Business Promoter is the "first small business phone service that gets new customers to call," Gustke said. After an initial consultation, in which the company gets to know the small business, Ooma sets up a custom phone number for tracking and call routing purposes and gets to work attracting the attention of online consumers.
Employing a variety of SEO (search engine optimization) techniques that "are automated and optimized for the business," the service ensures that a company's Web presence is "properly and consistently listed" in business directories and around the Web at large. Ooma complements those practices by targeted advertising support, improving the chances that potential customers find your business online.
A Web portal gives businesses "ability to sign up for new customer leads in the form of phone calls," Gustke said, along with a 60-day view of call activity. Businesses can track calls, including caller ID and the length of the inbound call, and reject non-qualified leads. Customers pay only for qualified leads under the program, he assured.
(More) Operators Are Standing By
Handling all those new inbound calls should be no problem for Ooma Office customers.
Earlier this month the company announced that the platform can now support up to 20 users, up from five users, allowing them to answer calls using their desk phones, remote numbers or their mobile phones. In a bit of future-proofing, the company devised an update that allows customers to "daisy-chain base stations so that you can now use four base stations together," Gustke.
Growing businesses can now add more users simply by adding onto their existing and familiar Ooma environment. "Enabling users to receive Ooma Office calls on so many different devices ensures they stay connected both inside and outside the office, while eliminating costly upgrades by letting them use the equipment they already have," said Dennis Peng, vice president of product management at Ooma, in a statement.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Small Business Computing. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.
|Do you have a comment or question about this article or other small business topics in general? Speak out in the SmallBusinessComputing.com Forums. Join the discussion today!|