Business cannot stop, despite Mother Nature’s best efforts. That’s what the Fitzgibbons Agency, an Oswego, NY based real estate and insurance brokerage firm, learned when more than 12 feet of snow was dumped on the city in just over a week. Despite the Governor of New York declaring a state disaster emergency for the local area, Fitzgibbons Agency was able to continue working and close a significant insurance deal thanks to its Fonality PBXtra Call Center phone system.
Epic Snow Can’t Bring PBXtra Down
Being in the insurance business, John Fitzgibbons, owner of the Fitzgibbons Agency, believes in proactive disaster planning. Little did he know when he deployed PBXtra Call Center that his choice of IP-PBX phone system would save the day when a real weather disaster hit. Oswego, NY is notorious for enduring weather that does not affect other nearby communities. Its “snow belt” location requires Fitzgibbons Agency to operate even when the environment says it shouldn’t.
Turns out Fitzgibbons Agency was ready. It had deployed PBXtra Call Center as a powerful, flexible solution that could promote the fledgling company as larger than it was. “When I started the agency, I couldn’t afford Cisco, Avaya or Nortel, but needed multiple auto attendants and other key features,” said Fitzgibbons. “I looked at products from Switchvox and Fonality and chose PBXtra Call Center because its user interface was much more polished than Switchvox’s. The product is very simple for a non-technical person to use, and the biggest upside has been the flexibility PBXtra Call Center provides my agency.”
That flexibility was the key to keeping the lights on at Fitzgibbons Agency despite the epic snowfall. Good thing, too – the same week as the snow storm, Fitzgibbons had a commercial insurance deal set to close that would bring him thousands in recurring annual revenue dollars. Unable to get to the office, Fitzgibbons and another employee used a soft phone on a laptop and a Polycom phone brought home from the office to conduct business.
“We were buried in 12 feet of snow for five days and we never missed a call! Two employees worked from home and we were able to transfer calls back and forth so easily we could barely tell the difference. I think PBXtra is one of the smartest investments I’ve ever made,” said Fitzgibbons. “Thanks to PBXtra Call Center, we were able to close the deal, which will benefit my company for years to come.”
Telecommuting and Auto Attendants Equal Business Flexibility
Snowfall aside, PBXtra Call Center’s flexibility makes it an integral part of the Fitzgibbons Agency. “I have employees that go to school part time or live in remote locations, and PBXtra Call Center enables them to work from home whenever necessary,” says Fitzgibbons. “They take their desk phone with them or use their mobile or home phones, and can still work productively. The flexibility of telecommuting for my employees also helps me retain my employee base better. PBXtra Call Center makes it a win-win for both of us.”
Fitzgibbons also likes PBXtra Call Center’s multiple auto attendants, and the product’s ability to operate a mixed analog and VoIP environment. He combines these two features to create unique “unbundled” realtor services for home owners selling their own properties. One such service that takes advantage of PBXtra Call Center is Fitzgibbons’ virtual mailboxes. Interested buyers dial a Fitzgibbons Agency number, enter a property code that has been assigned to a specific home and hear detailed information about the property. “PBXtra Call Center’s combination of multiple auto attendants and VoIP lines means I can offer my clients a unique service that is outside of my core business,” said Fitzgibbons. “I can assign an auto attendant for each property code, and the really great part is that I don’t have any hard costs for the growth potential that PBXtra Call Center offers me. Whether I have one or 100 virtual mailboxes, my costs are the same!”
On Call, All The Time
It’s true for both real estate and insurance – customers have to be able to reach you no matter what. Because of PBXtra Call Center, Fitzgibbons is able to be on call, all the time. And he feels the same about his phone system. “PBXtra Call Center does not let me down,” he said. “I have absolutely no reservations about recommending this product. It offers a great feature set, it’s easy to install and use, and Fonality’s support has been terrific.”