Meet Virtual Call, a Switzerland-based CSP that provides tailored communications solutions to small- and medium-sized businesses.
Virtual Call discovered a good niche for their company, and found success offering cloud PBX, voicemail, virtual receptionists, and auto-attendant services in Switzerland and in Brazil. But, due to a small team, that same success soon became a problem: the overwhelming administrative demands of creating and supporting these complex accounts was making it challenging for the company to scale their operations.
The answer to Virtual Call’s dilemma? Partnering with PortaOne to automate their sales process and enable customer self-service.
When Success Limits Your Ability to Grow
One of the things that business customers love about Virtual Call is their high level of personal service: having a small staff helps the company maintain a close relationship with their clients. However, until recently, that strategy meant that one small team was carrying all the responsibility for nearly everything, from marketing and finding new clients to customer service tasks like activating accounts, customizing service packages, entering client data into PortaBilling, and managing every change and update in each client’s account. Worse, the Virtual Call team had to do all of this administrative work manually, with each small change taking anywhere from minutes to hours.
This left the company with little time to work on growth strategy, and, in fact, made it difficult to imagine any kind of significant growth at all. Under these kinds of constraints, it was far too risky to try to sell Virtual Call services to big companies or government departments, effectively locking them out of large, lucrative contracts.
The Virtual Call team knew it needed an automation solution. But with all the expenses and risk involved, where would they start? For their first attempt, the company stuck with its independent, “we can do it all” business philosophy and decided to try the from-scratch approach, hiring an outside development team to build a custom self-care portal and to sync their PortaBilling with their CRM and accounting systems. However, that attempt failed: the costs were high, the quality was poor, and troubleshooting these ineffectively connected systems would have demanded as much or more resources as their original methods.
It was time to look for a more comprehensive cloud PBX solution. It was time to call PortaOne.
Streamlining Operations with Customized Automation
The PortaOne development method starts with deep research and discussion with our clients on what the problem is, what the risks are, and where the best pathway to the end goal lies – in this case, the end goal of a seamless, integrated, automated cloud PBX offering that could be managed and scaled by a very small team.
After analyzing all of the existing processes that Virtual Call executes for and with its clients, our PortaOne engineers saw that the Virtual Call solution would need to serve several purposes at once. Firstly, it had to have a modular structure with the ability to add or delete components whenever the team needed it. Secondly, it had to allow the company’s customers to manage their own accounts, from signing up as a new client to configuring their cloud PBX settings (such as adding or removing phone extensions) to adapting their virtual receptionists, auto-attendants, voice messaging, call forwarding, and any other added cloud PBX feature they wanted to have their solution package, now or in the future.
To get there, the PortaOne and Virtual Call teams decided to work together in phases, solving one problem at a time.
The HubSpot Integration
Virtual Call was using HubSpot to manage its customer and prospect relationships, PortaBilling to handle its billing and charging, and Bexio to handle its accounting. So the first phase was to use Boomi-based PortaOne Workflows to integrate these three systems and streamline the customer sign-up process. This has eliminated the need for any sales or admin staff to do manual entry, like creating a new account in PortaBilling, or re-entering prospect data from one system to the next. Now, when a prospect signs up for a Virtual Call business account, all of that client data is automatically transferred from Virtual Call’s HubSpot prospect database to PortaBilling and Bexio.
Next, PortaOne helped Virtual Call take this level of automation right to their sales process, using the Bubble.io no-code app creation tool to create a self-service customer sign-up portal. Using this portal, both prospects and brand-new customers can come to the Virtual Call website, pick their desired configuration (which products they will use, how many phone lines, and any extra features they want), and launch their own Virtual Call cloud PBX account, all with little to no support needed from Virtual Call admin staff. To enable payments via credit cards, we connected a payment processor – in this case, Stripe – to the workflow via the PortaOne Add-on Mart digital marketplace for telco innovations. The new customer activation flow has freed up Virtual Call to put all their focus on strategizing for finding new clients, bidding on bigger contracts, and planning the future growth of their business.
Cloud PBX Customer Self-Care
The next phase was to subscribe Virtual Call to the new PortaOne Cloud PBX Self-Care Portal, so that business customers can not only sign up for accounts themselves, they can also manage those accounts as well. The Cloud PBX Self-Care Portal gives Virtual Call customers the ability to independently add new phone numbers and extensions, control service features, make payments, and track costs. They can also set up complex IVR (interactive voice response) flows for business hours/after hours auto-attendants, enable call queues, control call recording, get access to call history and financial transactions, and see or download their invoices.
This self-service capability is now allowing Virtual Call to save even more time and resources on account management, enabling them to maintain the high level of quality and responsiveness their customers have long enjoyed even as they grow and bring on new and bigger clients.
Teams for the Team
Once Virtual Call’s business clients had a streamlined self-management interface that helped them take control of their own accounts, the next step was to increase the range of services that those customers could use. And what today’s companies want to use when it comes to communications is often MS Teams.
So, Virtual Call turned what could have been a competitor into a partner. Using an easy-to-install solution that’s available on the Add-on Mart, Virtual Call empowered its business customers to connect their cloud PBX services directly to MS Teams and streamline their own internal and external communications.
Efficiency at its Best: Agile, Low-Code Methodology
How did PortaOne help Virtual Call accomplish all of this within the limited budget of a small CSP? We did it through the magic of two powerful tools: low- and no-code technologies enabled by our flexible API and collaborative partnerships, and an agile, iterative development process that involves extensive discussion, creating mockups and prototypes for review, rapid delivery of a minimum viable product, and then repeated iteration on that product until it works exactly as our customer needs it to.
Thanks to these tools and processes, PortaOne was able to keep costs low and still execute the complete Virtual Call wish list. More than that, we were able to significantly reduce the time-to-market for their new, automated system, allowing Virtual Call to start growing its business even faster.
Set Yourself Up for Growth
The results from our work with Virtual Call are proof that integration and automation through low- and no-code tools like PortaOne Workflows and Bubble.io is an accessible, agile, and low-risk way for providers of any size to streamline their operations and free themselves to grow. Many of these tools are available to any CSP through the PortaOne Add-on Mart digital marketplace to help them improve and streamline their own unique operations and customer experience.
Thanks to these tools and our expertise, Virtual Call can now offer a complete and unified self-service experience to all of their business customers. If you want to reduce the demand on your resources and offer more services to your customers, contact PortaOne to learn more about our cost-efficient and low-risk solutions.
Contact us today.