Changes to Our Privacy Policy (GDPR)

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) takes effect on 25th May, 2018, and as our service requires your input and processing of your personal information, we want you to understand that we take GDPR very seriously.

What is GDPR?

GDPR is a comprehensive set of policies designed to safeguard the privacy of citizens of the EU.

The following key principles are at the core of compliance with GDPR:

Specifically, our compliance to GDPR grants you the following rights as an EU citizen:

  1. The right to be informed about what personal data we intend to maintain, why access to that data is required and how you intend to process it.
  2. The right of access to the personal data that we hold about you, at no extra cost.
  3. The right of rectification of inaccuracies in your personal information.
  4. The right to erasure of your personal information from our systems, and third party systems to which this data may have been propagated.
  5. The right to restrict processing of your personal data.
  6. The right to data portability
  7. The right to object to further processing of your personal data.
  8. Rights regarding automated decision making

Information Security

The GDPR requires VoiceRules to take necessary measures to ensure a high level of information security. If a business saves or processes the personal data of EU citizens, they are then accountable for securing this data as per industry best practices.

Access logs should be maintained for operations carried out on the personal data of EU citizens. Any data breach must be communicated to impacted users quickly and transparently.

Data Minimization

A key theme that runs across all of GDPR is ‘Data Minimization’. That is to say, companies should only hold the bare minimum personal information needed by you to offer their services effectively.

Additionally, personal data should only be maintained for the period necessary, and should be deleted once its utility is lost.

Today, data storage is inexpensive, as a result modern systems and products tend to maintain data in excess, and for longer periods of time. We have carefully carried out an audit of our data systems and logging strategy to comply with this requirement.

What is VoiceRules doing to get GDPR ready?

VoiceRules has been working on a dedicated product roadmap that places customer consent, information security and data minimization at the very core of it’s communications platform.

Here are the key initiatives and product features and details on how we are preparing to be compliant by May 25th 2018:

Access Control

Your VoiceRules dashboard lets you can track usage, listen to voicemail, update billing information, download invoices, and much more.

We realize the need to ensure members of your organization have access only to the dashboard features and data which is relevant to their role in your organization.

We shall soon be launching the all new VoiceRules management console with advanced user management features like Multi User Login, Single Sign On, Role Based Access Control and User Activity Logs.

Encrypted Storage For Recordings & Transcripts

Recordings and transcripts of your Voice calls can hold sensitive information pertaining to your end users.

VoiceRules hosts your voice recordings and transcripts on Amazon S3. All recordings will be encrypted at rest and securely stored in AWS S3 buckets.

Revised MDR and CDR archival processes

Going forward, VoiceRules will maintain MDRs and CDRs in its transactional databases for a period of 90 days only. MDR/CDR information in transactional databases is required for billing, accounting purposes by us and our customers.

We feel that the utility of this data in our transactional databases is lost after 90 days, and hence shall be deleting it at the end of the 90 day period.

Redacted MDRs and CDRs will be archived for much longer time periods in our data warehouse. This means that the last 3 digits of the source and destination numbers shall be masked in the CDRs and MDRs maintained in our data warehouse.

We recommend that you extract MDRs and CDRs from the VoiceRules system within 90 days from generation if you intend to maintain this information at your end. Requesting for MDRs and CDRs that are older than 90 days will involve a longer turnaround time and the data provided will be redacted.

Data Security Audits

We’re getting all our systems and processes audited for GDPR compliance. Our objective is to have all personal data in our systems secured and encrypted.

Revised Account Deletion Policy

We are reworking our internal and external processes to align with the GDPR requirements to make sure that if you decide to close your account with VoiceRules, your data will be deleted from all VoiceRules systems, except where other laws (legal requests or taxation and accounting) require us to keep it.

As per the new process,

  1. Account closure requests from customers in good standing will be addressed within 15 business days.
  2. Personal data in third party systems will be deleted.
  3. Usage data (CDRs, MDRs, Debug logs) and billing history (invoices, transaction logs) will be maintained for a period of 90 days from account closure.
  4. All other identifiable data associated with the customer will either be deleted or redacted from our databases.

Conclusion

As your communications solution partner, we understand that our compliance with GDPR is critical for you. We are making all the efforts to ensure your data stays safe. We will continue to share regular updates about upcoming changes. If you have specific questions about our GDPR readiness roadmap, write to us at contact@voicerules.com

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Keeping Personal Contact Details Private

If you are like most people you have probably had your current mobile number for a long time. You probably suffer from the odd robocall or are still getting cold calls from that double glazing salesman you declined from last year.

There have been some quite revolutionary changes in how an individual can keep their personal contact information private.

We tend to publish or input our personal contact details when signing up to new services, placing adverts or when doing business. We never truly know what is happening with our information and whether or not it is being used for some other purpose outside of what we are led to believe. We also have no control over when we can be contacted and by whom.

The ability to use virtual or burner numbers now means that you can mask your actual number by connecting one or many new phone numbers that you then have complete control over.

When publishing a virtual number means that your actual phone number is kept private allowing you to have complete autonomy over who or what businesses have access to you.

You can add virtual or burner numbers in 1000’s of cities around the world, you can even add additional mobile numbers with no commitment, and that actually cost less than your favorite cup of joe.

This is perfect for those situations when you have to provide a phone number that may only be used for a short period of time, or you just want to control who can call you and when.

Imagine you are setting up an eBay account and wish to provide a number for interested buyers to contact you on, a virtual number can be deactivated following the removal of the advert. Another example is if you want to provide a local or mobile number for your business or friends and family, you can setup local or mobile numbers all over the world and route calls to those numbers to you wherever you are, the use cases of virtual numbers are endless and can be setup instantly.

Setting up a virtual number takes a matter of minutes; you’re then able to fully manage how you accept calls to that number. Whether you just want to forward calls to your current private number or if you wish to setup a professional answering and forwarding platform for your business and its members, you have the freedom to instantly set it up with no technical experience required. When the time comes that you no longer need the number, or wish to add new numbers, you can just add a new one or delete your number along with all those contacts you gave it to.

Whether you want to setup a professional phone system or just a new personal local or global contact number you need to visit www.voicerules.com and can set up phone numbers in 60 Countries.

Quick Guide to Porting Your Phone Number

Number porting may be a term that you have either used or at least heard before, the nature of this article is to outline the process of porting a telephone number from one telecommunications service provider to another.

Porting is a way of keeping your current number; a good means of porting is to port what would seem like a fixed line phone number into a virtual environment. The benefits of doing this is that your personal number then becomes more transferable and thus more manageable, so you can keep it for life and any calls to that number can follow you anywhere whether for business, travel or personal use.

We must first state that when ever porting you should first check with your current provider before starting the process as they may have some deep embedded caveats when porting your number, companies can charge a small fortune if you want to keep your number and move it to another provider.

There may be two reasons for this; one, your current carrier just wants to make a last bit of money from you before you say goodbye, or, a more valid reason would be that they had originally paid for you to port your number into their network and they wish to recuperate that cost(if they haven’t done so already).

Usually porting numbers outside of the USA and Canada can incur a one off porting charge. This is usually for porting in (transferring your number to a new carrier) rather than porting out (moving from your current provider to another).

If companies charge for both then that would be their decision to do so.

What is the process?

The process believe it or not is pretty straight forward its just a pain in the backside as you have to get all the right documents and information in place before you can proceed.

With good hand holding by your new carrier this should be a breeze and the process almost takes care of itself.

Once you have done your bit by providing the right information the port process will be in motion and you should be kept in the loop on the stages that follow. Your new service provider should be the go between you and your provider that you’re porting away from, this will make the process almost seamless.

Required Documents

Letter of Authorization (LOA)

This document will show your address, name and phone number on the headed paper of your new carrier. The detail of an LOA basically states that you are the owner of your number and agree to move your number from your current carrier to your new one. You will then be required to date and sign this document.

Proof of ownership

This can simply be a copy of a bill from your current provider that shows both your account number, phone number and the address and name on this document should match the details that appear on the LOA (above).

Identification

This can be a copy of your passport or driving license. Again matching the details on the 2 documents above.

Service Pin/Passcode

You may be requested to provide your service PIN or Passcode, this would have been setup at the start of your agreement with your current carrier. You can easily obtain this information by contacting your current provider and requesting it.

How Long Does It Take?

Once all of this information has been gathered and passed over to your new service provider, they will then submit this information to your current carrier to initiate the port process on your behalf.

Your current carrier will notify your new service provider of the timeframe of the port, it can usually be quite vague and they will just say 10-14 days or something similar.

Be aware that the process can take anywhere from 1 week to 4 weeks depending on the status of your current number and how quickly your current carrier processes everything.

When the port takes place you should suffer no downtime, your new carrier should be prepared to accept your newly ported number and any setup of your new service should be done prior to the port actually taking place, this will avoid any downtime.

If you wish to keep your current number but have the flexibility to manage how calls are delivered to you from that number (no matter where you are in the World), then you must visit http://www.voicerules.com, there are lots of options available to you to manage your phone numbers and also inbound and outbound calls.

VoiceRules is a clever app for managing all your voice communications in-house with no technical expertise.

http://www.voicerules.com

 

 

Managing Business Communication From Anywhere

70% of mobile searchers have used click to call to connect with a business directly from the search engine results page.

47% of mobile searchers say that if a business does not have a phone number associated with their search results, they will be more likely to explore other brands.

61% of mobile searchers state that click to call is most important in the purchase phase of the shopping process.

69% of searchers that are mobile call a business straight from Google Search

Statistics talk for themselves. Its true, your customers still want to talk to you when they are in the buying process. This can be either good or bad news for your business.

Its probably not such good news if your lucky enough to have a business that allows you to work remotely.

Or is it??

Now that you can single handedly build glorious web sites or eCommerce shop fronts using platform such as http://www.shopify.com, http://www.weebly.com, http://www.sharespace.com and http://www.Wix.com without any prior experience, opens up lots of doors and opportunities.

You could then go on to advertise your business using Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc, the list goes on.

So, back to these pesky customers that want to do something as ludicrous as actually talk to you and ask questions about your business?!

With the growth of tech in the communications space has enabled flexible telecoms  to be available to everybody. What this actually means is that providing your startup with a fancy way of answering and delivering calls to you and your team is totally achievable.

Oh and by the way – you can manage calls to and from anywhere in the World.

So, picture yourself having one or many local phone numbers setup in cities around the World. When anyone calls these numbers, those calls are then routed to you and your team in which ever CoWorking space or Hotel room you may be frequenting at any given moment.

You could also take this one step further….

So you may just have a local number thats published on your web site for customers to contact you. You may have a click to call button that appears on your mobile search when people are looking for your products or services that they can instantly click and be connected.

Or how about setting up Facebook or Instagram ads that have a ‘Call Now’ button available to your prospects. You may be rolling out an advert campaign locally or just focusing on a particular geographical location. Targeting your ads with local or toll free numbers to your customers will increase the sales potential to your business.

These platforms are easy to setup and extremely gentle on the pocket. For example you could have an all signing and dancing phone system providing in depth analytics and a bunch of professional features for less than $18.00 per month.

How many sales do you need to see to show the ROI on that?!

Drop us a line if you need help or have ideas on how you want you call management system to work for your business.

Do all the above at http://www.voicerules.com

 

 

 

Interactive Voice Ads on Facebook, Instagram, Google & Bing

We have been working with customers that have been adding VoiceRules phone numbers to marketing campaigns and monitoring the results using our analytics dashboard.

As you are able to rent numbers for short periods which allows you to test across different mediums and monitor those results to see what works for your business.

Use cases as follows:

facegram

Adverts can be created directly through your Business Pages in just a few minutes. By adding a “Call Now” button, customers can call you directly from your adverts that appear in their News Feed.

Use it today to get more sales, new customers and great results. Also geo-target your customers by adding multiple Country or City based phone numbers then easily route calls directly though to your team wherever they are based.

 

 

Binggle

Setup phone numbers for your Bing and Google Ad campaigns and add geographical phone numbers by creating call extensions.

69% of searchers that are mobile, call a business straight from Google Search. 36% of searches on Google are associated with location.

When your call extensions appear, people can tap or click a button to call your business directly.

VoiceRules will route those calls for you anywhere in the World.  For the best mix of local targeting and broader reach, you may also want to use location extensions.

When you use location extensions, ads that feature specific business locations or department can direct calls to phone numbers of your choice rather than your general company phone number.

You’re able to monitor the success of your marketing campaigns from within the above-mentioned platforms on click through rates etc. However data is not available to tell you how successful those calls were when they reached your business.

VoiceRules analytics dashboard provides you with granular data on the success of your calls once they are delivered to your Company.

Use the VoiceRules features to direct calls to your team members anywhere in the World, also record calls for training and quality purposes.

Check us out at….

https://www.voicerules.com

 

 

Love Your Employees?! Set Them Free!

Remote teams are fast becoming normal for the majority of Company working environments and the amount of new businesses following this trend is growing rapidly with around 80% of work contracts that include flexible working options (flexjobs).

Remote work is when a member of your team works outside of a traditional office working environment. This could be at home, in a coffee shop or some other flamboyant location of their choice with Internet access.

Remote workers are also known as telecommuters, virtual staff, cloud workers, home or mobile workers.

Happy Employees are productive

This method of working is quickly becoming the preferred way to work for todays employees with 85% of millennial’s wanting to have the possibility to telecommute 100% of the time, this meets the current and future demands of a younger workforce. (workplaceinsight.net).

Working remotely has also shown health benefits for individuals. Staff that work remotely have proven to not only be happier with increased morale but are also less stressed about their work and are more productive when working remotely (Forbes.com).

Remote work not only applies to employees but also 1000’s of Entrepreneurs are appreciating the benefits of working almost anywhere around the globe.

Ticking boxes for Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs are fully appreciating the benefits of location independence and as technology is being built daily to support these environments is proving to be a more attractive option for todays Business owners.

Cost savings are high on the list of importance for any new business venture. The ability to work from any location without the need for the normal overheads is saving companies a fortune in startup costs. This allows them to focus their budget on what’s important for their business to help them to succeed in signing up their next customer.

You only have to look at today’s Social Media platforms including Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat to get a feel on how these individuals and their teams are working in environments that appeal to their personal aspirations whilst working and getting paid to do so along the way.

Team Collaboration

As new technology is launched to make remote working easier gives employers more options when monitoring staff and customers at the same time.

Tools like Basecamp, Trello and Slack are topping the charts for some of the best remote team management tools on the market. With their slick interfaces and functionality these platforms are extinguishing any worry that business owners may have when considering the management of remote teams.

Is a Remote Working environment right for you?

The option of working in a remote environment may be beneficial to both an employer and its workforce for the reasons outlined, but this doesn’t mean that this way of working is right for everyone.

Some companies still wish to have their teams where they can see them and interact face to face rather than over collaboration tools or video calling with Skype.

With any new exciting ways of doing things unfortunately also brings new challenges. These learning curves may not appeal to a new or current business.

Published by VoiceRules.

VoiceRules is a leading platform provider for the remote management of international sales and customers contact support for small businesses and Entrepreneurs around the world.

Cost Hacking Your Small Business Empire

Are you thinking of building a new start up, looking to expand, or just looking to reduce cost in your current business? There a number of overhead costs to take into consideration but as new technology becomes available so do your options in keeping business costs to a minimum. Here is a demonstration of ways in which you can avoid tremendous expenditure and at the same time allow you to focus on important areas of your business.

Virtual Office

A virtual office is an office that has no practical existence. Virtual offices have no dedicated workspace like a traditional office. Companies which provide virtual office services, provide you all the facilities which make up an office. The virtual office is one, or one of many hubs for your customers/clients to connect to you and your business. Having a virtual office can save you from the complications of having an actual office, still give your company a local professional look and feel but allow you to focus on some more important areas of your business. A virtual office can be set-up almost anywhere and will incur far lower costs and shorter contracts. Cost savings come from the rent/price of the office building, the costs to maintain and run the office like electricity bills and the expenses of stationery and a number of other miscellaneous items required to run an office. If you wish to have a physical presence in a city or a number of cities this expense can be astronomical, a virtual office can give you an introduction into whether or not you wish to open shop in a particular City or Country at minimal risk/cost.

Remote Workers

Employees are found to be happier than 9-5 office workers and dedicated when they work in a virtual environment. They can work easily from their home or any location worldwide if its practical to do so. They are also found to be more productive and have a lower turnover rate. You also do not have to hire people on constant pay-role. You can have the work done by freelancers at comparatively lower rates and you will only have to pay them for the work done. There is no need to hire a person for a full time job and give them heavy salary and other benefits. Using platforms such as Upwork.com, Toptal.com and Peopleperhour.com can introduce you to professionals to assist you with short or long term business tasks from Tech Talent through to Virtual Assistants.

No Hardware Outlay

Previously starting a business needed a large amount of investment in hardware including the furniture, computers, fixed and mobile phones amongst other necessary items to make an office look and operate properly. If you opt for a virtual office instead of a traditional office all this money can be used for some better purpose, maybe one example could be the investment in good staff. Also while BYOD (bring your own device) allows users to use their current preference of technology, this gives business owners one less thing to worry about, and in the process save a shed load of potential cost, not only for the actual hardware itself but also the ongoing maintenance.

Team Collaboration/Management

So, having a virtual working environment is a great way to keep costs low, whilst working from absolutely anywhere (in the world). But, how do businesses manage this network of workers? There are some cool collaboration and management tools on the market that assist businesses in getting the very best out of their remote team. Products such as Insightly.com, Slack.com, Trello.com, Asana.com and Hivedesk.com empower you to easily communicate, manage, monitor and track your team and their work and tasks for all of your projects, all from easy to use interfaces and at low or no cost for small teams.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Obtaining new customers is one thing, managing those customers can be a stressful process. Although you may want the very best for your customers and wish to attend to them in the quickest time possible, sometimes things can fall through the gaps. Now that today’s businesses have every opportunity to network with customers outside of their home territory means potential more commerce, but at the same time can create more problems (good and bad). Now that your teams can be remote and based anywhere, well, and so can your customers. Customer management platforms are available not only for large businesses but also small. Platforms such as sellfapp.com, Zendesk.com, LAdesk.com, Zoho.com to name a few, are some of the more popular and cost effective options. Being able to notify, monitor, manage, delegate and control prospects as well as outcomes for customer requests can be managed from a central platform and distributed throughout your network of colleagues in a well structured environment.

Voice Communications

In virtual environments, the working hours can potentially be 24/7. Your employees can work at any time and the customers can contact the office round the clock. The bridge connecting the employees to one another and the customers to the employees i.e. the virtual office never goes offline. Communications can be managed using a whole range of available tools whether within your business or externally.

A popular internal communication platform is Skype that works on VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol). Skype.com gives the ability for you to communicate free of charge whether by voice or video call between you and your team no matter where they are located.

External communications and management of your inbound business calls can seem a little trickier. VoIP communications have advanced somewhat because of the continuous global expansion and the increasing speed of the Internet from both mobile and Wi-Fi connectivity. This can also be said for inbound business calls. Working within a virtual environment means that you, your team and your third party suppliers can literally be based any where around the world and at any time, as with your customers.

Like other virtual environments VoIP compliments your business by giving it the ability to have a presence in 1000’s of cities and allow you to portray an enterprise level presence to your customers and prospects.

Not only can you purchase local, National and Toll-Free numbers from almost anywhere worldwide, but you can also easily manage, monitor, record and route those calls across your business team, making sure that you never miss a call whilst keeping a professional interface to your customers. Communication can come from traditional phone calls all the way through to click to call campaigns directly from your web site. Companies such as VoiceRules.com give you the ability to have a fully virtual, feature rich, voice communication network giving you and your team the flexibility to work absolutely anywhere globally.