LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - Oct 24, 2012) - What's the scariest business issue for small business owners going into 2013? It's finding new customers and keeping existing ones, according to a new 50-state survey conducted by eVoice®, a small and mid-size business phone system that provides a better way for businesses to connect, and a brand of j2 Global, Inc. (NASDAQ: JCOM). The survey, which was sent by email to select current eVoice customers and visitors to eVoice's website, also sheds light on what small business owners are thinking about when it comes to staying connected with their customers, their technology preferences and forecasts for the upcoming holiday season. See an infographic with the survey results. Complete survey results here.
Key Communication Challenges
When it comes to communication challenges, more than 1 in 3 of the survey respondents indicated that their biggest fear is missing an important call from a customer. The cost of that lost call was rated scarier than appearing unprofessional (29 percent), not having contact information handy to make a call (15 percent), forgetting the details of an important call (14 percent), or opening up a costly cell phone bill (7 percent). The fear is well founded as more than 1 in 3 respondents (38 percent) indicated that missing a call has cost them a customer.
"I've been using eVoice for over a year and truly believe the service has been a critical factor for our success," said Kirk Nebel, founder and director of Hollywood Academy of Music. "I need to know that my customers can always reach me, because if they can't then my business won't grow."
Also notable, 35 percent of respondents indicated that hands-free dialing and answering is the most important feature needed while driving, followed by professional and personalized voice greetings (25 percent), automated answering and call routing (16 percent), call recording (13 percent), and call screening (11 percent).
- Scary but true: 1 in 2 respondents reported having their calls drop in the middle of a critical business call.
- Flying is no longer reserved for witches and ghosts; 72 percent of respondents reported operating at least one-quarter of their business in the cloud.
- Traditional voicemail is headed to the graveyard with 39 percent of respondents preferring email over voicemail (31 percent).
- Respondents identified dressing up their business as their number one reason for using a virtual phone system. Respondents cite the ability to appear larger and more professional as the number one feature (61 percent), followed by using an 800 number to reach more customers and appear larger (45 percent), and having a virtual receptionist (45 percent).
- Seeing a black cat on Friday the 13th didn't spook the respondents as only 5 percent reported being superstitious.
- Moving from broomsticks to Santa's sleigh, 62 percent forecasted a better holiday season than last year.
Stay Connected and Embrace the Cloud
The eVoice small business phone system empowers businesses to stay connected to customers anytime and anywhere, without the costs and necessity of an administrative staff or expensive hardware based phone system.
- Advanced call handling features including call screening
- Enhanced voice mail service with transcriptions and audio files sent to email or as a text message
- 24/7 auto attendant to professionally answer and route inbound calls
- Transfer calls to another destination
- Record calls with one touch (premium feature; must subscribe to call recording to initiate)
- Make and receive phone calls via a WiFi connection or 3G/4G network using VoIP
- Intercom connection to other eVoice extensions using VoIP
- Mobile app that transforms a cell phone into a virtual professional business phone system
About the Study
The survey was open to current eVoice customers and visitors to eVoice's website in all 50 states, from September 21, 2012 - September 27, 2012. 357 random participants responded via online and email invitation. Survey participants were not compensated. For complete survey results please visit this page. More information regarding the survey can be viewed on the eVoice blog. An infographic with survey results can be viewed on this page.
eVoice is a brand service and trademark of j2 Global (NASDAQ: JCOM). The eVoice small business phone system empowers businesses to stay connected to customers anytime and anywhere, without the costs and necessity of an administrative staff or expensive hardware based phone system. eVoice, one of the industry's leading virtual phone services, offers a wide selection of local or toll-free numbers and is the only phone service of its type to offer personalized U.S.-based VIP setup and support for new accounts. eVoice is online at www.evoice.com.
About j2 Global™
Founded in 1995, j2 Global, Inc. provides cloud services to individuals and businesses around the world. j2 Global's network spans 49 countries on six continents. The Company offers Internet fax, voice and email solutions. j2 Global markets its services principally under the brand names eFax®, Onebox®, eVoice®, FuseMail®, Campaigner®, KeepItSafe® and CampaignerCRM™.