When I first started my business back in January, a colleague suggested that I sign up for Fathom Voice. At the time I was using Google Voice and could not imagine why I would want to invest in a service when I was getting another for free. You may be wondering the same thing. Let me tell you, it is worth it! Fathom Voice has added an extra level of professionalism to my business which, in my humble opinion, Google Voice, did not offer. I can set limits on when my phone is answered which helps me stick to my boundaries with clients. I want to serve people but have to have time to get the work done that they have retained me to do. Fathom Voice allows you to set up multiple messages if you are away or gone for a week. The phone service has brought my business to the next level. This is more than a phone service though. Why or how? Their customer support staff is amazing and out of this world! I can call with a multitude of questions, which I may have at any given moment and they are quick to respond. They are eager to help! It almost feels as though I have added someone to my team, even though they are not a part of my business. They are incredible and I highly recommend them to anyone looking to add an extra level of professionalism to their business!
1) I am able to set times (9 a.m. - 6 p.m.) during which my phone will ring 2) I can set up my phone to ring to my cell phone if I am out of the office. 3) The customer support staff is amazing! Shelby Weeks, on the front line, is incredibly patient and knowledgeable. Ryan Wharton and Britton Beaumont, in the technical support department, are always eager to help. In the event that any of these amazing people do not know the answer they are always open to doing research for me. 4) When I get a voicemail, it is sent to me as an attachment to an email. I like this because I can listen to my messages even when I am not in my physical office.
1) Unlike Google voice that goes everywhere, you cannot take your physical office desk phone everywhere. This is just the nature of having a physical desk phone. 2) Unlike Google voice, Fathom has yet to figure out how to not only receive texts from clients but also send them. At this point, I can receive texts but cannot send them. You can do this with Google Voice. I have shared this concern with the Fathom support team and they are working on it. I am sure that they will find a solution soon! 3) When you get a text message, unlike a voicemail, you do not get an email notification telling you that you have a text. This can be problematic if your clients send you texts. I have told the Fathom Support Team about this and they are working on it! I am sure that they will have a solution soon!
Fathom is attentive to my needs and works quickly to resolve any issues that arise. They provide good phone service at a great value. I recommend them for any small business owner!
Great value. My monthly service is much less than I paid previously. The support team is knowledgeable and easy to work with. They are quick to diagnose any issues (even those that are problems with my system and not theirs) and provide answers to resolve them.
It can be a little confusing to configure the system, but I can call the support team to help me out. Reports, such as call logs, could be better, but I almost never looked at them with my previous provider anyway. Once the system is configured, it works great.
Overall: This system offers nothing outside of the norm of any other VOIP business phone system. The Web interface is slightly more intuitive than others, though it is difficult sometimes to know if a setting change has actually been accepted and changed. However, there is much to be desired in execution of calls. About a quarter of dialed calls will hang without ever connecting, then disconnect. There is no consistency with this issue as to the number being dialed. (One number may fail three times in a row, then connect on the fourth attempt. Others might fail once, then connect on the next attempt.) We have had an outstanding service issue since deploying last January which has yet to be resolved wherein any calls going to our after-hours support line generate two notification emails and two duplicate voicemails. While not critical, it is a nuisance, and the only time we receive updates on the status of the service case is when we ask for them. Pros: Slightly easier to use and deploy than similar products. Slightly more intuitive web controls. Service department will respond when prompted. Cons: Service could be much more pro-active in reporting status of cases back to clients. Call failures can be a headache.
We needed a system that could allow our remote teams to painlessly stay connected while providing core communications functionality. Lots of providers out there with pieces of what we needed, but struggled to find it all in one package that was affordable and actually worked right. Actually didn't get any complaints from the team.
Easy to use and provided the full suite of functions we needed. Remote access across the country was great. Option to use soft phone on laptop with Polycom phone on desk also great. Automated workflow for agents was superb and our service manager was able to set up, implement, and manage without a lot of training or consulting.
No real cons to speak of. Would love to see them come out with their own CRM, though the integration with salesforce has been great.
It's been a long winding road; however, I genuinely feel that Fathom Voice is trying to get better! They give us some great features but some of the every day features that we expect & had for years are now not available. Most recently I've truly missed the simple forwarding option. We've worked around it but it was laborious. To be able to just hit a fwd button + the extension in which to forward to... was great, when we had it. I also miss the options our landlines had... like being able to speed up & slow down a message. This saved us from having to listen several times. We also had a simple keypad map that showed us how to move quickly and efficiently through steps to get where we needed. On the dashboard, I would love to also have a list of calls I've made (calls in and calls out, would be great descriptions). We are not necessarily a large business but perhaps we act like one. :) Thus, there will always be issues or things that come up, esp. as changes occur. The Fathom Voice Crew always do their best to find a solution & never forget to get back with you... we appreciate this greatly!
Sharpen offers transparent, all-inclusive pricing at every license level. Sharpen Empower, the contact center platform, comes at the total cost of $109 per user, per month.
To strengthen and simplify your external and internal communication processes, Sharpen is a cloud-based solution that provides businesses with a simple, highly customizable platform, so you can easily connect and communicate with customers and prospects. It enables companies to seamlessly transition from analog phone service providers, which normally charge per minute for long distance calls, to VoIP (voice over IP) without the need to purchase any additional on-site equipment.
In the office or remotely, Sharpen allows users to stay on top of their calls and connections through features like auto attendant, caller ID, unlimited long distance and local calls, high-quality audio with HD Voice, the Find Me/Follow Me tool to trace where routed calls go, drag-and-drop call transfer via the web app, email notifications, web faxing, call queue, IVR (interactive voice response), log reporting, call and agent behavior analytics, and automated workflows.
While most analog phone systems get the job done, are simple to use, and require minimal setup and maintenance, compared to VoIP, they are limited in terms of scalability, can be expensive to upgrade and configure, and may need additional hardware, such as adapters, to integrate with essential business tools such as CRM software.
Sharpen lets you use your existing hardware through their phone reprovisioning process, blends inbound and outbound calling, stores voicemails to your email account, monitors call volume for each phone extension, automates the sales process with Sharpen Q, uses gamification to boost agent productivity, allows workflow customization through Sharpen Workflow, and provides a robust analytics engine for better decision-making, among others.
Sharpen is available as a web app for all devices and mobile app for Windows Phones.
Sharpen covers a number of call management features that include an auto attendant, caller ID, international calling, conference calling, hold music, receptionist panel, call transfer, voicemail and voicemail to email, soft phone, chat, call volume monitoring, BYOD (bring your own device) enablement, and call recordings.
Based on your existing call workflows, an auto attendant or virtual receptionist can be programmed to route calls to the most qualified operator without human intervention. The Sharpen receptionist panel shows you the company’s extensions, ring groups, and call queues. A ring group is the feature you use if you’d like multiple phone lines to ring when dialing an extension.
To record calls, you will need to set up auto-recording, and you will then be prompted to select between “On Demand” and “Always On.” To record calls on demand, press *9. For the “Always On” option, you will have to choose between inbound and outbound calls.
Sharpen Q provides users with a unified workspace that’s especially useful for support and sales teams. It automates agent activity through integration with Salesforce.com and other CRM applications, simplifies communication with clients and prospects via channels such as SMS, email, and voice, provides agents with pertinent client and prospect information from available social profiles and your organization’s CRM records, and uses leaderboards to encourage healthy competition among employees.
When a call goes through your call queue, agents see not just the calling party’s phone number but also their CRM record, which can include details of their previous interactions with the company. This allows agents to provide the organization or individual calling in the personalized service they deserve. Depending on how your call logging configuration is set up, calls can be recorded automatically.
Processes that are repetitive are best automated to minimize, if not totally eradicate, human error. Sharpen Workflow takes care of that. It allows you to schedule your agents’ daily activities, receive automatic notifications, integrate your existing databases – such as CRM – with Sharpen, and automatically transfer calls to the most qualified support agent.
Consistently managing your agents’ schedules allows you to maximize their potentials through “actual metrics versus benchmarks” comparisons, sharing of best practices, and one-on-one coaching. Sales processes, on the other hand, can be automated by one-click voicemail, click-to-dial buttons, and automatic activity logging. Routing workflows can be constructed based on a number of factors including the caller’s position in the organization they represent, their calling patterns, and their level of engagement with your company.
To put the data you have at your fingertips to good use, Sharpen has a built-in analytics engine through Sharpen Analytics that provides users with actionable insights into caller behaviors, agent activities, and business trends, among others. It’s equipped with a unified dashboard that lets you visualize how your sales and support initiatives are tracking, as well as tools to monitor behaviors and call flows, and provide balanced agent coaching.
Sharpen also comes with a report builder for building custom reports and monitoring key performance indicators, a transcription service for transcribing recorded conversations, and a success measurement functionality that gathers critical marketing or sales data that you can then use to craft more successful campaigns.
Because Sharpen is cloud-based and platform-agnostic, it allows teams to be on the go and stay productive at the same time – anywhere, anytime, on any device. Sharpen Connect’s features, such as screen sharing, chat, SMS, MMS (multimedia messaging service), user availability indicator, and high-definition voice connection, increases overall productivity and enhances both internal and external communication.
Besides a developer API (application program interface) that you can use to connect your existing business tools, Sharpen readily integrates with apps like Salesforce Sales Cloud, Salesforce Service Cloud, and Desk.com.
Sharpen offers three pricing plans: Voice, Edge, and Power. Voice starts at $20 per user per month. Features include PBX (private branch exchange) and communication tools. Edge costs $65 per user per month and includes all Voice features, plus Salesforce integration, real-time call analytics, and the Sharpen open API platform.
Power, which is the most popular, is priced at $130 per user per month and carries all Edge features, including workflow management, voice transcription, blended inbound/outbound dialing, and skills-based routing.
All packages are billed annually, and subscription contracts are renewed every two years. Free trials are available.