Did you receive a letter from AT&T stating they are no longer going to support long distance account code features? Long distance account codes are a specified code you key in after dialing a long distance number. Attorney’s, Accountants, and Engineers utilizes the feature to help bill clients and keep track of time spent on clients or a project. Now that they will be gone what should you do to keep track of clients or projects?
You have a few options, and all are going to mean you will leave AT&T landline services. A few carriers support long distance codes and function much in the same way AT&T codes operate and bill services. The disadvantage of moving to another landline provider is they may get rid of the long distance code features as well. This may be a short term solution for you. Long distance rates continue to fall and most carriers want to just give customers unlimited long distance with their services. While giving you unlimited long distance, they also want to simplify their billing and expenses of providing long distance services. This means you will not get a detail on your calls or any information from a billing perspective. As for the detail on control you have enjoyed and experienced with long distance codes all but goes away. With AT&T, it does go away.
A better long term solution would be to move your office to a hosted or cloud based phone system. You will not only experience a feature rich service for no additional cost, you will also receive flexibility on how to manage your customers. Most hosted phone system providers (i.e., Ring Central, Broadview Networks, and Nextiva) have a robust billing system that will break out each of your customer record of calls for you. At the end of the month, you can search your online reports for each customer. For example, say Customer A called you or you called them 10 times during the month and spent 3 hours on the phone with them. At the end of the month, you simply log into your account and run a report for all calls that where made with Customer A in that month. It will give you a report of all the calls, times, and length of calls for Customer A. Then you can simply hand off to billing for invoicing the customer. You don’t even have to worry about an employee not punching in the 3 digit code after dialing the number. It will automatically keep track of each customer in detail. It will even work from your cell phone. You download your providers app to your phone, dial out from the app and it keeps track of those calls as well. It is unbeatable for tracking calls as well as giving you the peace of mind of tracking every call.
If you received a letter from AT&T like below, give us a call and we can definetly show you a better way to manage your customers.