I need a telephone solution for client-side support
May 5, 2010 11:23 AM   Subscribe

I need to dedicate individual phone numbers to each client, but want centralized control over where each individual phone number ends up ringing. It's not Google Voice I'm looking for, it's...?

Let's assume I've got fifteen clients, and a pool of people on my team handling support. I want a single service that will let me deploy a unique phone number that stays as the support line for each individual client, which has the following features:

- Ability to route the call to any US phone number
- Extensions (limited number is fine)
- Centralized hub that allows me to change each number's end point at any time (this is where Google Voice is NOT the answer).
- Ideally, a single price point for all phone activity (not charging by the minute, if possible)

I am uninterested in a single number that has a phone tree where the client can choose their unique extension. Has to be unique dial-in numbers that I can tie out to end points individually.

Grasshopper kind of seems to fit the bill, but for comparison shopping purposes, is there anything else you can recommend?
posted by GamblingBlues to Technology (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You can purchase as many unique numbers from VoIP.ms as you have clients, and route them to specific SIP clients, which could be software phones or hardware phones. Sub-accounts are free on the service, so you would create one sub-account for each person. You would buy an equal number of incoming phone numbers and then assign them to the sub-accounts via the web interface. It can easily be changed on the fly later.

You can set outbound caller-id to anything you want, either the person's individual number, or one central number.

They do charge by the minute, but apparently have the ability to create special accounts if you call their sales people.
posted by odinsdream at 11:33 AM on May 5, 2010

On re-reading, I understand your situation a little better now...and I still think VoIP.ms can do it. The ring destination does not need to be a VoIP account - it can also be a regular phone number, or a series of rules, which is pretty cool.

For instance, I have a real phone number which tries my soft phone first, then my cell phone. If the soft phone is not enabled (for instance, my laptop is off) my cell phone is tried directly.
posted by odinsdream at 11:36 AM on May 5, 2010

Seconding voip.ms, I use it to run a consultancy and I love the ability to change the numbers end point just by logging into the website. Their servers update every minute.

Plus they have a good and easy to use virtual receptionship and calling group features.
posted by Funmonkey1 at 1:28 PM on May 5, 2010

Forgot to add, odinsdream --- thanks for the tip to Voip.ms you left in another thread. I checked it out and it has been a godsend!
posted by Funmonkey1 at 1:28 PM on May 5, 2010

I use CallCentric which like Voip.ms.

There is also Phonebooth.
posted by eatcake at 1:36 PM on May 5, 2010

How doesn't google voice fit the bill? If I understand right, you want one phone number that any client can call and be automatically routed to their proper rep.

Assuming that your clients call from the same numbers, you can set it up to ring whichever phones you want.
posted by 47triple2 at 9:56 PM on May 5, 2010

@47triple2 I want a centralized hub from which I can control fifteen numbers. Google Voice won't do that (noted in the post). I'd need fifteen GMail addresses and fifteen GV invites, and would have to log in to each individually to set up routing.
posted by GamblingBlues at 4:34 AM on May 6, 2010

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