Founded in 1982 and based in Toledo, Ohio, Fuller & Sons Insurance Agency offers coverage to consumers and businesses. Brian Fuller leads the agency’s operations and is the son of the owner, James Fuller. Brian joined the agency in 2002.
Technology has changed since the agency was founded. In the early days, they adopted email and eventually added various software programs. These have helped the agency become more efficient and automated. But the one piece they never touched in nearly 40 years of business was their phone system. After speaking to his local internet provider, Toast.net, about VoIP, Brian was introduced to Toledo-based Aline Phone Systems. Since joining the Agency, Aline has added more value to the agency than he ever expected.
Unable to Work Remotely
During the COVID-19 pandemic, one staff member was working remotely to take care of her child and stay safe. Unfortunately, the system they had in place couldn’t be used remotely, so she could not receive inbound calls. This meant that the remaining office staff had to pick up the additional workload and answer the calls. They needed a better way.
Up until 2020, the agency was using a local phone service provider, Buckeye. While the phone system worked, they were missing key features that would have helped the agency become more automated. It wasn’t user-friendly either. Simple tasks like conference calling were difficult and the phone system was limited in functionality.
Overcoming VoIP’s Misconception
Like many professionals, Brian fell victim to a common misconception that VoIP is expensive to get started. He explained, “I’ve always been under the impression that it was unattainable. The upfront costs are incredible. The equipment costs, the setup fees, all of it. I didn’t really know, I guess ignorance played a pretty big part in it. I just didn’t know”. After he was introduced to Aline and the benefits of VoIP, his perception shifted.
A Cloud-Based VoIP Phone System
Fuller & Sons decided to switch to Aline Phone Systems. The agency purchased new desk phones and added the softphone and mobile app. With the help of Aline’s support team and training resources, the transition was completed and employees learned the features of their new phone system.
As an insurance professional, Brian is held to a high standard because of professional liability. For example, if an insurance professional tells you during a phone conversation that your car is covered, but forgets to add that into the contract, legally speaking, that car is covered. Or, say for example, if a client gets into an accident and claims that they told you about a new car, but you doubt they did, two things can happen: One, an errors and omissions claim can be filled. Two, you pay for their loss. Both situations are a headache. However, using call recordings, Brain can listen to and play the call for the client, resolving disputes on the spot. It also saves him from having to file a claim against his professional liability.
Working Remotely Made Possible
With Aline’s mobile app, agency employees can effectively work remotely. Now that their remote worker can receive calls, a balanced workload has been restored within the agency. Brian considers the mobile app to be a lifesaver, “with the mobile app, it’s almost as if she’s here”. Not only is working remotely now possible- it’s also personal. The agency uses the softphone’s video conference feature to hold face-to-face meetings with staff and clients. This keeps all parties safe during the pandemic and retains a human touch that’s visual- something that a phone call can’t do.
“Having a telephone conference with somebody is one thing. But having a video conference, I mean, you put a face with the name.”
Easier to Use
With their previous phone system, conference calling was difficult. Brian recalled, “you had to put the person on hold, then you had to call the other person. There were so many steps involved to try and get a conference call [started]”. It was limited too. Only 3 participants could be in a conference call at once. With just a few clicks, their agency uses Aline’s softphone to begin a conference call faster. Plus, they have more conference seats available than they’ll ever need.
In addition to the mobile app and the ability to work from anywhere, Aline’s voicemail transcriptions add convenience to the agency. No matter where Brian is working, he can listen to or read voicemails. Received a voicemail but out of the office? No problem. Wherever Brian is working, he can listen on his app or read voicemails in his inbox. This allows him to stay informed, experience no delays, and assist his clients faster.
Cost Savings & Value that’s Unmatched
Since the agency switched, their number of lines decreased from 6 to 2. This has reduced the agency’s monthly phone bill between $20 and $30. These savings are made possible because, unlike traditional landlines, Aline doesn’t require extra lines to handle multiple inbound calls at once. But it’s not the cost savings that immediately stands out to Brian. According to him, it’s the additional value.
“The value that’s being brought to the table is unmatched. Video conferencing, conference calling, the mobile app, the recording of every single call. I only have two lines now, whereas before I had six.”
Just like Fuller & Sons provides value to their clients, Aline delivers value to the agency every day.
Make the switch as Brian did. Add more value and automate your business with Aline Phone Systems.
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