When PizzaCloud began offering Internet Phone Service to pizza restaurants we included cellular backup internet to protect the phones when the Internet service fails, but now protecting credit card processing and web orders is just as critical.
Luckily, one backup service can protect them all.
In a nutshell, an additional router is installed between the Internet modem and the firewall for your POS system. When the primary Internet fails the cellular data backup takes over within seconds, keeping your business running.
As restaurants move to the new "chip" card terminals this is even more critical, as many card processors will no longer let merchants go into "offline mode" when their Internet fails.
This situation has become so serious that many POS companies have reached out to companies like ours to provide the cellular backup as a stand-alone service. And some restaurant owners are adding cellular backup service on their own.
Ask yourself a simple question: "How much revenue do I lose every year due to Internet outages?". Every time a large cable Internet provider has an outage on Friday afternoon our phones light up with customers calling to get our phone service and cellular backup Internet. In some cases they are calling us because they lost $5,000 or more in one outage for one store! Then to make matters worse, if you have five or six restaurants all on the same cable Internet provider in one city they may ALL go down at the same time.
Think of cellular backup Internet as insurance. You have to have it, but hope to not use it.
Here are a few notes about choosing a cellular backup provider, or setting one up yourself:
PizzaCloud includes cellular backup Internet with our IP phone service, and now also offers cellular backup as a stand-alone service. Please contact us if you would like more information.
We use the Pepwave MAX-BR-1 "mobile Internet router" for most customers. Although designed for use in police cars, it is ideal for this purpose. Easy to mount, in a rugged steel case. Grease proof, moisture resistant...in general it is the perfect device for this environment!
Please feel free to call us to discuss cellular backup.
Some customers have had real success by shifting the phone calls from the stores to a central call center. But there are several thing to consider.
If you are considering a call center solution, please do give us a call to discuss, even if you are not considering PizzaCloud. Our founder, John Scully spent years in the call center industry. Building and operating more than 30 call centers ranging from 10 to over 1,000 seats. The largest of these call centers handled over 200,000 calls per day. So, whether you are interested in our phone service or not, feel free to call to discuss call center options in general.
Customers with regular business phone lines from "legacy" carriers may still be paying as much as $90 per line, while businesses getting their phone lines from their cable TV provider may be paying as little as $20 per line.
Because of this, Internet phone companies may or may not be able to actually lower the cost for phone service.
This is why PizzaCloud has focused on two other aspects: Eliminating loss of business when your Internet goes down and increasing revenue through the use of advanced phone system features.
Here are a few ways a new hosted IP phone system can increase revenue:
The majority of our customers see the largest benefit from the start of call upsell messages, followed by eliminating busy signals. Putting it all together, our average customers reports an increase in revenue of between $500 and $1,000 per month. Until a few months ago that was $350 to $750. Then we added the ability for our phone system to play a random selection from a set of upsell messages. We immediately started getting reports of even larger increases. Of course, your results may vary, but virtually every customers sees some reasonable increase.