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When Seconds Matter: Advanced 911 Helps You Act Quickly During an Emergency

By Thad White|Tuesday July 30, 2019

A health or safety emergency must be met with swift action to protect the people and places you care about.

It starts with a call to 911 for help. Dispatchers know that seconds can mean the difference between life and death, and how fast you can get help may determine the eventual outcome:

  • Cardiac Arrest: For every minute that goes by without CPR and defibrillation, chances of survival decrease by 7-10 percent.
  • Stroke: For every minute without treatment, two million brain cells die.
  • Fire: It takes just five minutes for a house to be engulfed in flames.
  • Gas Leak: In one case, there were only 20 minutes between the first report and an explosion that killed eight people.

With effective planning and preparation, you’ll have the tools in place to get the help you need.

Ooma phone service remains at the forefront of emergency 911 access among VoIP providers. Here are five ways that Ooma can help you respond to an emergency.

respond to emergencies with Ooma

1. Dial 911 with Your Ooma-connected Phone

Unlike other internet-phone services that could leave you stranded in an emergency, Ooma has your back with advanced 911 service.

Both Ooma Telo home phone customers and Ooma Office business phone customers have 911 service built into their phone plan. Thus, you won’t have to think twice when you pick up the phone to dial 9-1-1.

In addition to 911 access, Ooma works behind the scenes to help support your needs during an emergency. For example, Ooma’s emergency geolocation feature will automatically transmit your self-provisioned physical address to emergency responders (where available) so that they can come right to your door in the event of an emergency. Users can access and update this physical location in their account settings.

“I’ve been a tech person for a very long time, but I was hesitant to give up my landline. I have heard horror stories about people having issues reaching needed services over cell. I did not want to lose my ability to reach the services. The day happened that I needed emergency services and Ooma was right there. It may have saved a life. Thank you for having a great E911 system and great service,” says James, an Ooma Telo customer.

See Dialing 911 for Emergency Services, which summarizes important differences between Ooma’s 911 service and traditional 911 service.”

2. Use Remote 911 via the Ooma App

Ooma also supports 911 emergency calls from its mobile calling apps. When you can’t get to your home phone or desk phone, use the Ooma Telo app to call 911.

call with the Ooma app to respond remotely

Even when you’re not at home, you can use the apps to respond to an emergency remotely. Whether your babysitter just told you that your child is sick or your Ooma Home security system just alerted you to a problem, Ooma’s Remote 911 can save valuable time.

A call made with the app uses the same advanced technology as a call made with your Ooma-connected phone. Rather than relying upon the physical location of your mobile phone, the service will instead rely upon the self-provisioned emergency access address that you’ve listed on your Ooma account.

Remote 911 isn’t limited to customers with Ooma phone service. Ooma Smart Security customers using the Secure Plan also have access to advanced emergency technology.

3. Automatically Alert your Emergency Contact

With Ooma’s 911 Alerts, your phone system can instantly send an alert to you or an emergency contact that you’ve designated if 911 is dialed from an Ooma-connected phone.

With text message or email notifications in place, family members have the peace of mind from knowing that everything’s fine at home while also being able to respond quickly if there’s an emergency. You can also use it across households to be notified about an elderly relative, friend, or neighbor.

automatically alert your emergency contact

All Ooma Telo users have access to the 911 Alerts function. The notification message will automatically include the Ooma account holder’s name, phone number, and service address. You can also include a customized message that’s relevant to your needs. For example, you can add a reminder to stay calm, include the phone number of a primary care doctor, or list prescription drug information that you need to relay to EMTs.

4. Ask Alexa to Dial 911 Through Ooma

Do you want hands-free access to 911 emergency services? Your Amazon Echo can’t call 911 directly. However, you can make that hands-free emergency call when your Ooma system is integrated with your Echo.

Simply say, “Alexa, ask Ooma to call 911.”

By using your Amazon Echo to help you call 911, you could have critical hands-free access to help during situations such as a fall for stroke when the phone is out of reach. By integrating Ooma with Alexa, you’ll have the advantages of Ooma’s advanced emergency tools paired with voice-activated functionality.

In the video below, you can see for yourself how easy it is to make hands-free calls with Ooma and Alexa:

Learn more about how Ooma is helping people stay connected to what matters the most. Look here for How VoIP Can Help the Hearing Impaired.

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Loyal customers are critical to business success because they tend to be a source of repeat business. According to The Loyalty Report 2018, “Loyalty programs that establish positive emotional connections with Members see 27% more of their Membership increasing their spend with the Brand.” This research tells us that building customer loyalty can lead to more spending.

Loyalty programs vs. improving customer experience: Designing your approach

There are different approaches to building customer loyalty. Some companies use loyalty program cards, bonus offers and other incentives. You might offer access to special deals like CVS or take 5% off the purchase price like Target. You might even give some or part of your product away for free, like airlines that provide free flights through their loyalty programs. What if your small business isn’t interested or able to offer these kinds of loyalty programs?

There is another way to encourage loyal customers to keep giving you repeat business. Gather customer feedback through a phone survey and then use that data to improve the customer experience. When customers see that the business owner has acted on their feedback, they may feel inspired to return to that business. That means more revenue for the bottom line. You just need a fast and straightforward way to conduct a customer satisfaction survey. That’s where a focused business phone survey comes in.

Why increasing customer loyalty with a phone survey is a good choice.

Organizing a customer satisfaction survey by phone offers notable advantages compared to other methods. While a net promoter survey can give you interesting data, there is no conversational element involved. Further, using the net promoter survey approach effectively requires a certain degree of specialized training in the net promoter methodology.

You might also consider online customer surveys. Surveying your email list or website is worth attempting. Depending on the size of your email list or website traffic, you might be able to get a large number of survey responses. The challenge with online customer surveys is that you will have to spend a lot of time reviewing the data to find insights. There is no way to ask a customer to clarify their survey responses or provide an example.

Conducting a customer satisfaction survey by phone gives you the best of both worlds. You can ask questions and get survey responses. However, you also have the opportunity to provide the human touch. For instance, you may hear a customer complain about a lost or delayed order. When you hear about a problem during a phone survey, you can gather all the necessary details to make the situation right with the customer.

How to increase customer loyalty with a phone survey step by step.

The following steps give you a starting point to create a simple customer satisfaction survey. Over the course of a month, you could gather a significant amount of insights to improve your customer service by calling five to 10 customers per day.

  1. Define your customer satisfaction survey goals.

Before calling a single customer, reflect on your business goals. Are you seeking to improve your profit margins? In that case, you may want to focus your survey on the customers that spend the most on your business. Finding ways to make high-spending customers content may give you an excellent return. Alternatively, you may decide to focus your survey project on whether your local SEO has attracted customers. 

  1. Write your customer satisfaction survey questions.

Now that you have clarity on your goals, it is time to write your questions. According to Survey Monkey, a survey software company, it is best to focus your survey on closed-ended questions. An example of a closed-ended question would be: “How many times have you bought from our business in the past 12 months?” However, this kind of question may not give you the ideas you need to improve the customer experience.

At the end of the survey, consider asking one or two open-ended questions to understand better what your customers like. Encourage customers to think creatively with a question like this: “If you could change anything in our business, what would you improve?”

Tip: Reduce your need for note-taking by using call recording, but make sure that you ask for permission first.

  1. Test the survey with a small group of customers.

With your list of customer satisfaction questions, make a few test phone calls to customers. The purpose of the test is to discover if any of the questions are unclear. If you receive confusing answers, revise the question to make them clearer.

  1. Train employees on how to gather survey responses.

Consider running a few training phone calls for your employees. Ask them to call you or other employees in a role-playing scenario. Making a few practice calls will help your employees become more familiar with the questions. Besides, practice phone surveys will help employees learn how to record survey responses accurately. Once the training is complete, give your staff a list of customers to call and let them get started.

  1. Review the survey responses for insights and follow up with customers.

After all of the survey responses are in, schedule time to review the results. In particular, look for patterns in the results. If a large number of people gave low scores to your website, you may need to make improvements. Also, review the survey responses received in the open-ended questions. You might be pleasantly surprised at what customers tell you.

  1. Follow up with customers after the survey when needed.

A phone survey lets you gather rich insights because you can quickly ask follow-up questions. However, merely gathering survey responses may not impress your customers very much. Instead, offer to refer problems to the business owner for improvement or offer to enter the respondent in a drawing for a gift card. That is a much more compelling improvement! By addressing problems and issues when they arise, you stand a much better chance of winning additional loyal customers.