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Why we’re grateful.

By Melinda Stoker|Friday November 13, 2020

2020 has been a difficult year, with the pandemic forcing people around the world to isolate from friends and family for long periods of time. On top of that, things we once took for granted, like grocery shopping, going to the movies or eating at a restaurant have all become more difficult.

Hardships have a way of humbling us, however, and as we approach Thanksgiving here in the United States there are plenty of things to feel grateful for as we head into the holiday season.
Friends and family.

The stress of daily life can be time consuming. Commuting to work, meeting deadlines, coming home, cooking dinner, cleaning, and those with children frequently supervise homework and other household activities with your kids. Your work and personal relationships can consume almost all of your time. And that’s all before you think about yourself to unwind, or exercise.

Sometimes friends and family aren’t your key focus when your work is stressful. The thing about friends and family, however, is that they’re always there for you when you need them.

Here are the things we are especially grateful for this Thanksgiving season.


The world turned upside down in 2020, and we’ve all had to find new ways to do things. Working in closed offices was not an option for a lot of people, and remote work took off. IT departments around the world had to turn on a dime and quickly get people up to speed at home to maintain business continuity.

At the same time, we’ve had to find new ways to connect with family, friends and co-workers. Happy hours with co-workers were replaced with video meetings. Visiting family for holidays or birthdays turned into long video chats or drive-by celebrations with signs and balloons.

Some households devised clever 12-foot candy shoots for trick-or-treaters to deliver individually wrapped treats to children while maintaining distance. And dinner and a movie turned into DoorDash and Netflix.

We’re grateful to all the people who made these transitions easier, from helping us get our work done to coming up with ingenious ways to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and more virtually or distanced.


We have seen immeasurable amounts of kindness expressed by healthcare workers on the front lines and from those supporting friends and loved ones to overcome great challenges. Thankfully, people have shown great kindness towards each other to try to make other people’s lives a little bit easier during these unprecedented times.

From people around the world honoring their first responders to communities banding together to create rent payment programs and hold fundraisers to help those in need, there are many examples to show how kindness and generosity are making a big difference for those who are in need.


For a change of scenery while staying close to home, many people have gone for a scenic drive, visited an uncrowded beach, hiking trail, river, or lake. Others enjoyed the summer weekends camping or staying in an Airbnb or cabin in the woods. And some have re-connected with nature in other ways such as gardening in their back yards.

Using this time to re-discover the natural world around us has not only provided a beautiful change of scenery from our homes but it has also made us extremely grateful for all of the natural beauty around us that we can see more clearly while our lives are less cluttered.


It’s quite easy to feel like you’re invincible in your day to day life, especially when you’re younger. This comes into sharp focus during a pandemic, which reminds us all how quickly and easily something like a virus can move from person to person.

From following recommendations like washing our hands for 20 seconds, wearing a mask, or maintaining six feet between people, we’ve learned to be grateful for those who are helping us and others to stay safe and healthy.

Many of us have found time we didn’t have before to work out, go for walks, and explore making new, healthy recipes to fortify ourselves.

It’s been difficult to stop sharing hugs with all of our friends and family this year, but we are even more grateful for their love and support, and we’ll never take a hug for granted again.

Here’s wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving as we find many reasons to feel deep gratitude this year.

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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.