Upgrade to Call Center
Joseph Greaney | TrustRadius Reviewer
Updated March 10, 2017

Upgrade to Call Center

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Fonality

We are a kayak company and primarily use it for booking tours in our office. The softphone feature was key so we could also take calls in our shop using an USB headset. The installation was easy and straightforward. Our tech made it simple. My issues now are the subscription plan. We have the basic [plan] and the HUD does not recognize the agent location. We found workarounds by moving a call to a softphone to answer but it sometimes causes big issues for agents. As for now, it is our slow season; we can not upgrade to a call center license. We will keep working on the softphone functionality.
  • Reliability of the system
  • The customization of the inbound call experience
  • Ability to transfer calls to a softphone, hardphone and cell phone
  • Great customer service
  • More clear on the subscription features and costs at time of quotes
  • Remove unusable features from the softphone if subscription does not cover
Yes - I use the Heads Up Display portal both online and mobile - The HUD has been a great feature although my staff is still learning how to use it. It is very confusing without having a call center license since most of the options do not work. It's still new for our business but I hope with the auto answer feature and call parking we should be able to manage much higher call volume with fonality than intermedia (our last provider) with less staff. This should help maximize employee time and efficiency. Soon we will have to upgrade our licence and see out how the HUD system and agents handle that higher volume.
Our business is growing at a very fast rate and the scalability of Fonality should make it easy to add additional users with minimal configuration. I like the idea of call whisper and listening when training new staff so management can see how the agents react to certain scenarios. I see no problem with the scalability for our use.
  • The system is $10 per month cheaper than Intermedia, although we would have to upgrade to a more expensive plan of +$50 per month to maximize Fonality.
  • It's too early to tell but with auto answer it should allow us to take more calls with fewer agents and still provide a better customer experience. Should save on payroll.
  • With the 99.99% reliability with fonality, we have fewer dropped calls and most likely capture more potential sales.
  • Intermedia
Intermedia was our old system set up by my predecessor. This system was crashing often during our high season which is what pushed us to look into a new phone system. For Intermedia, call quality was poor and the phone system was set up just like your old grandma's phone system. Regardless of time of day or year, calls ring 8 times then go to VM. Now we have a business schedule with Fonality that reads the appropriate message for better customer service. The other issue is we would be speaking with customers on the phone and when an inbound call comes in, we would have to put our call on hold to simply put another customer on hold. This interruption is unacceptable. Not only is Fonality $10 cheaper, but it provides much better reliability (selling point to the owners) but also provides great features for agents and their managers to improve productivity. This transition has been a major upgrade for our company's call center.
Great for both small and large businesses. Great for mobile agents when you have the call center licence to forward calls appropriately. Does not work well if the agents aren't tech savvy, there is a learning curve to use the fonality system to the best of its ability. Although, the webinars provide good instruction. The ability for managers to listen in on calls with a call center license will help with training new recruits.

NetFortris (formerly Fonality) Feature Ratings

Hosted PBX
10
Multi-level Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
9
Call reports
9
Directory of employee names
9
Answering rules
6
Call recording
8
Call park
Not Rated
Call screening
Not Rated
Message alerts
Not Rated
Video conferencing
Not Rated
Audio conferencing
Not Rated
Mobile app for iOS
Not Rated
Mobile app for Android
7

Using Fonality

5 - The users of our fonality phone system represent a few roles in a small business. It is utilized ownership and our sales positions for both inbound and outbound calls. We use it for tracking agent quotas with fonality reporting to our senior managers to make sure quotas are reached every day. The shop will use the softphone features to book clients when the office is busy to add extra fexiability for our booking system.
1 - Fonality can be a simple interface to use for beginners by using the hardphone, but it can be complcated when using the full features of Fonality. There is a learning curve although once you understand the layout of the system it is easy to figure out small problems. The biggest problem is our licence is basic and fonality does not recognize location settings. So the work around to use only a soft phone is to "move" call to answer, but this extra complexity makes training much harder and support more combersome.
  • Customer support
  • Booking tours
  • Direct calls to owners and upper management
  • Displaying ads on hold music for customers and product awareness
  • Use our shop as a secondary call center during our slow season to minimize payroll costs
  • Flexibility to work from home and provide the same customer experience
  • Night mode to be able to close shop early without having customers go through the standard prompt
  • More use of cellphone routing
  • Agents can work from home, which may allow us to work without office space
  • More advance routing of calls to give agents more information on inbound calls
  • Recording keeping of inbound and outbound calls to follow up with potential big sales and development of new sales leads
Superior service and reliability compared to alternatives and the the softphone ability is amazing to have for our situation

Evaluating Fonality and Competitors

Yes - Reliability was our biggest concern. We were also looking for cheaper alternatives and Fonality was able to provide both key features. The extra cool things we can do now is the hudweb and softphone ability. This really helps us in the flexibility of our call center and provide more information about the performance of our call center and insight to how we can improve our staff training.
  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
  • Positive Sales Experience with the Vendor
  • Analyst Reports
  • Third-party Reviews
Product features for me as tge system administrator is the most important although owners it is the price. The features allow us to do more with less staff ultimately save us alot in payroll but the owners have not seen that benefit yet, but the love the idea of saving on our monthly bill during our slow season
It would have been better to sample the system's interface with a demo version. The best I could find are youtube videos on how to use the system. These were helpful but actual trials of the software would have gave me the confidence to make the move to Fonality quicker.

Fonality Implementation

Everything from the installation to the implementation has been great with Fonality, there is a lot of freedom to how the system will operate but the freedom comes at a cost of more technical experience to make sure it is configured correctly. The staff is very helpful can will make sure that the system is setup correctly and work perfectly.
Yes - First stage we worked on a spreadsheet to figure out how we want the system to behave. The tech made it very easy to make the initial settings and we worked together to make the system perfect for what we need. We waited a month after the configuration for testing before we ported over our main line to make the system "active" When we ported the number I asked Fonality to let me know 2 days before its complete so I can ensure it was good for training the new agents, although the number was ported without warning but everything worked out ok, no issues on the day we went live
Change management was minimal - We are able to multitask with more associates to allow them to work on a virtual call center when working from multiple locations. There is minor restructuring due to the fact that the Fonality phone system allows us to do this. This is a huge benefit for the company overall but additional training is needed
  • Not know exactly when our main line would be ported over
  • Hard to test system using phones attached to agents because Fonality treats it as an interoffice call. There should be a better way to simulate 4-5 inbound calls to see how the system and reps can place on hold, transfer.

Fonality Training

Training was excellent, but most of what they had was webinars and not real world situation for our company's need. It would be better to have them remote in my local computer and test my system using inbound / outbound calls. This would have made it easier to learn and more relevant

Configuring Fonality

It can be as complex or simple as you like, it really gives you the freedom to choose however it works best for your business. For us I like the complexity as it gives us the ability to give more information to our agents by how the calls are routed
I recommend going with their tech's recommendations. You can make the decisions although you should go with the advice from the techs. You really need to follow their specific instructions. Do not, not listen to the techs, as they know the technical things and can solve those technical issues without causing more issues
No - there is no facility to customize the interface
No - we have not done any custom code
Fonality has been working great for us and we will make some changes to the server as we test and perfect how the system can better serve our customers and our agents. We will work with the techs to ensure that any changes are going to work as intended. If we could test the system beforehand it would be even better

Fonality Support

Support has been great from start to finish. They sent me an Excel spreadsheet questionnaire on how we would like the system to behave. The tech made the initial setup very easy. We took 1 month to finalize and test the new system before we ported over our main number. All the support from technical training for the admins and user support on issues like call transfers. The system works flawlessly, but there is a learning curve to use all the benefits of Fonality
ProsCons
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
None
The initial setup was easy and the tech walked us through how to best setup the system for our business and created it the way that we wanted. He coached us through the process on making minor adjustments as the business grows and additional lines or agents are added. He carefully explained the features and the benefits to the company by how to utilize them

Using Fonality

Overall excellent usability, with a few adjustments I feel this is the absolute best VoIP system out there. Just a clarification on the licences and limit the interface to reflect what licence we have. There should be a back or redunancy feature to Fonality Server, If there was a mistake we should be able to resort back to a usable state asap. Before implementing changes to the server, there should be a trial or sample of the changes to make sure it behaves as intended before effecting customer experience. It would be nice to have a demo version of Fonality interface so possible clients can truly evauluate the system. Because of the quality, it would have made it easier to convince the owners to make the transition sooner
ProsCons
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Well integrated
Consistent
Convenient
Feel confident using
Lots to learn
  • The server configuration is straight forward and idiot proof for the most part
  • The hardphones exceed expectations
  • The integration of WebHUD and Desktop software are great!
  • The different licences and the softphone software. The software gives us the ability to create weird problems with accepting transferring calls.
  • The learning curve for training new staff is there although for most people I think it's easy to learn.
  • It would be nice to have a feature to have a test or sample of possible changes before it goes live for our customers. For example to update the menu, change the music, ect