For 27 years, mem property management company has managed condominium properties in New Jersey. When a property owner needs assistance, whether for an overflowing toilet or a broken air conditioner, MEM is the first to receive a call and it’s almost always an emergency. The company has to be there, day or night. When its clients were being disconnected, Martin Laderman, president of mem property management, knew things had to change. “Every few weeks, the phones would go down and our properties were getting busy signals or told the number was disconnected,” he says. “Our customers were understandably upset. When we called the phone company, there was no sense of urgency. They just told us they’d put in a work order and it could take up to a day. That was unacceptable.”
Not only were the phones unreliable, the voice quality began to deteriorate as well. The phone company servicing the on-premise phones had MEM sharing phone lines with data lines, compromising the quality and slowing data transmission.
Laderman was limited in what he could do with his phone technology as well. There was no way to view or pay his phone bill online, and if he wanted to put the phones on an answering service for the holidays he would wait for hours with tech services to get it set up. It was time to make a change, not only for his own sanity but for the reputation of his company.
Solution: ShoreTel Offers mem Autonomy When Laderman began looking at other on-premise VoIP providers, he realized most of the features were basically the same. Fancy features didn’t impress him as much as customer and technical support, reliability, quality and cost. “Our IT consulting firm uses ShoreTel and recommended them for us,” says Laderman. “We felt confident that if technology experts were using ShoreTel, we should be too.”
Each mem property management location uses the ShoreTel Sky solution. Simple features, such as customizable ring tones, speed dial and call forwarding enable users to personalize their phones based on their preferences and work habits. Laderman uses more administrative features that impact day-to-day operations and customer satisfaction like forwarding calls from property managers to cell phones to ensure immediate response and call monitoring to manage employees. The phones are internet ready, meaning users can plug them in anywhere there is an internet connection and simply log on. The phones are also integrated with Outlook so when a user receives a call, it can be quickly added to Contacts and the information will appear in a screen pop up for all future calls. Laderman can track calls in logs as well, which comes in handy if he needs to confirm if he received a message from a customer.
Laderman can view and pay the phone bill and make administrative changes to the system through his online ShoreTel Sky Portal. If he needs to put the phones on an answering service, he can set it up himself. When Laderman sent ShoreTel a voice recording he wanted for the company greeting, he sent it to ShoreTel and it was operating the same day.
Of course, any transition can be difficult. When mem switched from one phone carrier to his previous carrier, he says it was “a nightmare.” Fortunately, the ShoreTel porting was relatively seamless. “ShoreTel sent us presentations explaining the porting process, where they were in the transition and what additional phones were needed,” explains Laderman. “Everything was systematic and they kept us updated the entire time. I was nervous to make another platform change but we had zero problems with ShoreTel.”
Results: ShoreTel Provides All mem’s ‘Must Haves’
Laderman says the driving factors for choosing ShoreTel are exactly the benefits he’s receiving from using the phone system: technical support, reliability, call quality and cost. The company has yet to have a single outage so customers can get through without fail and when they do, the call quality sounds crisp and clear due in part because the company has a dedicated voice line. Technical support has been a welcomed change to Laderman. “When I call ShoreTel for anything, I get a real person on the phone who can help me immediately,” he says. “Any issue is resolved within an hour or less, sometimes within minutes, meaning I can respond to my clients faster.”
An example of ShoreTel’s responsiveness occurred just days ago when the after-hours emergency call routing wasn’t going to customer service. Laderman left a message with ShoreTel and he received a call back within 15 minutes to tell him the issue was already resolved. “Just to get a call back was amazing,” says Laderman.
mem property management has usable features that have eased administration, improved productivity and increased customer satisfaction. Costs are down, reliability and quality are up, providing Laderman with significant ROI. He has some words of advice for other companies stuck in a frustrating relationship with their phone carrier. “Even if you are still in a contract with another phone provider, it’s not worth your company losing respect or clients,” he says. “Don’t put up with it when you have ShoreTel able to offer you more reliability and quality without the transition hassles and expense you might fear.”