Tag: communication

Business Communication and Continuity Through COVID-19

Coronavirus Business Communication

As the news of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is rapidly changing each day, one constant for businesses is a concern for the health and safety of your team. At GAGE, we also understand the importance of business continuity in a time like this, when many businesses are being forced to consider remote work options in order to maintain operations. Over the years, GAGE has supported its customers in the path of hurricanes, floods and extended power outages. We are prepared and have contingency plans in place to deal with any potential issue that may arise from COVID-19. GAGE has been in business for over 40 years, and we continue to have the same mission, even through a crisis: to provide the finest telecommunications and data services that enable our clients to increase their profitability, obtain a competitive advantage, and improve employee productivity.

Many business owners know that down time can be devastating to Small- or Medium-Sized Businesses (SMBs). We know you have a lot to think about during this time, and we want you to feel safe and secure with your business. Here are some tips to make sure you are prepared to get your business operations back up and running during a public health emergency like COVID-19 presents:


1. Implement Your Disaster Recovery Plan.

The first step is to make sure you are prepared to implement your Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP). If your business has an in-house IT team, or an external managed service provider, it is likely that you already have this in place and tested regularly – a great asset in times like these. A well defined DRP includes a list of your critical business functions with an analysis of your processes and recovery plans for each. If you do not have a DRP in place, the first thing you’ll want to do is consider what your critical business functions are.


2. Establish a Communication Plan.

Make sure your team knows who to contact and establish a point person for critical projects. Another thing that businesses often overlook is making sure you have your team’s personal contact details up to date. Communicate with your customers and vendors as well if there is critical information they need to know or downtime you are anticipating. 


3. Assess Your Infrastructure for Remote Access.

Assess your infrastructure and make sure you’ve considered any complications that could arise in a time like this. Can your employees access certain internal databases for your company if they would need to work from home? Make sure your data is protected and backed up, as well as accessible by your off-site team while they are away from the office.

4. Encourage Your Team To Work Remotely.

As the virus continues to spread, you’ll want to make sure your team is able to work remotely for as long as necessary. You can encourage continued productivity by making sure there is a point person assigned for critical projects, files are accessible, and all employees have the tools and methods in place for ongoing communication. Many SMBs may consider providing their employees with laptops, cell phones and a mobile hotspot to make sure they have what they need to get back up and running remotely. 


5. Utilize Cloud VoIP Capabilities.

If you are an existing GAGE Cloud Voice customer, this scenario is exactly what a cloud voice communication system is made for. By default, GAGE Cloud Voice is the most flexible and cost-effective solution in a time like this because its cloud-based communications system allows for remote work and maintaining a healthy work environment through continued connectivity. Maximize your unified communication tools to help with business continuity. Continue to keep your team members in communication with tools like instant messaging, video conferencing  and more. Your system may do more than you know – get in touch with your provider to understand your system’s capabilities, or maybe it’s time to consider upgrading to a new system that allows you to facilitate communication in the event like this. 




If your team needs assistance achieving business continuity with your communications system, please contact us or call 225-753-4243. Our GAGE Cloud Voice platform is truly the last phone system you’ll ever need. More than just a phone system, GAGE Cloud Voice is a cloud based, carrier-class complete VoIP communications solution that gives businesses the ability to be accessible anytime, anywhere, on any device. GAGE Cloud Voice is an invaluable asset during unprecedented situations like the COVID-19 outbreak, and GAGE is prepared to help. Stay safe and stay healthy.

Holiday Communication Tips Every Small Business Should Know

Holiday Communication Tips

The holiday season can be one of the happiest times of the year, but it can also be one of the most chaotic for businesses of all sizes. For small businesses, maintaining a constant line of communication throughout the season can be challenging; no one wants to be overwhelmed by holiday spam, but vacation schedules often leave large gaps in the lines of communication between you, your employees and your customers. On top of that, you may have the added stress of trying to secure next year’s contracts in addition to the ongoing work. 

Ensure that clients know you’re thinking of them this holiday season – and make sure they’re thinking of you, too – by following a few of our holiday communication tips. 


1. Establish Communication Adjustments

It’s only natural to want to keep as up-to-date as possible with your customers, but during the holidays, everyone’s schedules tend to change. From the start of the holiday season, it’s important to establish a clear schedule for how your clients would prefer to communicate. Will they have a set of days where they’ll be on vacation and won’t be able to access their office phone? Will schedule changes interfere with your weekly check-in call, or complicate your production schedule? Anticipating everyone’s changing availability and establishing the best points and times of contact before the holiday season will take just a bit more stress off of both you and your clients, and ensure projects stay on schedule despite the holiday hoopla. 

2. Plan for Chaos & Prepare for Flexibility

No matter your business, the holiday season requires a strong line of communication not only between you and your clients but also between you and your employees. To ensure that you’re not left understaffed in your hour of need – and that you’re not interrupting your staff’s well-earned time off – look back through the business records of previous years and meet with your staff in order to determine the best course of action on how to divvy up work for the season. 

Between their feedback on what struggles they might have had and the business records from the previous year, you can configure a schedule that is much less likely to require last-minute emergency phone calls, to prevent too much work from piling on one person and ensure all of those end-of-year deadlines are met.

3. Clearly (and Concisely) Communicate Need-to-Know Information

There’s a fine line between what your customers and employees need to know about your holiday operations and overwhelming them with so much information that they decide to forgo reading your messages altogether. Before making any official announcements, ask yourself these questions:

  • Will your holiday schedule/hours differ from your day-to-day operations? If so, does this affect your customers?
  • Are you planning any special sales or promotions that need to go out in a timely manner?
  • What tactics or policies in the past led to frustrated customers or overworked employees?
  • Which channels are best to reach the widest possible array of clients? Consider updating your voicemail message, email autoresponders, social media channels, or sending a newsletter.

4. Match Customers’ Communication Style

When considering all of these other tips, there is one important thing to remember: customers respond to outreach that fits their behavior. Look into the methods of communication most utilized by the majority of your clientele and put your focus there. Keep in mind, your customers are just as flustered in this busy season as you are, so going the extra mile to accommodate them can really send a strong positive message when it matters most. 

Emails are always an excellent jumping-off point, but for the holiday season, exploring other communication avenues, such as interactive social media polls and posts showcasing company holiday traditions, can help you stay connected during a season when lots of people are spending their time online and on the go. At the end of the day though, never underestimate the power of a simple phone call – especially during the holiday season, when everyone is attuned to the personal touches!



While it’s important that your customers keep you in mind for the coming new year, we also know how important it is to show clients and employees how much they mean to you and your company. So, make your communications list, check it twice and give your communication strategies the supportive boost they need to carry you into 2020.

Communication Tips Every Small Business Should Know

Communication Tips For Businesses Today

Here at Gage we understand the importance of communication within your business. Great communication can increase productivity, create a healthy culture and increase accountability, while poor communication can have the opposite effect. Here are a few tips every small business leader can implement to create a strong foundation for communication in their organization.

Document Processes & Protocols.

The first tip is to have established and documented methods for all of your key business operations. These documents should outline the tactics to be used, the objective, and how to evaluate effectiveness. Having your methods documented creates a company-wide standard that helps keep everyone accountable and in sync. Your documentation should be available to anyone within the company, so every employee can easily access things like protocol, workflows, training, and more. In small businesses, this important step is often overlooked, as leadership assumes they are small enough to implement these things without documentation. The truth is, no matter how small you are, you can always benefit from defining your processes. It ensures that everyone knows what’s expected and improves efficiency and accountability company-wide.


Use Technology to Your Advantage.

With the advancements in communication technology that have been made, today more than ever it is easier to stay connected and have effective communications. There are a number of tools and methods that can be used to keep everyone in touch and informed. Task Managers are great for communicating responsibilities among different roles and seeing projects go from beginning to end smoothly. Similarly, CRMs help your sales team manage their pipeline and communications in one place. Unified communication tools help you stay connected, any time, any place. Video conferencing allows you to have meetings remotely with your team or clients wherever they are. Tools like instant messaging help your team constantly stay in contact, even when they’re not in the office. And cloud-based business VoIP solutions can make sure you never miss a call – following you from your desk phone to your cell phone when necessary.


Plan Effective Meetings.

Meetings are one of the single biggest pain points in any organization, large or small, and often one of the biggest time wasters. Small companies often fall prey to this when they don’t define a structure for their meetings, don’t stick to internal meeting times, or let meetings go off on a social hour tangent. Make sure your meetings have a purpose – define who should take part, what you want to cover, and what you want to accomplish from each meeting. It’s a good idea to have an agenda and a moderator to keep your discussion points on track, take notes, and conduct the meeting in a timely manner. Everyone should have a key takeaway from the meeting and know what their next action item should be. Again, you can utilize technology to manage meetings – sync team schedules with shared calendars, set conference calls, and more.


Be an Active Listener & Be Responsive.

Possibly one of the most important tips is to practice active listening and always be responsive. The 3 key objectives of active listening are to listen to obtain information, listen to learn, and listen to understand. Implementing these three can increase the efficiency of your communications. When you practice active listening, you are able to pay attention, ask the right questions, and provide clear feedback and direction, increasing the productivity of the entire team. That leads to being responsive. Implement a standard response time in-house as well as with clients, whether you have all the answers or not. At the end of the day, employees and clients alike just want to be heard. It’s important that they know that you’ve listened to them and have internalized what they shared, and that’s truly the cornerstone of effective communication.


At Gage, we have a solution that can help meet all of your communication needs in one platform. Gage Cloud Voice is truly the last phone system you’ll ever need. But Gage Cloud Voice is more than just a phone system – it’s a cloud based, carrier-class complete VoIP communications solution that gives business the ability to be accessible anytime, anywhere, on any device. Gage Cloud Voice will link everyone in your company, allowing you to communicate more efficiently and effectively, with powerful features like unified messaging, time-of-day routing, and video collaboration. With no system to install, it’s easy to add seats or functionality on-demand. And, just like everything we do, you can count on expert installation, thorough training and local personal service. Read More about how we can meet all of your communication needs, or contact us today to schedule a consultation.