Case Study: RingCentral Becomes a Member of the Wedding

Matthew Allen Weddings and Events is a privately held company based in Sacramento, Calif. This home-based wedding entertainment and event production company is comprised of five virtual employees and known for taking events to the next level — incorporating everything from horseback entrances and helicopter exits to recorded toasts from virtual guests.

The Challenge:

Weddings are big business. In fact, the Association of Bridal Consultants estimates that consumers spend $33 billion on their weddings every year. However, like most event planning companies, profit margins are small and keeping overhead expenses low is critical to the bottom line.

Matthew Strong, owner of Matthew Allen Weddings and Events, was keeping overhead down by using his personal cell phone as his primary business line. He quickly realized, however, that cutting corners on communications tools was hindering his ability to grow the business and effectively service existing clients. Because Strong and his employees often were on the road or in meetings, many times incoming calls were unanswered or went straight to voice mail, requiring customers, vendors and prospects to wait for a return call. Missing even one call can mean the difference between winning a lucrative job and losing it to one of the 100-plus wedding planners in the Sacramento area.

Strong researched various phone service options including Internet telephony, but was overwhelmed by the complexity of many VoIP offerings. He found a cost-effective, yet versatile Internet phone solution from RingCentral that would enable his staff to answer calls from any location at any time — and with easy installation, the entire system was up and running in an hour.

The Solution:

RingCentral centrally manages all of the company’s communications from the Web, providing business-grade features including multiple extensions with voice mail, professionally recorded greetings, online faxing and the ability to forward calls to any phone. Now, anyone calling Matthew Allen Weddings perceives that the entire team is working from one location with one phone number, presenting a standardized, professional appearance.

Strong continues to keep overhead expenses down, but now has access to communications tools and services typically only available to large corporations utilizing traditional PBX services that cost thousands of dollars to purchase and install and hundreds to maintain monthly.

Since deploying RingCentral in 2006, Matthew Allen Weddings has doubled its phone sales and expanded its business to serve clients nationally. The company also has dramatically improved its customer service through unique business processes including:

  • Custom greetings: Every inbound call is added to the online RingCentral address book, so that the Matthew Allen team can easily recognize callers and greet them by name or provide a recorded, customized greeting, giving essential details about their event.
  • Online faxing: Sending and receiving vendor contracts are a critical part of the event planning business. With Internet Fax, clients and vendors can send and receive faxes over the Internet through an online interface or e-mail.
  • Advanced call management: Call Controller allows Strong’s team to manage calls online in real time by providing clickable options: accept, reject, send the caller to voice mail or send an instant voice message.
  • Digital phone line capabilities: Strong can quickly and easily connect with remote employees via digital phone lines anywhere high-speed Internet access is available.
  • Surprise toasts: The team records and plays back messages and toasts from guests not able to attend in person. During a recent wedding, the bride pre-recorded, over the phone, a tribute to her grandfather that was played aloud as he escorted her down the aisle.

“Before Ring Central, we were only able to answer half of our inquiry calls before voice mail picked up. Now, we can effectively balance the phone calls among our employees to ensure the phone is almost always answered. We’ve not only doubled our phone sales, but the ability to transfer calls from anywhere to anyone has tripled our efficiency,” said Strong.

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