Community Feature

City of Howard Enjoying Huge Savings, Features of New Phone System 

September 29, 2021

Skt News Article September 2021 Featured Image City Howard Joanna Hunter

Howard City Clerk Joanna Hunter knew her company needed another phone solution. Between struggling with the unaffordable cost and being disappointed time after time by the lack of customer support, the City of Howard needed to make a change, and quick.  

“There was no obvious way to get through to receive any help from our previous provider,” Joanna recalled.  

With little to no customer service from the previous provider, Joanna began looking for a partner that better aligned with the City and its needs. After a quick search, Joanna discovered that SKT had begun offering Hosted Voice business phone systems. Since providing free internet service to government, emergency services, and municipalities is part of the SKT commitment to the communities it serves, Joanna was familiar with SKT and its notoriety for hometown customer service. 

Hosted Voice, also referred to as VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), is a scalable phone service where businesses place and receive calls over the Internet. The term “hosted” means that the VoIP provider is responsible for hosting the services in the cloud – putting the burden of maintaining and upgrading equipment and software on SKT, not the business. This contrasts with a more traditional system that requires equipment with expensive upfront and ongoing costs for the business owner.  

In August 2020, the City of Howard made the switch to SKT’s Hosted Voice service, cutting their monthly bill down to less than a third of the cost of their previous system. Given that the City of Howard has multiple facilities in town including the City Pool, Gas Department, and Water Department, Hosted Voice was the ideal solution. It allowed for advanced calling features not available with a more traditional landline phone, such as one-touch dialing between phones/buildings, ease of transferring calls, helpful voicemail options, remote access, and more.  

This modern phone system also gives business owners and employees the ultimate flexibility, with the option to push calls seamlessly to and from devices and transfer calls to remote teammates. 

“It’s simple to make calls,” Joanna said. “I like the message system and how we can set it for office hours. I very much like that the voice messages go to email – now I can check them by email when I’m away from the office.”  

SKT Service Technicians Jerald Morgan and Christy Heinen installed the ethernet cables and phones for the City of Howard. Helpful videos and tutorials were made available to all the staff who use the phones, and Michelle Snell, SKT Customer Service Business Representative, provided personal assistance. 

“I am very happy we switched,” Joanna said. “The difference in having a real person answer the phone and speak with me, if I need assistance, is invaluable.”  

Each Hosted Voice system is customized and bid by SKT to fit businesses’ individual needs, which includes the phone equipment. SKT can support a single phone line up to hundreds of users, even for locations outside its internet service area.  

For more information about SKT Hosted Voice and how it might benefit your business or organization, give Michelle a call at 888.758.8976 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday or fill out the form below to request a callback.  

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