Escape to freedom



A Conversant hosted PABX has enabled Canterbury-based orthodontic practice, OrthodontiX, to offer great customer service by ensuring each call is answered promptly.

Like any other small business, OrthodontiX needs to provide exceptional customer service with limited resources.

As owner Ronald Sluiter puts it: “We are in the service industry. If we don’t provide good service, our customers will go elsewhere.”

Answering customers’ phone calls promptly is therefore crucial for the Canterbury-based orthodontic care provider with two practices in Christchurch, in Cashmere and Merivale, and a third in Ashburton.

“When people call you, they don’t want to leave messages or email you. If they have a question, they want to talk to someone right away. There is no better alternative than talking to a person,” says Sluiter.

But managing incoming calls across the three locations was a challenge for the business with its previous traditional PABX infrastructure, as it only had a single secretary to make appointments and provide support to customers. 

To effectively service all three locations meant either hiring more staff or manually setting up phones for calls to be transferred between the offices.

However, neither of these options appealed to Sluiter.

“Setting up a new hardware-based PABX system across our three locations and the subsequent maintenance and operational costs that go with it would have been a significant expense,” he says.

Hence, the benefits of moving to a hosted PABX and VoIP system instead were self-evident. 

After exploring a range of options and service providers, Conversant became the apparent choice for OrthodontiX.

“Conversant was one of very few hosted PABX providers in the market at the time, and the fact that they were New Zealand based was an important factor,” says Sluiter.


Simple implementation

After a successful two-week trial, OrthodontiX moved onto the Conversant’s C-Vox solution. 

It was an easy implementation, consisting of:

  • Setting up the practice’s 0800 and three local numbers to be routed into the C-Vox hosted PABX
  • Connecting Orthodontix’ VoIP phones to internet via the office routers
  • Installing a soft-phone application (Bria) onto the staff’s mobile phones and desktops.

The Conversant system has helped OrthodontiX achieve its objective to be reachable to its customers and be able to answer calls on the first ring. 

Calls made to any of three local practice numbers can now be answered by any user, no matter where they are located and calls can be easily transferred across the locations.

“When someone calls any one of practices, the phone rings at all three simultaneously. It frees up the physical requirement to be at a particular location,” says Sluiter.

The business benefits delivered by the system run deeper than just improving customer service, however.


Enabling flexibility

OrthodontiX can now also provide more flexible working conditions to its staff with its secretary able to works one day a week from home.

The system also proved its worth as, being based in an earthquake stricken region, OrthodontiX, has had to relocate about five times in recent years. 

Being preconfigured, the C-Vox system provided both flexibility and ease of connectivity after each shift. 

“All we had to do is just plug our phones in at the new location and they would be ringing again as soon as you are connected to the internet. Your phone system follows you where you go,” says Sluiter. 

OrthodontiX also achieved significant savings on calling rates and services such as voicemail, call forwarding and caller ID.

 “If you look at the cost of calling, we slashed it by 50%, compared to solutions where I had to invest into hardware and maintenance,” says Sluiter.   

Meanwhile, with access to Conversant’s knowledgeable staff and ongoing support, OrthodontiX no longer needs to keep up with technology updates and software upgrades or allocate significant expenses on hardware maintenance. 

“Having moved onto Conversant’s hosted PABX, I know I’m always on the latest software, always cutting edge. I don’t have to invest in technology upgrades – Conversant does that for me,” says Sluiter.

In case there are any problems, Conversant staff react quickly and demonstrate a hands-on approach to solving them.

“I don’t need to spend my time figuring out how the phones or answerphones work.  I love it,” says Sluiter.

We'd love to hear more about your business and how we can help you keep things humming. Get in touch via email or call us and we'd be happy to design a system made just for you. 


"Currently have…about 5,000 calls through the system per month and the phone bill hasn’t blown out"

Murray Thompson, Christians Against Poverty