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Are You Leveraging Your Phone System to Improve Your Business?

Woman configuring business phones
February 14, 2016 / Peter Eisengrein

Businesses often look to new software and updated processes to improve their business. So, why is it that when it comes to their phone systems, they are resistant to change and instead want to stick with the status quo?

Organizations that seek to leverage technology to improve their businesses should be looking at the ways they could do this with their phone system, because they are often using the same old processes that they have been using for twenty-some years. Imagine if you were still using the same computer you used 20 years ago!

An example I see regularly at Evolve IP: our expert technology advisors will coach a new customer about the benefits of auto attendant or call center technology when they identify a situation where it would improve their business, but the customer declines because they want the “personal touch” of a receptionist, even when the user experience is worse for it (i.e. “Thank you for calling ABC Company, please hold…”)

In other cases, they are just resistant to change (i.e. “This is how we’ve always done it.”) Many organizations are still relying on outdated, inefficient “call park” technology, where a caller is parked and a message is broadcast, usually overhead, for so-and-so to pick up the call. This is disruptive to the entire organization. There are, of course, exceptions such as a car dealership, where the majority of employees don’t spend their day sitting at a designated workspace – a feature that service providers can also help with.

Why should people change their phone system?

There are certainly many reasons that organizations should consider a new phone system, but in regards to leveraging the technology to improve their business, it comes down to a couple of things: improved customer experience and staff efficiency.

It’s true that some people don’t like “talking” to an auto-attendant or waiting for a call center agent, but the reality is that it streamlines the process and improves the customer experience. Today’s phone system technology offers a variety of options to improve the customer experience over “what we’ve always done”.

Have you ever been on a call and told your whole story to the first person then they transfer you to another person and you have to repeat your story again? That is a much worse experience than tapping a few phone buttons to select the right option to route your call to the person who can actually help you. And, of course, we all know that if the caller really prefers to speak to an operator, they only need to press zero.

In regards to efficiency, why should the call be answered by a receptionist if the only reason they answer the phone is to transfer calls and they are not actually the person who can help the caller? Does this kind of human touch really improve the customer experience? Why not get the call to the right person the first time? Instead, set up your call flow to direct the caller to exactly whom she needs to talk to the first time, thus shortening the overall wait time for the caller and improving their experience with your company, while reducing the burden on your staff.

You certainly do not want a menu tree that runs 100 options deep (try to keep it to two levels, three at most); you want to keep it focused on just a few of the best options. A good, consultative service provider should have professionals on staff who will help you design an efficient call flow and set things up in the most helpful and efficient manner for your business.

The next time you are looking for ways to improve your business via technology improvements, don’t forget to take a good look at your phone system. If you are looking for more information about deciding whether or not to move to a new phone system, click here to download a copy of Evolve IP’s 9 Signs it’s Time to Upgrade Your Phone System.

Categories: Unified Communications
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