If you’re reading this blog, then there’s a very high chance that you’re considering new and updated modern telephone systems. If so, you’re in the right place.
Amongst the business world it’s said that to stay ahead of technological developments, businesses should be replacing their mobile handsets every 18-24 months, and their desktop computers every 5 years. However, at the bottom of that list, and often overlooked, is the telephone system – which is said should be replaced after a decade of usage! There are probably a number of good reasons why this number is so high. Looking back 10-20 years ago, replacing and upgrading your telephone system meant massive disruptions to the business. So no wonder the common advice was to avoid it entirely. However, this is no longer the case. Modernisation of the telephone system, and its installation, means a speedy and hassle-free switchover.
Speaking of switch-over, another thing to think about when considering a new telephone system is that every year you put this off, you’re getting a little bit closer to the ISDN switch-off – the biggest renovation and modernisation of communication networks since the actual invention of the telephone! If you want to know more about ‘the big switch off’, click here to read our blog, all about why, how and when it’s happening.
However, despite installations being better than they were, and the ISDN switch-off coming, why should your business invest money in updating a telephone system that has been serving you well all this time? Surely modern telephone systems will do just the same? Well… Not really. Much like your smartphone, modern telephone systems are packed with game-changing features that can allow your business to operate in a much richer and smoother way.
So, in this blog article, we’ll be looking in detail at 3 reasons why your business should modernise its current telephone system. Let’s dive in…
Delivering a Better Customer Experience
We’re now living in a world where customer service and experience slowly outweigh the cost of a product or service. People (& businesses) would rather pay a little bit more to have a product/service from a company that is known to deliver a high level of support, rather than opt for a cheaper product/service, knowing there’s a potential for terrible service.
From our own experiences, we’ve learnt first-hand that having strong customer services and a technical support team to support our customers with any issues, has become invaluable to keeping operations running at full capacity. In line with this support for your customer, you as a business need to be able to get hold of people when you need them. This is where a phone system, that is rich in features, will go the furthest in assisting your business. By boosting your level of customer service and internal operations, your business as a whole becomes elevated.
For now, let’s break down our most commonly requested features that enhance customer experience…
Missed Call Tracking.
First up… an absolute must-have. It’s reported that businesses on average miss around 22% of the calls they receive. Over time, this is A LOT of missed opportunities. This is where missed call tracking comes in. This feature tracks every call into your business, most importantly, the ones you miss. Any business will know that a missed call could also be a missed opportunity of any scale. If you currently have no way of tracking the information of the missed call, how do you know how best to proceed? How do you make sure this potential opportunity isn’t lost completely? Well, missed-call tracking makes this easy. It may seem like an obvious and simple feature, but by having this backup, you can rest assured that any missed calls are not only caught but the information is stored and ready to use for your advantage when you inevitably return the call.
If your business deals with a high volume of calls, or even take longer calls than the average, resulting in a queue of people on hold waiting to speak to you – then on-hold marketing could save you a huge amount of business. Once upon a time, if a caller was waiting on-hold, then all they’d hear was either an engaged tone or nothing at all! Now, with on-hold marketing, you can fill this wait time with:
- Calming music to reassure and relax any potentially agitated callers
- General information about your business (i.e. opening times, upcoming closures)
- Current deals and promotions that your business is promoting
- Regular prompts on their queue position
- Anything you want!
Research suggests that without hold music or messages, 60% of people on hold will hang up – 30% won’t call back! Distracting and entertaining your callers is a great way to keep your caller engaged and on the line. This simple feature is another tool against battling lost potential business or a perceived negative experience.
Call recording is exactly what it sounds like. With this feature, you can have every one of your calls (both incoming and outbound) recorded and stored in the cloud. There are 2 main reasons this is helpful for businesses, both as valuable as the other.
The first allows you to go back and check the quality of the telephone support you and/or your team are giving. As we mentioned before, modern consumers are looking for the best experience, so by staying regularly aware of your customer satisfaction levels, and any recurrent problems, you can make sure you’re maximising customer experience and staying ahead of the competition.
The second use for call recording is referencing. Of course, every call with your customers is important. However, often, details are lost or forgotten. With call recording, you can quickly and easily listen back to previous calls and remind yourself of any important call specifics that might have been missed the first time.
Wall Boards & Call Reporting.
For any call centre-based businesses, or businesses looking for constant figures on their calls, wall boards are another handy feature that, if implemented into your operations, can greatly improve success. Call reporting essentially gives you all of your calling information live on a screen, presented in an easy-to-read and understandable format. Calls made, calls received, average call duration calls in the queue, and so much more can be monitored live by your team. If you’re looking to increase productivity then this simple feature can go a long way.
Wifi Data Capture.
Are you currently supplying your customers with free guest WiFi across your premises? Well, why not get something in return? By offering your customers complimentary wifi, you can keep them happy and entertained while they access the internet, check their emails, or scroll on social media. This is great and will definitely improve customer satisfaction, however, with Wifi data capture, your business can also get something out of this exchange. The benefit for you is the invaluable customer data that you can gather on your real customer base. Contact information and demographic statistics can be gathered while you prompt them to check out your social media pages or leave a positive review. A win-win for both parties.
As we’ve mentioned in the opening of this blog, modern telephone systems using the internet over existing copper lines hold the key to unlocking vast features to assist in the success of your business. One of the most desired features is Computer Telephony Integration, more commonly known as CTI. Whilst we move towards an almost completely connected society, our businesses should be no different. By linking your business telephone system to your computer, and therefore into your CRM, you can greatly increase the speed at which you assist your customers. The integration identifies an incoming number, linked to the customer or patient record, this then actions a pop-up onto your computer screen with all your customer’s details. You can then immediately greet the caller quickly and, just as importantly, personally. This action alone has seen an average of 150-200 admin hours saved per year. Just by not having to go and individually search for customer records.
This level of service is what sets certain businesses apart from their competitors, wow’s their customers and keeps them retained year after year.
For every phone call that’s made, a traditional phone line is taken up by both parties on either end of the phone. This means that, since there are only so many lines that can be installed, calls placed over landlines, especially if they are long-distance, are expensive. But, with certain modern telephone systems, using the internet to relay call data circumvents this problem, making domestic and long-distance calls cheaper overall. Depending on your provider, some calls could even potentially be free of charge. For example, a Yo VoIP system allows free calls to UK landline numbers, mobile numbers and numbers starting 01, 02, 03. When it comes to equipment there is also room to make savings as the brains of the systems sit within the cloud, so there is no need for any additional hardware on-site – just the pre-programmed VoIP handsets. By adopting modern means and technology, businesses can save themselves a lot of money and time, compared to older, more physical systems.
There’s a lot to be said about upgrading your business’ telephone system. However once you forget about your current system just “doing the job” and start to see the range of benefits that a new, modernised telephone system can bring your entire operation – it becomes a no-brainer. From enhancing your customer experiences to increasing the success of your business and moving to a more cost-effective way of operating your business knowing it’s future-proof and built to scale. Your telephone system is one of your business’s most important tools, so why just make do?
If you’d like to talk about modernising your telephone system, discuss the challenges your business faces on a day-to-day basis and see a demonstration of a system, simply complete the contact form below and we’ll be in touch to schedule a time that works for you.