What do you consider your most powerful tool in business?
Business is fast-moving and forever shifting, forcing business owners to keep up with a landscape that is continually evolving. Technology is in abundance and aims to keep all of us connected, all of the time. Business communication has taken a great benefit from this with emails, social media, video conferencing, chatbots, WhatsApp, and every other useful tool that is now available – with more being created every day. However, amongst all of this, it’s all too easy to forget the humble and ever-reliable telephone. A simple workplace staple that, to this day, still remains the absolute pillar method of communication for businesses everywhere.
With countless blogs being written about countless new technological innovations, we decided to go back to basics and look at the humble telephone system through a modern lens, looking at its latest game-changing features, and understanding why the telephone system has been the no.1 most powerful tool for business everywhere, for the past 150 years.
It’s Always There.
Virtually every business within the UK has some type of telecommunication device to make calls and to be reached on. Couple this with the fact that over 84% of the UK’s adults own a smartphone – searching for a business online and making contact with them is incredibly easy. With one click-to-dial feature available on their smartphones, consumers are never more than a few clicks away from being connected with ease. Because of this, a business telephone system is a hugely important tool.
With this new wave of working options such as hybrid working, remote working and flexible working – the telephone is playing an even bigger role for those not sitting at a desk in the office. Modern systems like a hosted telephony system make it totally possible to sign into your phone system on a laptop (or on your smartphone) from anywhere in the world, allowing the user to be as contactable as they were in the office.
Delivering The Best Impression.
Quite often the first person-to-person interaction with a company is on the telephone, whether that be the prospect calling the business or the business responding to an enquiry. 73% of callers say they wouldn’t do business with a company again if their first call wasn’t answered or handled effectively. So, for this reason, it’s most effective to not only have a well-trained team but to also have a telephone system that can increase the precision and sleekness of your operations. For example, does your business have an auto attendant? If it did you could supply your callers with a streamlined service, making sure calls are directed to the right person, in the right department, in the first instance – no need for transferring.
Another great (and massively popular) feature currently available with modernised telephone systems is CTI (or Computer Telephony Integration) This feature links your telephone, computer and CRM all in one. With this in place, when a customer/patient calls in from their recognised telephone number, the system will present a pop-up on your computer with the details of the caller. This clever piece of technology allows you to give a personalised greeting to your customer upon answering and find any details of their enquiry. 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.
Fully Understand Customer’s Requirements.
In business, there’s often very little time for rework or to go over something that was missed (or misunderstood). To optimise success it’s vital to nail communications the first time around. Whilst sending an email may seem like the obvious logical route for speed, language could be misunderstood or taken out of context. A person-to-person call, on the other hand, allows the two parties to clarify and understand the situation much easier and raise any questions where the answers may help any time-sensitive issue.
On top of this, should you need to recall the conversation between you and the customer, having a Call Recording feature can save a huge amount of time, rework and professionalism. 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.
It can be easy to forget about an overall brand experience – but this is vital to the longevity of your business. When other forms of advertising may not be possible, the quality of your caller experience directly impacts the perception of your brand.
There are simple and effective measures you can take to enhance this experience: having an engaging and informative On-Hold Marketing message, effective greeting and connection with an Auto Attendant, and an Out-Of-Hours message that can address every call whilst your staff aren’t present. These small but effective actions make a huge difference to your customers and new prospects, knowing that information is available out of hours, your auto attendant directs calls accurately, your on-hold messages are informative and clear and you’re able to greet customers personally.
More Than Just a Telephone.
As you can tell from these few previous points, like common smartphones, modern telephone systems hold an array of features. These features are all designed to save time, and effort and streamline a business’ operations. They leave little to no margin of error when it comes to missing opportunities and marketing your business to a captive audience. Missing call tracking, on hold-marketing, call recording and professional audio branding are all features designed to increase the success of your business. You can read more about these advantageous features over on our previous blog here, where we break down all the major and most popular features and the direct impact they can have on your business. Alternatively, you check out our features video series here, where we demonstrate these features visually in short infographic form.
The telephone has been around for 145 years and is arguable the most reliable business tool of the century. As technology has advanced and becomes more intuitive, the humble business telephone has also become so cost-effective and packed with features that it stands as one of the biggest tools for ensuring success. From never missing an opportunity, reviewing call quality, integrating your computer software, setting on hold marketing messages, and generally allowing your business to supply an elevated level of service.
If your business is in need of a new modern telephone system, why not reach out to us to have a conversation about your business needs and the challenges you’re facing? We’ll be happy to talk you through what options are available to you and how they would benefit you.