How to modernize your telephone system?
With the rise of online shopping, social media, help desks and online support systems, it would be fair to believe that people no longer use their phones to make calls. Wrong! Phone calls are still a valuable way to communicate with customers. So, your company’s phone system is a useful tool. But like any tool, if it is not efficient, it will end up costing money.
CALLS ARE AS IMPORTANT AS EVER
We truly are in the information overload era. So much so that customers are disoriented and paralyzed by the abundance of choices: 2 for 1, 3 for 2, 50 % off the 1st six months, free service with each item bought. One thing’s for certain… the customer has a need and it must be satisfied. But how can your clients discern which offer applies to their specific need in this sea of choices? That’s why they turn to their phone for answers. Indeed, when in doubt, the best way to make a decision is to ask a knowledgeable member of staff for their advice and guidance.
According to the independent market research company, Ipsos, 51% of mobile searchers who used “click-to-call”, do so to call businesses. Of course, their reasons vary. Firstly, it is considered more convenient to call a business in urgent situations. Then, some people call because they need more information, and others simply prefer talking to a person. Finally, this research shows that people also call to discuss alternative payment plans on high priced services or products. But no matter the reason, they will favor the phone to a website or social media.
Furthermore, when customers call, they have an aim, an intention. The Ipsos research mentioned previously shows that 61% of customers call a business during the consideration stage, after having researched and shortlisted, with the intention to buy. These inbound calls must certainly not be neglected or left unanswered, as they convert at much higher rates.
THE WEAKNESSES OF STANDARD PHONE SYSTEMS
Technology evolves at a rapid pace, and this also applies to phone system hardware. Every so often, newer, cutting edge devices with better features are released on the market. When customers attempt to contact you regarding a query or a purchase, you cannot afford to be let down by an outdated phone system hardware. A solution to stay efficient would be to update your entire phone system every six to ten years. In that case, the cost would be considerable, and it’s a hassle you will have to deal with on a regular basis.
There is also the issue of limited capacity and scalability. As a business grows, its phone system needs to be able to handle the additional incoming and outgoing calls. Sadly, the analogue phone system requires additional infrastructure and hardware to do so, with installation time taking up to several weeks. In this instance, a growing business is a great thing, but it comes with its headaches, as your phone system can no longer accommodate your business’ needs and requires more time and investment that could be used elsewhere.
Finally, standard phone systems are costly. First, there are the infrastructure and hardware costs that were mentioned previously. That cost seems inevitable as communication is crucial in business. Then, there are the monthly line rental bills that can go quite high when calling long distance. But these expenses are usually accepted as necessary for the good functioning of a business.
HOW TO MODERNIZE YOUR PHONE SYSTEM?
A successful business focuses on the customer. As we know customers still prefer calling businesses, so, it would make sense for a company to invest in an efficient phone system.
And the most efficient phone systems available today are Cloud based ones. This is indeed a bold statement, but the facts are undeniable.
Firstly, with VoIP phone systems, the company doesn’t need to be concerned about updates. Indeed, the VoIP provider takes care of everything, and you simply enjoy a top-of-the-range telephone system with all the latest and expensive features at no extra cost. So, you get an updated phone system without having to invest in new hardware. And you also benefit from amazing features, such as:
- Voice Mail
- Call Transfer.
- Conversation Recording
- Call Forwarding (FollowMe)
- Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
- Call screening
- Rules for incoming calls
- Advanced report
Secondly, a business phone system hosted in the cloud allows you to easily scale your business because employees are all on the same IP network. So, no additional hardware needs to be installed, saving the company a lot of time. And as the old saying goes, time is money! With VoIP, you can have additional lines in minutes.
Finally, using a Cloud based phone systems not only saves valuable time, but also money. Businesses that have switched to VoIP experienced up to 90% savings on their monthly phone bills. That’s because phone calls are no longer priced per minute, and maintenance and upgrades are managed online.
There you have it. To give a business the best chance to grow and tend to its customers the way they deserve, its telephone system cannot rely on the analogue system anymore and must be modernized. And the best way to modernize your company’s phone system is to switch to VoIP.