Many businesses have recognised the need for improved customer relations recently. Many customers have moved to an online basis, often as e-commerce rather than a physical business. As a result, their customer management arrangements (“CRM”) need to be upgraded.
Often CRM is a part of a wider unified communications system, where all internal and external communications, voice, video and data are linked on a common set of standards, platforms, and information sources. A VoIP implementation is a key part of that.
Simply put, a contact centre is a portmanteau term for a central point from which all customer interactions are managed. It is usually a combination of call centres, offline support centres, and other channels of customer interaction. They may operate using a common Customer Response Management system (“CRM”).Continue reading
Digital Convergence, and the creation of a Unified Communications (“UC”) platform have been embraced by many organisations. A UC is the movement of all digital communications traffic, data, VoIP for business and video, over a single physical network through a variety of software platforms.
Obviously, maintaining optimum response times for all classes of traffic is necessary, especially for VoIP for business and video. It is a vital balancing act that IT performs, usually through the creation and management of Quality of Service protocols.
Most people nowadays use website contact details to get in touch with a Business. They usually have email addresses and Business Phone Numbers plus other information like address details and contact names.
Why Do you Need the Number?
One reason might be that a company you deal with has changed its contact details since you last dealt with them. They could have been taken over, moved, or simply gone out of business. The details you have are out of date and you are having difficulty in contacting them.
If the number you have is a cell number, it could be different for a number of reasons. One reason is that If a prepaid number is not used or recharged for a period of time, say six months, it is reclaimed by the cell company (“Churned”) and reissued to another client.
There are however, from time to time, darker reasons.
Cloud VoIP has become an essential part of most business communications strategies. It gives real operational cost benefits, and improves business operations and public image.
Part of the process is selecting the correct VoIP phone type for each user for a range of mobile and desktop units.
One of the first steps in any Cloud VoIP implementation is to determine where VoIP handsets will be needed, the type of handset, and if the supporting infrastructure is available at the installation point. The two main types of handset are software applications on smart devices, and physical handsets connected to a cabled or WiFi network.
Moving to the cloud has become an attractive option for many businesses, either as an internal private cloud or more often to an external hybrid cloud operated by a Cloud Provider. As with the selection of any other external services supplier, selecting the Cloud Provider that best meets your business needs is not a trivial task. Selecting the wrong Cloud Provider could be harmful to the business.
It must be clearly understood that you are choosing a business partner with whom you will have a long-term business relationship. The selection process is therefore not just assessing technical competence and capability but looking at the cultural fit between your two organisations. Continue reading
The last two years have seen a major shift in IT towards Working from Home and remote access to systems. Because of lockdowns, and the closure of physical outlets, the pandemic has closed some businesses and forced others to move to e-commerce.
Two major disadvantages of Working from Home include the increased communications costs with the staff member, and a feeling of remoteness and isolation when they don’t interact with team members and other members of staff regularly in person.
Many businesses have already installed VoIP to take advantage of the cost and operational benefits of a Unified Communications platform. If the company has a high-speed and stable Internet connection, and most with e-commerce will, it is easy to use the corporate VoIP system to extend communications to staff Working from Home to overcome these problems.Continue reading
As a consequence of the pandemic, many businesses have moved to a Work from Home and remote access basis. The way they do business, the way they interact with customers and customers interact with them has radically changed.
This has meant a sea-change in internal corporate structures. New Internal and external corporate communications have placed intense pressure on IT as they implement VoIP or Cloud Phone systems on a restricted budget.
Companies that have implemented VoIP Phone Systems have seen the financial and operational benefits of VoIP Phones, but have also seen the downside reducing the cost savings. High maintenance costs, unstable internet connections, and poor quality connections are common issues.
Cloud Computing has rapidly moved to the forefront of IT Developments over the last few years. The trend has accelerated with the seismic changes in business strategies following the pandemic and the move to home and remote working.
Many organisations, faced with the need to move to an e-commerce platform, have chosen to implement it on a Cloud Computing platform, usually supplied and managed by a Managed Service Provider (“MSP”). The rationale is that they can continue with business as usual as normal while implementing the new e-commerce platform quickly during the migration to the Cloud.
One effect of the pandemic has been a quantum increase in remote working and working from home. IT strategies have morphed from strategic to survival as they change to cope with the new business imperatives.
In remote working the need to communicate increases, and it is even more important in helping to maintain team morale and manage projects with a geographically dispersed workforce.
Collaborative applications like SharePoint, Zoom, NetMeeting, and Skype have become the norm in business. Cloud storage as a means of document sharing and project communications is now essential. A Cloud Phone, a phone that uses Voice over IP (“VoIP”) over the Internet is becoming indispensable for productivity, privacy and general communications.
More than ever, business communications are vital to a business’s success. Customers and suppliers need to get in touch. The company needs to maintain an Internet presence to market its goods and services and support an e-commerce facility. Geographically dispersed businesses need business communications to link home office, manufacturing sites and depots at home and abroad
New company business, communications and IT strategies need to reflect the new realities. Many companies are looking to implement an Integrated Communications Strategy that defines a common look-and-feel throughout the business.
Love them or loath them, call centres are a fact of life nowadays. Looking at them from a business standpoint, they are an essential component of a cost-effective and efficient customer service environment. VoIP for Business makes implementation a practical proposition, even for the smallest business.
However, the quality of service delivered to the customer can make or break a relationship. A high-level customer experience is the goal. When, for example, they hear “You are number 47 in the queue”, they will hang up and not call back. The tone and style of the interaction with the agent are vital.
That is where planning the interaction and why inbound and outbound call monitoring is essential. It usually takes the form of a call centre quality monitoring programme. Knowing service levels and their quality is not just metrics.
Effective CRM using VoIP for Business is the balancing of agent efficiency and service quality.
First of all, what is call monitoring? It’s the listening in on agent and customer interactions and the recording of them for later analysis. “Your call may be recorded for quality purposes”.
The upsides of call monitoring are both qualitative and quantitative. Measurement of response rates and customer attitudes tells you if waiting times are acceptable. This assists with resource planning. Customer attitudes also tell you if assistance is effective and if an agents performance is acceptable.