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.
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.
VoIP for Business has become commonplace in the business and personal marketplace. Most businesses use it, bringing them many benefits. The increases in Increased remote working and working from home following the restrictions imposed by the pandemic has meant many more small businesses using VoIP for Business.
Originally VoIP meant a level of expense that put out of the reach of the smaller business, but shelf-units and PC-based virtual PBX software have brought VoIP for Business well with the reach of even the smallest business and SoHo users. The increasing availability of Internet access, especially the roll-out of fibre to the home, is also providing benefits to digital telephony. That has, in turn, driving a need for VoIP in smaller businesses.
Before VoIP, whenever an employee left the building they were by and large uncontactable, with the possible exception of catching them at a client, at home in the evening or in their overnight accommodation. This meant communications between staff, the office, and each other were difficult at best. All that has changed with the advent of affordable Business VoIP. Simply put, with Business VoIP and its inbuilt video-conferencing capability, individuals and teams need never be uncontactable, inside or outside the office. It is now possible to be truly mobile.
In recent times, multimedia, voice and video conferencing have come together to create an entirely new form of communications. A key element of this new wave is Voice over IP, (“VoIP”), a protocol for digital transmission of voice and video.
Home and business VoIP telephony has grown to be a major segment in the VoIP market. It provides advantages in cost, mobility and increased functionality with a range of compatible devices.
Why should a business user consider moving to a VOIP for Business telephone system? There are justifiable concerns, mostly over call quality, but also that that they will lose their phone service if they lose power, and that it is a difficult and costly technology to implement.
However, improvements in technology and the use of standby power go a long way to alleviating these concerns. Simply put, the advantages to businesses from adopting a VoIP for Business solution far outweigh any potential drawbacks.
The ability of VoIP for Business to host Conference calling and remote meetings is now an essential part of an organisation’s business tools. Unfortunately, there have been many reports of failures and poor performance using ZOOM and other collaboration tools.
While some poor conference calls may have been because of VoIP for Business technology failings, most are because participants are not familiar with the etiquette of conference calling and how to make them effective. Basically, using the same approach as for face-to-face meetings will provide quality meetings. Here are ten suggestions:
Just because it’s an online meeting, doesn’t mean that it can be less organized than a face-to-face one.
Most businesses have installed a VoIp for Business system. The digital revolution has enabled most to replace their existing PSTN based systems with VoIP because of the benefits in cost management and customer service.
They might have justifiable concerns over call quality, and that they will need disaster planning measures so they don’t lose their phone service if they lose power. Recent advances in technology and the use of standby power can dispel these concerns. Bottom line, the advantages of VoIP for Business to the business far outweigh any potential drawbacks.
Integrating VoIP for Business in an integrated communications environment including video conferencing, instant messaging and Social Media integration brings the business firmly into the 21st century and at the leading edge of communications.
One effect of the pandemic has been a quantum increase in remote working. In some cases, lockdown and travel restrictions have forced a move to work from home. Adopting e-commerce as a business platform has meant interacting digitally with customers and suppliers.
In remote working the need to communicate remains, and is even more important to maintain team morale. Virtual meetings using applications like Zoom, NetMeeting, and Skype have become the norm.
For many, remote working and remote meetings are very new and they are wary of the technology and unsure of how they should interact with other meeting attendees. Sometimes the first few meetings are less productive than the face-to-face equivalent as people find their feet and create a new working culture.
VoIP for Business has become a fixture in the marketplace. Most businesses use it, appreciating the many benefits it can bring them. The benefits associated with VoIP for Business have been highlighted by the increases in remote working and working from home following the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. That has, in turn, driven a need for video conferencing as an essential corporate communications medium.
In the past, whenever an employee left the office they were uncontactable, with the possible exception of the evening at home or in their accommodation on the road. This made communications between staff, the office, and each other difficult at best.
All that has changed with the advent of Business VoIP. Simply put, with Business VoIP and it’s inbuilt video-conferencing capability, individuals and teams need never be uncontactable, inside or outside the office. True mobility is possible.
If we extend the traditional definitions of conference calls, that of a group in a static setting using tabletop microphones and cameras, to include ad-hoc group video calling with smart devices, to and from anywhere, the benefits of conference calls to a business are undeniable.
VoIP for business is now the defacto standard for business communications. Having established itself during the pandemic as essential to communicate with remote workers, customers, and suppliers, the push is to find new and innovative ways to leverage VoIP for business to provide more cost benefits and deliver new cost-effective services.
VoIP is usually viewed as the basis of a Unified Communications Strategy. All internal and external communications are moved onto a digital platform, and users can move seamlessly between different communication modes. They share global address books and can communicate directly with a customer or colleague from the address book, or even an email address.
Several suppliers, including Microsoft, provide hooks into their core Office systems to allow other applications to share contact information. It has the undoubted benefit of keeping contact lists up to date.Continue reading