Since its invention by Alexander Graham Bell more than a century ago, the telephone has remained our most prominent form of modern communication. Even in today’s digital arena of emails and instant messages, the telephone is still most people’s preferred way of getting in touch with family, friends and of course, businesses.
In fact, a study conducted by Invoca revealed that 75% of customers believe that calling a business is the best way to a get a quick response — calling it the “most effective form of customer support”.
But that’s just one side of the conversation (get it?) and for many businesses, an efficiently run and effectively managed telephone system yields far more than quality customer service; it becomes an integral part of their overall marketing and sales strategy.
The automotive industry is a perfect example — and if you work in a car dealership then you already know the cost of missing a call.
In a quarterly report aggregating data from over 1,200 dealerships, CallRevu revealed that 46% of connected calls (instances where the caller successfully got through to either a sales or customer service representative) resulted in an appointment while 74% of connected calls resulted in a price inquiry, inventory inquiry or appointment. That’s an incredible number of leads being generated over the phone.
Furthermore, it proves the need for a reliable system where calls can be streamlined, captured and tracked, not only to accommodate customers but also equip staff to work more productively and secure sales. In the same report, it was revealed that an average of 28% of incoming calls weren’t able to connect to a representative — resulting in the caller hanging up when nobody was available to assist, or when the caller got placed on hold. If a more streamlined ring group and trackable system had been implemented beforehand then those are hundreds of thousands of opportunities that would never have been lost.
How a robust telephony system can benefit your business
Regardless of your business-size and sector, incoming calls need to be answered quickly and call handling standards maintained consistently at a high level. That’s why it’s important to implement a robust and agile telephony system that can support you in the following ways:
A call group feature allows a business to redirect incoming calls to different destinations included within that specific call group. Call groups are most handy for assigning an incoming call to a department that shares that same knowledge and resources (such as Customer Service) — and ensures no time or effort is wasted in connecting the caller to a representative who can assist with their specific inquiry.
Calling groups are also useful when a particular member of staff is away from their post and you need to redirect incoming calls to someone else who can help — preventing that caller from having to leave a message or disconnecting.
Call flow mapping
A call flow is a roadmap of how calls will be handled from the moment a customer calls your business to the moment the call is finished. It can be as simple as outlining the caller-options available at the start of the call, or as intricate as setting the parameters that determine how long a caller should be kept on hold and where they are re-routed when that duration ends.
For the customer, this helps to make the entire process as quick and straightforward as possible. From an internal standpoint, it allows businesses to streamline incoming calls so they can be handled efficiently.
Call flow mapping also provides businesses with an opportunity to go back and review data to see if there are any weaknesses/bottlenecks resulting in lost leads. Identifying exactly where callers are likely to hang up means you can make the necessary improvements to prevent it from happening again. This might be something as simple as tweaking the pre-defined rules of your call flow, or adding more calling groups to increase your capacity for answering incoming calls.
Speaking of going back and reviewing data… Call tracking is a very useful feature with a plethora of data-driven benefits. Chief among them is the ability to track which sources — such as magazine ads, paid search campaigns, and specific pages on your website — are generating the highest quality and quantity of telephone calls; arming you with the best possible insights to better reinvest in your future marketing activities.
Another benefit of call tracking often includes the ability to record calls, which is particularly important for compliance purposes where your business offers customers financial products, or services of a similarly sensitive nature. It’s also a powerful tool enabling managers to identify training needs and improve performance by listening to how staff members handle calls.
Too many businesses only think about disaster recovery when it’s too late. But what if a serious incident, say, a fire or flood, was to suddenly leave you without power? Equally — and perhaps most likely — what if an IT-related issue such as a data breach meant your staff were unable to access crucial systems including the phones?
The answer is simple: it would be disruptive, counterproductive, and would leave your customers without a point of contact for an uncertain amount of time.
If your telephony systems are cloud-based, however, then employees can still access it even if your premises are temporarily unavailable — even if your offices are literally on fire. That’s because phone systems that are stored off-site can be accessed by anyone, anywhere, so long as they have authorisation.
Sure, we don’t like to think about the negative outcomes, but it’s always better to be prepared in case something terrible does happen. To use an analogy, it’s a bit like an airbag in a car – you hope you’ll never need it but in the event of a car crash, it will automatically release to provide the safety features required in that scenario. The same level of planning and contingency needs to be considered for your business telephony systems.
RDS Global are a respected provider of telephony technologies, with 20 years’ experiences in delivering tailored solutions for businesses. Our dedicated team of engineers can establish a robust and agile telephony system that fulfills the needs of your staff and your customers.
“RDS Global have been an invaluable asset to our company and the growth we have achieved. With their help in providing us with IT Support, Network infrastructure and Telephone/Mobile connectivity we have successfully grown whilst ensuring we are secure and compliant. Most recently, we have positively acquired 4 additional sites to the Group which couldn’t have been achieved without the expertise of RDS and the flexible, remote abilities demonstrated by the team. With time constraints of 48 hours, RDS completed a telephony install ensuring the business could operate and communicate with clients. RDS are our first point of call for all things IT, Mobile and Security as they consistently provide great customer service and commitment to provide resolutions which allows us to focus on the day-to-day running of the business.” – Martin Stolton, Finance Director, Go Vauxhall.
We understand that all telephony requirements are different. That’s why we work alongside you to establish a system based on your needs, making sure solutions remain tailored as your business continues to grow.