Guest post by Jessica Sanders.
With new phone technologies such as VOIP growing in popularity at lightning speed, the question to ask is: What actually makes a successful phone system for your small business? Whether you still use a switchboard room, have upgraded to VOIP, or rely on your call center software, there are a few basic principles that govern what makes a good phone system.
Easy Customer Routing
First and foremost you have to think about your customers: what do they need? What will make them happy? According to Fonolo.com, 80% of customers still want to talk to a representative on the phone. So, not only does your phone system have to work for you, but be convenient for customers as well. One way to tell if your phone system will work for customers is to assess your routing options.
- Number of extensions: Customers have diverse needs, and your phone system should cater to that. However, some providers only allow a restricted number of extensions, limiting your customer’s choices.
- Auto options: If your phone system asks five questions before routing to a customer service representative, you are likely going to lose them. A successful system sends your customers directly to a person or general representative where questions can be asked or rerouted.
As a small business owner, it’s likely that you are often on the go. Whether you’re operating out of your living room or a plush downtown office, you want to get the calls that are important to you, and a successful phone system will allow you to do so. While each system uses its own method, this is frequently called Find Me, Follow Me.
- Call transfer: In general, this system works in a way that ensures every possible point of contact is reached before hanging up; you can input a variety of numbers, including your house phone, and/or multiple cell phones. Not only is this convenient, but it will also keep you from having to give out personal numbers, and still receive every call.
Finally, a successful phone system isn’t simply the features that come built in, but the people you have answering phones, as well. Even the best system can’t combat bad customer service, which is ultimately the determining factor in how successful the system is as a whole. So, how do you verify whether this aspect of your phone system is successful or not?
- Positive social media: Now more than ever customers are taking to the web to vent about brands and customer service. If you’re part of the conversation you’ll likely be able to tell who is happy, who isn’t, and why.
- Integrated CRM: Be sure that your CRM is integrated into your phone system so your employees can be sure to record notes on each phone call; good or bad.
Having a successful phone system is the key to flourishing as a small business. From customer service to mobility, a phone system connects you with the people that are important to you and your company. Thus, having the right phone system just might make all the difference.
Bio: Jessica Sanders is an avid small business writer touching on topics that range from social media to CRM software and teleconferencing. She is a professional blogger and web content writer for ResourceNation.com.