How to use your telephone system to beat the credit crunch

In todays tough economic climate businesses need to work hard to ensure they are maximising every customer and opportunity they have. This article will show you how you can use your existing or a new telephone system to make the most out of your customers and prospects alike. Mobility >

What happens when you or your staff are out of the office? Does the phone just ring and ring. Perhaps the customer can speak to someone else or leave you a message on your voicemail. You could give out your mobile number but then youre contactable 24/7.

Mobile twinning allows you to take calls made to office numbers from your mobile phone. Then use software installed on your mobile phone to place the call on hold, transfer, conference or record, just as you could using your fixed office phone. Voicemail

Voicemail offers businesses many ways to save money and increase productivity. The capability of some voicemail systems stretches well beyond the simple message taking functions of early voicemail systems. Today voicemail systems control call flow by automatically answering calls and directing them to the correct person or department. The voicemail will also queue calls and give announcements to update callers to their position in the queue.

Voicemail has many other money saving features such as call recording which allows supervisors to listen to calls via a password protected web browser application. Call recording can help train staff correctly, maintain service quality and encourages staff to adhere to company regulations. It also helps to avoid ambiguity in difficult situations by allowing both customer and company to listen to a call. CTI

Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) is where there is a connection between your data network and the office phone system. CTI allows click to dial from applications such as Microsoft Outlook or Goldmine.

CTI applications like Avayas Phone Manager Pro offer a graphical user interface which allows you to control telephony features such as forwarding, conference initiation, message control, company directory and much more.

When customers call, some CTI applications can pop the customer record from the company CRM so the customer can be greeted personally and the person that answered the call is ready to action the call immediately. IVR

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) makes everyday orders easy. Callers never have to speak to a person. The phone system will answer the call and ask the caller to make selections from a list based on the callers response. Eg. A book company wants to be able to sell its books 24/7 both online and on the phone. Their staff work 9-5 so how can non web users place their order after 5pm? IVR will answer the call and ask the caller to input the product code, read back the product name and then take payment details.

Call logging

It is estimated that call logging can increase productivity by 15-20% as staff know their calls are being counted. The saying goes that you cant manage what you cant measure. This is especially true for call data. Call logging can show how many calls an individual takes or makes and reports can be emailed to a supervisor automatically at the end of each day. Call logging can also be used to individually bill departments or other companies using the same telephone system.