How VoIP Can Improve the Customer Experience

 

Customers are the most important part of any business. Without them your business has no chance of thriving. A group of loyal, happy customers can be a deciding factor on the success or failure of an organization.

A happy customer can do a lot for you. They will most likely come back to you again and again and they are also likely to help spread the word about you, helping you reach new audiences and potential customers through word of mouth. In fact, according to a study conducted in 2012, 92% of respondents said they trust their friends’ recommendations.

Additionally, it was shown that a customer will inform an average of 9 friends about a positive experience, while telling 16 of a negative experience.

With that at stake, keeping customers happy and constantly improving the customer experience needs to be a top priority for any organization.

One way to help increase customer experience is to improve the way you communicate and connect with them. An efficient, top-of-the-line VoIP phone system can make all the difference when dealing with customers.

Really? Yep! We’ll walk you through why.

Never miss a call

VoIP phone systems are equipped with numerous advanced features like Find Me/Follow Me and call forwarding. They help ensure your business and employees never miss a call from your customers.

Find Me/Follow Me enable one call to register on multiple phones simultaneously. So, if one person is unavailable the call can be answered by another to talk to the customer.

Call forwarding lets employees have their work and mobile phones connected. A call made to the office when they aren’t present will automatically be transferred to their mobile device.

All of this combines to reduce customers’ time spent listening to a ringtone, on hold and drastically reduce unanswered calls.

VoIP extends support hours

VoIP systems are Internet-based, enabling them to possess complete geographic mobility – connection from anywhere. With this perk, business can hire remote workers who are available for 24-hour customer care to the public.

As long as you can have an employee available when your customers are, your business can guarantee customers can have their problems taken care of no matter the time of day.

VoIP auto attendant

Your VoIP phone also comes equipped with an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. The IVR allows callers to manually select options from a list and be automatically transferred to their extension without a live representative.

Although this option removes a little bit of your company’s human element, it is a strong alternative if you do not have the resources to hire remote workers or a secretary. IVRs reduce labor and overhead costs of businesses while also reducing miscommunications for the caller.

VoIP increases phone call speed

With standard telecom networks, callers – even frequent ones – have to provide their representative with information every time they call, which is a tedious and time-consuming repetition.

However, a VoIP setup will automatically retrieve all the client’s information every time they call. This kind of efficiency get answers to customers faster and cuts back on their time on hold, which can seriously hurt satisfaction.

VoIP saves you money

This may not sound like a benefit to your customers. To your business, maybe, but not your customers. However, consider the results of being able to save on phone expenses and what that opens up for you.

The cost of VoIP is lower than a standard telecom network – both in upfront costs over time – which lets you cut down on your businesses overhead budget. Your overhead factors into pricing. Therefore, with fewer costs, your business will be able to offer lower prices on goods and services, keeping your customers satisfied.

With VoIP, businesses have the opportunity to provide a smoother, faster and more efficient communication process with their customers, substantially increasing their customer service abilities.

Ready to take the step to providing the best customer service possible? VoicePro’s team of professionals are ready to work with you. We will find the VoIP setup that best fits your needs and equip you with the knowledge and know-how to use it. Contact us today.

Tips for Preparing the Switch to VoIP

VoIP offers many large advantages over traditional phone systems.  The most significant of those being that VoIP allows for connecting your business on a global level as your employees to tap into your company’s phone system from virtually any location.

Because of this – and the large amount of money companies save on not only upfront costs but those over time – businesses all over the globe are making the switch to VoIP systems.

If you are one of these forward-thinking businesses, or tinkering with the idea, you are making a great decision! But how much will change will your company have to undergo to prepare for the switch?

Thankfully, not much.  However, there are a few things you can do to make switching to VoIP a smoother transition and start taking advantage of all VoIP systems have to offer sooner.

Make sure you have when you need

Another great perk of VoIP is that because it is entirely internet and cloud-based, very little equipment is require to make the switch.  However, there are a few basic considerations that a company investing in VoIP need to have available.

Luckily, they are all fairly basic items that you may already have available.  In addition, the shopping list pales in comparison to that of a traditional landline system requirements.

Just make sure you are prepared with the following:

  • A reliable broadband connection. A good rule of thumb is that your company will need enough broadband that one-third of your employees can simultaneously use the phones.
  • Direct Inward Dialing (DID) Numbers. A DIDs are virtual numbers that allow you to route calls to existing phone numbers. It may sound a little confusing, but don’t worry, your VoIP provider will provide you with one. Just make sure you have it on hand.
  • Ethernet and RJ11 cables. These are your typical phone and internet cables. There should be plenty lying around the office. If not, you can buy them on the cheap!
  • The right phone equipment. Before installing the VoIP, you must determine how you each employee will be connected. There are a variety choices in phone equipment from digital IP phones, soft phones, Wi-Fi phones and analog telephone adaptors.

Add any necessary hardware

There are a variety of VoIP phone services that will require different network hardware in order to utilize it. What hardware your business requires depends on your needs and the features you want.

For example, the hardware you purchase may depend on the type of firewall your network has. Some firewalls will block VoIP ports.

Find the right provider

The most important part of the transition is making sure you have chosen a provider that will be there every step of the way, like VoicePro. From our initial conversation, through the installation and even after your system is being utilized, VoicePro is at your disposal to answer any and all questions, help you understand all your options, offer advice and help resolve any issues that may appear.

National providers cannot offer the type of personalized service and care that VoicePro can.  If your current provider isn’t cutting it or you are ready to make the switch to all VoIP has to offer, contact us today!

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Hosted versus Premise Systems

Is your current phone technology obsolete, outdated, not supported or are you just looking to embrace the newest technology? It may be time for you to upgrade your business’ telecommunications system.

Technological advances in the industry have paved the way for faster, more reliable and more efficient phone systems. There really has not been a better time to upgrade! The first step is deciding what kind of system you want for your business.

You have two basic options: Hosted and Premise VoIP. Both have their pros and cons and one may be better suited for a setup than another.

Don’t know the difference? Don’t worry! It isn’t that complicated, and we will walk you through the basics you need to know before you make a decision.

Hosted VoIP

With hosted services, all your voice and multimedia communications are sent, received and stored in a cloud. Because of this, hosted VoIP is often referred to as Cloud VoIP. All equipment is stored and maintained off-site by the provider.

Premise VoIP

As you can probably imagine, premise VoIP is the exact opposite. A more traditional set-up, premise VoIP puts all components of the system within the office location. Internal lines are integrated within a LAN.

Cost

Because they come with little equipment to set up and install at your offices, hosted networks carry with them a smaller up-front cost. After installation, costs remain relatively low for hosted systems. Because they are monitored off-site, there is very little to no maintenance cost to keep equipment tip-top. All upgrades and extra features come at the cost to the customer, but you can pick and choose what you want or not. There are also slightly higher monthly costs as you pay the provider for their service.

Premise VoIP will cost you a greater bit to start as you are responsible for purchasing all equipment necessary and installation. Maintenance costs also run higher because that is another area you take on responsibility. On the plus side, monthly service charges are much lower after initial expenses since the equipment is in your care. For all further maintenance and installation, you will have to bring in a technician also.

Expansion

Adding a new line or expanding new locations with hosted systems can be done easily by simply adding new users to the cloud as needed for seamless integration. There may come at a slightly higher service charge each month. Downsizing your required number of lines is just as easy. Either way, you must ensure your bandwidth is large enough or adequate enough to handle the load since it is all online.

With premise VoIP, expanding locations or adding new lines must be done through purchasing a larger application and IP phones to accommodate the change. Although, like the up-front installation, this will not affect the monthly charges as much. If your size is in flux, you may be forced to eat some costs.

Other Features

Hosted providers have a lot more resources and knowledge at their fingertips when it comes to the tech side of it. This aspect helps you avoid confusion in installation, maintenance and installation of new features. And, although it is conducted over the web, the loss of internet is not catastrophic due to its ability to easily reroute calls.

Although you have to care for the equipment yourself, many services provide equipment and IT training and keep 24-hour troubleshooting. VoIP trunks can also be installed to help keep costs down and help secure calls in the event of internet loss or power outages.

There is a lot that goes into finding the right service for you, so don’t do it alone! VoicePro offers both hosted and premise systems and carries all the up-to-date services your business needs. Call today at (314) 426-8900 or schedule a free consultation online.