Have you ever wondered about what poor communication costs your business every day? Many business owners and managers don’t actively think about their phone system until and unless something is wrong with it. But an inefficient or unreliable system can be disastrous.
It’s not just about customer dissatisfaction either. It affects your employees as well. Poor communication can destroy personal and professional relationships alike in the workplace. Employees cannot make the right decisions when they don’t have the relevant information. Productivity takes a nose dive and lack of communication puts additional stress on everyone.
All this from just a phone system? It can be hard to believe but nevertheless, it’s true. Keep in mind that communication is vital to any business. Not having the right information at the right time could mean lost sales, lost deals, and even lost customers. If you find any of these symptoms in your office, it may just be time to replace the phone systems.
Not all problems with phone systems are apparent at first glance. You may have big and small issues you need to fix. Most of the time, your employees will tell you what frustrates them the most. But sometimes the issues are so subtle that no one realizes it’s caused by the phone systems in the first place!
For instance, it’s easy to notice dropped calls or missing voicemails. But what if employee productivity is hampered by the lack of certain features? What if your staff is unable to focus because the phones are ringing all the time and interrupting their work? You may not really know that your phones systems are at the root of such issues.
So, here are the top 7 signs that your phone systems are not working for your business.
Do you have a custom experience for each employee? Every person uses the phone in a different way depending on their responsibilities. Set your employees up for success by making sure they have the tools they need. It will certainly help to boost morale and productivity.
For instance, your salespeople and service departments may need features like ring groups, ACD queues, multi-device ring, the ability to use mobile devices etc. They may struggle to handle incoming calls efficiently without access to such essential features. At the same time, someone in accounts may not really need all of these. Why burden them with setting up tools they won’t ever use?
The first step to improving your phone systems is to talk to your staff. Ask them what they really need from a phone system. You can’t expect everyone to work with the same set of tools when their needs and responsibilities are so different from one another.
If you ask anyone what the biggest issue with phone systems is, most would say under-communication. That is, they don’t get the information they need when they need it. However, many people don’t realize that the opposite could also be an issue. Over-communication can easily drive your customers and employees away as well.
Over-communication happens when people use phone calls for sharing every little piece of information. Even for something that’s not time-sensitive or a priority. Sometimes the information is better sent over email to have a written record. At other times, even a simple text message will suffice.
The biggest indicator that you’re over-communicating is when people spend too much time on the phone. Your employees can’t get time to work because their phones are constantly ringing. Remember that a phone call is a demand for another person’s time and attention. The best use of phone systems is to share important and urgent information quickly. Using it for everything and all the time dilutes the importance of urgent/priority communication.
Many businesses fall into the trap of trying out new technology the moment it launches. This is actually quite a bad idea from a business perspective. For one thing, it forces employees to constantly learn new ways to do the same process. Even your customers may feel frustrated because you keep changing the ways they can contact you. In fact, many of them may not even have the technology required to communicate in a certain way!
So, how have you benefited from using new technology if it frustrates everyone involved? On top of that, it can be expensive to keep upgrading every few years. New technology is shiny and tempting but it’s also untested. If you have a problem, who do you turn to for help? Your supplier hasn’t had the time to work out bugs and problems yet! In other words, don’t be the guinea pig for some other company.
Is your business constantly implementing new technology? Do you find yourself training and re-training employees every few years? It’s time to invest in a more long-term solution.
The flipside of the coin is that you should not be afraid to try out new things. Some businesses will not let go of current technology unless it breaks down. It means you’re missing out on all the benefits that a new process, hardware, or software can bring to your business. Sooner or later, you’ll find that you are using outdated methods of communication that no one else uses anymore.
Quite a few technologies that are relatively new – like VoIP phone systems – have proven quite successful for businesses in different industries. The new technology can make life easier for everyone – your employees, customers, and partners. If you are still using pagers when the world has moved onto social networks, you’ll soon be left behind!
Do you keep using the same phone systems because of brand loyalty? Have you bought your equipment from the same vendor for years or even decades? It is important to keep an open mind when it comes to investing in phone systems. Sticking to a particular brand can alienate your customers who are using something else.
For instance, suppose you have an app for iPhones but not for Android. How are your Android-using customer supposed to experience the services you offer? Use phone systems that can handle different operating systems, devices, and software out there.
The same applies to your internal phone systems as well. Don’t get locked into contracts with vendors who insist you have to use a specific brand. Flexibility is the name of the game here. Invest in technologies that can integrate with different channels, equipment, and apps.
Spending more money on something doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting the best value. Some businesses are surprised to find that they keep spending money, but nothing seems to change. Their employees still must use unreliable phone systems.
Do you find that your budgets keep increasing each year? Do you keep spending money on maintenance and upgrades, yet your employees and customer complain about the same issues? It’s a sure sign that you’re spending on the wrong things.
Make sure to research all your options before implementing a massive upgrade. Spend on quality hardware and software that meets your business needs, not on fancy bells and whistles that no one uses. Sometimes, the best things in business are inexpensive or even free!
Do you have a top-notch system that customers can’t find or don’t know about? Unfortunately, this is a common problem for many organizations. Remember that you have to be explicit about how customers can contact your business. Don’t bury that information in fine print or at the bottom of the page.
Your customers time is valuable, and they will move on if they cannot quickly reach someone within the company. Do you have toll free numbers for customers to reach you from anywhere? When a call comes in, can your customer be assured that they’ll reach a person or not just go to voicemail?
The biggest reason businesses don’t see this sign is that there is no evidence! How many deals have you missed because a potential customer couldn’t contact you? How many frustrated customers switched to a competitor because you couldn’t reach them in time to fix problems? You may not be able to measure frustration, but you will certainly feel the pinch when customers stop buying your products and services!
Identifying problems is just the first step in the process. The next is to research and explore your options for how to solve the problems. Hosted VoIP services, SIP trunking, cloud services, etc. are just a few options available to your business. Check out how all the features in a hosted VoIP phone system can radically change communication within your company. Do you need new numbers, lines or a completely new system? Find out and save your employees from needless frustration!
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Thousands of businesses across the world trust VoIPstudio for all of their most vital business communications. Why not be the next?
Thousands of businesses across the world trust VoIPstudio for all of their most vital business communications. Why not be the next?Start my trial! Take a 30 day free trial
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