Say what you want, but the telephone is one of the most overlooked tools in your arsenal. It does simple things that every business relies upon, but there are ways to step up each of those run-of-the-mill processes into efficient, time- and money-saving activities. Here are four ways that your phone can be transformed from a mundane office object into a powerful business tool.
We’ll start with the obvious: call centers, or, on a smaller scale, your receptionist. Calls come in; calls go out. When there’s a long queue of customers calling, they are put on hold until an agent is freed up to take their call. Pretty simple.
With tools like a virtual call center or virtual receptionist, you can handle a large number of callers without any hassle. This technology enables you to answer calls on any phone you choose (office, home, cell, or even Skype) so that you and your agents can have calls reach you wherever you are, and you can even set up sophisticated call routing so that the call reaches the right person at the right time. Having a phone not only makes your business’s life easy, but tools like this make it awesome.
Closing a sale is never easy. Even if your agents aren’t cold-calling and the phones are actually ringing, knowing why a lead is calling, how they heard of you, and what products they are interested in helps the agent frame the conversation and steer the call to a sale but getting that information can take a lot of probing, and the longer it takes to get, the greater the risk of blowing the call.
With call tracking and whisper messages, agents can get information about the caller and the product they’re interested in before the agent even accepts the call. If the prospect was browsing the company website, your agents can hear a whisper about what page the prospect was on when they picked up the phone to call. Or, with unique call tracking numbers on your offline advertising, your agent can hear a whisper about which ad drove the call. Knowing exactly what the caller is calling about provides agents with a nice advantage. They can more easily address the prospect’s needs, and no one’s time is wasted.
You keep losing money and wasting time on clients or patients either not showing up for appointments or not being home when a delivery arrives, but you don’t want your staff to spend hours on the phone calling every single customer.
Automated appointment reminder calls are your best friend. Customers receive a call containing a message recorded by you reminding them of their appointment details. They have the option to confirm or request to reschedule and be connected to a live agent. Easy for you. Easy for them. Everyone wins.
Have an urgent message an outage, a service delay, a recall: anything that you really need to get out to your customers? You don’t have enough staff to call every single customer in your database and spend the time explaining the issue, and you’re concerned about email getting lost in spam filters. So what gives?
Instead of stressing out about how on earth you’re going to get an urgent message out to your entire customer database, you can just record a personalized message informing them of your very important update and send it out with complete scheduling control. Voicemail detection ensures that if the customer can’t come to the phone, your announcement makes it to their ears.
Don’t underestimate the phone. It’s your single greatest tool in managing all aspects of your business.
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