Modern IP telephone technology offers far more than conference calling and voice mail. These things all contribute to productivity in the workplace. Numerous software vendors offer products for chat, online collaboration, video conferencing, and so on. However, IP telephone systems can offer similar functionality in one place. Of course, the potential to save money is one of the main selling points of VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) phone service, but this technology’s potential to facilitate sales may be the single biggest reason for making the switch from POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) to IP telephone services.
1 – Streamline Business Development
Acquiring customers and keeping them happy are the two core tasks that any business must execute successfully in order to survive and grow. Tech companies offer a variety of tools that help with prospecting and lead conversion. However, an IP telephone system can also be a useful business development tool, alone or with certain optional functions added. For example, a VoIP phone may be used to:
- Leave a “canned” message in a prospect’s voice mail
- Call from within Outlook
- Collect notes and keep them or add them to Salesforce
- Check in with technical people or management easily
These features can save a good deal of time over the course of a typical month. A salesperson who must consult a manager or technical staff person can more easily do that via IP telephony, saving time. The automated voice message function can save each salesperson a few hours a month. In a business that relies heavily on outbound calling to get new customers, that savings can add up fast.
Once you have converted a prospect to a customer, it makes sense to offer fast and efficient service. VoIP systems all feature tools that can make it easier to deliver great customer service, via phone, chat, or email.
2 – Enhance Customer Service
Instant messaging, web chat, and other features make it easier for customer service people to answer questions, resolve complaints, and explain things. Never forget that people talk about their amazing, or awful, customer service experiences. An IP telephone system allows for quick and easy communication. Customer service people can easily create and share notes with other employees via either Outlook or SharePoint. Other email services and collaboration tools may also be useful, but integration options vary; check that a mission-critical tool like SharePoint or Slack can share information with whatever VoIP system you choose. This isn’t truly critical but can save money and time.
3 – Provide Performance Measurements
Performance measurement is not something that normally comes up when people talk about IP telephone service and office phones. But the subject deserves far more attention. You cannot tell how your business development or customer service people are doing unless you can analyze their performance. Several performance metrics related to sales and customer service can come from the VoIP system’s call records:
- Average time to return a customer’s call
- Missed calls
- Call duration
- Abandoned calls
- Call transfers
- Outbound call volume
- Wait time
Gathering that information by manually tracking each employee’s performance would be time-consuming at best and might be wildly impractical.
4 – Facilitate Internal Collaboration
As a cloud-based service, VoIP service is available anywhere on a variety of devices. Employees can conference call or share files via smartphones or tablets, or one can be on a desktop and two others on laptops in another state; it really does not matter. Collaboration often needs to include geographically dispersed contractors and others so the ability to call anyone at no additional cost can prove valuable over time.
Finally, any decent VoIP setup includes instant messaging and chat features, including a Presence function (the little “available” or “away” indicators you sometimes see). Employees don’t waste time and energy trying to communicate or share information. Employee 1 instantly sees that Employee 2 is online and shoots a quick IM, kicking off a short consultation on a recent discussion that Employee 1 had with a client. Dozens of things like this happening every month add up to a good deal of staff time being saved, so employees can do better things.
5 – Coordinate Remote Teams
Remote work, hybrid work arrangements, and geographically remote freelancers are all part of the modern business landscape. Most businesses use a variety of tools to make things work. Email, Google Drive, Zoom, SharePoint, Monday, and Slack, among others. A VoIP phone system with some optional components can substitute for many of those functions making it quite easy to share files, meet online, and chat.
IP Telephone Systems Can Drive Growth and Save Money
An IP telephone system saves a company money, improves customer service, makes collaboration easier, and streamlines business development. The key to realizing those benefits and saving money on telecom services lies in knowing how to choose the right system and integrate it into your business. If you would like to learn more about custom IP telephony solutions for your business, contact us to set up a free consultation.