A phone system can be far more than a simple communication tool. In the old days, people made and received phone calls. Some phones could forward messages while others had several lines and conference call capability. Cloud-based software has made it possible to replace normal phone functions while adding features that enhance worker productivity in several ways. This post describes seven ways that a good VoIP phone system can improve productivity.
1. Faster Internal Communication
Sometimes it can be hard to reach a coworker when you need some advice or information. Finding them and communicating sometimes takes longer than necessary. VoIP telephone tools help you know if the person you want to communicate with is available, allowing internal communication to be more streamlined. While the savings in time might not seem significant, a few minutes here and there, if you have a dozen employees, the time adds up. Communicating with clients or potential clients is a similar case.
2. Faster Client Communication
Depending on the system and options, your IP telephone system will probably allow you to write notes in a file connected with each customer, send a fax via email, convert voicemails to email messages, copy notes directly into Salesforce, and more. Salespeople can leave prerecorded voicemail messages when a lead or client does not answer. You could set up several messages, to suit different scenarios. In an environment where phone calls take up much of a salesperson’s day, that function alone could save hours of staff time each week. Those hours can be better used to reach new prospects or touch base with existing customers.
3. Easier Remote Work
Communicating with geographically dispersed employees and freelancers is easier when you have several options, plus the ability to know when a certain employee is available. When a matter cannot be settled with an email message, having multiple voice and video communication options, including file sharing, makes conversations more productive and streamlines the workday. If you do not have to mentally switch gears to follow up or check on someone repeatedly, you save time. In short, VoIP phone technology cuts down on the time spent chasing down employees, contractors, and clients.
4. Integrations to Streamline Business Development
Businesses that use Microsoft Exchange Server to handle email can also acquire a service that allows their mail server to deliver faxes and voice mails direct to a Microsoft Outlook account. Zultys MX Virtual, offers this capability to Outlook users. Other systems may integrate with other email programs in a comparable way. In any case, this technology makes it easier to communicate while also staying on top of voice messages. And, once a voicemail mail message or a fax is no longer needed, it may be automatically removed from the Exchange server by deleting the associated email.
5. Faster Customer Service
Any good IP telephone system offers several ways for customers and potential customers to communicate with employees and vice versa. A chat feature will let people know when a specific person is available. You might also set up a generic customer service or help function where one of several customer service employees monitor incoming messages and respond right away.
Call forwarding is available on any IP phone system, but it works differently from a landline phone. Instead of sending calls to a second phone number, a VoIP line can route a message to wherever the employee is, to any device with a compatible operating system. This means remote workers and people out in the field at meetings or on service calls are still easily reached. A company can save hours a week on customer support calls when the relevant people and information are easy to find.
6. Notetaking and Calling Directly in Outlook
Salespeople need to take notes on interactions with potential customers. Customer service people need to take notes on interactions with current customers. Writing down and sharing this information can be needlessly time-consuming and prone to errors. Many notetaking systems are not set up for efficient information-sharing, which can slow down communication with management and fellow sales or customer service staff.
In sales, as you try to move someone along the pathway from being interested in your services to being a repeat customer, and even an evangelist for the company, you will have notes to share with employees working further down the sales funnel. A Zultys feature allows users to take notes on a call instead of writing them down and then entering them in another application later. Another optional feature integrates customer contacts and notes into Salesforce, one of the world’s most popular customer relationship management tools.
7. Fax to/from Email
Sometimes sharing a document using email or Google Drive will not work, but you still need to share the documents quickly. This is the main reason people still talk about fax machines. IP telephone systems offer a way to send and receive faxes using email. This capability can save at least a few minutes at each end of the transaction, streamlining certain exchanges or business processes.
IP Telephone Systems Boost Productivity Several Ways
What could your sales or customer service team do with an extra hour a week per person? An IP telephone system saves employees and customers time in several ways. And, while the time saved may be small, it can add up to a substantial gain in sales and customer service productivity over time. If you would like to learn more about using IP telephone technology in your business to boost your team’s productivity, contact us to schedule a free consultation.