A good telecommunications system can help your business grow and keep customers once they buy. This is a truism that can be easily overlooked because so many marketing tools and services are out there. Any business needs new customers, not only to grow but to replace customers who leave for whatever reason. Thousands of marketing firms and technology companies offer help in doing just that.
Retaining customers is always cheaper than getting new customers. The same tools that help you turn leads into customers can help you keep your current customers. So, how can an IP telephone system help a business owner cultivate leads, turning them into buyers or subscribers? Read on to find out.
A Few Facts About IP Telephone Systems
The answer to that question is much easier to answer once you understand that IP telephony offers far more than a telephone with voicemail. Here are some features and capabilities that can help a small business owner attract more customers:
- Chat and instant messaging
- Call forwarding to mobile devices
- Video chat
- Conference calling
- Email and CRM (customer relationship management) integration
All those features can improve communication and help prospects decide to do business with one company instead of another. The lead cultivation value of those features may not be clear, so it bears considering each one.
Chat and Instant Messaging
The best customer service tool in this digital age might be an online tool for contacting sales reps or customer service agents. Some of those functions can be carried out by “chatbots” but most people would prefer communicating with a human employee.
Integration with Customer Relationship Management Software
This might be the best argument for turning your VoIP phones into marketing tools. Some VoIP systems, like those sold by Zultys, offer the capability to integrate phones with Salesforce. This CRM software has space for writing notes and contact details for leads. Salespeople can make calls from within Salesforce and make notes on the call. Some VoIP systems can be integrated with business email services, like Outlook or Microsoft Exchange Server.
Do not underestimate the importance of good online customer service. Therefore, having features like instant messaging (IM) and chat are so useful. Customers and potential customers alike hate to feel like no one is available or that help is hard to reach.
Analytics and Reporting
Naturally, CRM software will have a variety of reporting functions that can make your marketing efforts more effective. IP telecom software also can report statistics that can help managers or business owners make marketing decisions. Here are some examples:
- Rate of appointments
- Missed calls
- Volume of calls
- Conversion rate for sales
The convenience of Multiple Communication Options
Business development people can set up their mobile devices to take calls that otherwise would go to their desk phones, and sometimes to voice mail. How many potential customers will not leave messages? How much time does it take to get messages, follow up, and follow up again? Put that time to better use by communicating with existing clients, running a new email campaign, and so on.
Your VoIP system may also have another valuable communication feature – automated voicemail messaging. If no one answers a call, the system can automatically leave a prerecorded voice message. While those messages must be crafted with some care, they can be a huge timesaver for any business that relies heavily on outbound calling to generate new business. Imagine four salespeople leaving 400 voicemails a month. Even if this only takes six hours, those hours might be better used to make more calls, especially calls to people who asked for a customer service rep to contact them.
How to Capitalize on IP Telecom Features
Set up an IP telecom system with VoIP phones and use that technology to make it easy for prospects to become customers. The best way to do this is with a plan for using chat, IM, and mobile calling to make sure salespeople and customer service representatives are easily reached during business hours. If your business is super easy to deal with, this fact will show up in reviews. People looking for a business like yours are probably more impressed by positive reviews than by whatever marketing copy you use in paid ads and Facebook posts.
Review your marketing metrics and use them to adjust your marketing strategy. No marketing plan can remain rock solid for long; there are always things you can tweak to get better results. But you only know what to work on if you can review performance metrics.
IP Telephony Can Be a Valuable Business Development Tool
Your phone system and associated software can contribute to turning more leads into customers in a few ways. VoIP phones and associated tools offer many ways to improve your interactions with potential customers, earn good customer reviews, and save time on routine prospecting activities. If you want to take advantage of the business development tools that IP telecom systems offer, contact DirecTech to learn how our products and services can help you reach your goals.