Finding the Phone System Your Customers Want
Posted by Megan Webb-Morgan on February 28, 2013 in Business Start Up Advice [ 0 Comments ]
Shopping for a phone system seems pretty straight forward, right? You are looking for one thing: a system that fulfills all of your needs at a price that fits within your budget. Yet, there is something much more important for you to take into account: the needs of your customers.
Your phone system is often the first interaction a potential customer has with your business. While hiring the best of the best to answer phones is integral in this, your phone system plays a significant part as well.
Related: Determining Your Phone System Needs
And so, if that first interaction does not prove a positive experience for incoming callers, you could and suffer a drastic drop in customer service quality and lose out on potential customers.
Necessary Phone System Features
While you may consider them to be extraneous options, there are several business phone features that are integral from the point of view of your customers. Whether you run a small business or a large call center, you need to have these features as part of your phone system.
- Voicemail. Not simply having one, but doing it right. Your long-term customers don’t want to leave a message in a generic, company-wide mailbox. Give them the option to leave a detailed message for the specific person they want to get in contact with.
- Call parking, call transfer, and call forwarding. Even the smallest business needs to have one or more of these features available so that customers can be easily transferred between lines or forwarded to a mobile phone.
Ask yourself: How well does your phone tree operate? Is your menu easy to navigate? Are your incoming callers being routed correctly? The last thing your customers want is to wait on hold for ten or twenty minutes only to discover that they chose the incorrect option and have been sent back to the beginning.
- Your menu and phone tree should be easy to understand and easy to navigate.. Test your phone system every day by calling from an outside line. Make sure the menu is correct, that calls route correctly, and that all recorded information is up-to-date .
- May business phone systems now come with software that enable you to track call analytics. Establish a baseline for each metric you track and investigate any discrepancies that show up.
User-Friendly Auto Attendant
IVR technology is used to route callers to the right line, representative, or mailbox and can cut both costs and customer wait times. However, poorly implemented IVR systems are the bane of customers everywhere, so be sure to implement it in the way that is least painful to your callers.
- Some customers would rather wait longer to speak to a representative than use the IVR system. That’s okay. Make the first option in your IVR menu the one that will direct them to an operator, and be sure to repeat this information throughout the process so that customers can exit the menu easily.
- When customers have been placed in line for an agent, utilize a visible queue so that they know approximately how long their wait will be. Some callers will choose to immediately hang up if the wait is too long, while others will choose to stay on the line. The visible queue lets them make an informed choice as to how to handle the wait, a choice customers value highly.
When implementing a business phone system, look at it through your customers’ eyes. When they call your business, they want to be routed to the right person. They want an easy to navigate menu or IVR system, and they want the choice to speak to an operator, wait in the queue, or call back later.
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