Top VOIP App Features for Talking with Customers
Posted by Megan Webb-Morgan on May 30, 2013 in Phone Systems, VoIP [ 5 Comments ]
VoIP usage is projected to reach 1 billion customers by 2017. Already, research has found that although there was a 5% increase in voice usage in 2012 (to 490 billion minutes), Skype alone saw its own usage grow by 44% – or 51 billion minutes – to 167 billion total minutes used. This increase is more than twice that achieved by all international carriers in the world, combined.
The growing preference for VoIP telephony is not occurring just on the consumer level. VoIP apps are particularly well-suited to helping retailers connect with customers and provide exemplary customer service.
Enterprise Level Features
Consumer-level VoIP apps work much the same as traditional wireless and analog phones – they enable the user to make a call over the internet to another user’s device. Business VoIP apps, on the other hand, utilize a wide variety of enterprise-level features that facilitate multiple users connecting with multiple customers all from one account (or “phone line”).
- If your retail business has several locations, you can connect your stores by setting up multiple virtual extensions through one single account. For example, if you run a pet supply store, you can easily transfer a customer call to your Chicago store to the associate in your Detroit store who is an expert on exotic tropical fish.
- VoIP apps can connect to your customer relationship management (CRM) and sales software programs. When you receive an incoming call from a customer, you and your sales staff are already prepared to help them with their specific needs. To continue the previous example: you know your incoming caller has a 9-year-old chocolate Labrador. You thus transmit the call to your associate on the floor who specializes in dog care, already has a relationship with the customer, and can better anticipate their possible needs.
As with any business-level phone system, VoIP apps come standard with various features: call forwarding, transferring, and recording options, directories, virtual extensions, and virtual routing.
VoIP systems enable business owners to connect multiple devices to their account. Imagine if, instead of running to the front of the store every time the phone rings or they’re paged over the intercom, each associate could answer calls from anywhere in the store. Calls could get answered and routed to the appropriate associate much more quickly than by traditional means – reducing customer wait times. 17% of customers are most frustrated when they are subjected to long wait times for service (Zendesk).
- By uploading their VoIP app to their associates’ mobile devices, retailers help customers reach associates quickly. The app ensures that the business number will still be registered as if the calls were being made to or from the business’s main phone line.
- VoIP voice, video, and web-conferencing capabilities are increasingly important to businesses in a wide variety of industries. 30% of businesses plan to install these apps on their employees’ devices this year (Cisco).
Eservice – web, social, and chat – is projected to grow by 53% by the end of 2013 (Bluewolf). Customers use eservice and apps to contact your company because it’s more convenient (45% of respondents), they don’t want to wait on hold (25%), it’s more personal (20%), or because they prefer not to talk to a person (16%) (Nuance).
- VoIP business apps enable your associates to send and receive instant messages from your customers, providing a more varied and well-rounded customer service experience.
Virtual extensions, mobile integration, and instant messaging are all VoIP features that help businesses maintain better communication with their customers. When these apps connect with your CRM or sales software, you can provide personalized customer service for everyone who calls your store.