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- How SIP Trunking Raises Your Bottom Line February 24, 2016
- Succeeding as a VoIP Service Provider February 18, 2016
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Business Calls: What Makes Customers Tick ?
Last week, our partners over at telecom consulting firm Software Advice revealed the results of their latest survey, which looked into customers’ phone interactions with small businesses in order to determine to which factors created negative or positive feelings about a brand.The stated goal of the report was to come up with a list of guidelines that small businesses could follow to improve the quality of their interactions with both existing and potential customers.
On the whole, Software Advice analysts found that customers were more likely to report negative feelings when receiving calls, rather than when making calls to small businesses. The graphic below illustrates the most commonly reported grievances customers had with inbound business calls.
While a number of issues came up, the dreaded ‘unknown caller’ issue was by and large the top vote-getter, earning nearly a third of the share of reported complaints. This finding comes as little surprise: Businesses and consumers alike tend to be highly apprehensive of calls of unknown origin. Which begs the question: Why do companies still resort to this approach in the first place? For many, it may be a question of technical capabilities.
Addressing the Unknown Caller Dilemma
Smaller organizations do not typically utilize the same powerful IP-PBX platforms found in corporate environments, and more basic communication solutions seldom provide the features required to handle number and name display on outbound calls. When left with no other option than displaying or masking their ‘real’ business numbers, SMEs will often opt for the latter – particularly for promotional operations requiring that thousands of calls be made.
IP-PBX platforms address the issue by enabling businesses to generate and display alternative numbers specifically for this purpose. And while solutions such as these were once out of the reach of SMEs, they can now be acquired for as little as 500$. For businesses receiving VoIP service from a service provider, it’s worth noting that VoIP provider platforms like HERO also offer this capability.
The above example is just one of many that illustrate why having a robust PBX solution is increasingly critical in today’s business environment, and why even smaller businesses would be wise to inquire about the advanced capabilities their providers offer. SMEs who consider outbound calling an important aspect of their business should also look into the possibility of owning and operating their own IP-PBX platform for SMEs.
Learn all about customer calling preferences by having a look at the full Software Advice report.
Software Advice Best Practices Checklist
- Configure caller ID settings for outbound calls to reflect your business’s brand.
- Use voicemail transcription and voicemail-to-email to make sure customers’ messages don’t slip through the cracks.
- Use waterfall call routing to help inbound calls get directed to the right employees.
- Schedule your auto attendant and your call routing flows based on the time of day to deliver the most consistent experience possible to your customers.
- Use hunt groups to ensure calls are answered by the most motivated employee on your sales team.
- Set up a dial-by-name directory to make sure callers can reach specific employees.
- Utilize CTI integrations with CRM and/or accounting systems to pull up customer information as quickly as possible.
- Make sure employees set up personalized voicemail greetings.
- Use auto attendant greetings as branding opportunities.
- Use a professional voice recording service for your auto attendant to ensure a consistent tone throughout the system.
- Consider using a vanity number, but only for inbound calls.