Do you remember how business used to work 20 years ago?.
Everyone worked from the office, probably using a huge grey or beige computer with a monitor the size of a screen block. You just about had space on your desk for your phone and a coffee – your notepad had to balance at a funny angle.
All of your files were either physical or saved on your computer. If someone else needed an updated version you had to email it to them.
Most meetings were in person, but if someone was too far away they could dial in for a clunky, expensive conference call.
It seems prehistoric now, doesn’t it? Literally, last century!
Business moves on quickly. And technology moves even faster.
Everything that changes with technology helps to improve our businesses and make our lives easier (though it doesn’t always seem that way, to begin with).
It’s 2020 and we’ve replaced many meetings with video conferencing. It saves so much time traveling; it reduces our carbon footprint, and it’s far less disruptive to our day.
The cloud gives us immense flexibility in the way we work. And gives us instant access to documents, wherever we are.
Imagine trying to work remotely on a regular basis in the year 2000. It would have been next to impossible.
But today, we can be far more flexible in any business, with people working different hours, from multiple different locations. It’s easy.
Coffee shops aren’t the only ones benefiting. When you can be more flexible with your staff, you attract a better quality of candidate, bringing better skills and expertise to your company.
So let’s roll with the changes.
If computers are faster, less cumbersome, and more advanced… and the internet has changed the way we use information… what else do we need to look at?
What about your phone system? Have you ever considered that?
OK, so you can make, take and transfer calls with it. What else? If the answer is “not much”, you are missing out. On a LOT.
As with everything else, phones have moved on over the years, allowing us to do more than ever before with them. If you use them to their full capabilities, you can see great improvements in your business and in your team.
To show you what you’re missing out on, we’ve highlighted just 7 of the many ways a phone system designed for how business works in 2020 can really benefit you.
Know exactly how your phones are being used
This is called call reporting. But don’t see it as a tool for micromanaging your team. It’s so much more than looking at how long someone has spent doing their job.
Call reporting allows you to set your team targets to measure their performance. But also to ensure you’re delivering on what you’ve agreed with your clients. You can see how many outbound and inbound calls there are, what queue times are like, and how many calls are unanswered or abandoned.
If you’re working in sales, for example, it can be helpful to work out averages:
How many times you need to speak to a prospect before they become a customer
How long an average call should take
How many calls you need to make before you get through to a decision-maker
Even if you don’t work in a call-based business, call reporting can be a great way of developing better relationships with your clients. You can monitor how many times you have contact with a client each month, then make correlations between those who have more contact and those whom you consider to be your best clients. The possibilities are endless.
2. Improve your performance reviews
Most good managers will regularly meet with individuals on their team to discuss their performance. Your phone system can help you to identify areas that need improvement, or single out a job well done.
Recording calls can be used to train both existing and new members of the team. Choose calls at random and listen to them with your employees. When they have a chance to listen again to a call it’s often easier for them to see missed opportunities in that conversation. They may be able to spot a client’s additional requirements, or simply how to better phrase something they’ve discussed.
New members of the team can listen to examples of excellent calls to base their own calls on. You can use anonymized examples of the not-so-great calls too.
When you take the time to sit down and review calls with your team, you’re making time to help your staff develop their skills – and often enjoyment – for their role.
3. Recognize a great job.
Just as you would work with someone to improve their performance, your phone system can help you to identify those who need a reward for a job well done.
A great way of motivating your team is to recognize when someone has done something well and tell them. These don’t have to be grand gestures. Sometimes a thank you and a pat on the back can go just as far as a cash reward.
And we all know, a happy, motivated team ultimately means that your business is doing better.
4. Look more professional
A new phone system isn’t going to buy you a new suit, but it can help you to give the impression of a smooth, seamless professional.
For example, a phone system that integrates with your CRM can let you know who is calling before you answer the phone. It could mean their person notes open on your screen as your phone rings, giving you a quick reminder of what you last discussed.
You can use this to help create better relationships with your clients. Add to their notes that their son had a big game last weekend and you can ask them how he got on.
Likewise, calls transferred smoothly can make a real difference in how you’re perceived. Can you remember a time when you’ve been unsuccessfully passed around on a call before you’ve finally landed with the right person? Or even when you’ve had your call dropped mid-conversation? It doesn’t give a great impression.
Many new phone systems allow you to manage your calls on your computer, meaning you can transfer calls with a simple click… even if you’re not working from the office.
5. Increase productivity
Your phone system can also be integrated with Office 365. While this doesn’t mean your phone can write and send emails for you (maybe one day?!), it does allow it access to many other features that will save your team time and make their jobs easier.
Need a meeting with people from different offices or remote workers? Easy, just launch a video conference.
Dial numbers from your contacts at the click of a button.
Your calls can also be logged in a journal to save time manually logging call records.
Think of the features that a huge call center would have, to help their employees maximize their time. That’s what you can implement in your office with the right phone system.
6. Save money
How could implementing a whole new phone system save your business money, you ask?
At the moment you’re spending money on a phone system that gives you a small proportion of the functionality that you don’t even know you need yet.
You may even be paying for a traditional phone line and each individual call.
VoIP that makes cents
But new VoIP phone systems work through the internet. It means your bill is predictable each month. Even remote workers are able to make calls this way. And often calls can be easily made and transferred between traditional handsets; calls made through computers; and through your cell.
So with a saving on your calls, plus functionality that increases productivity, and improved skills in the business, you should really see a difference in your net profit.
7. Grow Freely (SCALABILITY)
With growth comes increased cost. You have the new staff to pay, training to consider, new equipment for them to use… we could go on.
But one area you don’t have to worry about is your phone system. That’s because a new system will simply grow with you. There’s no need for new lines, new licensing, new ports. It’s simple and powerful. You won’t suffer from underpowered hardware either.
The list of benefits to a new phone system is huge. It’s really worth considering for your business
Could you do with an increase in productivity in your business?
Could you and your customers benefit from the greater functionality a new phone system could bring?
Would you like to save a bit of money while improving your service? It seems like a no-brainer.
So if your phone system is three years old or more, a conversation about how bringing your phones in-line with your other technology is a good place to start.
And we’d love to help.
Contact us today to see exactly how a new phone system could benefit you and your team (985) 288-2669.