Some businesses have real trouble operating phone business phone systems. They’ve got the wrong mix of people and operations. That’s risky, and can be costly. The fact is that businesses need specialists in these operations. Mistakes can cost customers and set up more problems with legal issues.
Phone System Basics
Some businesses don’t even recognize that their phone system is the core of their business operations. The usual problem is that management doesn’t have the training to know how to work these systems.
A good business phone system needs:
· Experienced, well-trained staff
· Good information access
· Experienced management
· Modern, efficient phone system technologies
This is, as you’ll have gathered, all about business and system performance. Never mind KPIs and statistical mumbo jumbo. What matters is performance quality. It doesn’t matter if a call takes 5 minutes or 5 hours. The whole object is getting the business value result you need.
Consider this very basic situation:
· An account worth $2.5 million calls your business with a complex question.
· Your phone operator has been told to turn any call over in 5 minutes. This operator has also been through the KPI circus about their performance stats and now takes very seriously the need to keep their call times on target.
· This customer doesn’t like getting turned off after 5 minutes and moves their account elsewhere.
An experienced operator would never allow that to happen. They’d recognize the value of the account and respond accordingly.
The phone system story is also simple enough:
· Staff must learn to value calls according to business needs- Experienced staff knows that. Good, experienced managers drill that into their staff in training. If a call is complex and/or high value, the manager or supervisor will take it themselves and let the staff get on with the bulk work.
· The phone system must reflect customer needs- Does it help if a customer is stuck on hold? No. Quite the opposite, if it’s a business call, it costs the customer money and doesn’t do much for the image of the business. A good phone system will be configured to manage calls on a customized basis, allowing customers to get through ASAP. (Note: If calling on mobile and left waiting for half an hour, the cost to the customer can make for a very expensive phone call. If it’s not a productive phone call, damage to the customer relationship is being done.)
· Best practice is to use experienced staff to help configure your system to make it as productive as possible- Some phone systems need queues, monitoring, etc. Some don’t. If you’re a bank, your queue system is probably the best option, although you can farm out some calls and reduce the impact on a centralized system. Good phone staff will recognize and report system issues and customer problems automatically.
The moral of the story is that good phone staff and good telephone systems will outperform on a regular basis. If you’re having problems, get some expertise and a good new phone system. You’ll be stunned at the improvements.
Author Bio: Tom Mallet is an Australian freelance writer and journalist. He writes extensively in Australia, Canada, Europe, and the US. He’s published more than 500 articles about various topics, including Telephone systems and Business phone systems.