VOIP (Voice/Video Over Internet Protocol) based business phone systems are getting extremely popular. It is not surprising considering the amount of money they can save us on our calls, and the amount of features they can handle compared to tradition phone systems. I feel sorry for anyone who was in the business of those old PBX systems. Some companies are even trying to sell their business VOIP systems with a PBX tag to help them convince their customers their business VOIP system is not a complete replacement of old and outdated PBX systems. VOIP telephone systems can do just about anything you want them to. If you application doesn’t have a feature, a developer can build it. That is all good and well, but let’s stop for a moment, and think about our incoming callers. They are our existing customers, or they are our potential customers. What can we do with our system to make it better for them?
- Think About the Audience. As with everything we do, such as marketing, online marketing, even developing our website, we need to think about our audience. In this case, we need to think about our incoming callers. How will they feel about an automated system? For example, if you call the Australian Embassy in Argentina, the automated response starts off with Argentinean Spanish. When you call the New Zealand Embassy in Argentina, the automated response starts off with English (by someone with a New Zealand accent). Now, if I was Australian, I would be a little put off by that. If I was from New Zealand, and I called the Embassy, I would like it. Considering our audience is important. Setting up our automation to match the incoming caller is extremely important.
- Systems to Match Callers. Some companies are taking their VOIP based phone systems to the next level. They are integrating their VOIP system with their CRM (Consumer Relationship Marketing) systems. This means they can often know more about their client before the client even starts to talk with them. This is another way we can use our technology to give better service. Sounds a little complicated, but the best providers will have a solution to handle this.
- Speed and Quality. VOIP did have a reputation of having poor call quality. That was a long time ago. The only reason why you have poor call quality is because you have purchased a poor system. The best systems use super-high-speed dedicated servers. These systems can have better call quality than traditional phone systems. Have you tried to make a mobile phone call from Thailand to the USA? You don’t always get a great connection. Get a great quality VOIP system, and chances are your phone call quality will be better than traditional calling. This is because internet networks are newer and a whole lot better than old telephone systems. I have been to some countries where the 3G wifi networks are faster than land-based broadband.
- Simplify. Automation is a big part of getting the most out of your VOIP system. You want to direct the right callers to the right departments or right people. Have you ever called a bank or other organization and had to wait for the 19 options before you could make a choice? Sure I am exaggerating here, but the point is, we need to keep our system user friendly. Just as we do with our websites, limit the choices, and make it easy for your clients to use.
Computers and applications can add a lot to our business. That does not mean we should stop thinking about who is most important for our business – the people involved. People are everything; technology is a tool to help.