There are many ways you can automate your business phone system. For example, you can use software like voice mail drops to deliver ringless messages directly to your prospect's inbox. It increases the chances of a reply, and you can also use the same message to reach a wider customer base. Many other features of automating your system will be seen later in the article.
If you want to automate your business phone system, this article is for you. Here are the steps to take.
Before diving in, you'll need to determine what type of business phone system you need. Choose the phone system based on your needs. It will enable it to serve its purpose optimally and within your company's daily operations. There are three main types of phone systems:
Key System Unit is the most basic business phone system, which also means it lacks some advanced features that the other two could have. KSU operates through a central switching unit which determines the line each call will be routed. Therefore, this phone system isn't flexible. It also can't be used for an enterprise with many employees. This business phone system suits small businesses and those on a tight budget.
Private Branch Exchange is an advancement of the earliest phone systems, which first appeared in the 1980s. Technological advancement has allowed the system to offer cloud hosting solutions. As such, with PBX, you don't need wires around the office space. It also has a centralized system that allows for multiple calls. This phone system will serve you well if you're a small or medium size business.
VoIP is the most modern business phone system. It uses cloud technology and operates faster, reducing call waiting times. Data for the calls done using this system is also encrypted, which helps to enhance security. V0IP has advanced features like voice mail and call forwarding, Do not Disturb (DND), and an auto attendant.
These are just some basic features that come in the VOIP package depending on your provider. There are more features, but they may come at an extra price, like the ringless voicemail and text marketing software. You can use this software for outbound calls to reach your prospect without interrupting their day. You must record a message, include all you have to say, and use platforms like Drop Cowboy to drop it to your prospect's inbox. Here's more on how to use this platform:
When you are done choosing the business phone system, you must consider the features you'd like for your system.
Once you've decided on your needs, you can estimate costs and budget appropriately. It means considering all identified needs and additional costs associated with your new system. The total installation cost will depend on the number of lines you need and any additional features.
When budgeting, consider the future growth of your company. You want a business phone system with scalable features so you don't have to buy new equipment every few years. For example, a dialer like a real estate dialer is suitable for small businesses operating at home and enterprises with call center agents.
Therefore, if you're a small business looking to grow and have a physical call center, such a feature would be very resourceful since it comes with a full-set desktop experience. You won't have to buy new hardware when the time comes to have a physical office.
It's important to understand that more expensive options can often come with better support. However, remember that price isn't always indicative of quality.
The next step is to choose the right automated business phone system provider for your needs. There are many different providers available, so you must take time to research each one. It will get you the best value for money and the features most suitable for your specific requirements.
Some points worth considering when researching potential providers include scalability, integration capabilities, support policies, and response times. Ultimately this should ensure any investment made into automating your phone system pays off quickly. You also won't sacrifice too much functionality or shell out extra cash unnecessarily.
Once you have identified the best provider, sign a contract and hire them.
With the help of the provider, buy the needed phone system hardware. When purchasing the hardware, consider the type and size of your company, its telephone needs, and budget parameters.
You'll need phones and answering machines if you want traditional landlines like KSU. However, if you opt for VoIP, these components may already be included within providers' packages. Either way, acquiring the necessary hardware before installation should always happen before any setup begins.
You'll then install them into the designated positions following a drawn-out plan. You can ask for help from telecom professionals or do it yourself. Again, this will largely depend upon your preferences and budget constraints.
Cabling systems are fundamental to setting up an automated business telephone service. Ensure the wires run between each device connecting them.
Insulate the copper wires, ensuring no exposed parts remain visible outside the casing walls. If left uninsulated, they could cause hazardous electric shock risks when someone touches them. Even after installation, always double-check to see if everything's securely fastened away.
Once your hardware components are ready, begin configuring them according to how you want your phone system to operate. Here are some steps you can follow:
This software program handles automated voice prompts and menus when customers call an organization. You can use it as part of a VoIP solution to manage customer interactions without requiring manual intervention. The entire interaction happens much quicker and easier, thus increasing efficiency in overall operations significantly.
Use call routing software to quickly route calls through multiple destinations to reach their intended recipients. You can also use the software to improve emergency response times by allowing direct department connections.
You'll also need to set up your system rules and greetings. It will involve creating personalized welcome messages for incoming calls. When connected, you'll also operate based on specific rules. These ensure that every caller receives consistent messaging throughout each stage of communication.
An interactive voice response (IVR) system is the most effective way to ensure consistent messaging. This system allows customers to select options from a menu-type list. They're then directed toward the correct department or person without human contact in between.
Depending on the solutions, you may also require additional programming before deployment. After configuring your basic automation settings, you can customize additional features such as auto attendant functions. In case paper documents are still needed, you could use other features like integration of conferencing tools and online faxing capabilities.
Employees must first understand how the system works to maximize the benefits of automating the business phone systems.
Consider hiring an expert to organize and execute a training workshop on using the new business phone system. You also must carry out regular training sessions when there are new updates on the system. It helps to keep your team members on top of their skills to deliver exceptional customer service.
Training helps the employees use the automated phone system effectively to meet business needs. It also helps them gain skills that they can use to handle issues like minor system problems that could otherwise cause downtime.
Testing the automation system you've set up is another essential step. The best way of doing this is by running through a few test calls with employees beforehand. The team learns what to expect when dealing with customer inquiries and how to identify potential hiccups. This step ensures all features work correctly before officially launching your automated business phone system.
Test each connected device to ensure calls can be placed successfully without any issues. Also, ensure that automated voicemail recordings are played back correctly when employees are unavailable. Check that customers are routed to relevant departments depending on their query type. It creates a more efficient experience overall by promoting better customer satisfaction levels.
Further, opt for third-party testing tools that simulate actual call scenarios. You can gain valuable data that enables developers to tweak settings until the desired result is achieved.
It's now time to launch the automated phone system. Make sure to advertise any features of your new telephone automation system that can set you apart from your competitors. Use the automated business phone system to meet your business needs and promote growth.
For the final step, you'll need to monitor all aspects of automated telephone systems regularly to ensure no issues. By tracking metrics such as wait times, call abandonment rates, and customer feedback, you can identify areas for improvement.
These adjustments also have to be made periodically. If specific issues are reported regularly, revise the processes for smoother running. It improves the overall experience and allows users to take advantage of even more services you provide.
When implementing automated phone systems, ensure they comply with all applicable regulations and standards. It includes any specific requirements from the local government or industry-specific compliance policies.
A self-service option allows customers to access a range of information anytime. It provides them with much-needed convenience. It also reduces agent or operator hiring costs as some customer issues can be self-resolved.
You can use self-service features like Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) pages on websites or apps. FAQs consist of questions with answers, especially commonly asked questions or basic information. You can also use chatbots that automatically respond to questions or concerns without human input.
If your business uses' phone menus, you want to keep them short, preferably up to 3 prompts. It can be annoying to review several phone menu options before finding your answer.
Also, if the clients click on the wrong option, it takes less time to correct the error than if the menu is long. Short menus also help to enhance customer experience.
While self-service is good, sometimes the customer's issue can't be resolved through the FAQ section or a chatbot. It can be frustrating if they have to go through any of the above options before they can speak to an agent.
Avoid such scenarios by offering a direct lie to reach an agent. When customers can access the needed service fast, they have a better experience and are more satisfied with the services.
Security measures must be taken when implementing an automated phone system. Ensure that user access is restricted and secure by setting up authentication protocols. You can use tools like two-factor authentication and limiting user privileges based on roles or job functions. It will prevent unauthorized users from accessing the system and guarantee your data is protected.
After your setup is complete and operational, regular maintenance keeps things running smoothly. It could include monitoring usage statistics to identify potential bottlenecks before they occur. You also have to check hardware components like speakers and microphones for any signs of damage. Minor issues like these could negatively impact customer experience.
It's also essential to keep up with software and firmware updates. It will patch all security vulnerabilities, and system performance will be improved.
Setting up a business phone system with automation can seem complicated. Don't worry because the above steps make the transition much smoother and faster. They'll guide you on the components necessary for installation and how they should connect. Ultimately, this is a pivotal investment to keep your business afloat in today's competitive marketplace. You'll benefit greatly when your unique needs are met, leading to successful operations in the future!