Focused business telephony

Is your business getting the best value from its telephony package? Does it actively look to make the most out of the options available? Or, is a phone system just something which is there, a bit like the photocopier or the office furniture?

It’s a question which came to mind when reading an article in Wales Online [1], written by someone who had given up their mobile phone for a week whilst on holiday. A self-confessed phone addict, they realised that “the phone in my pocket was no longer a tool of convenience and connectivity but instead a gaping black hole sucking in my energy, happiness and time.”

And that’s the thing. Used properly, phones can be a positive force. And yet, being honest, how many of us would admit that whilst we are happy to post and share via social media apps or to scroll through various news and other channels, we’ve lost the habit of actually picking up the phone and talking.

Now we’re not saying that e-mail or texting don’t have their place in the communication mix. For example, SMS texting can be a good solution when reminding people of appointments or when used as an update mechanism as part of a business continuity solution. But there are also plenty of instances where simply picking up the phone can enable businesses and their suppliers or customers to come to a speedy understanding and resolution. Times when a long and increasingly complex e-mail exchange could so easily be avoided just by having a quick phone call.

In order to deliver those phone resolutions two things need to happen. Firstly, your people need to have some training in the art of telephone conversation. They need to feel happy and comfortable when on the phone, with good listening and speaking skills.

Secondly, your telephone system needs to be set up to make it easy for suppliers and customers to quickly connect with someone who can help them. That means paying attention to areas such as hunt groups and call forwarding as well as ensuring that contact numbers are easily available. There’s nothing more energy-sapping than spending all your time being passed from person to person, having to repeat your story over and over again as a succession of people fail to take responsibility for your problem. So in tandem with good call management systems, your people again need to be trained to take responsibility for ensuring that callers quickly reach someone who can help.

And finally, consider installing a telephone information line for any customers who don’t want to speak to someone but just want to know key information such as opening times or prices.

Used properly your phone system could be that tool for convenience and connectivity that could generate a positive customer and supplier relationship and benefit the business. Ignored, it could just be a drain on time, expense and energy; delivering unhappy relationships and a poor reputation. Is it time to put down the phone? Well we would say not but we would say that it is time to start to use it in the right way, focusing on potential outcomes in order to positively benefit your business.


Written by Alison