New Phone System Saves Costs

Epping Forest District Council has warned callers* that they may face some disruption for a short period only over the weekend of the 7th & 8th September.  The disruption is due to the installation of a new phone system which will cover not only the current main Council switchboard but also some of the outlying services such as the Epping Sports Centre.

Once installed the council say that the new system will “increase efficiency and productivity” and is estimated to save the council at least £34,000 per year.   The full installation is estimated to take the rest of the financial year and replaces the existing twenty year old phone system.

Without knowing the full details of the new system it is not surprising that the council is anticipating substantial cost savings by installing a new telephone system.  The advent of internet telephony (VoIP) and virtual switchboards means that organisations can now take advantage of internet technologies to build sophisticated systems for a fraction of the cost of an old PABX system. 

Virtual switchboards are capable of handling tens of thousands of calls per hour and because they are easily scalable they can grow alongside your organisation without the need for expensive additional equipment.  Add in programmable call answering and call handling pathways and fully customisable message prompts and your switchboard can become a valuable tool in providing an outstanding call experience for clients.

But as well as smoothing call answering a virtual company switchboard can also be a valuable marketing tool.  Fully customisable reporting means that organisations can monitor and track call data, providing a good insight into the way in which inbound and outbound call volumes change in response to marketing or other initiatives.  Calls can also be recorded and stored for training or regulatory purposes adding another level to your customer service mix.  And with the ability to change call pathways online, if a particular initiative is swamping part of the organisation, calls can easily be diverted to other hunt groups or to an outside virtual assistant.

Those who worry that a company switchboard might remove the personal element from the customer relationship may want to consider adding caller recognition to their switchboard package.  This can not only recognise the caller but switch individual calls to a nominated recipient and with pre-announcement you can greet your customer as you answer the phone. 

Faster and smoother call handling which retains the personal touch and saves costs; just a few reasons why organisations with older switchboards are looking at new phone solutions.

*http://www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk/news/2013/09/new-telephone-system-saves-council-money/

Written by Alison