Planning success in 2018

December: a time for reflection and a time for planning. No we aren’t talking here about arranging the Christmas party or organising the secret Santa although undoubtedly they are looming large in the calendars of many offices up and down the land. But if we haven’t already, then it’s about time we started to plan in order to deliver success in 2018.

It’s funny how in the first few days of December the next calendar year seems so far away and yet with every succeeding day the end of the year seems to approach far more rapidly than we are prepared for. Before we know it New Year’s Eve is upon us bringing with it the demand for good resolutions and instant action. Unfortunately, all too quickly those good resolutions succumb to the day-to-day demands of business and the months tick on without changes being made.

So now, when there is little you can do to influence the final 2017 outcome, it’s a perfect time to start reviewing past successes and failures and to initiate plans to deliver enhanced productivity and profitability in the year to come. Now sometimes those plans may require fairly drastic action and it has to be said that it can be tempting to concentrate on broad sweeps rather than individual details. But sometimes it is those individual details which can act as the catalyst for a positive outcome.

For example, when was the last time you reviewed your business telephone system? If you are still relying on a manual switchboard or some form of manual interoffice transfer system then it may be time to plan for change. Virtual switchboards offer all of the functionality of manual exchanges, at a fraction of the cost and with extra functionality built in. You may be aware of the ‘press button one for sales’ functionality but were you are also aware that calls can be automatically directed depending on the originators telephone number or exchange? Not only does that mean that calls from key customers or suppliers can be automatically diverted to their nominated contacts, it also enables multi-country organisations to transfer calls seamlessly to the appropriate language speaking department.

Add in programmable call transfer options and hunt groups all of which can be reprogrammed online as required and your switchboard becomes a valuable addendum to your customer service offering. Particularly so if other functionality such as call statistics or call recording are added to the mix, providing the opportunity for training and analysis in order to further improve the customer experience. Following on, that analysis may also throw up the need to review answerphone and call transfer options or even to offer a new range of telephone numbers in order to attract customers from a particular area or country.

This is just one example, but if your 2018 broad brush plans included doing something to improve customer interactions, then reviewing your telephone system may be part of the solution. It is said that sometimes success comes in unexpected ways but the more that you plan, the greater your chance of delivering success in 2018.

Written by Alison