Playing the business telephony game

Sport is a great leveller, so the saying goes. No matter the level of funding, no matter how highly skilled the players, there is always a chance that the underdog can pull off an unexpected victory over a more seasoned or experienced rival.

So when Lincoln City beat a premiership team to become the first nonleague club to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup in 105 years, it’s hardly surprising that it gave rise to considerable interest in the press. Without commenting on the specifics of that game, whenever a sporting encounter goes against the run of form sooner or later the question of luck comes into play. But whilst luck may occasionally play its part, you don’t overcome more fancied opposition unless you put in some hard work in building an understanding of your opponent and devising ways of overcoming their strengths.

Even so, overturning the form book is still rare enough to cause considerable excitement in sporting circles. Perhaps this is one area where sport doesn’t reflect life; with the rise in technology levelling the business playing field to a far greater extent. In a world in which businesses can easily communicate across the globe, small organisations are increasingly finding themselves competing with larger and longer established organisations.

Take telephony for example. In the past businesses were constrained by the number of telephone lines which they could afford to install within their offices. Multiple lines generally meant deploying a manually operated switchboard, all of which added to the cost base.

Nowadays having multiple telephone numbers doesn’t necessarily mean having to have multiple telephone lines connecting into the business. And once calls reach an office they can be automatically redirected by a programmable virtual switchboard, using press button, voice activated or caller recognition techniques to direct calls seamlessly to the right area. With the cost of automated switchboards representing a considerable saving on manual exchanges, smaller organisations can now match larger businesses in terms of call handling functionality.

All this before we look at the available choice of business telephone numbers. Businesses no longer have to have a physical presence in an area in order to offer a telephone number from that area. With a range of regional, national and international numbers available both on a pay or freephone basis, companies can now use their choice of phone number, or numbers, as an integral part of their marketing mix. Here again, with the same range of telephone numbers being available to them, smaller organisations can compete on a more equal footing with larger businesses.

What if there is no one around to take the call? Well then there are other deployable options including information lines, answer phones or call divert to external virtual assistant services. The key to success here is to work out a range of business telephony options which best match your customer profile. All it takes is a little bit of planning and preparation in order to ensure that you are using a range of telephone numbers and telephony systems which will encourage customers or suppliers to pick up the phone and get in touch. In other words, by deploying the advantages brought about through technological advances; in telephony terms small businesses are now very much in the game.

Written by Alison

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