A robust business phone system is a necessity for many companies, especially medical and legal practices. Your success and reputation as a company hinges on good customer service. Now more than ever, that means having a convenient and reliable way for customers to contact you remotely.
Old business phone systems and poorly structured phone trees can severely affect your business efficiency and customer relationships. We have been helping businesses upgrade and streamline their phone systems for decades. Over the years, we’ve compiled some essential tips and tricks for picking and optimizing a business phone system.
When you’re picking a phone system for your business, there are a few features that are absolute must-haves. Call Forwarding and Remote Call settings can help prevent missed calls by ensuring that calls are only sent to available employees. Similarly, a Status Change button allows you to easily switch between connected desktop and mobile phones. This prevents missed calls as well by sending calls to the correct device based on the user’s availability.
Of course, anyone who is on the phone for long periods of time will want Bluetooth for a wireless headset. The ability to remain hands-free on a call or to simply get up and stretch without disconnecting makes it much easier to stay in a call queue for a long period of time. The more comfortable you are on a call, the more efficient you’ll be and the better your quality of customer service.
But even the best phone system is only as good as the call flow behind it. Most of the issues your customers face when trying to call your business are the result of bad phone trees and call menus, not bad business phone systems. Here are a few of our favorite methods for streamlining your business’ call flow.
Find the right phone system for your business.
If a customer abandons their call, they are most likely frustrated, and have already had a bad impression of your business. Some of the reasons why we see abandoned calls are long ring times, call menu options that all go to a single extension, calls bouncing from one extension to another, and not having a backup call queue for high call volume. Customers almost always hang up after a minute of unanswered ringing.
Thankfully, the solutions here are pretty straightforward. You want to configure your call menu to go to the appropriate extensions and set up a backup call queue for high volume. It is best to limit ring times to 30 seconds or less, and it’s important that all of your employees who are expected to answer calls are trained to answer in 5 rings or less.
You want to minimize how long your customers and your employees have to stay on the line. The best way to do this is to set up your phone tree in a way that quickly gets every caller to the person they are trying to reach. We generally recommend setting up extension dialing and including an early option in your call flow that takes callers to an “office address and directions” recording.
Another way to make your call flow more efficient is to establish separate call menus for business hours and after-hours. Recorded greetings are a must, since most people will keep calling if no one is answering and there is no recorded message stating why. Having separate greetings and menus depending on the time of day primes a caller for when they can expect to reach a living person and when they’ll need to leave a message.
Of course, the best call flow model will vary widely depending on your business structure and industry. Some companies have large call centers and customer service departments, others have a single receptionist. For customized phone system and call flow recommendations, consult your Digital Agent.
Digital Agent combines the latest technical innovations with old-fashioned service values. Modeled like a family-run business with a commitment to customer care, personalized service and attention to detail.