Have you ever run into this scenario? You are out of the office working with a customer, or perhaps at a trade show or event, and you really need to deal with an emergency with an upset client. You pull out your phone and give the client a call and make things right. All goes back to normal for a while. A few weeks later the client wants to discuss something else and calls your cell phone directly instead of using the proper channels. You politely try to direct them to use your business line, but as the months go by, they start racking up more and more calls to your cell phone, taking your valuable time when any one of your employees could have helped them.
Imagine a handful of customers falling into this habit. Imagine your employees getting caught up in this too, having to take customer service calls from their personal cell phone. It’s not always a bad thing, but a customer could abuse the system.
Let’s talk about how we prevent this.
Encourage the Go-Getters, but Enforce Policy
Depending on how crucial customer service is for your team, it’s pretty likely you want to be able to control and record conversations your employees have with customers. You might want to prevent customers from setting their own priority for you.
We have to do this for our business. I wouldn’t want a senior technician to have to stop in the middle of a delicate server migration because a receptionist can’t listen to her Pandora radio at the office.
When a tech is willing to take a customer’s issue personally, as a business owner, I LOVE seeing that. Even so, I want things to go through the proper channels. I encourage my techs to treat problems (both big and small) personally, and love knowing that my clients truly entrust their IT to my people.
That said, I tell them not to share personal cell phone numbers and avoid calling customers on personal devices. I want to have accountability and want everything to go through my phone system where I can pull up logs and recordings if I need to later. I also don’t want a client calling a tech at night or when they are on vacation, when instead I want them using our emergency support line.
Give Yourself a Better Way to Communicate
Fortunately, there is a win-win situation that gives me the control I want and it gives my employees the ability to provide amazing technical support and customer service. Our VoIP phone system allows us to make and receive calls from our cell phones as if we were sitting at our desks in the office.
If a tech’s extension rings, it rings on their smartphone. They can pick up and answer the phone, transfer it to other departments, conference others in, and do everything they can do with their desktop handset. It handles the call recording too, which I definitely like.
They can pull up the app on their phone much like they would make any call, dial a number, and call from their work number. This gives them the ability to keep their personal phone number private but still handle things while on the go, or at home.
The Perfect Solution for Remote Workers
If you have multiple offices or want to allow staff to work from home or while on the road, the hosted VoIP solution works great as long as there is good reception/Internet access. This means I can take more techs to trade shows to let them take courses to learn new ways to improve the IT of our clients, but not risk leaving our clients to an overtaxed support team that stayed at the office.
The system doesn’t require hardware for each user either – they simply use their iPhone or Android device. We can even run it from laptops, tablets, and desktops.
I really love showing off my ability to make and receive work calls without exposing my personal cell phone number, but that only scratches the surface of what hosted VoIP can offer. Hosted VoIP means I don’t need to purchase a phone system and keep it running in my office. It means I can easily add new lines and users as I want, and control things like on call schedules, department queues, and set up conference calls. In other words, if you are still using an older, traditional phone system, a hosted VoIP system will solve essentially every limitation or frustration you bump into.
Want to see how it works? I’d be happy to show you. Give us a call at (317) 759-3972 and we can walk you through how hosted VoIP can empower your staff.