How Cloud-Based Phones Can Help Gain and Retain Customers

 

In today’s instant-gratification obsessed world, it’s crucial that you make it as easy as possibly for customers to do business with you. While a lot of this happens online, many would-be clients prefer to just pick up the phone and call you (79 percent to be exact). So it’s time you ask yourself a few important questions:

  • Do you know whether your phone system is making it easy for customers to do business with you?
  • Are they never getting a busy signal, experiencing multiple transfers, or leaving several messages before getting a response?

If your answer is no, it’s time to take you take  step back and consider what you risk by not knowing: missed opportunities, poor word-of-mouth, and low customer loyalty. In this post, I will describe how companies can use a cloud-based phone system to gain and retain more customers.

Keep Your Phone Line Running 24/7 

“For us, it’s not just about looking big—it’s also about looking professional, because very sophisticated business people and investors are calling into our phone system. We can’t afford to look small and unsophisticated,” APA Financials owner Stefan Horbonis told us about his decision to go for an Internet-based phone system.

Cloud-based phone systems come with features like an auto attendant and intelligent call routing. This ensures that callers are automatically greeted with a recorded message and directed to the appropriate contact, regardless of whether your office is open. Many of these systems allow an unlimited number of extensions, or customers can skip the menu and go straight to the right person if they know the extension.

Even if you run a very small business, your auto-attendant (also known as a virtual receptionist)can offer the caller different “departments,” such as billing or client services. This also works in situations where you work in the field. You can transfer calls to a cell phone, which can be received regardless of their location. These features prevent callers from sitting on hold or listening to a busy signal, which increases the likelihood of them hanging up never to be heard from again.

Adjust Forwarding / Routing and other Features as Needed

With land-based phone systems, it can be difficult to make adjustments quickly if you aren’t actually in the office. But with services provided online, you can easily add a line, or change routing to forward calls to your mobile phone, even if you’re out of the office. These features helps businesses maintain an efficient, professional appearance despite periods of rapid growth or change.

Think, for example, if you add seasonal staff, or an entire department leaves for a conference. You can quickly and immediately adjust call routing or forwarding, create new lines and add new users. Even if you are on a cell phone, you can still access features such as conference calls.

Voicemail to Email Conversion Prevents Communication Gaps

Imagine you’ve left the country for a business trip or vacation. If you’re a one-man company, you’re cell phone might be the only device calls are routed to. But what if the network at your destination isn’t reliable?

Many cloud-based phone systems are programmed to transfer voicemails to your inbox. As soon as someone leaves a voicemail, you receive a message with the recording. Given the inevitable lapses in communication that often accompany travel due to time zone differences and unreliable cell phone service, voicemail to email conversion helps ensure that important messages are promptly received and answered.

This is also helpful in cases where your cell phone was lost, or you want to refer back to a message you already deleted from your phone. It’s like a paper trail for your voicemail.

These are just a few benefits of cloud-based phone systems. Think your ready to make the move?

Ashley Verrill is an analyst for Software Advice, where she writes buyers guides about Business Telephony, Hotel Management and CRM software. She has spent the last six years reporting and writing business news and strategy features. Her work has been featured or cited in Inc., Forbes, Business Insider, GigaOM, CIO.com, Yahoo News, the Upstart Business Journal, the Austin Business Journal and the North Bay Business Journal, among others. She also produces original research-based reports and video content with industry experts and thought leaders.

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