Pine Cove Pulse

10 Ways Your Phone System Improves Your Customers’ Experience

Posted by Brandon Vancleeve

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Business competition in today’s economy is fierce. Your customers expect the highest level of customer care, and you and your staff need to be reachable, professional and customer focused at all times –  no matter where you’re located.

If that’s your business model, is your phone system serving you like you serve your customers?

Use this checklist to evaluate if your phone system gives your customers the experience they now expect from their chosen providers.  Any items you can’t check off may signal that you could be getting more out of your phone system.

Reachability and professionalism

  • Customers can access your sales staff anytime and anywhere with mobile capability that directs incoming office calls to be received on your sales staff’s mobile phones
  • Outbound calls look professional, coming from the main company number, even when your employees are using their smartphones
  • Customer focus is enhanced by connecting your CRM tools with Outlook to give you conversation history with your client
  • Employee productivity is increased by merging call records with customer records to improve sales trending projections and staffing optimization

Employee productivity

  • Employees and partners can communicate in ways that are easy and intuitive through audio and web conferencing, regardless of where they’re working
  • Employees use presence features to be reachable by establishing if they are in the office, out of office, or in a meeting by using presence features
  • Teamwork is made easy with voice and video calling, including screen sharing

Cost effectiveness

  • Ongoing administration, such as adding a new employee is easy, not labor intensive
  • Local support is available to train your staff to use features that improve customer experience
  • You have the option of outsourcing your phone system management to an experienced local company

How did you do? Depending on your responses, here are some things to think about.

  • If you scored an 8-10, you’re using your phone system to improve your customers’ experience as they work with you.
  • If you scored a 5-7, there may be some phone system features you can use to improve your company’s competitive positioning and your customers’ experience.
  • If you scored less than 5, it’s time to look at phone system capabilities you can bring to your company to help your staff be more reachable, professional and customer-focused.

You want your employees to function effectively while improving company productivity and increasing customer satisfaction. Your phone system should help you do all that – and boost your competitive advantage.

If you’d like to discuss your phone system’s capabilities and see what’s possible for your business, give us a call at 800.432.0346.  You can also learn more about our phone solutions and our company at  http://marketing.pinecc.com/blog/topic/phones

Topics: phones

A Phone System that Maximizes Your Control

Posted by Brandon Vancleeve

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You’ve realized that your current phone system is no longer working for your growing business.  So you do what any savvy business person does – you research your options. And you quickly comprehend that what you need is a phone system that will minimize disruptions to your business and integrate with your current custom applications, all at a reasonable cost.  Most importantly, you want to be able to control how you use, manage and pay for the phone system over the long term. 

It might be time to consider a telephony platform that gives you total control in three critical manners. 

Control over care

If you like the idea of being able to control how and when you complete a phone system upgrade, and determine who administers changes to your phone system, then an onsite phone system may be right for your business.  An onsite system gives you physical control of your phone system. You have the ability to determine when you want to make system changes and upgrades. It also gives you the ability to have a non-technical person manage moves, adds and changes as you need. And the flexibility of the system gives the administrator access from anywhere.  Meaning it’s a single image administration, no matter how many sites or locations you have.

Control over custody

What is your ownership preference?  If you have a certain comfort level when the assets you buy are sitting under your roof, an onsite phone system will give you complete custody of the equipment. Simply put, you own it. This type of investment can create a future benefit for your business by reducing long-term system costs while increasing the book value of your company.  With an onsite phone system, you don’t necessarily have to commit to large capital outlays. The financial decision of leasing, renting or buying is up to you. When you own the phone system, you have ultimate control over the asset. You decide how you spend money on the care and maintenance, helping you control your costs in a way that makes sense for your business.   

Control over administration

The ease of administration with an onsite phone system means it will work with the applications you already own, while minimizing business disruptions. If you’ve built your own custom applications that you want to integrate with your phone system, you can do that. Applications you have purchased, developed or customized like Microsoft Outlook, custom paging, and other business applications are easily integrated with an onsite phone system you control. This allows you to keep what you’ve already built and connect it with a phone system that offers you more control without affecting your users’ productivity or your customers’ experience.

Determining what’s right for your business

There are companies that want to move to the cloud. And there are other companies that want to maintain control of the assets they own. As you consider your phone system options, consider how an onsite phone system may allow you the type of control you require in your business so you can minimize disruptions, integrate to applications you’ve already customized and manage how you pay for the system. Perhaps it’s the best solution for your business.

Topics: phones

How to Empower Employee Collaboration with Cloud Communications

Posted by Tyler Wantulok

How to Empower Employee Collaboration with Cloud Communications

Remember the days when the only way you could empower your team to collaborate was in face-to-face meetings that required time and travel that were planned far in advance? That brings up not-so-fond memories of securing landlines, delayed flights, flip charts, windowless meeting rooms and maybe even slide projectors! 

Of course in today’s business world, this is an outdated and impractical proposition. You and your team are mobile, on demand. Your mobility requires today’s flexible business communication tools that enable quick teamwork to solve business problems. 

But how do you create collaboration when you and your staff may be located all over the state, or even the country?

Communication Tools that Drive Collaboration

It all depends on the tools you are using to gather team members together to share information, plan and innovate. 

Many businesses lack the communication equipment their teams need to work together effectively. 

In today’s business world, your employees access information from their desks, laptops, cell phones and a variety of other devices and locations.  To share that information they use email or separate web applications that require additional steps to use.  Even with web conferencing, the personal cell phones that remote employees rely on may not be connected to the company’s main phone system to join a conversation. 

Unfortunately, your current phone system may be creating limitations for you and your team.  It’s drastically more difficult for remote employees to access company systems for conferencing and voicemail with personal landlines and cell phones.  And since it doesn’t make business sense to fund frequent company meetings, you need another way to encourage employees to work together whenever and wherever they need. 

Thankfully, there’s a relatively simple way to solve that problem: Implementing a company-owned communication system that’s flexible, mobile, and collaborative. 

Enable Mobile Employees with Functional and Professional Tools

A unified communication system encourages collaboration. Team members receive company calls, access corporate voicemail, and setup virtual conferences from a basic Internet connection.

It’s one click to start a meeting or share a document.  No more separate emails, links and phone numbers.  It just happens in the flow of the conversation. 

Traditional phone systems, on the other hand, often hinder collaboration because of their limited mobile capability. This results in lost money, lost productivity and lost opportunities.  To top it off, you may be paying more in the form of multiple carriers and disparate systems.

Cloud communication systems give you a continuous connection to your partners, co-workers, customers and suppliers from almost any location your employees are working.  Your teams can collaborate as easily from the road as they can from the office. 

Forget about fragmented conference calls and impersonal emails.  In today’s business environment, it just makes sense to bring teams together using cloud technology.   

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Topics: phones

Unified Communications Changes the Nature of Work

Posted by Tyler Wantulok

Big Sky No Limits

In the 21st century, work is no longer a place you go, but a thing you do.  That’s the nature of the changing work place.  Your phone system needs to work with you – in multiple locations, with a mobile and growing staff, and a customer that demands high quality communications.  You do more.  Your phone system needs to support you, not hinder you.

As your business changes and grows, you’re likely hiring employees that will work remotely and flexibly.  You may have sales people who telecommute, consultants who are in the field or staff who work in remote offices.  You might be hiring millennials that expect to work with greater flexibility.  You are creating your workplace to meet the changing demands of your employees and your customers. 

In fact, there are some estimates that up to half of workforces will be working outside of traditional offices by 2020.  And, if you’re trying to attract millennials to your staff, flexibility is key to them wanting to work for you.

Will Your Current Phone System Support This Changing Work Environment?

Today’s organizations must find ways to empower all of their employees to work effectively and efficiently from any location at any time. Thankfully, cloud technology is making this kind of flexibility a reality — allowing employees to access virtually any file, application, network, or communication service from any place with a secure Internet connection. 

With a cloud phone system, you can hire staff wherever and whenever you need them, and ensure they will be able to connect consistently and professionally. 

Meet Your Employees Where They Are

Cloud phone systems allow team members to receive company calls, access corporate voicemail, and setup virtual conferences from a basic Internet connection.  When employees step out of the office, calls can be forwarded and certain features can be accessed from their cell phone.

Traditional phone systems, on the other hand, often hinder remote workers’ communication effectiveness because of their limited mobile capabilities.

This often results in lost money, lost productivity, and big headaches. Even worse, businesses often pay more for traditional phone systems in the form of equipment maintenance and outages.

Unified communication systems create an overall user experience that makes people feel like an effective part of the team, wherever they are.  At the end of the day, that’s good for your team, your company, and, most importantly, your customers.

If you want to unify your communications system with your business, employees and customers, then it might be time to consider making a change to the cloud. 

Where do you even start?

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Topics: phones