What is an IVR or interactive voice response system? Does it really have the potential to handle your callers efficiently, transform your business modus operandi and drive your missions and visions? How better it stays when it comes to offering self-support to prospects or customers? Fonebell would like to answer a few of such queries in this issue.
If you belong to the Generation X or an earlier phase, you might have witnessed that in certain countries like India, the induction of computers and robots created a flutter and debate in the political and working class arena. People were skeptic that they could lead to job cuts or so-called artificial unemployment as these machines were capable of immense processing power to handle multiple tasks and with great accuracy and diligence, and most importantly without getting tired. Fortunately, things changed with time, and today we consider them not as our competitor but as our companion. IVR or interactive voice response system is nothing but it’s an innovative form of artificial intelligence that can read the message encoded in the analog human voice and respond accordingly based on the pre-configured answers or available data base. It can welcome callers, provide instant resolution, capture leads or complaints, or divert the calls to certain departments or persons based on its internal settings for the right resolution.
These diversified usage of IVR systems has made them a must-have for today’s workplaces. It won’t be wrong to say that they have cemented their positions and are getting better and better with every passing day, and not to mention that the emerging cloud technology has added icing on the cake. With a cloud-hosted IVR system no longer you need to pay the big bucks for conventional, clumsy and odd-looking PBX systems. Managing features and functionalities have become so easier that you don’t need to recruit any operator for that. And what is more interesting is that you don’t have to make any upfront investment for it. Now, with a fraction of the cost, enjoy not just the basic features like call forwarding, call screening, scheduler, etc. but also the advanced ones like full-featured automatic call distribution, call reporting, call recording, multiple queues, real-time queue stats and more.
If you are an entrepreneur, and looking for interactive voice systems, you have lots of alternatives not in terms of brands, but also in terms of features and their pricing components. Compare them well and zero in on the right product or service that is most affordable and efficient and can comply successfully with the essential regulations besides being scalable to withstand the growing business demands.
With consumers getting more inclined towards mobile computing and communication devices like smartphones and tablets, enterprises need to shift their delivery mechanism from pro-desktop to pro-mobile. Perhaps, a few have jumped into the bandwagon of enterprise mobility services solution and experienced the transformational benefits. With Fonebell, our endeavor is to help companies by offering them enterprise mobility services for business intelligence and business analytics.
Fonebell develops cloud-based enterprise mobility solution to let not just the workforce collaborates and communicates in an uninterrupted way but also consumers receive services the way they like. One-size can’t fit all, hence, we work with you to create a blueprint of your enterprise mobility goals. From UI design and testing, to data integration and security, we help you at every stage to come with custom mobile applications to match your business needs. We amalgamate the latest in mobile technologies, engagement models, and system integration to create innovative products that can capture the pulse of every interaction, help enterprises deliver services in a timely manner and understand the business values that they would need to incorporate in order to sustain the changing marketplace scenario. We develop enterprise mobility services for all industries including banking and, financial services, telecom service providers and services, insurance, healthcare, retail and B2B entities. And later we deploy the mobile technology to work with their enterprise frameworks.
Enterprise mobility services solution offered by Fonebell helps entrepreneurs to successfully adopt BYOD (bring your own device) programs, and this is helping them to drive productivity with induced employee-satisfaction. Consequently people can work with a range of office productivity applications, email clients, and audio and video conferencing features across Windows, Android and Apple smartphone and tablet devices. Interestingly, enterprises can have full control on the employee-owned devices by measures like password, data encryption, VPN (Virtual private network), Tiered access privileges, mobile device management and biometrics.
Fonebell enterprise mobility services solution is successful in combating security threats caused by emerging viruses and malware, data or device loss, incompatibility issues with key applications or services. Enterprises can take due advantage of its device monitoring feature to ensure that employees make purposeful use of resources only without indulging in any kind of personal of leisure activity while they work. Hence, security and administration concerns will no more worry the business or IT heads.
Are you searching for the answers to the questions: what is cloud telephony? Or how does it benefit a business? Do I really need it? Or what is the future of cloud telephony services in India? Or similar ones? If you said YES, then your search should end here.
Putting it simple, we can say that cloud telephony is a replacement of clumsy hardware i.e. PBX (Private Branch Exchanges) with Internet Protocol-based PBX to rope into new features and capabilities and enhance the potential of business communication, but, surprisingly without increasing TCO budget. In the India’s backdrop, availability of hi-speed broadband connection, increasing dispersion of a business across multiple locations, rising adoption of hi-tech mobile and non-mobile computing and communication systems, increasing marketplace competition and soaring customers’ expectations (favored by a number of factors), besides others, are likely to add impetus to the cloud telephony service market, whose net worth is estimated by industry analysts to be around INR 300 crore. Hence, cloud telephony vendors in India have reasons to keep their fingers crossed. However, certain challenges do exist in the form of myths and misconceptions, and lack of proper infrastructure makes the task more arduous. Simultaneously they need to outweigh the obstacles of evolving regulatory compliance that often vary from industry to industry.
Though the Indian IT-BPO sector, responsible for transforming the nation from an agrarian economy to a service economy, has lost certain market ground to counterparts like Philippines, China and Brazil as quoted by some sources, the worth of its share in the country’s growth and GDP is still significant. It has gone global, and as per NASSCOM, it has a footprints in 52 nations across 200 cities, and the services are delivered through 400 plus delivery centres. However, in the purview of globalization, today they need to make their products and services more process-oriented and result-focused. Beyond any doubt this can’t happen without inventing and reinventing them and that in turn will require active collaboration and sharing of information and skills at all level. Thankfully, cloud telephony vendors are leaving no stone unturned to capitalize on the fact.
Even if we leave out the outsourcing projects that power our BPO sector, emerging, rather say booming Indian economy (quoted as 10th largest in the world) has enough capability to maintain the momentum of cloud telephony sector. Cloud telephony service providers in India are offering flexible contact center solutions equipped with dynamic and useful features like ACD (Automatic Call Distribution), cloud-based IVR system, inbuilt inbound recording, scheduler, reporting, call parking, multiple queue management and more to manage their business communication. Providers can easily integrate cloud telephony service with their CRMs to let their people stay more informed and serve customers well.
Cloud telephony service providers in India have understood well that one-size-fits-all will no longer work here. Hence, they are coming with customized plans based on the needs of an industry and its business elements. Today, you can witness cloud telephony service for hospitality, cloud telephony service for healthcare, cloud telephony service for financial institutions and so on. Cloud telephony has given a new height to collaboration whether people are at office or on the field. On real-time they can share customer details and more that they need to discharge their duties and drive business goals.
Business and customer – are nothing but two sides of the same coin. None can exist in isolation. But they do need a binding force of mutual trust to go together. Thanks we have contact centers and empowering them are call management services to give cohesiveness, and hence longevity to the business-customer relationship. They strive to enhance the customer experience and reduce overall customers’ extra efforts in getting what they need. And not to forget they help in pushing business ROI.
With customers getting more familiar with technology devices, having more flexibility in terms of choosing communication channels to contact with brands, and marketplace competition reaching the infliction point, entrepreneurs and contact centers need to adopt unified communication (UC) system. UC stands for the integration of voice, data and video channels in a single solution to let customers connect with a business the way they want. Besides offering flexibility to prospects and customers, integrated contact (call earlier) management, helps contact centers to efficiently use their valuable human and network resources to drive sales and marketing endeavor and enhance customer satisfaction graph.
Inheriting reliability, higher availability, interoperability and scalability cloud-based contact management services have added new dimension to contact centers’ performance. Now call center operators are least bothered about total cost of ownership and changing business needs. Today they can have call management or contact management services with desired features that hardly ask for hefty IT investment. Yes, they can pay the rental on monthly or annual basis and run their business in a smooth manner as the services are backed by standard service level agreement.
Simplified installation, upgrade, and platform migration processes have enhanced the adoption of cloud-based call management services. Call center managers or administrators can easily operate the various service features and can easily direct callers or queries to the right helpdesk irrespective of time zones. The UC solution increases mutual collaboration between department and staff to share knowledge and customer information, supports mobility and BYOD (bring your own device) and brings wonderful insights from customer-interaction sessions that collectively help in serving customers better.
Running a contact center business? Not sure which contact center software to use? Not sure about the various call center solutions available? Or what are the latest contact center technologies and features that can drive productivity and increase customer satisfaction? Well, running contact centers is a big unsolved puzzle, but we are here to ease your job.
Cloud-Based Contact Center Solution: Pros
If DMG Consulting has its way then cloud-based contact center solutions are likely to find greater adoption in time to come. The cloud-based contact center infrastructure has secured a 12.8 percent growth in 2013 and it’s gradually cementing its base in critical service organizations as well. Reasons are obvious. Call center operators are trying to take advantage of innate attributes of cloud technology like flexibility, scalability, ease-of-use and cost-savings. Call center operators have freedom to customize their plans on their own. They can choose what to have and what to exclude and pay for what they use. Thus, it doesn’t make a burn in their pocket. Some of the prominent features are discussed here.
Recognizing the potential of your staff you can distribute calls and ensure speedy call resolution reducing AHT (average call handling time).
Web Control Panel
Call center managers and agents can have their own Web interface to manage their settings. Managers can overall manage the call queues while individual agents can manage their personal configurations (such as listen to voicemail, set up call forwarding, enable FindMe, and much more) remotely from anywhere.
Have different numbers corresponding to different departments? If yes, with cloud-based contact center solution you can divert callers to the right workstation. Effective routing will automatically maximize the first-call-resolution rate.
Cloud-Based Contact Center Solution: Cons
Voice quality could suffer due to fluctuation or outage in the Internet connection. Phone systems leveraging the public Internet connection are more susceptible to encounter such issues as they receive little care. Therefore, businesses offering mission critical support to their customers should choose a vendor that can offer direct, managed VoIP connection between customers and their operations. Failure in doing so could have serious implications on customer transaction, interaction and hence the overall brand reputation.
Though the advantages are undeniable, adoption of cloud based contact center solution or VoIP makes a business totally dependent upon the vendor. Any downtime due to inappropriate functioning of the data centers can disrupt operations. In addition, contact centers have little control over their customers/partners’ data. Hence, it’s important to partner with a cloud telephony vendor that holds a proven track record and has a strong financial background. And one that could deliver excellent customer support when required.
Call recording, call monitoring and agent evaluation – every call center does it in order to gain edge in the business keeping customers satisfied while deriving the best performance form their resources. Call center quality management is now totally dependent on the performance of call management services system. However, there are certain questions regarding call management services that need to be answered. Here we are discussing a few in the purview of quality control and productivity management.
How can call recording or monitoring drive customer acquisition, satisfaction and loyalty?
What customers feel about your products or services? Are your people – both offsite and onsite – are able to meet customers’ expectation? What more your customers want and what dissatisfies them? Call recording or monitoring system helps you to capture all insights that are linked with company’s key performance metrics. Thus, ultimately you can have effective strategies in place to achieve short and long term goals.
How can call recording or monitoring drive operational efficiency?
Call monitoring system helps you to capture and evaluate detail of every customer interaction whether it’s through voice, email, Web chat session, and more. Now managers can have clear visibility into employee desktop activities across different systems, applications, and processes. This will help them to identify and check non-productive work and idle time to ensure speedy resolution of queries, requests or complaints by maximum utilization of manpower and skills, and that insights can be used to compute KPIs (key performance indicators) as well.
How can call recording boost first contact resolution rate?
Would you like to call your customer service helpdesk repeatedly for a single issue or concern? Obviously, you would say NO. Yes, customers want appropriate solution at the very first touch point. Interestingly, call management software helps you to track how well your people are handling your prospects or customers. Where are they lacking? Insights will help you have the right answer, and by resolving it you can cut down repeat contacts and save big on operational cost.
How can call recording system answer compliance and risk challenges?
Today’s call center works in a sophisticated environment. Outside regulatory compliance, internal organizational policies and frauds – call center operators have to withstand all, if they really want to sustain and grow. What makes the task more arduous is their evolving nature. Thanks to advanced call management service. Being a call center operator, comply with acts linked with consumer protection acts, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and others, secure the interaction-sessions, and have an unswerving hold in the market.
Wireless or remote technologies are no more limited to the Internet, computer and network sharing. Voice over Internet Protocol marks their entry into the communication segment also. And, beyond any doubt, we can say that the pervasiveness of high-speed yet cheaper broadband connection is fueling the trend further. Yes, ditching conventional landlines businesses are jumping to VoIP bandwagon to unleash its magical power to empower their people do more, do fast and with the least resource consumption.
But is VoIP really worth to a business operation or just a hype? In the current section, we would help you not just understand the basics of the working of a VoIP system but also the considerations that can help you derive maximum value from your cloud telephony investment.
How Does VoIP Work?
Cloud telephony says goodbye to the complexity of PSTN (public switched telephone network) cabling as VoIP vendors manage all the clumsy things offsite, and let users enjoy the service with their plug-n-play phone devices in a clutter-free manner. All that you require is to have an IP-based private branch (IP-PBX) exchange and a PSTN gateway. The IP-PBX is to distribute calls to the right phones on your network while the PSTN gateway is to bridge the IP-PBX software and the analog signals of the PSTN and convert calls to and from digital signals as required.
Basic features of the VoIP can be modified on the phone device itself, however for advanced tweaking, you need to access the online dashboard of the vendor.
What Do You Need to Adopt VoIP?
Don’t get swayed away by the offerings and benefits of implementing VoIP. Have a deliberated approach. First, assess your needs and take into account various factors that would make VoIP implementation successful and cost-efficient. Having a potent broadband connection is must. Bandwidth allocation will be critical in deciding that how many users can simultaneously make use of the phone service or stay on calls. For instance, a connection of 15 mbps might support 15-20 calls at a time. However, if Internet TV and instant messaging are also in use, then it would pull down the number of calls to 10 or even below.
Apart from the efficiency of the broadband connection, routers and switches building the internal network should be powerful to handle the loads. Setting up a router with configurable Quality of Service settings and assigning VoIP traffic high priority to maximize quality would enhance the capability of the phone service.
How much data a call will consume every minute or second? Your cloud telephony vendor should disclose it to you. High-quality G.711 codec normally used by popular VoIP vendors consumes on an average 64kb of data/second. Hence, if you tend to use more phone service on a limited Internet plan, it could be expensive, and the bill may exceed the cap.
A cloud hosted PBX routes calls to different phones based on session-initiation protocol technology similar to a router. It assigns a unique address to every phone device. Hence, the phone devices in use must be able to establish connection with the PBX in that way only. Investing with SIP-enabled phone will be just. However, if you want to continue with your analog touch-tone phones or fax machines, you need to plug them into an ATA (analog telephone adapter). Remember, this will deliver limited functionalities only.
Agility and responsiveness is the key driving attribute of any business, but when it comes to hotels, restaurants and other verticals in hospitality, it almost becomes the lifeline. Here customers want services blended with more professionalism and unchallenged courtesy. Increasing per capita income and media-driven awareness, besides other factors, have soared customers’ expectations to reach the pinnacle. Hence, such vendors being a part of a vibrant and dynamic sector that is accountable for subtle contribution towards state and nation’s income, trade flows, FDI inflows and employment, have to be on their toes. Realizing the needs, Fonebell, a leading business enterprise in India, offers customized interactive voice response system or IVR solutions, and cloud technology based telephony services for hotels.
In the current section, we’ll discuss that how hotels can make a big difference in their services by adopting cloud telephony and IVR systems.
Increase customer acquisition: Cloud telephony favors unified communication and helps vendors to respond to their callers, prospects or customers in a quick and easy manner over their favorite communication channels including phone, IVR, chat, etc. They can route their calls or queries to the right departments or staff to make sure persons on the other ends get befitting service or information. This will increase acquisition or booking, and contribute towards improving brand image as well.
Improve customer satisfaction: Perfect collaboration through VoIP integrated with CRM helps your staff to serve guests on real time with great diligence. This nurtures the customer relationship, which transforms customers into repeated customers. As satisfied customers are brand ambassadors their word of mouth can have a great impact.
Continuous online presence: With a structured cloud-hosted IVR and phone systems, hotels can stay online every time. Thus, prospects or customers can contact with them whenever they are in need. Interestingly, this doesn’t increase total cost of ownership or communication network’s complexity.
With the emergence of wireless communication technology, today most of the businesses follow new VoIP phone service trends to improve their overall productivity and fast customer services. High speed Internet based communications have ditched traditional landlines & other phone systems, instead entrepreneurs are now found more inclined towards full-featured, affordable and up-to-date telephone services. Believe it or not, but VoIP – a small business phone system – has proved to be a magical tool for thousands of enterprises. No doubt, they make it easy for the company employees to perform various tasks at the same time.
Good Points of Business Phone Systems
- Low cost: Apparently, affordability of the service is highly appreciated. Those who are looking for less expensive business phone systems can install VoIP phones to stay in budget along with being highly productive.
- No hardware: There is no need to install additional hardware for making use of VoIP systems. The cloud based communication solutions leverage users with uninterrupted phone functionalities to convey messages to different teams and answer queries of customers.
- Unlimited cheap calling nationwide: Cloud based small business phone systems allow users to have unlimited calling services in very less price. As this technology do not compel users to limit their calling needs, it is quite popular among businesses these days.
- Flexibility: The VoIP system enables users to receive calls from anywhere via mobile apps. It facilitates users to work from anywhere, without making huge investment.
Negative Points of VoIP Systems
- Things that brings flexibility, sometimes give trouble to the users. The convenience to work from anywhere can be hindered if there is no Internet availability. To continuously use VoIP systems, it is essential to have 24×7 power supply with reliable Internet connectivity sources.
- Emergency calling is another negative point of this technology. Not necessarily all businesses provide emergency calling services with the standard VoIP service package, and those who offer these solutions take extra fee. This could be a problem for the users and subscription fee may not fit in every budget.
Go through both, good and bad, service features of the small business phone systems before making right choice.
With the rapid growth in customer service industry, client’s expectations have become too high and they need instant solutions to their problems. To acquire this aim, most of the business organizations set up fully functional call centers having advanced technology tools and skilled professionals to take care of the customers’ concerns. Need of a well-programmed call center software in an organization is quite significant to manage communications with customers. The software is helpful in generating daily/ monthly reports & minimizing hold times. Basically, a cloud based call center software enables a business to execute all its operations in most efficient manners, without putting additional efforts and time. Few remarkable benefits of a cloud dependent call center software are listed below:
- It enhances work efficiency of professionals working in the call center.
- Call center software refines customer services, without letting business owners spend too much.
- It reduces waiting time for customers. There is less possibility of keeping customer calls on hold.
- Software keeps details of every customer connecting with the call center agents, and it indirectly helps in enhancing strong relationships with them.
- No qualm, a call center software is installed and used for reducing company expenses. The customer contact information is collected and managed to responsibly handle all the incoming and outgoing calls.
For businesses, cost is a major concern. Therefore, different call center software providers assist businesses with varied service models to fulfill end-to-end customer needs. Software price depends on its functionality, software version and brand to sustain high quality of the call center services. Periodic analysis and reports generated using a call center software supports in acquiring customer needs in well-organized and quickest ways.
Being a reliable trusted communication and collaboration service vendor, Fonebell offers a functional, affordable cloud based call center software to manage incoming and outgoing calls in a call center. This is a unique tool used for performing various tasks, like call waiting, call queues, call recording, skills based call routing, track of agent login/ logout and other functionalities.
If you are running a bsuiness and you are in urgent need of a cloud based communication system, then Fonebell’s call center software is the right tool to implement.
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