Upgrading your telecoms package is probably at the bottom of your ‘To-Do’ list.
Like a boiler that hasn’t been quite right for a while but does the job, while it could be improved, your phone system works. That’s the most important thing, right?
Not when it comes to driving change. Neglect to upgrade your telecoms and you’ll be standing still for a while.
It’s time to free your mind from the anxiety of tackling your telecoms solution. Let us help you.
Read on for all the reasons why your company might need a better business phone package. We also reveal the technology necessary to do this (meaning less research for you!).
1. To Grow Your Business
What you need from your telecoms package depends on your growth stage. As a new business you’re probably looking at new features to:
- Give you a more professional image
- Increase your call capacity
Most telecoms providers have what is needed to help you achieve this. There are several ways to help you prosper through professionalism and increase the amount of calls you can handle.
A Welcome Message
You want customers to be able to make the distinction between you and your competitors. A welcome message is a fine way to achieve this. You can record this yourself or ask a provider to do it for you.
A polite and short welcome will suffice: customers who are calling you to fix a problem don’t want half their phone-time taken up by business waffle. But if you do have vital info that can speed up the caller’s experience - such as other types of assistance - by all means, include it.
Like a welcome message, a professional, personalised voicemail will give your business authority and distinguish you from competitors. The more professional you sound the more callers will trust you. You can also leave helpful information, like details of FAQs on your website, to deliver further value to customers.
Eventually, there comes a time when one line doesn’t cut it. You’re missing too many calls: you need the ability to reroute a call to another receptionist when the first line is busy. Enable this by installing another line or two (implementing a multi-line analogue).
At the Other End?
Perhaps your business has overcome growing pains. You’ve got a good customer base; it’s your employee base that needs attention. Or you’re a large business looking to become an enterprise. Either way, moving onto bigger and better things might mean:
- You need to accommodate a larger workforce
- You need to have multiple offices or sites
- You’re going global
Upgrade your business phone package with the following features and tech to achieve these goals.
ISDN or SIP Trunking
Every new analogue line requires installation. At these later growth stages, you probably need a more technologically-advanced and robust line that can handle lots of calls and is easy to scale up.
Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) allows digital transmission of voice and data over physical copper lines. With an ISDN2e or ISDN30 telecoms package, you can have either eight channels or thirty channels.
It’s more cost-effective to go with ISDN30 if you need over eight channels (because of fewer installations). It’s worth mentioning, though, that BT is putting ISDN to bed in 2025. So you might as well consider the next step: Session over Internet Protocol trunking (SIP trunking).
It works like ISDN but doesn’t require a line; just an internet connection as it transmits data entirely through the cloud. For this reason, unless you relocate, you won’t ever need a new line installed, helping you cut costs while you seamlessly scale up your telecoms solution.
A National Number
If you don’t already have a national number that starts with 0800, 03 or 084, now’s the time. These are the numbers well-known businesses use and will help you build brand authority. Your choice will depend on your company goals. For instance, opportunists can monetize their phone service with a revenue share number.
Wise up on the different telephone numbers out there and the associated business benefits here.
Time for world domination? You’ll be needing a business phone package that includes international calls. It’ll help you cut costs: with inclusive international minutes, you can call someone abroad and you won’t incur hefty charges.
2. To Improve Your Service
Your customer service agents are delivering an award-winning performance but your phone service might be dragging them down. Not to worry, there are several things you can add to your line package to improve your service.
Interactive Voice Response
An IVR is the computerised voice you hear when you call most businesses. It tells you various options for different services and asks you to select the right one, e.g. “Press 2 for Sales.” For medium to large businesses, IVR cuts call waiting times and increases first-contact resolution by directing people to an agent who can fix their problem.
Caller statistics is a feature included in a lot of phone packages. You might need to upgrade your telecoms solution (although this is included in 24 Seven’s basic package) to get this snazzy tool but it’s worth it: you can improve your service with the insights harvested from call data. For example, with the ability to view call waiting times you can gauge if customers are waiting too long to get through to customer service.
Custom Connection Message
Sometimes customers have to be on hold. It happens. Pacify would-be irate individuals with soothing music. Or play a custom message that’s engaging, helpful or informative. Consider your brand tone: it will confuse callers if your telephone voice doesn’t match your business’ identity.
3. To Enable a Restructure
You might be making a loss year-on-year. Or you’ve had one complaint too many. It’s time to shake things up.
The decision has been made to upskill your call handlers: now you need a telecoms package that includes ...
Doesn’t it feel great when you can get information or solve a problem without the help of a live agent? No need to spend energy interacting with a human. Click the right button, an IVR could give you exactly what you called for.
By using IVR to automate tasks in your business, your customers can attend to their needs independently. As a result, your call handlers have more time to complete complex problems. Also, through upskilling, staff feel more valued and happier, increasing their productivity levels.
Or perhaps you’re reducing your workforce to minimise business expenses. It works the same: by automating simple tasks you don't need an army of call handlers … just one IVR system. Most providers offer IVR as a telephony feature you can add to your package.
4. To Get With the Times
Business growth is synchronised with new technological innovations. If you haven’t got top-of-the-range telephony features and capabilities, you’re missing a beat.
Stay agile and be a strong contender in your industry by implementing these recent technologies.
It’s likely that a large proportion of your customer interactions are via phone call. Therefore, call data is mighty. It can tell you:
- How long the average customer call is
- Your busiest and quietest periods
- Where most people are calling from
Send this data to marketing and they can make more gains from campaigns.
As we touched upon earlier, SIP trunking is the ultimate upgrade. It eliminates the need for wires, can make internal calls free and is easier to maintain than analogue lines.
Take the leap to SIP Trunking and you’ll be rewarded with long-term cost savings, easier collaboration between employees and better customer service.
5. To Adopt a ‘Work Anywhere’ Culture
Release your workers into the big wide world. In this day and age, you’d be daft not to, at least to some extent.
A whopping 70% of office workers believe it’s important that businesses allow their employees to work remotely. In addition to increased worker satisfaction, companies experience higher staff retention, improved productivity and increased revenue. They also become more attractive to prospective employees.
Telecommuting has been a massive hit. Dell, Apple, and Amazon are just a handful of the big players using ‘work anywhere’ as a wise business strategy.
There are specific telephony tools that enable telecommuting:
Voice over Internet Protocol
Employees can make or answer calls using your business number from anywhere with VoIP technology. It takes away the location restrictions you get with lesser technology.
Do it for the long game if nothing else. Without VoIP, you need two different networks - a PSTN and IP - for email, messaging, calling and document sharing. That’s double the equipment and upgrades. Cut those costs by consolidating two networks using VoIP.
You could use this feature for greater control over your remote workers. For example, check to see how many calls have been answered or missed.
Flip the coin and have your employees use caller statistics to monitor their own work - certain providers have call data that can be accessed via mobile so you can check this information on the go.
Time of Day Routing
Whether you’re a one-man band without a static office or you’ve got an army of remote workers, time of day routing enables you to choose your own working hours.
So if you or your team are unavailable for a period of time - perhaps you’ve scheduled a client meeting or you’re on a train where signal dips in and out - you can set an out of hours message, detailing when the phones will be switched on again.
6. To Reduce Business Costs
We realise it sounds counter-productive to upgrade your telecoms solution to save money. But we’re talking substantial long-term cost reductions here. Level-up your telecoms package and you should gain features and better tech that’ll make incoming and outgoing calls much cheaper.
Revenue Share Number
Perhaps you have a freephone number or a local number. You can’t earn money from customer calls using these business numbers, so if the prospect of doing so sounds tasty, consider changing to a revenue share number.
These bad boys earn you cash every time a customer calls. For instance, at 24 Seven you could earn 2.5p per minute from an 084 number. This increases to 6p per minute with a 087 number.
Both are nationally recognised digits, so you get the added benefit of owning a number that’s easy to remember and more trustworthy, increasing incoming calls.
With SIP trunking you can scale up your call capacity without being charged for expensive engineer call-out fees or equipment costs.
Plus, the line is cheaper to maintain and calls cost less as they are transmitted over the internet. In the long-run, you could experience massive cost savings using this state-of-the-art telephony tech.
Upgrade your telecoms solution to include caller statistics and you can pin down your busiest and quietest periods.
Save money by reducing staff during quieter times, and accurately calculate how many employees you need when calls are plenty so you don’t overspend on wages.
The Art of Being Smart
There’s nothing phoney about upgrading your telecoms package. It might just be one of the smartest things you do for your business this year. It can help you:
- Grow to the next stage and future-proof your phone line
- Supercharge your customer service
- Enable a business restructure
- Leverage technological advancements to boost the business
- Allow flexible working
- Encourage long-term cost savings
Your turn. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and share thoughts or any worries you may have regarding updating your business phone package. You might also find the answers you’re looking for in our recent blog, How Changing Your Business Landline Can Be Quick and Stress-Free.