If you’re a business owner, manager, or even an employee, you’re probably interested in saving as much time as possible at work.
Today’s business world is fiercely competitive. You’ll want the best tools for the task at hand so you can always outperform the competition. But just having faster internet or a more capable interface won’t cut it.
You need to think outside the box and find solutions that might go beyond convention. For example, who says you have to be in the office to take customer service calls? Or that you have to listen to voicemail messages – why not just read them?
These tips will enable you to become leagues more efficient than you previously were, saving you both time and money! Here’s how to save time ON the phone by being OFF the phone.
1. Work on the go with Mobile Integration
Being stuck in traffic, waiting in the drive-thru for your lunch, getting a cord unplugged mid-conversation – these are all common situations that can keep you from making or receiving an important call.
These are an issue only because your office phone requires you to be in the office and at your desk, so why not just eliminate the need for office phones entirely?
Mobile integration means you get to use your personal cell phone in place of your office phone. You can make and take calls anywhere, anytime. Stuck in a traffic jam? Why not knock a few calls off your to-do-list while you wait?
Removing these restrictions allows you to structure your schedule with as much flexibility and freedom as you want.
2. Auto-Attendant: The Virtual Receptionist
Now that you can take calls anywhere and anytime, let’s remove the need to take some calls entirely!
Auto-Attendant is a program that answers calls, plays a custom greeting, and directs callers to their desired extension – automatically, without any human input required!
You can set your custom greeting to play the answers to common questions customers call with. When those customers call, the greeting will be played, and they can go about the rest of their day with their question answered. There’s no need to clog up the lines with a bunch of repetitive calls – let the system handle it.
The custom greeting can also be used to promote offers and deals that customers might otherwise be unaware of, making it useful for marketing.
Now all the free time you have from picking up calls can be used productively in other areas!
3. Sift through messages at lightning-speed with voicemail-to-text
Going through and responding to voicemail messages is a time-consuming process. It feels like a massive waste of time, and you wish they would’ve sent a quick email instead.
That’s where voicemail-to-text comes in. It uses speech recognition to turn incoming voicemail messages into text form, and sends them to you in email format, complete with the caller’s contact info. (And just in case the speech recognition misses a word due to a fast-talking customer, it conveniently attaches the audio file, as well.)
Reading text is so much faster and easier than listening to a long, drawn-out voice message. This tool will save you a truckload of time, giving you the freedom to spend it on the things that matter.
One more benefit of this feature is easy delegation. If you receive a message that someone else should handle, a quick click of your mouse or finger tap can forward the transcription to a colleague and your job is done in seconds.
Now, we’ve covered receiving messages, but if you want to send better messages, check out these 10 Simple Solutions For Managing Voicemail From Work & Home!
4. Use Video Conferencing to get some face-to-face time
At least 70% of communication is non-verbal. This means that a phone call can’t even come close to a face-to-face interaction.
When you’re looking at the person you’re talking to, your conversation is going to be significantly more productive, and fewer words will be necessary, saving you time. But when people are working from home, direct contact – such as a meeting – isn’t an option.
That’s why video conferencing is such a valuable tool. You can have face-to-face communication with your whole team at once, and you don’t even have to get up from your desk – whether at home or in the office!
In addition to the face-to-face benefit, our video conferencing solution also includes a screen sharing feature. Anything on your screen can be displayed to the meeting members – video, audio, documents, presentations – you name it!
Rather than describing your plans, just share a presentation and save even more time!
5. Cut call time in half with CRM Integration
Another big time-sucker during calls appears in the form of hard-to-find files.
When someone calls for just about any reason, you’ll probably need to pull up their information from the system for reference. Typically, they’ll need to be put on hold as you search.
Even if it only takes a minute or so to find the info, that wasted time adds up over the countless calls received in a day.
CRM integration eliminates the need for searching entirely by pulling up all of the caller’s info on your computer screen the moment they call. You can literally cut call duration in half with this tool.
Not to mention, your customers will be much happier for not being put on hold!
6. Improve your service faster through Call Recording
Call recording is another super-valuable feature. Difficult issues with customers can arise, and usually the more experienced you are, the better you become at handling these types of situations.
There are probably employees with a variety of experience levels at your business, so why not give the newer recruits some extra, quality training from the veterans?
Call recordings of conflict resolution, good customer service, and general positive examples of call courtesy are a priceless tool for teaching new employees the skills they need, in the best way possible – by displaying them in action!
On the other hand, any particular issues in protocol or dwindling performance can be easily detected and rectified.
No matter how you use it, call recording is a highly useful tool for keeping your team’s skills sharp!
7. Go beyond the phone with SMS Messaging and Group Chat
A majority of customers – particularly younger ones – prefer to receive a text over getting a call. In addition to offering a preferable customer experience, you save a bunch of time by sending out a text message. You also keep the phone lines open for customers who do prefer a call.
Plus, web links and images can be sent over text, making it simple to direct customers to your website and advertise your products via eye-catching graphics.
Customers are one thing, but how can we make this tool work for communication between co-workers?
Why send out 20 individual messages to 20 people when you can just send one and be done with it? Group chat keeps everyone in the loop – no need to keep track of who’s available, because everyone’s included!
Save Time on the Phone
Now that you’ve heard all about the benefits a cloud phone system has to offer, why not try it out for yourself? Contact a SelectCom associate for more info!