8th January 2021Back To News
Let’s start at the beginning and go from there.
We all know the importance of good business communications no matter whether it’s internally or externally. In a world where customer satisfaction is key to good business, you need a system that enables the delivery of excellent customer service. Otherwise, you are starting from the back of the pack and unfortunately in the fast-paced digital world, underdogs rarely make it without customer satisfaction. Excellent communications start with the ability to connect with customers, either inbound or outbound and there is no better way than by voice.
Voice communications are lightyears apart (we’re talking to infinity and beyond) from when Alexander Graham Bell uttered the first words to his assistant, “Mr Watson–come here–I want to see you” via his new invention. What Alexander Graham Bell could never have predicted was just how far we would come with communications in the time since his first ‘talking through wires’ creation.
Since the inception of the telephone, we have come in leaps and bounds and the driving force for business for improved communications is the customer. Without customers there is no business, so, we have to continually improve their experience to satisfy their requirements. The challenge now for many businesses is the ability to communicate effectively and deliver the best outcome for their clients. That’s where hosted phone systems set the benchmark – customer excellence through improved voice experiences. But the benefits for businesses don’t end with superior customer experience rates, there are numerous other benefits. Let’s explore what makes a hosted phone solution and what the benefits are.
A hosted telephone system is a cloud-based fully integrated virtual communications solution that unifies your system and allows for a fully flexible call regime. Hosted systems are set up and administered by providers and you can have partial IT control or allow full-service implementation. With no geographical ties, you can link multiple sites or work remotely, giving your business the scalability and flexibility that you need today and into the future.
The flexibility that virtual systems offer is endless, from minimal features for small to medium businesses right through to full scale hosted contact centres. Running your communications through a hosted solution allows businesses to do what they do best without the hassle of maintenance and physical hardware. You can scale up or down almost instantaneously depending on demand and eliminate the hassle of installation and operation as well as maintenance costs.
Your choices are numerous for hosted solutions, with the ability to create a bespoke option for your business – it’s not just a one size fits all anymore.
Hosted telephone system solutions enable your business to utilise and take advantage of your existing full feature set, with added flexibility and scalability.
Your provider will handle call routing and switching, as well as all maintenance involved in the hosted telephone system service. This means you can relax in the knowledge that your hosted telephone system is being monitored and maintained by expert technical and support teams.
Cloud phone systems route calls through your data connection rather than relying on traditional infrastructure. This means that it is possible to reduce the cost of calls.
Providers manage all call routing and switching, ensuring there is minimal disruption to your business with expert engineers providing ongoing maintenance and support, freeing up resources within your business.
Ideal for remote working, a VoIP phone system will allow your staff to work from anywhere, anytime, without any additional expenditure. It will combine all the features of your phone system onto a virtual platform, hosted and maintained by your provider – which in turn allows your IT department to focus on more important issues.
A VoIP telephone system will boost your business image through the perception that you are a truly professional organisation with a high-quality, integrated communication system. Run your businesses to the highest standards with collaboration tools, softphones, mobile clients, omnichannel contact centre plus all the standard features of an on-site telephone system.
Cloud-hosted contact centre solutions make it easy to expand your customer service capabilities, implement self-service IVR, access enterprise-level features and functionalities and cost-effectively manage calls to and from a single call centre or multiple geographically disperse call centres. All without a major capital expenditure splurge.
Hosted contact centres ensure business continuity and customer service optimisation in the event of a network outage.
Utilising the omnichannel features in cloud-hosted systems allow for enhanced customer service experiences that keep people coming back. Not to be confused with a multi-channel experience, omnichannel allows for superior communication delivery and customer service. Whilst multi-channel is ok it doesn’t give agents an overfall historical picture of the client, because generally agents will only be assigned one channel. Compare that to a true omnichannel solution where communication is via any channel allowing for a clearer picture of the customer’s history resulting in an enhanced experience.
The continuity of delivery via an omnichannel solution, during client engagements, provides for excellent customer experiences.
Virtual contact centre solutions offer an extensive range of critical inbound features. These include sophisticated IVR, skills-based routing, script building, smart queue-buster features, automated call-back options, screen popping, voice recording and more.
You can allow for complete CRM integration using rich CTI services with web-based wallboards displaying agent productivity and performance against SLAs – making it easier than ever to monitor and improve your interactions with customers.
Additionally, real-time campaign and queue management functions allow you to manage and improve inbound activity as it happens, which means you can respond to any issues and improve performance in real-time.
Traffic on the way out
Cloud Hosted Contact centres allow for powerful predictive and preview dialer features. These incorporate lead management tools, as well as campaign and script editor capabilities.
As well as predictive dial and preview dial modes, you will also benefit from auto-preview dial mode, list management, customisable filters, agent scripting, multi-number dialling, list loader, lead management, CLI presentation and real-time queue management.
Outfitting your business with a virtual system gives your agents access to these tools, you equip them with everything they need to expedite their roles more effectively and productively. This ensures that your outbound campaigns are properly executed and deliver outstanding results.
Advanced Call Routing
Designed to give you full control, Advanced Call Routing makes it easy for you to decide how calls are routed. Whether you wish to limit the number of concurrent calls delivered, route calls to different locations at different times of the day, ensure the longest waiting caller is always prioritised or to make sure that calls are directed to the agent with the most appropriate skill set, you will be able to.
Crunching the numbers and reports
Options, options, options! Depending on the solution that you acquire, you can view detailed historical or real-time data for multiple Omnichannel campaigns quickly and easily. Extensive search and filtering abilities make finding required data simple, and customisable dashboards ensure you’re monitoring the most critical metrics effectively.
Highly advanced reporting allows users to create their own custom reports. Hosted system analytics and reporting make it easy for users to choose what they want to see in a format that suits them, starting with a simple table and graphical chart. Additionally, post-call surveys allow you to track customer experience ongoing.
Disaster Recovery Management
Traditional disaster recovery involved deploying a duplicate call centre on-premises. This kind of duplication is expensive and often unreliable, not to mention it ties you to a geographical location. When you deploy a virtual solution, you protect productivity, ensure business continuity and save money all at the same time.
A hosted disaster recovery provision means you can reroute calls to any location with an internet connection, a web browser and phone. Allowing agents to continue to operate from an alternative location or from their own homes. Each inbound number can be autonomously configured, or numbers can be grouped and jointly aligned.
Maintenance and Support
Most providers offer a maintenance package which will give you the assurance and peace of mind knowing that any problems you have with your phone system will be dealt with quickly and efficiently. The beauty of a hosted systems is that your provider wants to ensure your business stays operational – it’s in their best interests.
Most have support and customer service agents that possess an in-depth knowledge of all their products and services. This means that whatever maintenance and support requirements you may have, you’ll be covered.
There are so many, so let’s just cover off on the main ones.
Cost – Talk really is cheap. Compared to traditional forms of telephony, hosted phone systems offer considerable savings. Due to the nature of the way virtual communications work, providers offer extremely competitive rates. Not only do businesses save on call rates, but the reduction of infrastructure and hardware allows for reduced capital investment and associated maintenance overheads.
Flexibility and Scalability – Virtual phone solutions allow for the ultimate in flexibility, with an almost endless array of options and features. Bespoke systems can be tailored to suit the exact set up for any business needs. Scale up and down depending on your business needs at any point in time.
Remote working – No matter where you are or what you are doing a virtual system can be set up to chase through devices to find you. You also have the opportunity to make outbound calls from anywhere, anytime, allowing for complete flexibility whether in the office, on the road or at home working remotely.
Feature rich – No matter what your business requirements are from a communication system, the virtual calling world is dynamic with an almost endless collection of features. Why do we need so many features? It’s all about delivering efficiencies and making sure consumers expectations are met because the higher the customer experience, the better the bottom line is.
Collaboration – Having the ability to collaborate with colleagues whilst on a call or working remotely is a game changer for overall customer satisfaction and efficiency. Time is of the essence when dealing with customers and having the ability to get information rapidly, through the use of collaborative tools from other colleagues, allows agents to enhance the customer experience even further.
A hosted phone solution, compared to a physical system, delivers more flexibility, continuity, greater cost efficiency and scalability with 24/7 support.
There is no more ‘talking through Wires’ as Bell did, and as per the saying goes – the sky really is the limit. Cloud-based technology, whether it be for communications or complete IT solutions, is the way to improve business performance and future proof companies.
It’s pretty much impossible to imagine how anyone can do business without a phone system today and although they have been around well over 100 years, advances are more rapid than ever. Office phone systems are the lifeblood of companies worldwide and with the need for greater competitiveness and productivity, communications are becoming more sophisticated and intuitive than ever before.
Elite Group can deliver a range of options for businesses when it comes to hosted phone systems. With over 20 years’ experience in the communications and IT industry, Elite Group has the knowledge and expertise to deliver complete Unified Communications end to end.
Elite Group is one of the UK’s leading unified communication providers, supplying reliable and professional IT and telecoms services to organisations seeking Business Mobile, Cloud, Networking, Connectivity, and Telephony solutions.
For more information on how Elite Group can power your unified communication solutions, call us or request a quote today