27 September 2016
According to Ofcom, the UK is now a smartphone society, with a third (33%) of internet users seeing their smartphone as the most important device for going online. This is reflected in the world of work, where mobile has rapidly become the communication method of choice for employees.
In this context, businesses must provide a mobile communications infrastructure that allows employees to work in the way they expect. For small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), this is a particularly pressing challenge as many rely on smaller teams, often juggling multiple roles, to deal with customer enquiries. Thus, employees must have the mobile functionality that allows them to maximise productivity and deliver a seamless, professional customer experience, to ensure that their reputation, and ultimately revenue, is not at risk.
Living the dream of seamless communication
For most businesses, it’s crucial that customer calls are always answered. The time that employees spend away from their desk shouldn’t be time spent unable to respond to customers.
To ensure employees are always connected, whether they are on the move or not, many providers offer solutions that integrate office and mobile numbers. Such solutions allow calls to be routed from the office to any number – so employees never have to miss a call.
Because these call diverts are seamless, the caller is unaware that they’ve not been answered from the intended destination. This means that, even when employees are working remotely or on the move on their mobile phones, a level of professionalism isn’t sacrificed. Customers will feel like they are getting the same experience as calling the office, without obvious or off-putting redirects.
Maximise your coverage
To get the most out of a mobile workforce, that workforce relies on network coverage. Employees cannot afford to miss calls, or lose access to data, when they move into an area where the mobile provider has incomplete coverage. This is particularly true for employees who must travel regularly as part of their role. Missed calls lead to lost business, and research suggests that 50% of customers will not hesitate to call a second company if the first cannot fulfil their needs.
The problem is that no single network provider can guarantee total coverage in every area in the UK. Having multiple contracts with multiple operators is not a practical solution either, when you take into consideration the additional management time and cost required.
However, single providers are now able to offer access to more than one UK mobile network from a single SIM, to provide better coverage than a single network.
Business voicemail is on the move
Ideally, employees should be picking up the phone to every customer or prospect that calls. However, this isn’t always possible. So if the lines are too busy to answer everyone’s call, the last thing anyone wants is to redirect a customer to an employee’s mobile voicemail. Few people actually record a personalised message for their phone, and there could be nothing worse than greeting a customer with, “you have reached the voicemail of zero-seven-eight…”
However, it is now possible to provide employees with a business-class voicemail service that delivers the same power functionality as your customers are used to experiencing on a fixed line.
This makes multiple notification methods, personalised greetings dependent on caller, and extended storage available to employees. Not to mention flexible message delivery methods so that employees can be directly mailed voicemail messages to listen to when it’s convenient. All of which means that employees on the move can present a far more professional face to customers even though they are out of the office.
These are just a few of the solutions that can allow a business to get the most out of its mobile workforce. The revolution in mobile working has already happened, it is now up to organisations to ensure they give employees the mobile infrastructure that allows them to do their jobs most effectively.
27 September 2016 | Jamie Ward
The views in this article are the personal views of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by Gamma.