12 February 2015
How to ensure your business telecoms system can meet your needs now and in the future.
For many enterprises, the business cycle is a series of peaks and troughs. There are times when the volume of calls into or out of an organisation fluctuates wildly.
› Retailers during the Christmas period and end of season sales
› Ticket sales for sporting events, including the Rugby World Cup this year
› Universities during the summer clearing period and at the start of a new term
› Manufacturers or retailers running special promotions or campaigns
These events often generate an increase in call volumes, so it makes good business sense to prepare for them. This includes ensuring that your business telecoms system can cope with the increased demand.
Plotting the times during the year when there will be increased demand on your business telecoms is a good start, but you also need to check that you have the right system in place to support them.
› Will you need more agents to cope with the extra calls?
› Will agents be based in the main office or at another location?
› Will you need additional telephone lines?
› Is there a system in place for managing the higher volume of calls, such as call routing?
› Can you quickly scale up or down your telecoms system according to demand?
› Can you easily monitor call statistics, including call abandonment rates?
It is very easy for business telecoms to get swamped by increased demand. Leaving customers on hold for twenty minutes listening to an electronic version of “Greensleeves” is unlikely to enhance your company’s reputation for good service.
The result is a lose-lose situation: the customer gets frustrated, hangs up and your business not only loses potential business, but probably the customer for good (plus the colleagues, friends and relatives they relate their experience to).
7 out of 10 consumers have ended their relationship with a company due to poor customer service.
If your business telecoms system is based on an existing ISDN estate, then it may be difficult to cope with increased demand. Deploying additional lines or channels can be a slow process (sometimes taking weeks or months) and costs can increase even further if calls have to be forwarded to agents based at other sites as features like call forwarding can command additional fees.
When demand falls, you will also still have to carry the cost for the additional ISDN line rental, that may no longer be required.
SIP trunking offers a more flexible, scalable and cost effective solution to handle increased demand. With SIP, it is much easier to provision additional lines to cope with an expected increase in calls, like University clearing, for example. Internal calls (such as between multiple sites) are free, so if your agents are based at another site, it wont cost extra to forward calls onto them from the main office.
SIP can be combined with an inbound call management solution that can help your organisation handle calls even more efficiently. Using a web-based interface, you can use a variety of call routing, monitoring and management tools to simplify call management and improve customer service. Statistics can be collected and analysed in real-time to monitor performance and implement changes quickly to cope with increased demand as and when required.
With a little planning and the right infrastructure in place, your business telecoms can be ready to support your business needs whatever the conditions.
12 February 2015 | Cem Ahmet
The views in this article are the personal views of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by Gamma.