11 December 2015
Winter, as they say on a certain critically-acclaimed medieval fantasy TV show, is coming. We usually associate the season with Christmas holidays, cosy nights in front of a fireplace and warm mugs of mulled wine. What we don’t like to think about is the chaos it can bring. Because, while for many of your customers winter means Christmas and Christmas means profits, for others it means lost revenue due to the consequences of bad weather.
The costs can be huge. Just one week of inclement weather in 2013 took UK employers for an estimated £318 million. And while it is too early to quantify the precise business loss to the recent floods in Cumbria, we do know that the predicted overall cost is half a billion pounds, with local businesses seeking £10million from the government to help them avoid trouble. Add in the severe financial impact of the 2009 blizzards, and even the most conservative estimate suggests that bad weather has cost UK businesses around £1billion.
The unfortunate reality is that there is a very real possibility that your customers are going to suffer some kind of disruption to their business this winter. History tells us that this will largely be down to employees being unable to make it into the office – whether because of icy roads, train cancellations or getting snowed in.
At the moment, countless businesses are putting themselves at needless risk. By relying on traditional telephone solutions (such as ISDN) their staff could be completely unavailable if stuck at home.
If missed calls during bad weather is a familiar complaint from the businesses you work with, then it is worth talking to them about full flexibility and mobility for their employees.
The problem with traditional telephone systems is that the number, handset and line are all static and office-based. So employees must be present to make or receive calls. If they are not, the call goes to voicemail and the query or potential sale goes unanswered.
The Gamma Inbound platform helps mitigate against this kind of disruption. If employees cannot make it to the office because of bad weather or a faulty train line, Inbound gives them the flexibility to redirect and reroute calls to an alternative number or mobile at the click of a button
So whether an employee is at home or on the go, anyone that dials their office number will seamlessly be routed straight to them. The result for your customers is that if at any point in time an employee cannot make it in, it is always possible for them to make and receive calls as if they were at the office.
The business benefit is clear. With an Inbound call management system the companies you deal with will be safe in the knowledge that their customers’ telephone experience will be seamless, regardless of who is in the office at the time of the call. And no business should underestimate the value reliability can have to its reputation. And for cost-minded companies it is an attractive proposition because it’s hosted in the cloud so there is no need for any physical infrastructure to be installed.
Smartphones for smart working
For even greater flexibility, Gamma’s Inbound smartphone app available on Android, BlackBerry, iOS and Windows phones, allows the user to change their number destination so calls can be instantly redirected to a new location. They can also save that call redirection plan for future use. The app gives your customers another solution to ensure their communications stay up and running and employees are always contactable.
Many companies you work with may think that the impact on their business caused by the weather is beyond their control. But with a reliable inbound call management systems, they needn’t experience the kind of disruption they have in the past. And that can surely make for a worry-free winter.
11 December 2015 | Justin Coombes
The views in this article are the personal views of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by Gamma.