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How a Softphone Can Help You Make the Most of Your Holiday

Ahhh … you’re awash in balmy breezes, your feet in the sand, gentle waves gently lap the tropical shore. Then, bing! You’ve just received a text message from your co-worker. Phew, for a minute there you thought you might be missing something…..

Full article available here http://www.3cx.com/blog/voip-uc/softphone/

Boost Your Quality of Customer Service with an IP-PBX

A company’s quality of customer service starts from within—that is, the best practices put forth by management and employees. As such, it’s crucial for businesses to communicate with ease and efficiency as any hint of employee frustration can directly correlate to the quality of service presented to customers. To that end, seamless customer service interactions can be compromised if your company’s phone system doesn’t support your business needs.

By upgrading your legacy phone system to an IP-PBX, you can sidestep customer service obstacles such as lengthy hold times or frustrated agents. Here are three functions businesses can integrate into an IP-PBX phone system in order to improve their customer service measures from within:

Call reporting

IP-PBX phone systems are managed from a computer-based interface. As such, features such as call-reporting—that are easily accessible from a drop down menu option—provide businesses with ease-of-use. Supervisors can leverage call reporting technology to manage customer service consistency by examining call queue statistics and specific extension statistics. In so doing, managers can pinpoint the representatives who need further training, as well as a call cost report for managing finances.

Customizable IVR

A poorly designed IVR system can frustrate customers considerably. But with an Internet-based telephone system, adjusting your company’s menu option to better serve your consumers is a straightforward task. Simply, select the IVR option from a drop down menu and manage the IVR from your computer screen. For instance, if customers complain about a lack of pertinent or misguiding menu options, IT managers can readjust the settings quickly and efficiently.

Additional phone lines

Handling a jam-packed call queue is stressful for employees, especially when customers are forced to remain on hold due to a lack of transfer options. These long wait times aren’t the fault of your employees, rather, the fault of your legacy phone system. With an IP-PBX system, companies can leverage Internet-based phone lines, which make communication scalability simple. Avoid putting customers on hold by adding phone lines. This will ease your employees stress and improve your inbound callers’ satisfaction.

Customer Service Quality: The Benefits of Call Recording

Today, the quality of contact centre services is at the crux of customer satisfaction. As such, it is of the utmost importance for this industry to leverage the revolutionary communications tools being launched by telecommunications providers. Even if your phone system includes a robust set of unified communications features, it’s important to also integrate customer service features —such as call recording—to better help supervisors efficiently audit and manage the quality of customer service.

Here are three ways that call recording will benefit customer service operations:

Training
Contact centre agents don’t become skilled and solution-oriented overnight. It takes learning from mistakes and by example to become a consummate customer service professional. Call recording allows managers to pinpoint the mistakes of new agents as well as replay examples of successful interactions for training purposes.

Assessing call quality
A consistent level of quality is paramount in the success of contact centre services. Agents should be able to handle customer inquiries with a uniform consistency. That is, your customer service is only as strong as its weakest link. Call recording paired with other CRM features, such as call reporting, can help supervisors analyse a team’s level of consistency by highlighting struggling agents.

Protecting agents
Call recording is wise for any business, not just the contact centre, as verbal agreements can be tricky to recall. Protect your business transactions by using call recording to save pertinent information, such as verbal agreements made over the phone. This way, if there are future questions regarding the transaction, the conversation can simply be replayed.

The Top Ways SIP Trunks Can Save Your Business Money

One of the most frustrating aspects of telephone service is that its costs can cut deeply into your profit margin, yet you can’t sacrifice quality to save money because reliable communication with clients and colleagues is vital.

But there is an answer. SIP trunks can help your business cut telephone costs without losing any of the quality or features your legacy telephony provides. What follows are a few keys ways SIP trunks save you money:

Reduce long distance charges: Using SIP trunks, which are essentially virtual phone lines, for business telephony lets you bypass the exorbitant rates that major carriers often charge. It even allows you to pay local rates for even international calls. This means substantial savings for businesses, especially those that operate in multiple markets and maintain geographically disparate offices.

Eliminate monthly charges: Again, working without a traditional service provider helps you cut costs. With SIP trunks you no longer have to fear the nightmare of opening a phone bill and being hit with unforeseen charges and fees; there are no arbitrary monthly fees with SIP trunking.

Merge voice and data: SIP trunks allow you to merge your data and voice networks, meaning you can pay for one service instead of two. All communications converge and are delivered through one pipe, which streamlines your infrastructure and reduces the amount of hardware you need to maintain.

Avoid unused capacity: With SIP trunks you purchase only the capacity you need, rather than bundles of phone lines, many of which go unused when call volume is not at its peak. With SIP trunks you pay only for what you use, as the infrastructure necessary to add capacity quickly is already in place.

Three Key Reasons to use a Soft Phone

Perhaps you’ve heard the term soft phone but aren’t quite sure what it means. Maybe you know what a soft phone is but don’t know how it could benefit your business. Fortunately, in either case we have you covered.

Put simply, a soft phone acts as a phone interface and allows you to place and receive VoIP calls directly from your PCA VoIP service provider  handles the actual VoIP phone service and calls to and from the softphone are routed over the service provider’s network. Using a softphone offers organizations several substantial benefits over old style PBX, including:

  1. Reduced telecom costs: Making VoIP calls with a softphone significantly reduces the cost of making long distance and international calls. Because the technology allows businesses to bypass traditional phone companies, those organizations are no longer forced to pay exorbitant rates for those long range communications.
  2. Easy use and management: With a softphone you simply use the keypad on your screen and punch in the phone number with a few mouse clicks. When you receive an incoming call, the phone interface comes to the front of the screen and displays the incoming call on the screen of the phone. So if you use a softphone in combination with a headset, you never have to divert your attention from your screen by picking up a receiver. Furthermore, managing a softphone is incredibly simple, as it can be done through a single configuration interface.
  3. Robust feature set: Best-in-class soft phones offer all the phone features a business could need. This feature set includes but is not limited to:
  • Web conferencing
  • Extension portability/one number capability
  • Chat
  • Unified messaging

Is Your Phone Bill Giving You Nightmares?

Do you ever wake up in cold sweat thinking about how your phone bill is going to take a sizeable chunk out of your profitability? Do you begin to feel a tightening in your stomach the days before your monthly statement arrives? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, you’re not alone.Calculator

Legacy wire-based phone systems make it expensive to place calls between remote offices and difficult to scale service. They also add unnecessary expenses to your budget, as hardware is costly to maintain and upgrade. Considering this collection of problems, it’s not surprising that a recent survey of small businesses released by Software Advice found that 57 percent of buyers that are looking for a new phone system are intent on purchasing, for the first time, an IP-PBX system—a phone system that operates over the Internet.

IP-PBX allows businesses to bypass traditional carriers’ long-distance charges. Interorganizational calls made on an IP-PBX system are free, which helps drastically cut costs related to connecting geographically disparate offices and mobile workers. An Internet-based phone system also allows for greater scalability, as changes to the infrastructure can be made without any new hardware deployments.

A Windows-based IP-PBX is simple to deploy and has a shortened learning curve for staff, as the system is based on familiar technology. Best-in-breed Web-based phone systems also offer unified communications features like:

Call forwarding
Voicemail-to-email functionality
Paperless PDF faxing
Presence
Instant messaging/text chat
Videoconferencing
So, if you’re ready to start sleeping peacefully again without the image of a bloated phone bill haunting your dreams, consider ditching your antiquated telephony infrastructure for IP-PBX. But assess your choice of vendor carefully. Look for a company like 3CX that provide differentiators—such as leveraging WebRTC and offering software that runs on Windows—that other IP-PBX providers can’t supply.