Category Archives: Avaya Products

Tips for Selecting the Best Business Phone System

Some businesses can get away with using only a smartphone, but those tend to be one man operations. Most companies need a business phone system in order to operate in an efficient and professional manner. The trick to selecting the best business phone system for your company comes down to recognizing your needs while factoring in your future growth and budget. Below are the best steps to take in finding the perfect business phone system for your business.

Evaluate Your Needs

The first step in selecting the best business phone system is recognizing your needs. Phone service providers will offer a variety of services, such as call forwarding, speed dialing, caller ID, 3-way calling, voice mail, call waiting, and priority ringing. It is important to understand what features would help your business increase productivity and create a more efficient, day-to-day operation.

Decide if You Need a Landline or Cloud-Based System

The two main types of business phone systems are a PBX (private branch exchange) landline phone system or a cloud-based system. Again, consider your needs when deciding which route to go; if you require multiple phone model options and multiple features, a cloud-based system is probably your best bet. Cloud-based systems also have the ability to make and receive calls from anywhere you have an Internet connection.

Consider the Size & Structure Of Your Business

It goes without saying that a large business with numerous office locations will require a different business phone system than a smaller company. If you are a larger business, you may want to go with a premises-based business phone system. There are very attractive leasing options, many with 0% interest, that will make a prem-based system a very affordable option.

Check Compatibility with Other Office Equipment

The last thing a business on a budget wants to do is purchase brand new office technology when selecting a business phone system. For this reason, be sure that the business phone system you select is compatible with your conferencing tools and other various office technology that you have.

 

Is your organization ready for the Mobile Consumer?

Marketing, sales, and customer service professionals all understand that a successful company is able to predict their customers’ buying behavior. Companies that correctly utilize this tool will be able to close opportunities, recognize new prospects, and provide uninterrupted support. In today’s world, it is more important than ever to shift towards a customer engagement approach intended to react to the modern consumer – the Mobile Consumer.

The habits of customers past:

The modern consumer is immensely dissimilar than customers of the past. Just ten years ago, most customer exchanges with businesses were limited to phone calls or physical visits to business sites; customers would only relay their customer experiences with a relatively small number of friends and acquaintances.

A new brand of mobile consumer:

Current consumers are rewriting the rules of customer engagement.  Present business strategies aren’t capable of covering as wide a net as they need to—inhibiting a business’s capacity to achieve its goals and adequately serve customers. This new brand of customer is best described as the “mobile consumer.”

Did you know that roughly fifty percent of the world’s population is comprised of unique mobile users?

These mobile consumers now have access to the products, information, and services businesses offer at unprecedented levels. Over one-third of all Internet sites are now being served to mobile devices. This means that your business must be ready to interact with customers on their terms—whether they’re sitting in a doctor’s office, riding a train, or in line at the grocery story, mobile consumers demand to do business whenever and wherever.

Expanding mobile commerce:

It’s imperative to mention that this new mobile consumer has more than just access to the information they want and the capability to complete a transaction at their convenience; they also have the capacity to share that experience with their friends – your customers and prospects – in real time.

Nearly two in four people now has an active mobile social account.  In other words, these customers can share their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with countless people in the blink of eye. This makes it more important than ever for organizations to understand mobile consumer behaviors, ensure they are positioned for success and guarantee that customers get the service they expect.

How to support the mobile consumer:

To support the modern consumer, and thus operate a modern business, it’s important not to forget that the impact of the mobile consumer. Look across your organization and determine all the possible points of engagement. Predict how customers expect to engage via text, email, social media, Web chat, voice, video, self-service or other touch points. The best strategies will place an employee in the proper place at the proper time to support customer requests in real time. To do otherwise, in this modern age, will almost certainly result in the consumer taking their business elsewhere.

Tips For Choosing a Business Telephone System

If you are not already using a small business phone system in your company, you may be sending out the wrong message to potential clientele. If you want to make the right impression to callers, you need a business phone system that will provide optimal customer service. An advanced phone system will also help your staff to communicate and work effectively, whether with customers/prospects or with each other.

The most important features sought after by most businesses today include call forwarding, conferencing, automated menu and hold messages/music. Part of your plan when looking at a new business phone system should include if you have just one location or if you need something that enables remote connectivity.

Once you have determined your needs, the next job is to consider all the available options. There is a wide variety of systems available on the market, but the two main systems are PBX and VoIP.  The choice depends on your needs.

PBX works by creating several extensions within your company from a single landline. VoIP systems are based on either VoIP software or special phones. They could also be setup on traditional telephones using adapters, offering access to the features of the phone system using an Internet connection.

Once you have decided on what your small business phone system will be, you then need to consider the messages or music that will be used on the phone system during hold. Your message should be clear and give a professional impression of your company. Avoid silent periods in your automation, or your caller may mistake that as a dropped call.  Take this time to let the caller know crucial facts about your company.

Call Jay Faulconer for help in choosing the best system for your company’s needs.

Features that Prove an Auto Attendant Can Help Your Business Grow

Not sure if an auto attendant can help grow your business? Essentially, Auto Attendants allow you and your company the ability to manage calls from every office location at once. Sound too good to be true? Some of the best features of auto attendants are automated call answering, call forwarding, professional custom greetings, music when on hold, interactive and intuitive voice prompts, and call waiting.

Some other features that are automatically included with most automated attendants include:

Phone menu
Dial by name
Info messages
Voicemail

You never want to miss a potential lead or client because your phone lines are tied up. Auto Attendants essentially handle and transfer all your callers to the appropriate extension without a human receptionist or operator having to help them. As your business starts to grow, not only is this a smart strategy, but a vital one. The bigger a company is, the harder it is to catch every call. An Auto Attendant ensures that you will get every call, every time.

For businesses growing faster than anticipated, this is a viable option that guarantees that they are simultaneously on the top of their game and sounding professional.  Call ACS for further details on how an AA can help your growing business!

Key Features All Contact Centers Should Have (Part One)

11183695 - operators using a computer in call center with the camera focus on the foreground

Surprisingly, a lot of businesses can’t answer a seemingly simple question: what constitutes a contact center? Most people think of large firms that specialize entirely on answering customer questions and requests. In reality though, any business that talks to customers daily, works to solve customer requests.  Communication via e-mail, live chat, etc., counts as a contact center, whether that is their bread and butter or not. Most businesses meet at least one of these criteria, and need to account for how their customers contact them.

Over our next two editions, we will examine multiple features that all contact centers could benefit from, no matter how they are classified.

Voice over IP (VoIP)

 In the modern business world VoIP is essential. It has multiple benefits, and all you need is an internet connection. Not only is it cost-effective (less phone lines), frees your office of clutter (less hardware and wires), allows your business to have remote workers (smartphones and computers acting as phones), but it streamlines your business’ processes and interactions. VoIP gives your contact center a greater efficiency, one that can’t be duplicated with traditional business phones.

Barge, Whisper and Monitor Capabilities

 Speaking of call efficiency, barge, whisper, and monitor capabilities were created with call efficiency in mind. They give managers the ability to “monitor” employee phone conversations with customers, “whisper” privately to employees, and “barge” into the call if help is necessary. Employee efficiency and quality invariably rise when these tools are implemented, as does customer satisfaction.

 In our next edition, we will examine a few more essential features for all contact centers.

Avaya Aura Contact Center – Maximize your Customer’s Web Experience

Avaya AuraToday, web sites are just as important as a phone number for businesses. Yes, they require large investments in your time and money, but the returns they offer are invaluable. To receive these returns in investment however, your website needs to be focused on providing a one of a kind customer experience.

Avaya Aura Contact Center was created with customers in mind; it boasts click-to-talk to speak to agent. It even allows you to text with an agent. It also provides Web Chats, but even better, Avaya Aura Contact Center can give customers video content while they wait for an available representative. The video content is entirely up to the business to select, and it should give the customer useful information regarding the product they are interested in discussing. One of the best things about live chatting with customers directly from your website, is that customer service representatives can send the customer links regarding the products they have questions on. This way, the customer can actually see what the representative is describing.

Avaya Aura Contact Center is more than just web chatting though. Customers can also be emailed pre-defined responses and auto suggestions. There is also Call Back Requests for the customer who prefers to schedule an immediate or future call back. Your website can also feature Web Forms, which are usually used for verification, surveys or mere data collection.

Your website should help your customers to have a quick and efficient experience. If your site has given the customer precisely what they wanted and increased the likelihood that they will patronize your company in the future, it was time and money well spent.

How to Modernize your Contact Center

 

custmerserviceagentTechnology has changed a lot in the past decade, and, as a result, so have customers. Today, customers expect much more when they patronize a business; they expect immediate response when they reach out to a business. While this can present challenges for businesses, it is still possible to deliver a fantastic customer service experience.

This is true concerning the interactive voice response (IVR) when someone calls your customer service line. Oftentimes, a customer will select the appropriate option (billing, customer support, technical support, etc.) and then be prompted to enter in their name and, perhaps, their account number. All of these steps should be helpful in streamlining the process, but too much of the time people will enter all of this data only to have to repeat it to the agent when they are finally connected to a live person.

Businesses typically succeed in a customer’s eyes when they eliminate redundancies.  One of the best ways to achieve this is when a contact center properly utilizes cloud-based solutions, CRM integrations or customer journey analytics. Without analyzing these solutions, it is very difficult for businesses to understand what a customer experiences when calling your business.

One of the most basic things a business needs to keep in mind is that they need to communicate with customers on their terms. Customers today use their mobile phones, web chat, and social media almost as much–or more–than they do anything else. If a contact center wishes to stay relevant, they need to effectively use all of these methods.

A Quick Guide To What You Need in a Business Phone System

8840099_sIf you want to get ahead in the modern business world, you have to keep up with the rapidly evolving technological landscape. Unfortunately, a lot of us take the technology we use every day for granted; if it doesn’t work flawlessly, we get frustrated. Alas, not all technology is created equal, and this holds true for business phone systems.

Anymore, there are so many extra features that it can be difficult to make a selection. However, there are three main features that you should focus on when purchasing a business phone system. You should ensure that it is reliable, customizable, and affordable. Remember, your business needs may change as you grow and it should be able to work 24/7; however, if it isn’t cost-effective, it won’t help your business in the long-run.

Some of the bells and whistles that will help you meet these ends are admin user web portal, auto attendants, call forwarding, call waiting, voicemail to email, call recording, and multi-party conference call.  At the end of the day though, the most important thing is that it meets your individual company’s needs today and for the foreseeable future. 

How to Protect Against Hacking With Your VoIP Phone System

 

43403229_sA large chunk of the news is devoted to hacking.  Whether it is big business scares or identity theft, your personal information is often not as safe as you think it is. Yet many people are not aware that your data can often be hacked through their business phone system. When hackers gain access through your phone system, it can cause major headaches. Here are some precautions you can take to ensure that your information remains safe.

Use A Voicemail Password Or Code With VoIP Phone Systems

Passwords are always one of the best tools you have to defend against hackers, and this holds true when it comes to your voicemail. It is also imperative that you change it at least every six months and one that doesn’t have anything to do with any public aspects of your business.

If You Use Call Forwarding Options, Be Cautious

Call forwarding is great, but be weary about which number you use when implementing it. For example, never use an international number, because hackers have an easier time accessing your phone system with international numbers.

Always Have A Lockout Feature 

Lockout features with VoIP phones are important. Even if a hacker can’t get in after one or two attempts, they usually keep trying. With a lockout feature, if there are multiple attempts to get into your voicemail, it will alert you that there is suspicious activity occurring. This ensures that you can keep on top of your security.

Video Conferencing is the New Business Call

33803375 - professional team of multi-ethnic business colleagues having a video conference

No matter how big or small your business is, video conferencing can help you achieve many of your goals. When incorporating video conferencing into your company, you may be thinking it is a daunting task, but but nothing could be further from the truth! Here are a few reasons to add video conferencing to your company:

Limits travel time:

How many times have you tried to assemble all of your employees for that all important meeting, only to have a portion able to attend?  These days, with remote working becoming more popular, video conferencing eliminates the need for employees to waste work hours driving into the main office.   Employees can use their cell phones as a means to video conferencing.  Unlike a normal conference call, video conferencing has all of the benefits of an in-person meeting.

Increased productivity:

The majority of our communications come from body language. While phone calls are still important in the business world, face-to-face communication often prevents confusion.   Body language can aid in being able to see what a potential customer likes or does not like about your proposal, helping you to drive the meeting in the right direction.  Video conferencing offers a level of communication that doesn’t come from strictly verbal.

Staying Competitive:

While video conferencing is increasing in popularity, a fair number of companies haven’t made the switch yet. Therefore, you will have an edge on them in that regard. When customers know that your business is on the cutting edge of technology, you’ll make a great impression!