Multi-Media Conferencing- Audio, Video, and Web conferencing is the application that I’ve seen has the quickest return on investment to bring profitability…..and everybody needs it……..EVERYBODY. Eliminate airfare, mileage, windshield time, and airports. Host meetings in Houston at 11, Chicago at 1, and Green Bay at 3……No problem. Use it to record internal training sessions for new employees, new applications, or any other repetitive task. You can also use it to evaluate yourself and improve your presentation skills. Simply record your own session and play it back to critique yourself. Need IT help? Simply allow your IT staff to take remote control of a user’s computer to make quick fixes.
Reporting Tools- If you can’t measure it…you can’t manage it. You need a cockpit to drive your business from. How long are your customers on hold? How many service advisors are currently available? When are your peak call times? How many abandoned callers did you have today? Better yet….who are they and what’s their phone number?
Mobility- First there is cellular integration. Allow people to reach you by calling a single number that reaches you on any device, office, mobile, or even home. Give mobile users the ability to conference and transfer calls back to the office so that callers can get resolution to issues faster. Provide in office mobile employees with wireless handsets or headsets. Integrate your telephone system to your two-way radio infrastructure.
Call Recording- Did he say 500 or 5000 units? Was that 1065 Main or 1056 Main? Have documentation that the customer order parts for a 1992, not 1993. Maybe you simply want to evaluate employee performance for your customer service group, or critique a new employee. Use it to share quality calls with other team members.
Teleworking- Eliminate the commute, improve morale, reduce real estate costs, and increase productivity. I’ve worked from home for 8 years, and I enjoy every convenience of the office at home…..without all the gossip and distraction. I eliminated 90 minutes of daily commute. I also work much longer hours, and odd hours of the day that I wouldn’t have otherwise. The other morning my 7 month old, Jameson, woke up at 2 am. After getting him back to sleep, I couldn’t get back to sleep, so at 4 am I went into my office and started work(It’s amazing what you can get done before the phone starts ringing at 8). It’s also easy to be available off hours. I’ve had numerous after hours calls where the caller said “Oh, I expected to get your voicemail”. My response is “Well you have me, what can I do for you?” It allowed me to address the question immediately reducing voicemail tag and the customer waiting for an answer.
Presence and IM- See if people are available, on the phone, out of the office, on vacation, or in a meeting. Better yet, see when they’ll be available if they aren’t currently. Ever send out an email to a group of people trying to solicit the fastest response for your question? Then sit and stare at Outlook waiting for responses….only to get 10 responses over the next 2 days, when all you needed was 1. Maybe, you would like to see which engineer is available to get an immediate answer for a customer you are currently speaking with. You could even instant message them to get the aswer right away. If you don’t use Instant Messaging now, you will in the next 5 year. If you have a child between 12 and 25…..I guarantee they use it now. They will expect it as they enter the job market.
Virtualize- Consolidate servers, reduce power consumption, and improve management complexity. You have a Disaster Recovery Plan for your data……what about voice? By virtualizing your voice technology you can utilize your data DR plan for voice while reducing overall operating costs.
Fax Server- Reduce operating costs, like paper, toner, analog lines, or even the machine itself. A fax server is a very cost effective way to deliver faxes to the appropriate quickly and securely. Eliminate the waste of SPAM faxing. Make sure the privacy of certain document remains private. Have the ability to digitally archive fax documents. Eliminate numerous trips to the fax machine to see if your fax arrived.
Multi-Media to your Contact Center- How do your customers communicate with you......Voice, Email, Fax, Web Chat, SMS, Walk In? You contact center might be able to track how well you service the calls of your customers, but can it track how quickly the respond to other media? Better yet can you see a history of communications with their customers? Can they see the customer’s emails from the previous day, or who responded to them? What about integrating web callback or web chat so you customers can get questions answers immediately while browsing your website.
SIP- Session Initiation Protocol brings new features and functionality not available with traditional technologies like analog, T1, or PRI. SIP allows you to terminate remote numbers locally. For example, you can have New York telephone numbers terminate at your Chicago office. Consolidate trunking and eliminate telephone system hardware at remote sites, while providing better communication between locations. With one customer recently we were able to move all dial tone to his corporate office while preserving each local number in cities across the country. We replace 4 different telephone systems with one centralized system that supported all offices and also home based workers. The results reduced his telephone bill and system maintenance costs dramatically, while providing better communication for all employees.