Author: Rachel Anderson
Posted on September 25, 2018 by Rachel Anderson
Whether you’re involved in a family-owned shop or a multi-national corporation, the communications your business has with its customers and partners can prove extremely important to your success. Some businesses have begun to record phone calls to aid recall of their conversations, and you might want to consider following their lead.
According to recent analysis at Software Advice, call centers involved with call recording showed a strong preference for web-based software like our Dash Business Phone Plans. The call centers emphasized their desire for features like call recording and conferencing, but you don’t have to run a call center to take advantage of those same features. You can reap the benefits of cloud-based software regardless of what style operation you run.
Let’s examine a few ways that call recording can make a positive impact on your business relations.
Keep it Personal
No business could function well without solid performances from its individual employees.
Take journalism, for example, where reporters are charged with interviewing all manner of people to piece together stories. Both facts and personal quotations come from one-on-one interviews between reporters and community members. Sometimes interviews take place over the phone, and in those cases, the conversations could be recorded for better recall.
Although journalists may strive to keep their facts straight and their quotes accurate, even their best efforts won’t always create 100 percent accuracy on the printed page. They could improve the accuracy of their stories by simply allowing a cloud-based system to record their phone calls.
In most cases, replay of a call is as simple as accessing the online system – like signing in to our Call Recording Manager to play or download an important conversation. This makes it easy to fact-check notes scrawled on a notepad or quotes hastily typed. From there, the newspaper benefits by printing highly accurate pieces, and the public benefits from a strong display of community events.
For the Good of the Company
Stepping up the ladder of responsibility, it may also be necessary for a multinational CEO to record phone calls for an event as pivotal as a merger.
Say a deal between your company and your biggest competitor was set to merge your operations. That may happen once in your lifetime. But it won’t proceed without a sign-off from your board of directors.
Unlike the one-on-one between a journalist and town resident, a conversation between CEO and shareholders is a group event. This means that, as CEO, you would be responsible for recall of a deal subject to the opinion of perhaps dozens of other people.
Recording your conference with the board would leave nothing to chance. Changes to the agreement would be captured. A final vote would be etched silicon. In any case, a weighty recording such as this could not only approve a huge business deal, it could serve as legal backing for the deal as it moves forward.
Analyze an Ongoing Deal
What if you aren’t yet successful with your personal interview or business merger? Sometimes a sure thing doesn’t always proceed as you desire.
Inc’s analysis of deals gone wrong ask the hypotheticals “What could I have done better?” and “How could I have handled the situation better?” A call recorder can help illuminate the problems that caused the floor to fall from under you.
Don’t let every missed opportunity ruin your future attempts at negotiation. Instead, learn from the bad deals by playing back the conversations that led to the unsavory outcome. When you learn about what you did well, what went wrong, and why, you can do better in future interactions and secure the next big deal that comes your way.
Record Phone Calls for Perspective
When you record phone calls, you give yourself an outside perspective on situations you helped create. You look at your own actions from the outside in a way that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.
No matter the scope of your conversations, there’s always something you can learn from an unedited replay of your interactions with another individual or group. Why not give it a try?
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Posted on August 28, 2018 by Rachel Anderson
ICMI (International Customer Management Institute) has named the following as the most important call center metrics to track – first call resolution, service level response time, adherence to schedule, forecasting accuracy, self-service accessibility, contact quality, and customer satisfaction. We can’t agree enough that these points are crucial for the success of any call center – whether it be a sales organization, customer support, a political campaign, fundraising effort, or any other type of call center. But exactly how can these metrics be tracked effectively?
Tracking Call Responses
Whether inbound, outbound, or a combination of the two, not every call ends with a successful transaction. In fact, especially for a cold-calling sales organization, it’s not uncommon for the majority of calls to result in a refusal to purchase/signup. For this reason, it is important for agents to be efficient with their time. When an agent has to call a lead back repeatedly because they were not equipped to answer their questions, a call lasts longer than it should, or the lead is left waiting, sales could be slipping through the cracks. Many of these inefficiencies can be prevented in the training process, but there are a few key call center metrics to watch for.
- An abundance of missed calls and voicemails: These should be considered as potential missed opportunities and avoided at all costs. One easy fix is an overflow queue staffed by managers or members of other teams capable of answering questions and facilitating transactions when a primary staff is overwhelmed.
- Call outcomes: The result of a call should be tied to the lead’s contact information. Most often this is done with the assistance of a CRM Integration which can be customized to track the call outcomes possible with your efforts, how many calls occurred between a single contact, and how much revenue was tied to that particular transaction.
- Trends in call activity logs: Advanced phone systems will provide detailed call logs with a whole host of call center metrics to analyze like call duration, time of day, and who the caller spoke with. Trends found can help you address which agents are adhering to call volume goals, whether staffing matches your needs, and more.
Get the Call Center Metrics You Need
No matter the size of your organization, VirtualPBX has the technology to not only run your call center, but to provide you with the metrics you need to stay on track with your goals. With business phone plans to fit any organization and a host of features included, like the Real-Time Monitor shown below, measuring your call center’s efforts has never been easier.
Posted on August 23, 2018 by Rachel Anderson
Are you planning to set up a call center or perhaps work with one? Are you trying to equip your sales and support team with the best phone systems available, the kind most popular in call centers? Call centers and businesses alike depend not only the agents and managers making phone calls – although these individuals indeed are a huge part of a successful one. The technologies employed by call centers and business play a pivotal role – including the call center telephone, call routing software, and reporting mechanisms.
A call center telephone system facilitates basic functions, such as call routing, multi-channel communications, individual agent preferences, and call activity reports. Integrations with services like customer relationship management (CRM) software and custom integrations made possible by Webhooks are also growing in popularity as they provide deeper insights into your contacts by connecting call data to additional data points. Added features such as Real-Time Monitoring, automated customer surveys, and multilingual customer service add significant value as well.
Which Call Center Telephone Options to Choose
Choosing the right call center telephone to supply your workers with may seem like a daunting task, but fortunately with a hosted PBX service, you have a wealth of options built to fit a range of budgets and preferences.
- Buy new VoIP phones: for companies and call centers looking to build a long-term operation with in-house staff, preprogramed VoIP phones provide a high tech solution that can handle multiple calls per phone. Two of the most popular models in our inventory include the Polycom VVX 301 VoIP Phone and the Yealink SIP T46G which comes with a full color touch screen.
- Use existing desk phones: switching your business phone service doesn’t necessarily mean switching the phones that you use. VirtualPBX supports most phones from Ubiquity, Polycom, Yealink, and Cisco, but if there is a phone or phones that you would like to use with your service and are unsure of their compatibility, just give us a call! Our agents are standing by 24/7 to answer your compatibility questions at 888.825.0800.
- Check out our free to use Web Phone: take advantage of our browser-based Web Phone to make calls using plan minutes. No downloads or updates to manage and no user fees make this the easy low-cost solution without sacrificing call quality. What’s more, it improves collaboration, members of the team can work remotely, and managers remain connected while they are away from the office.
No matter the call center telephone or telephones that you choose, all options are backed by 24/7 customer support from VirtualPBX. Better yet, just like your phone system, the devices you choose are up to you. Use any mix of VoIP desk phones, mobile phones, or Web Phones to make and receive calls and make changes at any time. So, what will you choose? Let us know which device option fits your needs best by reaching out on Facebook or Twitter – we’d love to hear from you!
Posted on August 16, 2018 by Rachel Anderson
A call center is a workforce that manages inbound and/or outbound call traffic to support a particular goal. The types of call centers vary, but some of the most common include political campaigns, lead generation, telemarketing, fundraising drives, grassroots campaigns and market research. While the intent of these efforts ranges greatly, there are a few guiding principles in call center management that can ensure success.
Call Center Management
A successful call center depends on the alignment of all individuals involved – from top-level leadership to the newest trainee. Here are some essential tips for call center management:
- Staff your call center with committed individuals: A call center is a team effort and every member of the team must contribute to shared goals. When hiring, make sure to look for individuals who are aligned with these goals from the beginning and motivated to achieve them.
- Stay informed: Whether selling a product, a candidate, or a cause – it’s important to stay up to date on related news. This may include competitive analysis, news briefings, product training, or other research. The important thing to remember is that when your agents are on the line with someone, they’re representing the organization in every answer they provide. By anticipating and preparing for the questions that they will receive, you ensure that they’re presenting the image you want to project.
- Use technology to your advantage: A successful call center is productive. Depending on the needs and budget of your call center, you may consider a few different methods to make the calls themselves. VoIP desk phones or a free to use Web Phone will provide crystal clear audio. For smaller budgets that still prefer a physical phone, rental VoIP phones are a great option that allows you to return devices when you no longer need them.
- Track your efforts: Learn from your efforts by tracking the outcome of each call. The sophistication of this process will certainly depend on budget, but the best way to accurately track contacts and use data for reporting measures is through the use of a CRM. A CRM integration with your phone system will track call outcome, agent activity, call volume by date, and other call center management statistics.
VirtualPBX Robust Call Center Solutions
Support your call center with technology that will boost productivity, provide insight into your efforts, and present a professional image. Business phone plans from VirtualPBX come with a set number of included minutes, a library of included features, compatibility with a wide range of phone options, and 99.999% uptime. Any changes are made directly in the easy to use web portal shown below. The best part is that all plans include 24/7 support to assist you whenever your call center needs an help with an adjustment or optimization.
Posted on August 10, 2018 by Rachel Anderson
Grassroots campaigns are the best way to build communities united around a cause. A strong grassroots advocacy model raises awareness for a community of people around issues at local, state or federal levels. Grassroots campaigns will also typically include some degree of political activity in order to draw attention to causes and issues and to influence public perception, regulations, or public policy. It is typical for membership organizations such as Chambers of Commerce, professional trade associations, and all shades of advocacy groups to take advocacy to a level beyond the grassroots into more organized forms. The strength in networks of motivated membership organizations is often manifested in their clout and in their ability to organize with client organizations and to create united groups of concerned constituents which are hard to ignore.
Mechanics of Effective Grassroots Advocacy
The best practices for effective grassroots advocacy include attracting volunteer participation, providing suitable and necessary information about public policy issues, and setting clear goals. The following considerations are simple steps you can make with your organization for it to be as successful as a strong grassroots advocacy organization.
- Plan for success: as a grassroots advocacy entity you must have an organized advocacy agenda that uses a variety of grassroots techniques to make your voice heard around the issues you care about.
- Organize around a strong leadership structure: to succeed at a very high level, have in place a stable leadership structure with clearly defined responsibilities.
- Build a “brand” advocacy model: a well-articulated “brand” should give your advocacy materials a consistent look and feel just like any standard political campaign.
- Use every available advocacy tool: to get your message out, be prepared to use every advocacy tool at your disposal, compare tools with other grassroots campaigns, and report on success metrics.
- Grow your organization: a well-defined and sustained membership drive is a necessary strategy for strength in numbers.
Keep Your Grassroots Campaign Connected with Dash Business Phone Plans
Communication is key in any grassroots campaign. Members should have a clear way to communicate with each other as well as a professional method to conduct outreach. Dash Business Phone Plans are the best fit. Not only are plans built for sharing across geographically dispersed teams – they are also made to fit any budget, allowing individuals the choice between sleek VoIP desk phones, 4G LTE mobile phones, or even a free to use Web Phone. For temporary grassroots campaigns, VirtualPBX also offers rental VoIP phones at a low per month rate.
But of course it doesn’t stop at devices. Features like Call Recording, Salesforce CRM Integration, and Real-Time Monitor (shown below) allow you to measure success at every step of the way. Choose the plan that fits your grassroots campaign best or we can also create a bespoke solution for your campaign through our Custom Voice Solutions.