We recently conducted a nationwide survey of businesses to find out how office phone system use varies across markets.
Our respondents provided us with valuable insight about how businesses of varying sizes use their phones to prop up sales and customer service.
None of these responses come from VirtualPBX customers. Yet we admired their ideas and strive, in our own Business Phone System, to offer the types of features these business officials look for. Today’s blog will highlight some of the responses we received about office phone system use and provide commentary on the ideas each community member offered us.
Ciara Hautau – Fueled
- “We try to have as many people reach out to us via our contact form. Our phone system is then used to follow up with the lead and chat through our experience and answer any questions they may have. We try to set a goal to close as many deals as we can via our phone system. We also receive lots of phone calls from people who don’t want to fill out the contact form asking about our services and how we can help them. It’s safe to say without our phone line we would have lost a ton of business.”
Sean Pour – SellMax
- “As a company we aim to purchase used vehicles throughout the entire United States, so customers call into our phone number looking to obtain a quote for selling their used car. Our goal is to be able to handle as many inbound calls as possible, so having a system that can scale and distribute calls evenly across workers is essential to our company growth. We want as little hold time as possible, and to get to a live staff member as soon as possible.”
Ryder Meehan – Upgrow
- “We use our company phone system almost entirely for inbound sales calls. When leads call in it’s important that we have 100% coverage so the call is always answered quickly by our team. Our goal is to accept all inbound call in under 15 seconds, so we have a round-robin system that transfer to sales reps.”
Lisamarie Monaco – PinnacleQuote
- “As a company, my goal is to make all the calls. My goal daily is simply to get at least two sales each day. Each client is different. In the life insurance industry there is not a ‘one size fits all.’ Every client has different health issues, different medications, age, etc., so it is not a 10-minute phone call in most cases. It could be 1 hour or more.”
Ian Wright – BusinessFibre.co.uk
- “The main goal (KPI) we have around inbound sales is that all calls must be answered in less than 2 minutes (and usually much faster, often on the second ring). Anything longer than that and we’ll likely lose the sale. We’ve found that people who call are almost always the best customers in terms of account size and readiness to buy. However, they are also really impatient, so if you don’t answer your phone promptly you won’t get the sale.”
Tony Arevalo – CarSurance
- “Sales would mostly call out and had no limitations in terms of time spent on the phone. They would call mostly existing clients for new orders and receive calls filtered by customer support. This allowed the Sales team to focus on the most profitable clients and promising leads.”
Although Lisamarie Monaco spoke about the life insurance industry in their response, the remark that “there is not a ‘one size fits all’” in that industry rings true for the use of phones in sales departments as a whole.
Our respondents commented that speed in answering calls was important. That said, they also conceded that completing a large number of calls could sometimes take a back seat to the length of calls – if length meant securing a sale in a session.
If there’s one primary takeaway from those points, it’s that the customer has a lot of control over a business’s office phone system use. Like Ian Wright noted, there’s a balance between giving customers what they want and providing it in a timely manner.
VirtualPBX helps make it easy for sales departments to answer and route calls to the proper individuals with standard features like Automated Attendant and Ring Groups. These tools help your automated system filter calls so sales teams can answer them quickly. Furthermore, where outbound sales is concerned, cold calling can be bolstered by Voicemail to help sellers remain in touch with contacts who are eager to return your call but missed you when you were away.
Rodney Yo – Best Online Traffic School
- “Our goal is to provide the best customer support possible, even if that means spending longer than necessary on the phone. As a small online business, we rely on word of mouth and online reviews to get our business found. This strategy has paid off because people are always referencing our amazing customer service in their reviews, which also adds value to our offerings.”
Lisa Chu – Black n Bianco
- “Specializing in kids clothing, we receive lot of questions regarding fits and styles. Having a reliable telephone line is crucial to running our business. Our goal is to provide an answer to our customers as quick and efficient as possible. We try to keep the call under five minutes per customer. Our telephone line also needs to be clear and reliable because if we constantly have to repeat ourselves due to poor connection or sound it lowers our productivity and we are not able to meet the five minute per customer goal. Every business is different but having a great telephone service is one of the key components to the our success.”
Jared Weitz – United Capital Source
- “Phone usage is high within our organization, with considerable focus on communication with clients. Our goal is to always have someone available to speak with a client or lead at any time. We go beyond phone calls and are able to easily and quickly communicate via text message with clients after hours and whenever needed. Being readily available when working with businesses finances helps to greatly put people at ease and rest assured they can receive the support needed at any moment.”
What we saw here that stood out most is our respondents’ emphasis on reliability and accessibility in office phone system use. With our own 24/7 customer service, we relate strongly to Jared Weitz’s comment that “being readily available… at any moment” gives customers a sense of ease. They know that, when something goes wrong, the lines of communication will always be open.
Similarly, like Rodney Yo pointed out, customer service can often mean “spending longer than necessary on the phone.” What’s necessary to solve a problem is not always what’s necessary to assist customer with everything they need, including giving them peace of mind. Yo’s and Weitz’s comments here go hand in hand because they realize that as-quick-as-possible calls aren’t always the answer.
The VirtualPBX Phone System takes note of that reality by having the aforementioned Ring Groups keep track of busy lines and route incoming calls accordingly to available individuals. Furthermore, our system Dashboard includes the Live Call Monitoring feature that allows administrators to keep informed about busy and available users. Admins can address callers during peak hours and when customer service is using extra time to assist customers.
Yet, we also resonate with Lisa Chu’s sentiment that keeping calls under five minutes can be essential when working with a high volume of calls. We help businesses keep connected to customers with secure servers and 99.999% Uptime so their phone lines will be clear and reliable.
A Quick Thank You
We wanted to thank all the respondents to our survey. It’s not just the ideas from within the VirtualPBX team that helps create the system we have today and the features coming forth as shown on our Product Roadmap; it’s the preferences of our customers and community that drive the communications market.
Clearly, we and other providers play a key role in the daily operations of many companies. We’re happy to offer a product that can address those needs and let businesses offer great products and service to their own customers.