As technology advances and professional services firms invest in that technology, the question must be asked – “How will this provide greater value to our clients?” All too often, especially as it relates to technology, businesses adopt a technology because it’s the new, cool, latest thing. They may also feel like they have to in order to stay ahead of their competition. Many in professional services look for the ROI in a technology expense internally. They see a new HR software expense as a way to streamline and reduce overhead, thereby reducing total expense over time.
While these approaches are certainly valid, anything which adds value to a client relationship should be considered even if the ROI is an intangible one.
How VoIP Adds Value
Voice over IP (VoIP) isn’t typically a service a professional service firm would likely think of when searching for ways to add value to client relationships. After all, isn’t VoIP just a fancy way of saying “business phone system, or sending calls over the internet?” Yes and no.
Until a few years ago, the majority of businesses in America utilized a digital phone system for their companies. The phone system enabled employees and clients to talk to each other. The system also allowed for employees to be set up as an extension and receive voicemail messages when not available to answer a call. The digital system also allowed for businesses to set up auto-attendants, designed to guide a caller through a menu of options like, “press 1 for sales.” Employees could place a caller on hold or transfer them to another extension. The systems utilized traditional telephone lines from the phone company with phone numbers attached to those lines.
Voice over IP, whether it’s an IP system on-site or a hosted PBX system, offers firms and users great value in cost savings alone, but what about the client?
One of the ways utilizing VoIP in your business benefits clients is through a feature called presence management. Presence management t uses real-time data to determine an employee’s availability. Operators and coworkers can know by viewing a dashboard whether or not someone is available, in a meeting, out of the office, etc. This knowledge allows the person speaking with the client to take action in the moment and redirect the caller rather than simply initiating a blind transfer to voicemail. Using presence management is also beneficial in reducing the amount of time employees and clients spend playing phone tag. Presence management is also extremely useful in call center environments. Agents have immediate visibility as to who is available in the event of a customer requiring escalation of an issue.
Perhaps the most valuable feature to clients is the call routing and call management features VoIP systems provide. Using this feature, employees can utilize “find me/follow me.” The employee sets call forwarding rules which, when enabled, effectively follow him or her as prescribed. For example, a client calls Joe at extension 101. Joe isn’t at his desk so the system tries Joe’s home office number. He doesn’t answer there, so the system tries is mobile. Joe answers transparent to the end user. Joe can be reached using the VoIP system when, in the past, the client would have had to leave a voicemail.
These are just a couple examples of the value VoIP can provide clients. For more, or to learn about how VoIP can enhance your professional service firm, contact a representative at N2Net today.