Small businesses have several competitive advantages over larger companies.
For starters, small businesses can change directions on a whim and make important decisions without lengthy approval processes. They can provide localised, hands-on customer experiences that larger companies can’t contend with.
But of the many advantages small and medium-sized businesses have over larger companies, technology and digital tools often lag behind. The truth is, customers tend to prefer brands with a long, proven track record of positive customer reviews online, or brands with technologies that enhance the customer’s interactions with that brand.
The good news: cloud communications offers many features that can make your small business seem much bigger. With the right tools, you can provide exceptional experiences to your callers without losing the agility and adaptability that makes your small business unique.
Here are five ways to make your small business look big with the RingCentral MVP™ phone:
1. Schedule call forwarding for business hours
One of the most powerful tools in RingCentral’s phone capabilities is the ability to create business rules: during business hours, after hours and just about any time of day you specify.
Admins and users can configure where to receive incoming calls during or after active user hours in their RingCentral online account.
You can be as specific as:
- When a call is received, play [insert your musical choice here] on hold until a call is received.
- The music on hold is a custom song, which can be related to your brand or company.
- Interrupt the music every 15 seconds with “thank you for holding, please stay on the line. We will be with you as soon as we can.”
- Wait 15 seconds before forwarding the call to the next receptionist. If the receptionist does not pick up, send the call to voicemail.
- Send transcribed voicemails to XXX@email.com.
This feature is more commonly known as call routing. In RingCentral, you can create and manage custom answering rules for any web-enabled computer or mobile. You can also forward important calls directly to your mobile number and route all other calls to the office phone, voicemail or virtually any phone in the world.
RingCentral users also have access to powerful scheduling options. With the scheduling feature, you can customise days and hours of operation, give each employee or department separate business hours and set after-hours rules.
2. Create custom, professional greetings for all phone linesIn RingCentral, any greeting can be customised with your own voice, your CEO’s voice, a professional voice-over or any music you prefer. You can also record a greeting, save it as a .WAV file, and import it into the greetings section you want to customise.
Customised greetings give your callers a human experience when they reach you, and it sets the tone for an excellent customer service interaction. It’s also a great opportunity to positively present your brand while confirming that callers have the right number.
3. Integrate your softphone
The RingCentral MVP softphone allows you to make and receive calls inside any app you integrate it with. That means when you integrate RingCentral with your favorite business apps, you can access the softphone without ever having to switch back to RingCentral.
Check out our extensive App Gallery, which includes over 275 pre-built integrations with the most popular business apps. For more proprietary apps, you can build your own softphone integrations with RingCentral voice APIs.
Benefits of a softphone:
1. Make and answer calls from your computer
The softphone is part of the desktop app, which is included at no additional cost with all RingCentral MVP editions.
Plug in a headset or simply use your computer’s speakers and microphone to turn any computer into a phone and call controller. Make calls to any of your contacts with a single click.
2. Manage and control your calls better
Easily switch calls, mute calls or send callers to voicemail. Park a telephone call at a virtual location and retrieve it from any other phone or softphone in your system, even a mobile device can pick up a parked call. Seamlessly flip an ongoing call to your desk phone, computer or mobile device.
3. Record calls with a softphone
Record a single call, or change your settings to automatically record all your calls. Download recorded conversations, store them on your computer, or forward them to others for review.
4. Send callers text-to-speech in real time
Communicate with your callers without picking up your handset. Allow callers to hear a default message or type a personalised one to be transmitted via text-to-speech technology when you’re too busy to take a call.
4. Automatically transfer inbound calls to extensions based on caller needs
In RingCentral MVP, each extension can have their own individual business rules and hours of operation.
Every user has the ability to transfer calls to any extension in their company’s setup. During a call transfer, the user presses a transfer button to pass an active call on to someone else before disconnecting themselves from the call.
This is different from call forwarding, where inbound calls are automatically forwarded to a preset number without first going through a human recipient.
Transferring a call is much more than having your colleague on speed dial. It’s all about providing the best service possible to your callers. For example, a phone call is often a potential customer’s first point of contact with a business. If they feel dissatisfied with the experience, chances are they’ll go straight to your competitors.
Before doing a cold transfer, consider whether the destination department is well-staffed to answer calls and whether they have voicemail set up. Otherwise, your caller will reach a dead end and have to start their call all over again.
5. Find an agent automatically with a phone hunt group
When a caller reaches your phone line, they expect the right agent to answer their call in a timely manner. If an agent isn’t available, they should get automatically routed to another agent.
In a phone hunt group, when your customers call your official phone number, the hunting number begins hunting calls. It searches for the first available member of the phone hunt group.
Hunting calls rely on an algorithm that is created alongside a hunt group phone. The phone can contain multiple groups within one hunt group based on the number of extensions you provide.
It can forward calls to an extension that leads to sales, tech, customer service, etc. where members are waiting to answer. Who answers the call depends on the method you choose for the hunt group phone.
Small business with enterprise-level communications
Large companies might have a leg up when it comes to customer service technologies, but with the right phone tools, small businesses can provide the same level of service as any large company.
The best part? You can do it all in RingCentral MVP. No need for additional, costly call centre solutions. Your users have everything they need to provide enterprise-level service all in one platform.
Not a user yet? Learn more about RingCentral MVP here and request a demo when you’re ready.
Originally published Sep 01, 2022