Speed and quality customer service can make all the difference when it comes to success of business interactions. Yet small businesses in particular do not always have the resources to ensure customer expectations are met. It’s often a juggling act that requires a great deal of flexibility and organisation. Jobs, meetings, travel and events can all interfere with getting things done.
In recent years, however, cloud computing has come to the rescue. With data, documents and applications hosted online, there’s no longer the need to be tethered to a fixed location.
Wherever there’s an internet connection, your work can follow you. Being out of the office, at a remote location or even between meetings no longer need cause massive disruption.
This same level of agility is now possible with business calls, as telephony also takes to the cloud. Hosted voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) technology, as cloud phone systems are known, can offer much greater flexibility than traditional business phone systems. With a traditional phone line, calls will go straight through to whoever is on the receiving end (whether or not they happen to be there!). Conversely, calls in the cloud are first handled online. This means calls can be routed wherever they are required, no matter the number dialled.
It is even possible to implement a team-based response, whereby any staff member can respond to a call received on the same number. Let’s say a customer calls a business’ sales department. Instead of waiting on an engaged line, they will immediately get through to the first available person. Even if all team members happen to be busy, a rule-based queue system can ensure customer calls are handled in the most practical and effective way.
The cloud brings big-company capabilities to even the smallest of businesses. In fact, it enables a business to perform a number of additional feats of flexibility:
- Your telephone network can grow as you grow, without the need for any additional hardware. All the infrastructure you need is already in place.
- It’s easy to apply rules to organise the way calls are handled. For example, calls can be taken by different people based on the time of day. Priority customers can be routed directly through to an appropriate person.
- Voicemail can be fully received via landlines, mobiles, email and the web.
- Calls to a business number can easily be routed around the country (or even overseas).
For any small business wanting to deliver a world-class customer experience without a battle of resources, cloud telephony could prove to be a very flexible ally!