Don’t have an IT team? No problem. Cloud-based communication vendors manage all the technology for you. Just tap into all the great features via the Internet using your phone or tablet or computer. It’s really that simple.
The latest communications technology combines phone systems with video meetings and messaging, all in one app, which can help you deliver the service you need. It can also let you and your team have a life outside work. And not only are cloud communications solutions effective, they’re affordable, too.
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1. What to look for in a cloud-based communications solution
If you’re looking for a communications solution to help with customer service, here are some factors to consider:
- Experience. Look for a vendor that has worked with many small business owners and understands your concerns.
- Mobility. With more and more of the workforce working from home, your communication system must be flexible enough to accommodate remote workers.
- Reliability. Your communication system simply can’t go down. Good cloud communications vendors offer guarantees on reliability. The best will guarantee their systems are up and running 99.999% of the time (this is known as “five 9s”).
- Insights. The best cloud communications systems provide analytics on how your team uses them. These insights can help you pinpoint, for example, when customers most often contact your company so you can bring additional staff on board at those times.
- Integration. Ensure that your communications system connects with other products that you use at your company, such as Microsoft Word or Google Workspace.
- Security. Your communications must be secure, because you’re working with customers’ personal information.
2. How cloud communications creates work/life balance
The entire world has moved quickly to remote work. Remote workers can give your business the advantage of more flexible hours, so your customers can contact your business outside of typical work hours.
However, while remote work can provide opportunities to offer flexible hours for your customers, it can also be a challenge to shift to a remote workforce. How can you ensure quick response times and professional service for your customers?
- Turn your cell phones into your office. You can use a business phone number that forwards to your mobile phone whenever you choose. You can make and take phone calls via desk phone, computer, and mobile.
- Find communication solutions that allow for phone, video, messaging, and fax from a single application. Just one vendor instead of many.
- Ensure that communication analytics are available so you can measure productivity and assess customer needs.
- Make sure your solution is easy-to-use, and has simple customizable settings, just like your smartphone.
3. Automate as much as you can
It’s important to make sure that when customers reach out to you, they get to the person who can solve their problems quickly.
Cloud phone systems have what’s called “routing systems,” which help connect your customers to the desired department quickly. Make sure your communication solution lets you easily set up phone answering rules, as well as forward and transfer calls.
4. Let customers help themselves
Your admin tool should also help you develop simple communication rules that help customers help themselves so you can focus on more urgent calls. For example, find a solution that makes it easy to set up a voice-response menu when a customer calls you. Voice-response systems answer the call automatically and an automated voice gives customers options to help themselves, like checking store hours.
Set up communication solutions quickly and easily
If you’re feeling tired of your clunky communications system, it may seem daunting to add a new communications hub for your company. With RingCentral, you can set it up in hours, rather than days.
RingCentral also offers the opportunity to:
- Use one app for all your business needs (phone, video, messaging, and fax)
- Keep your business phone separate from your personal phone
- Add new locations, lines, and teams in minutes
- Work with a single vendor for simpler management and billing
RingCentral gives you an affordable solution that combines all your communication needs in a single hub. RingCentral handles your communications with ease, so you’re able to spend time growing your business.
Originally published Jun 01, 2022, updated Dec 30, 2022