Choosing a good phone system for your business is an important part of gaining and retaining customers.

Emails, chatbots and SMS has resulted in a slight decline in the volume of phone calls to businesses in recent years, but the importance of those calls had increased significantly.

Many people call a business when it’s important or when they can’t access help online or through an app.

This is why it is so important for businesses to prioritise and invest in their telecommunications systems, with a focus on making things easier on the customer as well as the business.

Features of a good business phone system include quality call-waiting features, call recording features and intuitive technology.

Quality call-waiting features

Most callers will hang up in frustration if they are kept on hold for more than five minutes. Nothing puts customers off more than boring music. Greensleeves simply does not cut it in 2020. Recordings that say “your call is important to us” will only make customers irate when they have been waiting for hours.

Business owners should offer customers an on-hold service they will enjoy. Offer a call-back feature so the caller knows they will have their issue resolved without having to wait. Call-wait time estimates also provide a caller more certainty about the wait time, which reduces anxiety.

The latest on-hold features entertain, are interactive and can be tailored for you business. Callers can listen to breaking news, the weather, sport or podcasts. They can take a quiz or select what music they would like to listen to from a jukebox.

A feature-driven on-hold system focuses on customer experience. They will remember you if you are different, quirky, funny, make them laugh, or give them an emotional response.

Quality call recording features

Call recordings enhance efficiency and protect both the customer and the business.

The latest call recording features provide insights and data about staff and customers. Algorithms provide information about customer engagement and experience. There is even a happiness rating.

Recording calls improves the professionalism and integrity of staff and customers because they know they are being recorded. Communication is improved because staff are able to listen to the conversation again and gain a better understanding of the customer’s needs.

Maintaining a database of recorded calls improves compliance for any disputes or legal issues. Managers can also receive alerts during phone calls if there is a compliance risk.

Recording calls also provides training and development feedback, so managers can ensure staff are best meeting the needs of customers.

Cloud-based services provide call recordings on mobile phones to cater for remote workforces.

Intuitive technology

Ground-breaking intuitive technology recognises a customer’s phone number, their name, address and what they like. Intuitive technology automatically predicts where to place a call. It can let a business know if the caller is a loyal regular caller or a pest caller.

This artificial intelligence is revolutionising the telecommunications industry.

Gone are the days when receptionists need to ask how they can best direct your call.

Intuitive technology ensures customers get straight through to the person they need. Customers won’t need to press 1, 2 or 3 for different departments, or yell the same generic phrase into the phone over and over until the voice recognition finally understands them.

Automatic call direct is bringing call times down and customer satisfaction up.

It identifies new phone numbers as potential customers and directs them accordingly. For customers that have called a business previously, data about their phone number, information and preferences are encrypted for privacy and stored securely on the Cloud.

Telephone calls vital for communication

Telephone calls might seem old fashioned, but business owners should embrace the latest high-tech features for efficiency and to streamline their systems.

Calling on the telephone is still an important form of communication.

While many businesses may choose to communicate with customers through chatbots and SMS, nothing beats the authenticity and trust of a human voice.

Most businesses have outdated telephone systems

Sadly, about 90 per cent of businesses have outdated phone systems. They are failing their customers who struggle to get through, experience long and boring on-hold wait times and often hang up in frustration.

The big utilities are the worst offenders, such as power and insurance companies. While smaller businesses like car dealerships embraced feature-driven telephony and customer experience.

The smaller competitive industries are keeping up with technology, saving money and keeping their customers happy.

But the big corporations won’t be able to rely on monopolies or customer loyalty forever. Increased competition and our tech-savvy younger generation will mean they’ll have to lift their game or lose customers.