Keeping Up with Success: A Communications System that Grows with You

Owen Kirwan
On: 4 May 2017
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Bus Comms

All businesses, whatever size or stage of development, have one thing in common: the need to communicate.

No business can survive without customer contact and employee collaboration. The right communications system helps start-ups build business, helps small businesses grow and helps medium-large businesses thrive.

Starting small. Thinking big.

As a start-up or small business, you have limited resources to take calls, look after your customers and handle all the associated admin. With resources potentially stretched, the chances of you or your colleagues being free and at your desks when the phone rings are slim. That’s why you need a communications system that lets you receive calls when and where you want, without making you look like you’re not well established with just a mobile phone to your name.

For example, you can have a landline number automatically route to your mobile when you’re out of the office, without the caller knowing. You can also have that landline number appear as the dial-out number which customers see, wherever you’re calling from.

Growing intelligently.

If you gain business faster than your business resources grow, there are ways you can make two or three employees appear to customers as many more.

An Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system – e.g. press 1 for this, press 2 for that – gives the impression of several well-staffed departments, even if it’s the same few people who answer regardless of the option selected. Then, when your business really does expand in size, the system can adapt.

An IVR can also route calls intelligently. If a caller presses 1 for widgets and your widgets expert is busy, it will route the call to your next-best widget specialist. That kind of functionality can make the difference between a missed call and a new customer.

It is also possible to link your communications system to your customer relationship management (CRM) system. With this integration, the details of the customer who is calling automatically display to whoever takes the call – details including previous queries, purchases, service contracts, etc. You can answer the call with all of this information instantly to hand, making your customer feel valued and your whole customer communications operation more efficient and effective.

Expanding business, expanding options.

As your business grows, you may want to introduce new ways for your customers to get in touch, such as email, instant messaging and social media. A multi-channel communications system will handle calls, emails and other forms of messages in the same way, so that no matter what way a customer contacts you, your response will be seamless.

As more customers contact you across various channels, tracking and gathering data on all communications with them becomes important. This will enable you to run essential reports and analytics from your system, so you can check up on how long they were waiting for a response, who on your team responded, or what customers are looking for more help than usual, which might indicate an issue or general dissatisfaction. The right system will provide you with all the necessary information to enable better handling of customer communications; helping you keep your customers and convert more customer contact into sales.

Head for the cloud.

Opting for a cloud-based communications system from the very beginning will let you keep up with success. Your communications system will grow with your business.

The alternative, an on-premise solution, will leave your communications vulnerable to everything from a power cut to a fire or flood. Cloud-based means your communications still stand up even if your premises don’t.

Extending an on-premise solution demands more hardware and more space – if the system can facilitate expansion at all. A cloud-based solution, on the other hand, can be scaled up easily.

In addition, features which would once have been the preserve of large enterprises are available out-of-the-box, whenever you need them.

Lastly, system upgrades and maintenance are included and the responsibility of the provider – meaning a cloud-based system is always up to date.

From appearing to be a bigger business, to behaving like a bigger business, to becoming a bigger business, your communications system is a crucial element. Choosing the right provider is too.

Learn more in our free eGuide to buying a Unified Communications system, or call our Business Advice team.