Famine or feast
For many enterprises, the business cycle is a series of peaks and troughs. There are times when the volume of calls into or out of an organisation fluctuates wildly. Some examples include:
- Retailers during the Christmas season and New Year sales.
- Sporting events this year including the Rugby World Cup, which will attract ticket buyers.
- Universities during the summer clearing period and at the start of a new term.
- Manufacturers or retailers running special promotions or campaigns.
These events often generate high call volumes, so it makes good business sense to prepare for them. This includes ensuring that your business telecoms system can cope with the increased demand.
Ready for action?
Plotting the times during the year when there will be increased demand on your business telecoms is a good start, but you also need to check that you have the right system in place to support them.
- Will you need more agents to cope with the extra calls?
- Will agents be based in the main office or at another location?
- Will you need additional telephone lines?
- Is there a system in place for managing the higher volume of calls, such as call routing?
- Can you quickly scale up or down your telecoms system according to demand?
Customer service – the vital ingredient
It is very easy for business telecoms to get swamped by increased demand. Leaving customers on hold for twenty minutes listening to an electronic version of “Greensleeves” is unlikely to enhance your company’s reputation for good service.
The result is a lose-lose situation: the customer gets frustrated, hangs up and your business not only loses potential business, but probably the customer for good (plus the colleagues, friends and relatives they relate their experience to).
7 out of 10 consumers have ended their relationship with a company due to poor customer service.
Will ISDN let your business telecoms take the strain?
If your business telecoms system is based on an existing ISDN estate, then it may be difficult to cope with increased demand. Deploying additional lines or channels can be a slow process (sometimes taking weeks or months) and costs can increase even further if calls have to be forwarded to agents based at other sites as features like call forwarding can command additional fees.
When demand falls, you are still paying for the additional ISDN line rental.
SIP: a cost-effective, scalable solution
SIP trunking offers a flexible, scalable and cost effective solution to handle increased demand. With SIP, it is much easier to provision additional lines to cope with expected increase in calls, University clearing, for example. Internal calls (such as between multiple sites) are free, so if your agents are based at another site, it doesn’t cost extra to forward calls onto them from the main office.
Inbound call management: an all-round solution
SIP can be combined with an inbound call management solution that can help your organisation handle calls even more efficiently. Using a web-based interface, you can use a variety of call routing, monitoring and management tools to simplify call management and improve customer service. Statistics can be collected and analysed in real-time to monitor performance and implement changes quickly to cope with increased demand as and when required.
With a little planning and the right infrastructure in place, your business telecoms can be ready to support your business needs now and in the future, whatever the conditions.
This article first appeared on the Gamma blog.
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: Plan Your Business Telecoms Calendar Now
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