Unifying The Worlds Of Voice And Data Key To Business Success

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Companies embracing the merging of voice and data technologies will be the ones which prove most successful.

The worlds of data and voice have evolved separately in recent years, but those organisations which marry them together using current technologies will see substantial benefits in the form of capital and operational cost savings, lower cost of ownership for hardware, reduced risk associated with continuity and disaster recovery, and new opportunities for innovation.

First, there is the world of the data centre. Its servers and other hardware components, and the business applications that run on them, are the backbone of the organisation. They turn the reams of data that companies generate and collect into the information they need to understand and operate the business.

Then, there is the world of telephony. Here, voice applications ensure that the people whose performance determines how well the organisation does, how effectively it competes, and whether it succeeds or fails, communicate with one another in myriad ways to ensure that information is understood and acted on. Even in today’s high-tech world, voice communication is the beating heart of the business.

Managing those worlds is not easy. It means having two of everything. Two budgets. Two groups of personnel with different sets of specialised skills. And two technology infrastructures to buy, deploy, and support, because data applications and voice applications have very different needs when it comes to the hardware they run on and the ways in which they can be managed.

At least, they did until now, and we can help those organisations which want to take this next big leap forward.

Reducing the overall number of physical servers in a data centre has the obvious benefits of capital cost savings. And server consolidation also leads to immediate operational savings, because office space is needed to house hardware, and less energy is needed to power and cool the fewer servers that do the job.

And organisations used to labouring over two plans for business continuity and disaster recovery – one for data, the other for voice – can now encompass their entire IT infrastructure with a single plan. And they can have a common set of service level agreements (SLAs), processes, and tools for their single infrastructure.

In short, companies can now fundamentally change the way they think about their IT infrastructures and their resources. Instead of managing individual boxes, they can manage overall IT services. Instead of devoting most of their budgets to maintenance, they can focus on innovation.

And, for the business people who depend on data and voice applications, it means a better quality of service at considerably less cost.

Uniting the worlds of data and voice on a single infrastructure means:

  • Reduced capital expenditures. Running telephony and data applications on the same servers means fewer servers are needed, so the total cost of ownership for the information infrastructure drops dramatically.
  • Reduced operations and maintenance costs. Managing communication solutions along with other business applications does away with the costs of duplicate maintenance tasks.
  • Reduced power consumption. The power savings inherent in data environments can also be applied to voice applications.
  • Improved application availability. Applications are no longer subject to prolonged downtime for physical server maintenance.
  • Integrated business continuity. Consolidated disaster recovery management means that management methodologies and best practices can be applied consistently across all applications in the data centre, including business communication applications.
  • Increased business innovation. Freed from having to maintain two separate infrastructures, IT can devote resources to developing new applications and services that build competitive advantage.

The world of the data centre have been around since the days of mainframe computers. These were huge and expensive, and organisations had to use every ounce of power they offered and squeeze every bit of potential out of them.

One problem to realising their potential was that different software applications can require different operating systems. Unless a way could be found to run more than one operating system on a mainframe, different computers would be needed to run different software – something too expensive to be practical.

The solution to the problem was called ‘virtualisation’ – dividing a mainframe into partitions capable of running different operating systems and applications – in other words, turning one ‘real’ computer into two or more ‘virtual’ computers – and this made it possible to slice and dice resources and put the pieces to their best use.

Today, virtual computers can be created and modified at will. Applications and databases can be moved from one virtual machine to another without disrupting the work of the business people who depend on them. Deploying new software and maintaining hardware has become much easier, and the cost of running data centres has decreased significantly. Virtualised data centres deliver huge cost savings and operational advantages to today’s organisations.

But just as the data centre world has evolved since the era of the mainframe, communications technology has evolved through a series of exciting changes into the unified voice communications of today.

VoIP made it possible to run voice applications over the Internet, and to centralise many of the maintenance tasks associated with keeping a voice infrastructure running. It also enabled unified messaging capabilities, such as the integration of voice mail and email.

Control of voice technology has become software-based, and the advances in telephony have enabled the reliable, flexible, capability rich, internet-based telephony systems that today enable teleconferencing, web and audio conferencing, centralised global call centre operation, and other technologies that organisations depend on to keep communication flowing.

Pinnacle can help organisations unite their business data and voice applications on a single infrastructure. All of the benefits of the data centre and VoIP telephony can be realised with less capital spending, lower operational and maintenance costs, reduced power consumption, and easier and more dependable business continuity and disaster recovery. What used to exist in two different worlds can now, for the first time, be united in one.

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Integrating mobile devices into communications infrastructure key issue for companies

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Organisations need to take a fresh look at how they are integrating their employees’ mobile phones into their corporate communications network. Mobiles should be an extension of a feature-rich network rather than a stand-alone add-on for employees.

No business tool is more essential or ubiquitous than the phone. With the huge array of technologies now at our disposal, we still depend on the power of voice communications that let us connect instantaneously and talk with anyone in the world.

No more so than in a world where business operations are spread around the globe with highly mobile employees on call at all hours. The evidence is all around us. Look in any airport lounge, sit in any train, stop at a cafe or walk along the pavement and you will see people conducting business on their mobile phones.

Wander through the corridors of any organisation and you will encounter more evidence of a workforce on the move, as people continue conversations on mobiles en route from one meeting to the next. Look around the offices and you will see the empty desks of the many employees who are working elsewhere – perhaps somewhere else in the building, teleworking from home or travelling anywhere in the world – but still just a phone call away.

What is not so clear and obvious, however, is how this mobile workforce and their organisations are using their communications tools. How do their mobile phones link up with laptops, desktop computers and office phone systems? Can employees switch smoothly from one device to another on the go? Do customers and colleagues know how to reach them at all times?

Are their messages all collected in one mailbox or do they sometimes languish in a voicemail system that the user forgets to check? How does the organisation manage its mobility solutions? Are costs under control? Are mobile communications fully integrated with customer relationship management systems and other business solutions? Finding the right answers to questions such as these is crucial in a business environment where so much depends on instantaneous action and decision-making.

Customers now expect an immediate response. Supply chains operate on a just-in-time basis. Employees must collaborate in teams whose members could be anywhere in the world. Staying ahead of the competition – or even just keeping up with it – in this environment requires highly efficient and well-integrated mobility solutions that will keep individual employees connected at all times.

New tools are helping businesses that are now grappling with the new realities of the global, mobile economy, which link mobile phones with computers, voicemail with email, and provide new ways of sorting, mixing and managing information and communications.

By using the technology of the internet – Internet Protocol (IP) – to manage their telephone systems, companies can now give employees a new set of powerful communication tools that are as easy to use as email and the worldwide web. Odds are if your business is on the move so are you and your employees. Tracking down essential staff at key moments is integral to your business. Finding them is another matter. Employees can be between offices or stores, with a customer, working from home or on the way to grab lunch. You’re no different. How to stay in touch?

Yet people can and do communicate with their colleagues and customers while they’re out of the office using multiple devices. But they often have to call many different numbers to reach them, only to leave messages in multiple mailboxes. Mobile workers are constrained by the fact that their mobile phones are on a separate network from the office phone system, so they don’t have access to all the calling features and productivity tools that are available on the office phones.

So how can you solve these problems and make your mobile workforce more accessible and more productive? You can begin with a very simple, yet fundamental change that orients your communications system around individual users rather than the devices they use.

A traditional phone system connects one device to another, with the result that all employees have separate numbers for the desktop phones in their office, their cell phones and their home phones. In many cases, because each of these devices has their own voice mail, messages are left in multiple locations.

A unified IP communications solution can provide each employee with a single number and a single source for voicemail. By doing so, it won’t matter to the caller where the person they’re calling is or what device he or she is using. The caller simply dials a four-digit extension number that automatically rings the recipient’s mobile phone, desk phone, or other device of choice simultaneously. Messages all go into a single personal inbox that allow people to respond to voice and email messages alike, even if they are on the road, by using a voice interface on their mobile phones which negates the need to log on to their computers.

One contact number and single source voice mail is significant. But this type of application goes further. IP mobility solutions also make it easy to switch communications from one device to another, so that a worker can take a mobile phone call on their way into the office and then seamlessly transfer it to the desk phone. Even more powerful and far-reaching in its impact is the way these mobility solutions can be used to extend the reach of critical business applications by connecting them with employees in the field.

Pinnacle Telecom is leading the way toward a new and more personalised approach to communications for organisations. Our innovative solutions, applications and desktop appliances enable you to access, process and control your communications and information naturally, simply and efficiently.

Our solutions allow organisations to collaborate over distance and time and to interact with their customers, colleagues and partners as never before, by combining the power of voice, data and video over converged high speed networks.

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Mobile Phone Management Key To Business Success

business-men-cell-phone-walkingAs mobile phones celebrate a milestone birthday, it’s interesting how they have moved from a simple communications device to now being a key part of business processes.

It has now been 40 years since the first mobile phone call when a telephone engineer rang a technology rival from a ‘cell’ phone in New York. The device was almost 23cm tall, weighed more than one kilogram, contained 30 circuit boards, had a talk-time of 35 minutes and took 10 hours to recharge.

Today, mobile phones in many of our client’s systems are set up to handle many complex forms-based applications that talk to an array of different enterprise back-end systems, making them an integral part of the business process.

Although the mobile phone was developed in the early 1970s, it actually took a decade for it to come into widespread use. Now that smartphones have been around for a few years, the way they are being used by organisations is also starting to evolve, such as connecting multiple enterprise applications to a mobile worker and providing and collecting information that in real time.

Organisations with field workforces are increasingly turning to mobile solutions as a major opportunity to enhance their operational effectiveness. Mobile data is more than just a good communication tool, it is becoming integral to giving key work instructions to the field and capturing real-time job information for the main office.

For example, one of the areas where field workers operate is in supporting the customer service function, whether they be field engineers, mobile repair teams, couriers, insurance inspectors or data collection operatives. Improving the field workers’ ability to deliver service to the customer is having an immediate and positive effect on the operation of the business.

With effective integration into the key back office systems that drive and process the work schedule, it provides the ability to issue work in a timely manner, customers can be given specific appointment times, and workers can move swiftly and efficiently from job to job. The result is the optimisation of resource allocation of a mobile team.

Improving the quality and accuracy of information received by the field worker has been shown to increase their ability to successfully complete each job. This can improve first time completion rates and reduce time to complete a job – be it a repair, collection, inspection or other field-based activity.

In turn, this reduces recalls and the average job lead time, thereby increasing the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the mobile workforce.

The process for implementing mobile applications is principally the same as that required for any major business investment or operational change, involving the selection of technologies and partners, planning and then implementing the solution. Understanding the impact on the business is one of the most fundamental considerations, as mobile technology will impact mobile workers in profound new ways, but in return can transform business performance.

Incorporating mobile phones into business systems has a host of benefits, such as:

  • reducing the workload of administrative personnel
  • reducing the costs associated with delivering service
  • increasing the quality and quantity of work delivered by personnel in the field
  • an enabler of major change in workforce job scheduling

With a real-time mobile data solution, an accurate view of the workforce becomes available at any given time. Real-time information gives an organisation the ability to adjust job schedules constantly. Further review of this information can be the basis for adjustments in future scheduling work, leading to continuous improvement for the organisation.

Clearly mobile data has the ability to deliver all these operational benefits, but there needs to be an understanding of how to achieve these and, in particular, how to harness the maximum potential return for your business.

This goes beyond a technical offering that meets requirements. A successful project starts with an assessment of the mobile strategy requirements and an acknowledgement that the project will impact people and processes.

Mobile data can be a catalyst for change. It can be implemented in two ways; either through mapping existing processes into the new technology or as an opportunity to make fundamental improvements to existing processes.

To successfully introduce a new process, system or technology there must be a clear focus and defined project objectives. Where possible keep it simple, consider a phased approach and concentrate on the initial business requirements.

The opportunities for cost savings are wide ranging. In terms of spending on physical items these include reducing fuel, maintenance and time costs associated with the vehicle fleet through improved travel management; reduction or elimination of unnecessary journeys to the office or depot and overtime costs associated with out-of-hours re-typing of data; and enhancements in workforce resource allocation, job information and scheduling, resulting in fewer missed jobs, less re-scheduled activity and a reduction in re-calls.

This all adds up to improvements in the way customer service is delivered and an improvement in the customer experience of the service received. Therefore, increased customer retention can be expected along with the potential to win new business, through the demonstration of enhanced service provision processes and service levels.

The result of incorporating mobile applications into your communications infrastructure is increased efficiency, higher customer satisfaction, lower costs plus a reduction in the time to invoicing and, therefore, faster revenue collection.

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How finance companies can get ahead in a fast-moving world

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Financial organisations need to look at how they can move ahead of their competition by changing the way they do business and re-thinking the way their staff work. They need to bring together telephony, customer interaction, front office working and mobile working to deliver a reliable, unified communication solution.

Financial organisations are changing the way they do business and re-thinking the way people work. Today’s financial services industry is challenged by changing compliance requirements, the need to reduce operating expenses and stay ahead of the competition. This demands reliable, secure communications, capable of transforming the business and supporting continuous change.

Financial organisations encompass a raft of different types of businesses. These range from trading on the stock exchange, to insurance companies, to retail banking. All of these have many things in common, including operating in a dynamic financial environment where timely information is critical to good decision-making.

In a trading environment, improving communication between front office trading, back office processing and clients can transform business efficiency. These benefits can be realised through the power of unified communications and collaboration.

The insurance industry plays a critical role in protecting individuals and businesses against everyday risks. Customers expect exceptional standards of communication and response, even during the most demanding periods. Again, agile, secure communication solutions capable of meeting compliance requirements and maximising customer satisfaction is essential.

Then we have retail banks which are looking to differentiate customer experience, maximise staff efficiency and meet ever-changing compliance requirements. Customers expect a consistently high level of service across all channels, 24/7.

Unified communication and collaboration solutions enable retail banks to respond to the economic climate and provide customers with a consistent experience and stay ahead of the competition.

Constantly changing market places, ever developing compliance requirements, the need to attract and retain the best talent and the drive towards better customer service demanded dynamic IT solutions that support financial organisations needs to evolve quickly and efficiently. Telephone call control, enriched by a wide range of desktop devices and applications, allows financial organisations freedom to change the way they do business, improve staff retention, create efficient business processes, and better customer interaction.

Financial organisations are looking to create flexible, efficient, client-focused companies by changing the way people work. They need innovative and flexible working capabilities across offices, at home, or on the move. Distributed teams need to be able to work together effectively. However, older communication systems – called ‘legacy systems’ – all too often lack the flexibility to support today’s business processes, restricting the level of innovation needed to remain ahead of the market.

Technology should support business processes. We install web-based systems which enable changes to be made quickly and easily from ‘anywhere’ to ensure technology doesn’t restrict business development. Particularly in the finance sector, ever-changing compliance requirements require flexibility which can meet ongoing compliance needs as well as deliver day-to-day business benefits.

‘Big Bang’ technology deployments take longer to implement, demand more IT resource, and carry more risk. Instead, progressive migration to new systems enables financial organisations to implement internet-based technology quickly and efficiently to meet specific needs. This means their investment in legacy technology can be protected wherever it makes sense.

But the reality is that traditional, fixed call centres are unable to support today’s dynamic client-focused marketplace. New contact centre solutions deliver efficient and consistent customer interaction. New financial products and services can be introduced quickly and efficiently.

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The importance of ‘Unified Communications’

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Although a much-used buzzphrase, what exactly is the importance of ‘unified communications’ in today’s ultra-competitive marketplace.

Well, at its heart, it is the development of systems designed to tackle constant pressure on managers and key employees, and the intense competition for customers.

The goal of unified communications is simple: to make it easy and cost effective for employees to reach one another – as well as business partners and customers – as soon as they need to, wherever they are.

The idea is to merge two or more communications into one user interface, allowing users to see whether someone is available for a phone call, video or telephone conference or instant message chat, and then to contact them in the most appropriate way.

So the next time a customer calls your business with a question about your services, instead of playing ‘phone tag’ trying to find the person who knows the answer, they can be routed to the right employee immediately.

There can be constant pressure on a few ‘go-to’ employees, who everyone else in the organisation relies on for help and information. Because they are so important to the health of the organisation, their time is at a premium. What they need more than anything else is a tool that can help them prioritise their communications.

Managers need technology that allows them to take important calls from anywhere, and ignore the interruptions that can wait for another day. Doing that requires tools that can identify important callers, properly route critical communications, and enable collaboration from anywhere.

In most organisations, customer service is priority number one. In many companies, for example, product offered by one competitor can be easily matched by another, so what matters most is their service. Success requires features that guarantee customers get the answers they need, the minute they need them.

These same organisations need advanced communications technology to meet their business goals, but don’t always have necessary staff devoted to IT and telecommunications issues. As a result, they need technology that is easy to understand and justify, and simple to deploy, manage and use.

So by integrating voice and online communications, ‘unified communication’ technologies make it easy for your employees to identify and locate the right person at the right time, get critical information, make faster and better decisions, and deliver exceptional customer service. It can also cut the costs of communications, including voice, instant messaging and conferencing.

Unified communications can deliver a variety of benefits, including:

  • Customer Care – With skills-based routing, presence information and conferencing, unified communications makes it easier to stay in touch with customers, and ensure they get the answers and support they need;
  • Better Productivity – It can use information and click-to-communicate capabilities to get the right information to the right people as soon as they need it, which helps managers make better decisions more quickly, which in turn speeds development and production times, and fills orders faster;
  • Lowering the Cost of Communications – Unified communications may sound expensive, but it can actually help reduce your communications costs. IP telephony has been shown to save thousands of pounds on voice calls alone – throw in decreased call volumes (thanks to instant message chats) and reduced travel (thanks for audio, video and web conferencing), as well as lower costs for conferencing delivered on-site rather than via a hosted service, and you have a technology than can quickly pay for itself.

Many organisations don’t have the time or money to spend on complex, costly technology implementations. They need tools that are easy to use and deploy, cost effective, and complete.

An all-in-one appliance can deliver all those benefits and more. The right one will be easy to install, maintain and service, and it will be simple to use. It will contain a host of communications applications, all accessible through a single client. And it will be extremely cost effective.

Since the majority of knowledge-based employees spend most of their time within Outlook, for example – composing and answering emails, scheduling appointments, and managing their contacts – integrating other forms of communication into that application makes enormous sense.

This is why organisations should look for a solution that will ensure the technology is simple to deploy, manage and use, without the need for a fully staffed IT department, and without too much cost and complexity.

Unified communications is a popular buzzphrase in business today, but the fact is that with the right technology it can boost productivity, increase customer care and cut communications costs.

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Communications help for retail businesses

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Pinnacle is proud to be helping retailers who are under pressure to provide outstanding customer service in the current difficult high street trading conditions. We are providing solutions designed to improve responsiveness to customers, as well as providing greater efficiency across the business and dramatically reducing communication costs.

Your employees are busy serving in-store customers, the phones are ringing unanswered; will missed calls result in missed sales opportunities? Simple call routing allows questions relating to opening times, store locations and requests for job application forms to be routed to auto attendants. This ensures in store staff are free to assist purchasing customers.

Or, in another scenario, a customer is in a rush and has a question about a particular retail product. Sales staff are uncertain if any are still in stock. The customer needs a quick answer. Using wireless phones, staff can be contacted anywhere in the store or warehouse to quickly answer pricing or stock inquiries and consequently help close the sale.

Or Head Office needs to solicit, discuss and distribute weekly or daily updates from its regional managers concerning store activities and promotions. How do you keep everyone informed? Audio and web conferencing enables highly cost-effective and extremely flexible conferencing between remote locations removing costly outsourced conference costs.

The simple fact is that the right telephone system can make a huge difference to retailers, but these days they are about more than just voice communications.

For example, as a retailer, customer service contact requirements vary dramatically from season to season. The right system need to be able to perform workforce scheduling providing management, forecasting, and monitoring tools that allows retailers to effectively plan ahead and control costs.

Remote contact centre agents can also be added quickly and easily to address unforeseen needs. Customer service staff can be mobile to ensure they can direct customers around a store and stay in touch. Mobile applications running on tablet devices, for example, can allow sales staff to direct shoppers around a store using mobile store maps, which also removes the need for excessive fixed signs and store directories.

On the one hand, business costs must be kept to a minimum, on the other, the pressure to provide outstanding customer service has never been greater. Striking a balance between the two is critical for success. That’s where Pinnacle can help.

When implementing new solutions, retailers needed to benefit from new technology and protect investment in traditional technology. Our approach enables retailers to benefit from the latest technology and protect investment in traditional telephony wherever it makes sense. Benefits include:

  • Reduced communication and management costs.
  • Improved information exchange through conferencing and collaboration tools.
  • Increased customer loyalty and revenue through improved marketing messaging and responsiveness.
  • Rapid access to sales staff through easy-to-use retail telephone features.
  • Meeting customer demand 24/7 with scalable, flexible contact centres that can be set up at any location.
  • Improved staff productivity via a full range of phones.
  • Creating a personalised shopping experience incorporating mobile store applications.

We are helping retailers succeed in a challenging economic environment with a suite of powerful communication solutions that support today’s dynamic retail environment. We help to reduce the cost of installing state-of-the-art communications at new and older stores, and provide the flexibility to update old phone systems across stores at a pace to suit the business.

Our systems reduce costs, improve responsiveness and enhances customer service and the shoppers shopping experience. Employees productivity can be enhanced whether in the store, warehouse, distribution centre, head office or when mobile and teleworking.

Depending on the nature of the retail business, studies show that customers who call the store in advance can spend up to five times as much when they subsequently visit the store. These customers are ready to spend and quick response times are paramount to maximising their experience.

So where a number of sales staff within a department are called at the same time, enabling whoever picks up the phone first to answer the call thus reducing wait times for customers is an extremely important issue.

In addition, you can use your customer’s time on hold to listen to an in-store promotion, or some music. ‘On hold’ features enables stores to change the music, or promotional message, as often as they like without incurring additional costs.

Integrated communications that can transform your retail business using Pinnacle’s integrated approach to communications is transforming the delivery of retail services, providing the foundation for superior customer service and increasing efficiencies for our retail clients.

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How small businesses can increase sales and retain customers through communications

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This week we are showing small businesses how to increase sales and retain customers through better communications.

We constantly help our small business clients implement some basic technology to help them make the most out of one of their most critical business tools: the phone system.

Increasing sales while keeping the bottom line intact two things that all businesses, especially small businesses, struggle with on a daily basis.

As a small business, you constantly compete with larger businesses and other small businesses for customer share. Competition is fierce, as customers know they can look at many different options to purchase their goods and services.

So how do you attract new business without decreasing the level of support you currently provide your customers? Better yet, how can you improve your level of service to existing customers so they become repeat customers and “tell-a-friend” about the great service that they have received from you? How can your sales staff or mobile workers become better connected to the office so they can be on top of situations as they occur?

And perhaps most important of all, how can you control costs while doing all of this?

Imagine a potential customer who is calling in order to get hold of pricing information for a particular item of interest. The first hurdle they must overcome is getting someone to answer the phone. Unfortunately lunch hour, coffee or bathroom breaks, and office administrative tasks can interfere with this.

As a result phones can remain unanswered, ringing endlessly, or callers are dropped into the operator’s or admin’s voicemail. These days, people expect better. They demand a very high level of customer service, more than 9 to 5 support, and immediate resolutions to  queries.

Those callers who are used to instant answers hang up the phone and try the next company on the search engine page. The odds are you’ve lost a customer forever.

But what about those who do get past the first hurdle? The phone’s been answered. The admin may know to whom the call is routed, but then the same issue arises. Now, the phone on someone else’s desk rings and if they aren’t there it is dropped right back to voicemail. Again your customer more than likely has moved on to another company – looking for that immediate response.

If you have gone through the trouble of setting up a business to sell a product or service, you owe it to yourself to ensure that you make it as easy as possible for people to do business with you. Making it easy for people to contact your company is essential and puts you a step closer to selling your products and providing exceptional service.

What you need is to implement some basic technology to help your company make the most out of one of your most critical business tools: the phone system. And this is where Pinnacle can really help.

There are a whole range of areas that smaller businesses should look at to improve the customer experience through things such as call distribution, mobile communications, roaming, and innovative networking solutions.

To start with, when your phone rings, there is no reason why that call shouldn’t be immediately and automatically routed to the appropriate person or group, eliminating the time needed for someone to manually complete the task.

An easy way to determine the best routes for your automated system is to set up a simple chart. Write the date along the horizontal axis and leave space for the reason for the call on the vertical.

For a week or two have your front line staff quickly jot down the reason for each call: those answered and those dropped to the admin or operator voicemail. At the end of the monitoring period you should have a fairly good idea of what people are calling about. From there, you can develop your automated attendant by grouping and tallying the results.

It’s a very simple exercise, but now you have a situation where callers can bypass the endless ringing at the front desk and route themselves to their area of interest: be it customer-based or personal calls. If a caller does have a request that is out of the ordinary, they still have the option of speaking to a live operator by pressing “0”.

What this means for you is that the front line staff who was previously spending a significant portion of their day routing calls is now free to concentrate on other tasks. Essentially, you’ve gained a more productive employee with more time for other company business. This can only benefit your bottom line.

What if your needs are greater? Your auto attendant can forward to a department, but what if that department has more than one person who can respond to a call?

Call distribution solves this problem for you. Ring groups can be programmed to have termination points, such as if the call is not answered in a certain amount of rings it should be sent to voicemail or another answer point. This increases the chances of someone being available to answer the call.

Or there is ‘hunting’ where a call can search through a pre-programmed sequence of telephone extensions, terminating at the first free one it finds.

There are many such communications issues that especially small businesses struggle with on a daily basis. But the easiest and most cost-effective way to change is by unifying your communications. We offer numerous options for small businesses, allowing them to compete and excel in a competitive market.

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