A cloud-based phone system and other software programs give your SMB the tools to create a truly autonomous workplace.
For the sake of clarity, let’s break down the meaning of the word autonomy. The prefix auto means self. The root word nomos has a Greek origin that means law. The Merriam-Webster dictionary puts them together and defines autonomy as “the quality or state of being self-governing” or “self-directing freedom.”
In a business sense, an autonomous workplace refers to a workplace where employees have the tools to govern themselves within the parameters given to them by the company. With the proper tools in place, a cloud-based phone system helps to create autonomy for sales and support operations.
The Role of a Phone in a Business
In general, SMBs communicate online and over the phone for the greater part of the day. Let’s face it, it’s pretty hard to operate without your phone system. A business phone system is a core component of your communications process, and cloud-based technology has elevated communication capabilities even more.
Ways that SMBs use their business phone systems:
- Communicating with vendors and customers, as well as for internal use
- Answering customer inquiries and resolve problems
- Generating sales
- Providing customer support
- Holding conference calls
- Conducting market research
- Interviewing and onboard employees
- Recording voicemails
- Calling for help in an emergency
A basic business phone system typically comes with several voice-calling features such as voice mail, call routing, and call recording. Modern phone systems are cloud-based systems that offer a greater number of functions and capabilities. A business phone system with a robust set of advanced features allows for better communication, greater collaboration, and more streamlined workflows. Ultimately, cloud-based phone systems, also known as VoIP phone systems, help to enhance customer service, which will inspire brand loyalty, increase your customer base, and generate more revenue.
Your business phone system performs so many functions for you, it’s easy to take it for granted.
Ways your business phone system helps you every day:
- Improves customer relationships by streamlining all business transactions
- Allows you to handle a larger call volume
- Allows you to route calls to employees that can help the caller immediately
- Maximizes efficiency and productivity through better communication
- Offers you a multitude of features to meet your business needs
- Demonstrates professionalism to callers
Overall, the main role of a business phone system is to communicate. With a cloud-based phone system, you can combine it with software integrations to incorporate a wide variety of business tools to improve overall communication and customize your workflows.
How Sales Teams Use a Cloud-Based Phone System
With a cloud-based phone system, your sales team members can work anywhere they want where they can access an internet connection. They can work at the office, at home, at any public place, or even while they’re on vacation. A simple log-in process connects them to all their digital sales tools at a glance.
10 ways sales teams are using a cloud-based phone system and software integrations to rise to the top of the leaderboard:
- Nurturing leads. Sales reps can capture leads and set up automated workflows to keep prospects engaged and interested.
- Call logging. Outbound calls are automatically logged to create a documented call history where sales reps can identify where prospects are within the sales funnel. Inbound calls also get logged to keep track of the whole caller history.
- Sales training. Call whispering, call monitoring, and call barging are phone system features that can be used to coach new sales representatives or those who are struggling to improve their sales strategies.
- Call recording. Provides a way for sales representatives to review past calls for greater context of past discussions.
- Click-to-call and power dialing. These features allow sales representatives to make more calls and to create greater opportunities to close sales.
- Single source of data. Works in conjunction with CRM software like Salesforce, HubSpot, Pipedrive, Copper, and many others.
- Mobility. Cloud-based programs allow sales representatives to manage sales calls from any location using any device.
- Appointment scheduling. Use automation and notifications to schedule appointments, get reminders of appointments, and confirm appointments on the go.
- Multiple communication channels. Use one system to email, chat, call, or text to nurture prospects.
- Gauge customer satisfaction. Use automated surveys to get valuable feedback from customers or obtain a Net Promoter Score.
Why a Cloud Phone System Creates Sales Autonomy
According to HubSpot, sales representatives only spend about a third of their time making sales. The rest of their time is typically spent on creating content and on administrative tasks. A cloud-based phone system automates many of the regular sales-related tasks and frees up valuable time for identifying opportunities for new sales, qualifying and nurturing leads, and closing sales.
A cloud phone system creates autonomy by giving sales representatives the tools they need to work efficiently without a lot of direction from their superiors. These are some specific examples of how it works:
- Sales managers can add sales representatives quickly and easily during peak sales periods
- Gives sales reps greater mobility so they can maximize their selling time
- Dashboard analytics give sales representatives reports to keep them on track with sales quotas
- Gives companies the opportunity to use local, national, or international phone numbers to expand their sales reach
- Automates notes and call history in a single location
- Gives sales reps tools to send out regular, timely notifications to customers about sales, updates, and offers
How Support Teams Use a Cloud-Based Phone System
A well-structured onboarding program and the right call scripts provide the basic foundation for customer support teams. Tips from their managers, collaboration with their peers, and a good deal of experience will ultimately transform them into effective customer support representatives. When customer support representatives have the right tools at their disposal — and they’ve been trained how to use them appropriately — it sets them up to work effectively with minimal supervision.
10 ways that support teams can best use a cloud-based phone system and software integrations:
- Skills-based routing: Routes phone calls to the next available customer support representative by customizing distribution and ring rules.
- Omnichannel capability: Allows customer support reps to use more than one communication channel at a time and to use one or more of them simultaneously.
- Warm transfer: Allows them to transfer a call to another representative and to speak to them briefly before the transfer.
- Joins with CRM and help desk software: Support representatives can pull data in from other systems, including Diduenjoy, Planhat, PieSync, and many more, using insight cards for a single source of information without having to switch programs.
- Call tagging: Tag calls to identify the status of an account or bookmark it for any designated purpose.
- Internal collaboration: Provides communication channels that support representatives can use internally to collaborate with superiors, peers, and other departments.
- Call center analytics: Provides a central dashboard to keep track of all call center metrics, such as wait times, missed calls, and call volume.
- Live feed: Uses call center software that gives call center managers a real-time perspective of support team activity that can be used to shift resources and to optimize productivity.
- Greater personalization: Highlights a customer’s name, nickname, and other specific information to help customer support agents personalize phone calls.
- Interactive voice response (IVR): Set up a smart directory where customers can get to the right support team member on the first try.
Why a Cloud Phone System Creates Support Autonomy
Customer support representatives have a difficult job. Every inbound call presents different challenges and there’s not always a clear answer for how to approach them. Inbound callers are often frustrated or angry before a customer support representative ever answers the call. The faster a support representative can get the customer a reasonable answer or the help they need, the more likely the customer will remain loyal to the company.
A cloud phone system and software integrations allow customer support representatives to ask thoughtful questions to better understand the customer’s needs and to make prompt decisions for how to serve them best.
Here are some insights on how a cloud phone system creates customer support autonomy:
- When support representatives can’t help a customer, they can easily transfer them to someone who can.
- Gives representatives an opportunity to continually get back to customers so they don’t feel like they were forgotten while on hold.
- Allows them to serve multiple customers at a time for greater efficiency.
- Gives support representatives the call history so customers don’t have to repeat the same information over and over.
- Triggers automated surveys for immediate feedback.
How VoIP Phone Systems Can Support a Whole Business
Now that you have a better understanding of how a VoIP phone system benefits sales and support teams, let’s give the issue scope and take a look at how VoIP phone systems support your whole business.
- Automatic syncing: Eliminates problems with accuracy, misinformation, and missing information.
- Interdepartmental collaboration: Facilitates better collaboration and communication between departments.
- Metrics and analytics: Consolidates data within a single dashboard to analyze reports and trends to assess progress toward company goals.
- Automates manual tasks: Manages simple tasks to free up employees for more complex tasks that can only be done by humans.
- Empowers every department to do its part to improve the customer experience
Why a Cloud Phone System Creates Autonomy for All Teams
In setting up the right tools to help sales and support representatives present themselves like the professionals they are, a VoIP phone system helps all teams help each other, as well as helping customers. That’s the best recipe for autonomy!
Regardless of which department employees work in or what their role within the company is, a cloud-based phone system gives everyone access to the same customer information. If anyone communicates with a customer, they can instantly update the customer’s record, and other employees can access the updates in real time.
Essentially, a cloud-based phone system brings everyone onto the same page, which informs better decision-making. A VoIP phone system also positions your company to get better reviews and five-star ratings.
The Role of IT in Managing a Cloud-Based Phone System
While a cloud-based phone system offers your business many voice calling features and other capabilities, your IT director plays an essential role in managing your voice phone system.
All cloud-based phone system providers are not alike. Your IT director is usually the responsible person to research various providers and make recommendations for the best cloud-based phone system for your company. Depending on the size of your organization, it may be advisable to keep IT involved. It is always best practice to let IT manage accounts and access in different tools to have a centralized management. However, within cloud-phone systems, you can create autonomy by having a sales or support admin take over normal IT responsibilities.
One of the things your IT decision-maker will probably consider is whether the service provider has an App Marketplace with a wide variety of applications that will fit appropriately into sales and support workflows. Other important things that your IT decision-maker will be looking for are security, redundancy, flexibility, and reliability.
In most cases, IT decision-makers will find it easy to set up a cloud-based phone system that not only supports all the company’s workflows, but also works well within the allotted budget.
Creating a Highly Autonomous IT Environment with a VoIP Phone System
To create a highly autonomous IT environment with a VoIP phone system, it’s essential to choose your VoIP service provider thoughtfully. Look for a VoIP service provider that’s a leader and the industry, like Aircall.
It’s best to choose a VoIP service provider that the IT director has a good working relationship with. IT directors need to know that the company has knowledgeable tech people that they can contact to consult on setting up VoIP infrastructures and building integrations. It’s helpful to choose a company that offers webinars that cover topics like workflows, webhooks, and data partners, like these from Aircall.
Overall, when you have an autonomous workplace, it puts you in the driver’s seat. Phone communication is a vital part of business and the latest telecommunication technology and innovations are essential for business success.
A cloud-based phone system gives you the best of both worlds by giving you the ability to open up multiple communication channels, including voice calling. With a VoIP phone system, you have the ability to develop customized solutions and workflows that are sure to improve efficiency and productivity. A cloud-based phone system by Aircall will help you to create a highly autonomous environment for your sales and support operations, as well as your IT department, and your company as a whole.