Small businesses tend to neglect the importance of a well-programmed phone system while sticking to the bare necessities of customer interaction. While your small business is probably already utilizing a phone system as a channel to communicate with your customers, much can be done to create a better experience for the customer as well as improve your brand.
Software Advice, a free resource for VoIP providers, has recently released a report on how brands can be negatively affected by poorly designed phone systems and how companies can optimize those systems for greater customer satisfaction.
They also surveyed consumers to find out which factors of phone interaction with small businesses contribute towards positive or negative feelings towards a brand.
Let’s take a look at the key findings of this report:
- Caller ID problems are the greatest issue when it comes to inbound calls.
- Call routing to wrong employees and busy signals are cited as the top two complaints when calls are made to small businesses.
- Thirty-two percent of surveyed Millennials say that phone systems that take too long to provide relevant information, which is the top reason for negative brand perception.
- The inability to reach employees by name is the second highest reason for negative brand perception at 28 percent.
- Twenty-two percent of respondents say that an auto attendant greeting positively affected their perception of a brand.
Solving Pain Points with Outbound and Inbound Calls
According to Software Advice’s survey, most consumer pain points are related to outbound calls rather than inbound calls.
To solve the largest pain point of outbound calls, unrecognizable numbers, it’s best to use Caller ID for a more personal touch when reaching out to customers. Thanks to VoIP, Caller ID (often referred to as CNAM in the industry) makes it possible to easily “brand” your outbound calls.
Jonathon Moody, Chief Operating Officer at Versature (a provider of cloud-based phone systems), uses his company’s name to brand their calls.
“Numbers don’t matter nearly as much as Caller ID names when you’re trying to reach existing customers. If they don’t recognize the name on the Caller ID, the odds are that they won’t pick up,” Moody says.
Allowing customers to see your company’s name rather than a number will increase your brand’s reputation as well as have more answered calls.
On the side of inbound calls, top complaints by customers are all related to finding the right employee to address their issues.
Software Advice claims that the best way to solve this pain point for small businesses is to implement an approach to call routing known as “waterfall call flow”. Waterfall flow calls can be configured in most auto attendant systems. This method begins with the ideal person to answer a call, like a service technician. If the technician is busy, the call is forwarded to the next most qualified person in the chain. Eventually, the call may reach the business owner if the call has yet to be answered.
The goal to this approach is to at least have someone answer the call rather than nobody at all. Even if someone other than a customer support representative has to answer the call and cannot provide helpful information, they can still record the issue and pass it along to be solved in the future at the very least.
Specific Phone System Issues That Negatively Affect Brand Impressions
The inability to reach employees directly by name is the most common issue that negatively impacts your brand according to Software Advice. This issue can be solved by implementing a dial-by-name directory into your phone system.
Another leading issue that can harm your brand involves the amount of time it takes for your employees to find customer information. Consumers want employees to find their information sooner rather than later and computer telephony integration, or CTI, can retrieve customer info almost immediately by working in part with an existing CRM database.
Impressing Your Customers with a Personal Touch
To impress millennials through a phone system, the best way to do so is to have customized employee greetings. Also, millennials and older customers favorably respond to high quality auto attendant greetings. These small personal touches can give you an edge above your competition.
We hope this study will help you solve customer pain points while improving your business’s phone system and brand. Be sure to check out the full Software Advice report here.