The happenings of 2020 are confirming the concept that it is customer service that carries the highest weight for a brand. With most people being at home and physically unable to walk to customer service centers, contacting customer service online has been the only option for millions around the world. But some surveys are showing that most brands are failing at customer service when faced with high customer ticket queues. 20% say they are completely unable to reach customer agents, 68% say they can’t get help when they need it, and 76% complained of long holding times.
The problem has been compounded by the fact that social distancing rules have killed customer service centers as they are traditionally modeled, which is having a large team in one place. Many businesses have been caught unprepared on how to deal with this crisis, but those that have implemented creative customer service solutions like having a distributed VOIP business phone system have seen a jump in business.
This is where a (Voice Over Internet Phone) VOIP telephony solution is very useful in implementing an efficient customer service system. Coupled with cloud solutions that enable infrastructure to be implemented without physical hardware, a VOIP based customer service system can be up and running in a few hours depending on the level of complexity.
VOIP differs from the conventional phone telephone system in that calls are converted into an electronic data signal that can be carried over the internet. This has made telephony very flexible. A call can be originated and terminated from any phone system device that is connected to the internet including a smartphone with a VOIP application, a desktop VOIP phone, a conventional phone connected to a VOIP gateway, and a computer with VOIP software.
Distributed customer service
With this kind of flexibility, a business can implement a comprehensive customer service relationship management (CRM) system that is efficient, scalable, and affordable. Some of the possibilities enabled by VOIP would include;
- Implementing a distributed customer service network. This means that customer service workers work from anywhere as long as they are connected to the internet. The VOIP system will issue them virtual numbers. Customer calls are then queued and routed to a customer service attendant just like in a physical call center.
- Enabling higher support of customer service with video and screen sharing. High speed VOIP is capable of supporting video teleconferencing which takes customer service a notch higher for the customer. The customer service agent is able to guide the customer through product details, installation, setup, and so on. This is very important, for example, where customers cannot understand video tutorials.
- Sharing customer data among customer service agents connected to the CRM provides for seamless customer service without the customer being bounced around. the CRM will work in the background enabling customer calls routing to the agent handling the ticket at different levels. This takes the customer through the sales channel and stays engaged after the sale.
- Enables customer service agents to separate home and work calls on the same phone. The VOIP system will route calls through the app on the phone identified by the agent’s virtual number, which allows the agent to keep using his/her usual phone number. This means there is no additional hardware needed for agents to make and receive calls.
One area where VOIP stands out is scalability. This is the ability to bring in more resources quickly to deal with increased demand. A cloud-based VOIP system allows a business to bring in more customer service agents and have them online quickly as they only need to download the necessary software and apps.
The new situation where physical contact is discouraged has left many customers yearning for human contact. Many businesses have shifted to CRMs that minimize customer contact to cut costs as much as possible. With a VOIP based CRM, it is possible to maintain human contact while keeping costs low. This is what many customers will remember after the easing of the crisis. This translates into higher brand loyalty.
In a business with high competition, customer service is the best way to make a product and brand stand out. Customers need to feel valued and appreciated, even as they purchase products. A brand that excels in this win’s hearts and keeps business growing even in crises.