It’s easy to think about your organization’s phone system as a purely internal affair, something that impacts your own employees and doesn’t really touch anyone else.
This just isn’t the case. While it’s certainly important to take your organization’s internal operations into consideration when adopting a new communication system, it’s a bad idea to ignore the ways your organization’s communication systems impact everyone else you handle during your day-to-day operations.
Even though these external individuals and the impact of your telecom system on them may not be right in front of your face (the way your employees are), when it comes down to it your organization’s long-term success depends a lot more on having effective telephony systems than you’d likely guess.
Phone Systems By the Numbers
Studies have found that about 71% of customers have stopped working with a business because they received poor customer service. “Poor customer service” sounds ambiguous, but it’s wise to note the role an organization’s communication services play in the quality of their customer service. You can have the best service staff in the world but if your phone lines are unreliable they won’t be able to help anyone.
This point is really driven home when you look at the numbers and see the fact 79% of customers prefer to contact businesses over the phone. We can talk all we want about social media, email and other high-tech and sexy communication channels- when it comes down to it customers still just want to talk to another person over the phone (especially when they encounter a problem they need solved).
Other communication channels are important as each customer has their own preferences for getting in touch with your organization. 12% of customers prefer web chats, 33% like email, and 10% like automated phone systems, but no communication channel comes even remotely close to the massive 79% of individuals who prefer a traditional phone call. If you’re wise to this data you’ll work out a unified communications system for your organization, but when it comes down to it if you only choose to optimize one communication channel within your organization you’ll choose to upgrade your phone systems.
All Businesses Have Customers
You might think that your particular business doesn’t need to worry about its phone systems because it doesn’t have “customers” in the traditional sense. It is true- not every business has to handle mass-market consumers, and not every business needs to have their own dedicated call center.
But every business has customers. Every business has someone they sell too. And that person wants to know they can reliably get in touch with you whenever they want to. And the majority of those people want to just call you up on the phone.
Small Businesses Need Upgraded Telephony the Most
I had lunch with a friend recently who’s the president of a small, yet prestigious and successful, company. He said he loved his IP PBX system because it let his small organization look a lot bigger than it actually was.
As we continued to talk and dig into what, exactly, he meant, it became clear he wasn’t saying IP telephony made it look like his organization was the size of a Fortune 500 company. Instead, his telephony system helped his company look at professional as a Fortune 500 company. He wasn’t using his telephone system to pretend he had thousands of employees, he just appreciated the fact IP telephony gave his small business the same conveniences and slick features you’d expect from a company of that size.
It doesn’t matter who your customers are or how big your organization is- the quality and capabilities of your telephony systems matter.