Before we look at how to MASSIVELY improve customer service with VoIP, let’s take a moment to reflect on an old saying in the business world that goes: “if you don’t take care of your customers…then someone else will.” And these days, this advice is more crucial than ever. Consider the following:
- 89% of consumers are more likely to make another purchase after a positive customer service experience. [source]
- 68% of consumers say that they would pay more for products/services from a company that offers good customer service. [source]
- Consumers who rate a company’s service as “good” are 38% more likely to recommend that company. [source]
Now, let’s go to the other end of the spectrum and highlight the catastrophic consequences of bad customer service:
- 96% of customers will switch companies because of poor customer service. [source]
- 78% of customers have backed out of a purchase that they had otherwise intended to make due to poor customer service. [source]
- Businesses in the U.S. lose a whopping $62 trillion each year due to poor customer service. [source]
Clearly, one doesn’t need an MBA degree (along with a Ph.D. in statistics) to realize that good customer service isn’t just necessary for success — in the big picture and long run, it’s essential for survival. And that’s where VoIP enters the story and makes a transformative difference.
Below, we highlight eight game-changing ways that you will improve customer service with VoIP:
1. Improve Customer Service with VoIP by Delivering Great Customer Service from Anywhere
VoIP is ideal for supporting a remote/hybrid workforce. Your employees can make and receive calls using their home office computer, or their smartphone (either personally-owned or corporately supplied). That means fewer voicemails, and happier, satisfied and repeat customers.
2. Improve Customer Service with VoIP by Checking Availability Before Transferring a Call
Another feature that improves customer service with VoIP is called Presence. This is an at-a-glance indicator that informs your employees in real-time if a colleague is available, busy, or away.
Thanks to Presence, your customers will never be unpleasantly surprised — and in some cases outraged — because they are transferred to someone who is not immediately available (or available at all). Instead, they can be politely asked if they mind being placed on hold. If so, then their call can be transferred and they’ll calmly wait. If not, they can be asked to call back at another time, or have their call returned later on.
3. Improve Customer Service with VoIP by Routing Calls to the Next Available Employee
With a conventional landline phone system, incoming calls are “stacked” in a line-up that keeps growing, and growing. Customers at the end of the line could find themselves waiting on hold for several minutes – or maybe even hours during peak times. Those that tolerate the wait are likely to be very frustrated by the time they eventually speak with someone. And those that don’t tolerate the wait will hang up and head for a competitor.
How does VoIP improve this very costly customer service pitfall? Here is the answer: you can configure VoIP to automatically and instantly route calls to the next available employee — regardless of where they are located.
The result is that customers spend very little — and ideally no — time on hold, which is exactly what they want and expect. And as a welcome bonus, because they haven’t been angrily waiting on hold for a long time, customers are more likely to be calm and pleasant when they speak with someone vs. hostile and aggressive.
4. Improve Customer Service with VoIP by Routing Calls to the Right Department the FIRST Time
Few things irritate customers more than getting “bounced around” from one department to another. Often, they spend time and energy explaining their problem or concern with the first person they speak with, only to have to repeat it all over again to the next person…and the next person…and the next person!
VoIP categorically improves customer service through a feature called Auto Attendant. This is a customizable virtual receptionist that professionally and pleasantly answers each call on the first ring, and invites customers to direct their call to the appropriate department (e.g., “Technical Support”).
Not only does this make customers much happier, but it also means that your employees spend more time providing quality service, and no time being obliged to shuffle customers to another department. Everyone wins!
5. Improve Customer Service with VoIP by Allowing Customers to Reach Specific Employees
One of the biggest limitations of a conventional landline phone system, is that once the maximum capacity for lines is reached, it is necessary to add more hardware — which is very expensive to purchase, install, and maintain. This is a non-issue with VoIP!
There is no limit to the number of phone numbers/extensions that you can assign to employees, including temporary or seasonal staff. As a result (and when appropriate) your employees can give out their specific number/extension to customers. Consider these two scenarios; one without VoIP, and one with VoIP:
- Without VoIP: “Mr. Smith, when you are ready to move ahead with the installation please call our Technical Support department, and an available Agent will help you at that time.”
- With VoIP: “Mr. Smith, when you are ready to move ahead with the installation, please call me directly at (301) 560-4407 and I would be very happy to help you.”
Obviously, scenario 2 is much more customer-centric — and it’s all because of VoIP!
6. Improve Customer Service with VoIP with Voicemail-to-Email
Another “how did we ever survive without this?” VoIP feature that enormously improves customer service is voicemail-to-email. As the name suggests, this feature automatically converts voicemails into audio files and sends them to a recipient’s inbox.
Not only does voicemail-to-email speed up response times — because your employees can check voicemails on the go vs. waiting until a break or the end of the day — but it also allows your employees to save messages for reference/archive purposes, as well as forward messages to any other party.
Consider this example: one of your Sales Reps gets a voicemail from a customer. The message is a long, complex technical question that the Sales Rep cannot readily answer. Instead of calling her colleague in Technical Support and trying to convey all of the details, she simply sends them the audio file attachment. Her colleague listens to the voicemail, and either contacts the customer directly or provides a clear answer for the Sales Rep to communicate.
7. Improve Customer Service with VoIP by Sending Texts to Customers — Which is What Many of Them Want!
Think that sending texts to customers is unimportant or unnecessary? Think again!
- 69% of customers want the ability to contact a business through text messaging. [source]
- Customers are 4.5x more likely to reply to text messages than emails. [source]
- 13% of customers are more likely to support businesses that offer text-back capabilities. [source]
With an all-in-one VoIP phone system, your employees can send/receive SMS and MMS messages through an online portal or using their smartphone app. All texts are automatically stored, which makes it easy for employees to manage multiple conversations in a single interface.
8. Improve Customer Service with VoIP by Tracking Contact Center Metrics
If you have a Contact Center, then VoIP gives you a live reporting tool that delivers real-time granular insights into daily operations. Use actionable analytics and persona-driven customization to boost performance and customer satisfaction. And best of all: your Agents can work from anywhere — including home offices!
The Bottom Line
Delivering great customer service isn’t optional — it’s crucial, and now more than ever before. Now that you know how easily you can MASSIVELY improve customer service with VoIP, the question isn’t “do we need VoIP in our business?”, but rather “how can we afford NOT to get VoIP as soon as possible?’
Contact Us Today
Contact Carolina Digital Phone today and schedule your free consultation and demo of our affordable, scaleable, future-proofed, and feature-rich VoIP phone system. We can visit you on-site, or connect with you over the web if you prefer. Call us now at (336) 544-4000.