Every business and business owner have unique qualities, services, products, and needs, but one thing every single business has in common is a need for speed––wait, that’s not right.
Every business has a need for great customer service. Without it, customers won’t stick around. Ever returned to a restaurant, having thoroughly enjoyed the food the first time, and then went back and had a really bad customer service experience? Did it leave a bad taste in your mouth? (Ha, pun)
Did you go back again after that? Some people might give it one last shot if they really like the food, but most won’t––and if it happened a second time? That restaurant most likely lost a customer forever, no matter how delicious the food. Businesses of all kinds are like that. You can offer the best products and services to your customers, but if your customer service is lacking, watch them leave in droves. Businesses without quality communication fail because it’s just how humans are.
Customer Service is the Secret Sauce
I’m hungry, so let’s stick with the restaurant metaphor for a minute. If your products and/or services are a Michelin star meal, then your customer service is the secret sauce that keeps customers coming back. Far be it from the future of UCaaS (that’s us) to resist growth, so please don’t misunderstand. Yet even as technology changes the way business works going forward, we’ll never underestimate what a friendly, informed chat with customers (AKA quality communication) can accomplish. In reality, that’s what changing the future means to us––bringing the wisdom gained from the past and present into an evolving future.
Consider this: a personalized response versus a generic one can be the difference between a lead left behind and a loyal customer for life. Relationships matter, and in business and in life, relationships = high-quality communication.
What’s the Rub for Small Businesses?
So, now that we’re all salivating over a fancy meal and we know why customer service matters, we need to know: what’s the rub for small businesses? There seems to be this fairly universal notion that “small business” automatically translates to “better service than the big guys.” There’s a balance though. Bigger businesses have more resources (money, manpower, etc.), and if allocated wisely, they can maintain their size and quality customer service because of those resources.
Whereas smaller and medium-sized businesses––especially successful, growing ones––often come to find themselves in a tight spot, striving to maintain exceptional customer service while growing without spending too much money, being overwhelmed by growing too quickly, or succumbing to a lack of manpower. There’s a sweet spot in growth, and it's like attempting to recreate that Michelin masterpiece on a budget––challenging but most definitely possible. How? So glad you asked.
Picture this: The head chef walks in with the secret ingredient to success. It’s a cost-effective, high-quality business communication system. When your team is equipped with state-of-the-art VoIP phones and given proper training, they’re gonna be handling your business communication efficiently and leaving customers raving about your service. A VoIP phone system is a cost-effective solution that keeps your customers and employees coming back for seconds.
Better Collaboration, Better Service.
Okay, but how so? Of course, the value of VoIP versus a traditional phone system matters, but let’s table that and talk about how it affects your team. How can your small business implement a VoIP phone system and dramatically transform your customer service right now?
VoIP isn't just about answering calls; it's like a well-oiled kitchen machine where every cook has a job, knows it well, and executes the menu consistently. Imagine hosting a conference call where ideas flow seamlessly, or using Microsoft Teams integration to unite your team in real-time. With instant messaging and video conferencing, your teams will be so connected, they'll practically finish each other's sentences. Collaboration becomes the backbone of your exceptional customer service.
VoIP Features Add Flavor to Your Communication
There are so many features available on a great phone system. Here’s a few we find especially helpful for transforming customer service.
Call routing gets calls to the right person, sure. How does that translate for customers? When a customer calls with a specific question or issue, thanks to intelligent call routing, they're instantly connected to the expert who can answer their question/resolve their issue. If that’s not a chef’s kiss, I don’t know what is. Getting questions answered and not having to wait in an automated nightmare on hold for hours sounds like a great customer experience, no? 😙🤌
IVR (Interactive Voice Response):
Consider IVR as the maître d' that welcomes your customers by name and guides them through personalized menus based on their preferences or previous interactions.
With voicemail-to-email, responsiveness and service time improve because your team can tackle urgent matters even when they’re away from their desks, ensuring your customers never feel ignored.
Forget those "he said, she said" moments. Call recording becomes your business's communication service manager, helping resolve disputes, train new team members, and capture those brilliant moments that often happen during customer interactions.
With VoIP, you’ve got a virtual office in your pocket. No matter where your team is, they can answer calls, check voicemails, and keep the business running smoothly, meaning everyone can work together to keep customers satisfied and coming back again and again.
Implementing Like a Pro
Let’s dig in a little deeper. Here are 3 practical tips for implementing VoIP features for better customer service.
Customize Your IVR:
Tailor your IVR to reflect your brand's personality. Instead of a generic "Press 1 for support," consider something like, "To speak with a voice kung fu master, press 1. We’re here to guide you!"
Call Recording Beyond Monitoring:
Train your teams on the art of call recording. Highlight its benefits for improving customer interactions and demonstrate how it can be a tool for growth, not something managers use to “big brother” employees. If teams feel they’re just being monitored and evaluated all the time, it can get a little sticky. Managers can and should use these tools for enhancing customer service.
Speaking of training, choose a VoIP system that is user-friendly in the first place. Your team doesn't need a PhD in telecommunication to operate the system. The smoother the transition, the happier your team––and customers––will be. Make sure you find a provider that offers in-depth training and support when you’re considering switching phone service providers.
The right business phones can turn your customer service from a plain baked potato into an engaging five-course meal. If you're eager to level up your communication game, give us a call or use our contact form and let us give you our recipe for success.