Over the last decade or so, VoIP has rapidly become the dominant technology for communications for businesses of all sizes. The main reason for that, of course, is the tremendous cost savings it provides. Local calls between employees are free of charge, and long-distance calls cost only a fraction of what non-VoIP providers would have to charge. The advantages of VoIP extend to both internal customers and external customers equally. Teams which you have working together across several states can stay in constant contact, and remain productive as they share information, while always having access to the latest versions of joint projects. Concerning external customers, VoIP enables round-the-clock access to partners, vendors, and business associates, so that time is used most efficiently, and productivity remains at a high level. Apart from these advantages, there are other dramatic benefits to be derived from the improved customer care afforded by VoIP, as detailed below.
Hosted Call Centers
Most people are aware that all businesses have a department which serves as a call center, and which accepts customer calls dedicated to resolving issues, fielding complaints, and providing answers to questions on the minds of callers. This makes call centers a vital part of the overall customer service package, and a big part of how customer relations are managed.
Smaller companies may not need an entire staff for this function, but almost all companies have at least one or more individuals dedicated to this aspect of customer service. In recent years, it has been much more straightforward for small size companies to provide this kind of service as the cost of VoIP has made that more possible. Another significant advantage of VoIP for small-sized companies is that they don’t need to be at the same geographic spot as the business itself – in fact, if you have only one or two customer care representatives, they might answer all calls right from their homes.
This all becomes possible under a hosted VoIP provider, which can install the software to make this work efficiently, and at little cost. These days, there are a great many providers who can offer hosted call centers. All necessary features and services are provided via connection to the Internet, and the client company doesn’t even have to purchase any hardware to make it all happen.
Customer Care Departments on the Premises or Hosted VoIP?
At one time, all companies were forced to have their call centers located on premises because customer service had to be provided through voice, the only channel available. A VoIP hosted solution can now offer a great many more channels via a single interface, allowing for all kinds of options to be used by company personnel, such as fax, phone, text, and emails, all to the same system. With a setup like this, you could even commence a voice chat from the company website, and transfer it to a phone call by merely pressing a button or clicking a mouse – and you’d never have to open another application, or leave the website to do it.
If you have a new company that’s just starting out, there’s never been a better time to implement a hosted VoIP system than the present. If you needed to construct an entire call center from scratch, you’d have to purchase a tremendous amount of hardware, software licenses, and other equipment to make it all work.
You’d have to work with vendors to get all those materials, you’d have to hire in-house expertise to get it all set up, and you’d also need to have space dedicated to installing all necessary hardware and wiring. None of those preparations are required with a VoIP call center, because no equipment has to be installed at your location, and all the real system management occurs at the site of the host provider.
Companies that probably save the most from having VoIP customer care call centers installed are those that have a presence in many different locations around the globe. Ordinarily, all those locations would need to have their own call centers, their own dedicated equipment, and their own dedicated employees to staff the call centers themselves.
With hosted VoIP call centers, the entire picture changes, and instead of a large, heavily staffed call center, there may be one or two employees at each global location answering calls, potentially from the comfort of their own homes.
One benefit not often considered about a cloud-based telephone system is the fact that all phone calls can be automatically recorded at your option, and stored on the cloud for convenient retrieval. An analysis will indicate quality level, and the most modern analytics can be assessed to determine if and where customer care needs improvement. Even a natural disaster could not upset the stability of a cloud-based system like this, and backups and disaster recovery would become automatic processes that your company need not even worry about. If it seems like there was no real comparison between a hosted VoIP center and an on-premises one, that’s because, in this day and age, there really is no comparison – a hosted VoIP solution is the runaway winner.