Telecoms for Competitive Advantage

3. Call Management

3.1 Interactive voice response (IVR) systems enable customers to pick the service or department they want, by following instructions. For example, ‘For sales, press one’.

  • There can be savings, as each call is ideally only handled once, by the right person.
  • The system needs to be carefully planned, as most people dislike multi-level menus. Many people object to having to deal with a machine at all.
  • Always provide a direct route for callers who do not fit into the categories.

3.2 Some IVR systems also respond to spoken numbers or key words.

  • For example, a local garage might ask customers to say whether they want ‘new cars’, ‘service’ or ‘parts’.
  • You can buy inexpensive software to provide IVR for a small firm.

3.3 Implemented well, voicemail offers advanced call answering and handling features.

  • Voicemail allows callers to leave a spoken message for the person they are calling.
  • Some systems allow messages to be forwarded for a colleague to deal with.
  • For example, a sales manager could record a briefing once, enter a code and copy it automatically to the whole sales team.
  • Some services can convert voicemail to text and send it to the recipient as an email or text message.

3.4 Small businesses may benefit from a virtual reception.

  • An agency provides call-answering services, puts callers through to the right extension or takes messages.

BHP Infosolutions

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