Archive for the ‘Case History’ Category

Case History – Prequalifying Your Callers

April 29, 2009

All businesses are very happy to receive phone calls from prospects and clients. That is typically the lifeblood of the business sales cycle. Are some of those calls more desirable than others? Do some calls lead to higher profit or a greater chance of landing that deal? Shouldn’t they take priority over calls that lead to tougher sales and lower profits?

The trick is to prequalify the callers before the staff even picks up the phone. If the staff, whether it is one person or fifty, can see at a glance on the VOIP phone LCD screen that the purpose of the call is type A or type B, that presents an opportunity to skew the time spent towards the better calls. How can a VOIP phone system help create that winning approach towards higher profitability?

Let’s take the example of a bail bonds company. They get calls for service from basically two types of callers. The first group are people in jail or family members who want to get them out ASAP. These are high profit jobs with a high rate of turning the caller into a client but only if you can speak to the caller quickly. If you place that caller on hold, they are gone looking for the next bail bonds company in the phone book. Time is of the essence and they can’t wait for you to get around to take care of their need.

The second type of caller is someone who has a warrant out for their arrest for not responding to a court order. They also need help but it is not on an emergency basis. This type of call is not as profitable and is much less likely to turn into real business for the bail bonds company. The number of calls for warrant help though is much higher than the emergency calls and can drown them out. It would be bad business to allow working on the warrant calls to cause the company to lose their emergency clients because the lines or staff were busy.

The answer is to market an emergency phone number and a warrant-only phone number. The VOIP system will recognize which call-in number has been used and forward the call to the right person along with the notice on the IP phone LCD screen that the caller is emergency or warrant. The employee can tell at a glance whether or not to take the next call or stay on the line with the current caller. By the way, all menus heard by the caller are available in multilingual choices of English, Spanish, Mandarin and Vietnamese.

But wait, could you do the same thing with a ten year old phone system? The answer is that you could know which caller was incoming but you still can’t get their information if you are overloaded with concurrent calls. VOIP phone systems have the ability to ask questions of callers and get recorded responses as Voicemail to Email .wav file attachments. Every warrant call that is not answered live by an employee will be sent to a menu system to answer five pertinent questions about their warrant. From the recorded responses the staff can decide in which order and when to return those calls.

Prequalifying your callers via VOIP features will boost your company profits. You will service many more clients with VOIP rather than continuing to use a ten year old phone system because it is already in place. Don’t look at the cost of a system, look at the resulting ROI.

Ask for your free phone system audit from Select Phone Solutions by calling 281-501-6464.

“Productivity Through Technology”

Case History – Multiple Locations For One Company

April 8, 2009

Every business has its own method for receiving phone calls, taking messages and coordinating with other offices in the company that may be at separate locations. These methods have been put in place for a reason and are the most effective ways for you to work with your clients, prospects and employees, right?

Well, not necessarily so. Sometimes the methods used in a company are the result of making your habits fit your phone system instead of changing the phone system to reflect how you want to run your business. Any business analyst would tell you that you don’t want to run your business that way. Technology is so advanced these days so why should you let it control you when you can control the technology?

A case history to tell you about is a large company in the medical industry. They have nine locations in a major Texas city with a total of about 270 handsets. They have a PBX in every location but they were not coordinated to work with each other. The company wanted to have all calls go into one location and then filter through to the appropriate office. This is not a difficult project for Select Phone Solutions because of the customized VOIP software that is used to program all of our phone systems.

Asterisk with trixbox is a Linux-based software control system that runs the phone system via computers linked by existing network cabling. In between locations, the broadband Internet connection serves as the link to create the coordinated system that this company wanted to have in place. In this case all of the offices were in the same city, but it actually does not matter if they are one block from each other or across the state. The project is implemented the same way in either case.

The important features of the system were:

  • Every location was structured to set up local phones and extensions.
  • The main location was set up to handle all of the inbound calls and then pass outbound calls to a second server due to the high volume that was flowing through the system.
  • All locations were linked to act as a wide area phone network.
  • A call center was set up so that the personnel could log in and out of their handset on the desk and allow it to be used by multiple employees during the day.
  • T-1 lines were implemented at all locations to provide proper up and down bandwidth to maintain Quality of Service for the entire system.

The end result was that the company now had the system running the way that it wanted to conduct its business. They didn’t have to conform their methods to an inflexible key system or someone else’s idea of how to run a business no matter what industry or type of clientele was important. The Asterisk / trixbox system performs exactly the way that is best for the company today and if that changes next month or next year, the system can be tweaked to reflect the new method that would be best for them at that point. Should your company have any less than that?

Ask for your free phone system audit from Select Phone Solutions by calling 281-501-6464.

“Productivity Through Technology”

Case History – Multiple Companies in One Location

April 8, 2009

Our company frequently is asked why a VOIP phone system is better than a traditional phone system. The answer simply is that a VOIP phone system is ultimately more configurable and thus can be made to fit your company better rather than having your company fit the phone system. Why should you change the way your company uses the phones? Configure the tool to suit you.

In this case history, a client owned 17 companies that operated out of a single physical location. This office was quite busy as you would imagine, having 27 phone handsets. The owner wanted the single phone system to run all of the companies and be available to different employees depending upon which company was being called by a customer.

To accomplish that, there were 17 separate inbound routes that were created and implemented. Each of the inbound routes began a sequence that started with an AutoAttendant menu (also known as Interactive Voice response or IVR) written specifically for that company. In this way the caller could easily reach a department or person that they needed to speak to.

When the department choice was made by the caller, a select group of phones in the office that were needed started to ring simultaneously. This is known as a Ring Group. Each company had a potentially unique Ring Group that corresponded with their unique IVR. As soon as one phone in a Ring Group was picked up, the rest of them stopped ringing and were ready for the next caller.

To build the 17 IVRs and 17 Ring Groups, a complex flow pattern was created by discussing with the staff exactly how it should work. Management knew the infrastructure of the entire phone system but the staff knew how to make the phone system operate as efficiently as possible for them. Think of a ‘forest and trees’ view. It took the experience of all levels of people to configure the phone system tool to work the best for them.

The VOIP phone system that was created involved all 27 handsets and 17 companies without a problem. It has been operational for a long time and only needs a tweak now and then as employees change or company needs evolve for new situations. The owner did not have to purchase extra licenses due to the multiple companies and associated IVRs and Ring Groups.

The most important reason that the system worked so well for the owner was the communication and analysis by Select Phone Solutions to understand what the client wanted and needed as well as the ability of the phone system software to meet expectations.

Does your phone system meet your expectations? Do callers easily get through to the right people or do they wander around voice mail jail in your system until they hang up out of frustration? Do you need multiple companies or locations covered by a single phone system? Select Phone Solutions can create a custom system for your business that will improve your customer relationships and employee productivity.

Ask for your free phone system audit from Select Phone Solutions by calling 281-501-6464.

“Productivity Through Technology”