Posts Tagged ‘customer retention’

With football season well into week 4 and the Bears tied for mediocre in the division, it’s neither time to celebrate nor despair but to think long term. One victory does not guarantee a season’s success.  Conversely a slow start does not doom a team to failure. The same is true for your business. If after 3 fiscal quarters you need a quick score or even a monumental comeback, you don’t punt; you go deep!

From a technological standpoint how can you “go deep” when your team is down? One way is to make sure customers can get a hold of you when they want to buy something or need a problem solved. Ask yourself, “What’s the most important call I expect to receive today and how will I guarantee that I answer it?” If your solution is to hope that you are at your desk when the phone rings, you will find yourself 4th and long. The answer may be Find Me-Follow Me and Unified Communications.

Find Me-Follow Me allows you to have your phone extension ring a few times and if you are unable to answer the call it will ring another number, typically your cell phone. If the call is connected, all is well. What happens if the call is not connected due to poor cell service, the phone turned off or you being on another call? In the old days it would give the caller a chance to leave a message on your cell phones’ voice mail; not a high level of service if the caller had a time sensitive issue. Your cell phones’ voice message ends up saying, “Hi, this is Bob and you’ve reached my cell phone voice mail. If you want anything done today, please hang up and call my office again and for your own sanity do NOT ask to be sent to my extension…unless you want to end up here again!” With Find Me-Follow Me calls unanswered are left in your company’s voice mail where the caller can dial an extension to reach a specific person or press “0” for the receptionist. Customer satisfaction scores a touchdown!

If your customer does choose to leave you a message in your company’s voice mail, Unified Communications can send that message to your smart phone. You will be notified immediately and can respond or delegate accordingly. Missed sales opportunities and poor customer service are thrown for a loss.

So if you’re ready to do what it takes to put your company’s revenues in the win column, contact us at sales@selectteltech.com or call us at 815-282-5151.

I have not been the biggest proponent of Hosted/Managed IP. As a previous post “An Open Letter to Hosted IP Providers” will attest to,  https://selecttelecom.wordpress.com/2011/09/29/an-open-letter-to-hosted-ip-providers/  Now it’s time for me to change my tune for I believe Toshiba has got it right with their VIPedge.  As I make my argument, let’s break it into two logical discussions. First being, “What type of company would benefit?” and the second being “Why is this solution superior.” 

What type of company would benefit? Toshiba’s VIPedge is designed for companies needing advanced telecom features, such as Unified Communications and PC integration with Outlook or their CRM database but not willing or wanting to own and maintain a telephone system. The VIPedge offers the alternative. Customers pay a recurring monthly fee based on size and usage. Unlike other providers who lock you in to 3 and 5 year contracts, the VIPedge commitment is only 2 years.

Why is this solution superior? The easy answer is the phones. Instead of tiny phones with hard to read LCD’s and even harder to understand buttons, choose either a 9-line LCD, 20 programmable button set or the DECT 6.0 IP4100 wireless.

With its large footprint and layout to which you’ve been accustomed, transition to the Hosted world is a breeze.

You’ll get the features that most hosted systems tout such as:

  • The ability to give each extension a unique telephone number, but still maintain your company’s listed number
  • Voice Mail with Unified Messaging including Presence, IM, Chat and Desktop Call Control
  • Mobility with Find-me, Follow-me
  • Unlimited Local/LD in all 50 states. Toll free and international calling available
  • Seamless Networking between offices
  • VIPedge Enterprise Manager web interface to configure, manage, control and maintain
  • Survivability

More importantly, here are some features that the VIPedge has that is usually not found in Hosted IP. These are the key system features we’ve grown to love:

  • Outside Line Buttons
  • Directory Numbers; Primary, Phantom and Pilot
  • Direct Station Select (DSS) Keys
  • Multiple Call/Delayed Ringing
  • Telephone Group Paging
  • Off-Hook Call Announce
  • Music/Messaging on Hold
  • Uniform Call Distribution
  • Call Record to Voice Mail

If you’re thinking that it’s time to upgrade your telecommunications platform but don’t want the cost and hassle of purchasing a new system, the VIPedge is the right choice. If you’re currently on Hosted/Managed IP platform and you’re just not feeling the love, the VIPedge is the obvious choice. Either way contact us at sales@selectteltech.com or call us at 815-282-5151 and we’ll get your telephone system in the cloud with your feet planted firmly on the ground.

 

We all know the signs when it’s time to call; the system is dead, a phone needs to be added or moved. The question here is when should we call before it’s too late? What can we do to anticipate the need?

If we assume the purpose of your telecommunications system is to add to your bottom line and increase customer retention, the answer becomes clear. It’s time to call when the system is not adding to your bottom and not increasing customer retention. The question then becomes, what are the early warning signs? Here are a few.

  1. Increase in voice mail traffic. Are employees hard to find? If your phone system could find employees both on site and off site, would that help?
  2. Are customers hanging up? Before you get to answer the incoming call? After its transferred to an extension?
  3. Are customers complaining that is too hard to get a hold of someone or too difficult to get a call back?
  4. Is lack of caller ID making it difficult to return those mumbled voice mails?
  5. Are there “dead spots” in your company due to lack of cordless/wireless sets?

These are but a few examples. Your specific issues demand a specific solution. To get that solution, contact us at sales@selectteltech.com or call us at 815-282-5151. Don’t let an early warning sign turn into lost revenue.

In honor of May 1st, celebrated as Labor Day in 66 countries, we honor its most important contribution, the 8 hour work day. Those of us who run a small business are wondering how successful we need to become in order to work just 8 hours. Any good manager will tell you that you must delegate. Who is your most reliable business resource? My vote goes to your telephone system.

It works 24/7. With the right application software it can take orders, accept payments and check order status. Direct in Dial numbers or Auto Attendant can route calls to specific employees. If they’re unavailable, it can forward the call directly to their mobile device or be directed back in to your company’s voice mail to access another employee. Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and Speech Recognition can mimic human interaction to the point that working an 8 hour work day would seem like 16 hours too short!

If you believe any of these applications could positively affect your company’s bottom line, contact us at sales@selectteltech.com or call us at 815-282-5151. If you can’t make it between 9 and 5, that’s okay, we’ve got you covered.

Did you ever wonder where the expression, “thinking outside the box” came from? According to my extensive research, participants were asked to look at the 9 dot puzzle and connect all the dots using 4 strokes with a pen while never leaving the paper. Try it. I’ll wait…Give up? Try again and think. “Use your head!’ to quote your father. Still can’t get it? Okay, we’ll help.

I know what you’re thinking, that’s cheating! No, it’s “thinking outside the box” both literally and figuratively.

In business do we think outside the box? Should we think outside the box? After all, it is cheating. At Select Telecom we love to cheat; cheat your competitors who focus on quick profits while ignoring customer satisfaction; cheat other telecom providers who focus on buzz words and not their client’s bottom line. If you’re prepared to “think outside the box” and use technology to cheat the odds, contact us at sales@selectteltech.com or call us at 815-282-5151 and we’ll show you that cheaters do prosper.

Well, where do we start; our history? We’ve been around since 1983 selling and servicing small to medium sized businesses in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.

Our primary products? We’ve been authorized Toshiba Telecom dealers since our inception but we also sell Allworx and hosted IP as telecom products. We are also agents for the major network service providers; AT&T, Comcast, TDS, EarthLink and the list goes on.

Our complimenting products and services? It’s a rather diverse set which includes:

  • Audio and Video Surveillance from a few simple analog (CCTV) cameras and DVR to 20 megapixel, 180 degree IP cameras with a 10 terrabyte Network Video Recorder.
  • Cambridge Sound Masking Technology which provides cost effective ceiling mount speakers which produce a “white noise” which mirrors the spectrum of the human voice. It does not have to be loud to be effective.
  • The SonicWALL® TZ Series which offers a revolutionary breakthrough with higher performance protection, new redundancy capabilities, comprehensive Anti-Spam integration, application intelligence and control, and other innovations to protect and improve the efficiency of your business.
  • Care Connect by ESCO Technologies is a revolutionary approach to the bundling of telecommunications and TV services to the assisted living/senior housing communities.

The one thing you really need to know about Select Telecom is our goal which is to provide advanced solutions by leveraging the technology of both the equipment manufacturers as well as the network service providers to be the most cost effective alternative to affect profitability and increase client retention. That’s it. If we can’t put money in your pocket or help you keep your customers, then the technology and our expertise is useless. If you’re looking for a solution that means something to your company’s bottem line. Contact us at sales@selectteltech.com or call us at 815-282-5151.

In my business, technology can be a blessing and a curse. We all agree it needs to be implemented but we disagree on to what degree we need to incorporate it. If we had unlimited time for research and unlimited money for purchase, the problem would be solved.

We may have a solution. At Select Telecom we have partnered with an Operations and Technology Consultant. His goal is to give a consultative approach to the practical implementations of today’s technology. He’ll cover telecommunications, network design, hardware and software with a keen eye balancing the proposed costs with the perceived benefits. He comes to us with years of practical experience as an IT manager of medium size companies in the Rockford area. The good news is that there is no charge for his services. If you’re interested in a review of where you are, where you can be and the costs associated in getting there, contact us sales@selecteltech.com or give us a ring at 815-282-5151.