Posts Tagged ‘employee productivity’

successThe good news is that productivity in the American workforce is near an all time high. The bad news is that we are busier than we have ever been without much hope for seeing things slow down in the short term. Now is the time to use technology to streamline a process, increase customer retention and make it easier for your customers to give you their money. Let’s take your telecommunication system as an example.

Let’s make some basic assumptions and see if we can find a resolution.

  • Customers who call in want a question answered or problem solved. Unfortunately, voice mail is not the answer. Voice mail will document their concern but can never address it. Ignoring and being unresponsive to voice mails will only aggravate your customers. The answer is to leverage the mobility solutions inherent in the more advanced VoIP systems. Find Me-Follow Me and IP Mobility come to mind.  Find Me-Follow Me allows your extension to ring initially but if unanswered, will ring your mobile device. If you are busy or can not answer on your mobile, the caller returns to your company’s voicemail (not your cell phone provider) where they can leave a message or zero out to the operator. IP Mobility works in conjunction such that when you are talking to your customer on your mobile device, you have all the features inherent to your desk set such as, transfer to another extension, record the call, send it back to your desk phone and more. You may even initiate business calls from your mobile device in which the call is routed though your VoIP phone system. The caller receives the Caller ID of your business, thus keeping your mobile number private.
  • If a customer wants to buy something or pay for something, let them. This may seem obvious but so many telecommunications systems are not programmed to provide this level of client interaction. Customers willing to spend money with you are sent to your employee’s voice mailbox. When the call is eventually returned, the customer may be unavailable or unwilling to part with their money. Programming options available to remedy this situation are:
    • Group Ringing with Overflow. Callers to certain departments; sales, billing and the like, ring at all phones associated with that department. If unanswered, calls will ring at overflow positions where the call can be handled in an “as needed” fashion.
    • Linear Hunt Groups. Callers to a department will be sent initially to those in the department best suited to assist them. If there are more callers than department personal, additional callers will be sent to stations who can help out as needed.
    • Uniform Call Distribution. Callers to a certain department are sent to a pilot number. Personell taking the calls are logged in as agents. Calls are distributed evenly among the agents. Callers not answered are put in a queue and answered in the order received while occasionally reminded that their call is important. 

Whatever method best suits your company’s needs is not important. What is important is that all callers are given a chance to talk and interact with your employees. Problems are addressed, questions are answered and money is spent. Take a fresh look and see if your telecommunications platform is part of the problem or part of the solution.

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If you’ve spent anytime on the internet, you’ve certainly been solicited by vendors based on your search history. Being in the telephone industry I regularly receive e-mails for “white papers” comparing and contrasting different telephone systems. Is this a viable technique when you’re considering upgrading your phone equipment? I have three thoughts I’d like to share.

  1. The content is not as impartial as they imply. The easiest way to guess who is sponsoring this survey is to find the vendor of whom you have never heard. They are typically the vendor wishing to be considered with the major players.
  2. Expect to be contacted. In order to download this information you are required to register with your name, phone, e-mail, number employees, sense of buying urgency etc. Regardless of what you enter, you will be called, and soon; usually within 15 minutes.
  3. The information sent can not address your specific business issues.  These white papers can list a systems’ capabilities, features, capacity and relative cost. They can not be tailored to focus on the important things; increasing customer retention, adding to your bottom line or improving an internal process. You need a sales professional to accomplish this.

If you are in need of upgrading your telecommunications system and you would like it designed to address your company’s specific issues, we know where you can find that sales professional. Contact us at sales@selectteltech.com or call us at 815-282-5151. Internet access not required.

Ever since I’ve been in the Telecommunication Industry, sales people have always pushed their product’s features. They would provide a laundry list; some of which you could decipher but much of which meant absolutely nothing. Astute sales people would ask pointed questions to their prospects in which they would try to convince them that their exclusive feature would be to the prospect’s benefit. To me that seems a bit backwards.

My recommendation is to take the “tool box” of features, define their applications and address business issues specific to those of the prospect. A simple way is to ask yourself, “What does this feature mean to me?” If you can not answer that question move on. A wiser way to proceed is to ask, “Will this feature solve a problem? Will this feature make me more profitable? Will it streamline a process? Will it make it easier for my customers to buy from me or to pay me? Will it add to customer satisfaction and eventually customer retention?” When you focus on what’s important to your business that laundry  list now becomes a note pad.

Polls are closed and the votes are in. It’s Applications by a landslide! Like in any election, focus on what’s important to you and tune out the hype. It’s the patriotic thing to do!

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.

We spoke about cameras in a previous post. Today we are going to talk about the second piece of the surveillance puzzle, the video recorder. This can be a DVR, Digital Video Recorder or NVR, Network Video Recorder. The technical difference is that DVR’s support analog cameras and NVR’s support IP cameras. Regardless of which one you choose, always remember the business issues related to surveillance: Theft Prevention, Avoiding Litigation and Employee Productivity.

Recent technological advances have made video recorders less expensive and have added value such that the benefits far outweigh the initial investment. These advances are:

  1. Hybrid DVR’s: This is an NVR which will accommodate both analog and IP cameras. Combining both types of cameras on a single NVR is very cost effective when the solution warrants such a mix. Choose analog cameras for smaller areas when where objects are always in focus, like the front entrance, and IP cameras for longer focal lengths where you will need to zoom in and not lose resolution.
  2. View Anywhere, Anytime: All DVR’s/NVR’s have an IP address making them accessible from any computer connected to the internet or any smart phone. What’s an improvement is that most manufacturers have a free app for your iPhone or Droid allowing you to view all cameras, view a specific camera, zoom, export images and so on.
  3. NVR Software Enhancements: Like any computer, software enhancements create new applications and benefits. Here are some of the most noteworthy readily available.
    1. Motion Detecting Software. The NVR can be set to record motion only. This saves on hard drive space and makes playback a breeze. You can even designate certain areas as immune to motion detection. For example you may only want to record someone entering your property but want to dismiss street traffic or trees blowing in the wind. When you couple this feature with lower cost for hard drives, a 30 day storage of content can be cost effective.
    2. Alarm Notifications. Any designated event can trigger an e-mail alert to be sent. Let’s say for example you wished to be notified of anyone entering your company’s property after hours. You set the alarm notification to be active from 6:00 PM to 7:00 AM and all hours on the weekends. You define movement as 10 seconds continual in a defined area. You create a new e-mail for this notification; e.g.  mypersonalalarm1234@gmail.com. Program your smart phone to play a specific tone when you receive the e-mail. Open your viewer app and see who or what has triggered this event. Call 911 or go back to watching TV as needed.

When technology meets affordability, you have this “tipping point” when that technology starts to be implemented at an accelerated rate. Past examples being the fax machine, personal PC’s and flat screen TV’s. Now is that time for video surveillance. If you’d like to see how we can design a system for you, contact us at sales@selectteltech.com or call us at 815-282-5151.

When we think of video surveillance we picture the young punk in the hooded sweatshirt waiting in the shadows for the unsuspecting young professional women to walk to her car. Although it’s true that video surveillance will cut down on parking lot purse snatchings, there are other reasons that businesses, both large and small, are implementing, and in many cases, upgrading their video surveillance systems. There are three main reasons.

  1. Theft Prevention. This is the obvious one. If something is stolen, you want to see who took it, when they took it and where they went. With that information, you can notify authorities and can implement procedures to keep it from recurring.
  2. Litigation. If someone is hurt or injured on your property, you can be sued. Depending on the nature of the incident and your company’s financial health, the settlement could be in the millions of dollars. Video surveillance can monitor the forklift driver, the punch press operator and even the pizza delivery person in your parking lot. If there were an accident you can help determine if it’s your company’s responsibility, someone else’s carelessness or their intent to commit fraud.
  3. Employee Productivity. Monitoring inside your facility will verify shifts starting and ending on time, smoke breaks not running over and may even make the water cooler the last place to hide. If your employees are somewhat feisty in nature, audio surveillance combined with video surveillance in the breakrooms will answer the age old question of who started it. 

The more thought that you give it, the more reasons there are to invest in a video surveillance system. The varieties of cameras are endless; inexpensive analog devices, IP cameras that are never out of focus, 180 degree units, employee recognition at 100 yards, infra-red, wireless; the list goes on.

As for recording and playback, we’ll save that for another day. In the meantime, if you’d like to see how video and audio surveillance can help your company by reducing theft, shielding you from litigation and increasing employee productivity, contact us at sales@selectteltech.com or call us at 815-282-5151. We’ll show you how we have helped companies like yours keep an eye on their bottom line.