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What is a Cloud Contact Center? Definition, Features, Benefits

Looking to transition to cloud communications? Cloud contact center solutions are designed to help businesses with effective call management, call monitoring and analytics, global expansion, and more.

Understand what a cloud contact center solution is, how it works, and how it can benefit your business.

How Do Cloud Contact Centers Work?

First, what is a cloud contact center?

A cloud contact center is a comprehensive set of cloud-based tools and services for business communication. These tools can be used by contact centers and service teams in medium-large organizations that need multiple communication channels, advanced call management, remote communication management, reports and analytics.

They are also known as cloud-based contact centers, virtual call centers, and cloud call centers.

A cloud contact center offers various cloud-based solutions for phone service that offer more control over business communications. With these solutions, you can manage your calls and agents, conduct performance analysis by tracking data and metrics, and improve overall customer satisfaction.

These contact centers work over the cloud; that is, they need an internet connection. This allows businesses to access and use cloud contact center features from any location, enabling remote work and global expansion.

Choosing Between Cloud-Based Contact Centers and Traditional Contact Centers

Which is more suitable for your business call center software? To make a decision, you first need to understand what each type entails and the service and costs of each. Let’s look at the difference between a cloud-based contact center and on-premise software:

 

Cloud Contact Center Traditional Contact Center (On-Premise)
Low monthly costs; no set-up or installation fees Low-medium monthly costs; high set-up and installation fees
Wide range of cloud communication features and services Limited call management features
Hosted by the provider Operated on-site, in-house by your IT team
No physical space, hardware, or equipment needed Physical space and equipment needed
No installation or maintenance needed Needs to be installed and maintained regularly
Provider is in charge of system updates and maintenance Your in-house teams are in charge of system updates and maintenance
No professional IT experience needed Professional IT team needed to run the system
Uses VoIP tech; Needs a broadband connection May use VoIP tech
Scale as needed Limited scalability
Recommended for small, medium, and large businesses Recommended for large businesses

Cloud Contact Center: Top Features

Cloud-based contact centers come with various features, tools, and services designed for call management and customer support. You can customize and personalize these features to meet your business’ exact needs. Here are the top features of a cloud-based contact center:

Access to Cloud Phone Numbers

Choose from a large inventory of cloud phone numbers available from around the world. These numbers give callers (your customers) a chance to call for free or local calling rates, even if they are located in different countries. This is because of international call forwarding (more on that below).

Global Call Forwarding offers virtual phone numbers from more than 160 countries around the world. You can get:

  • Toll-free numbers
  • International toll-free numbers (ITFS numbers)
  • Local phone numbers
  • Mobile numbers (for certain countries).

Buy cloud phone numbers for your contact center and offer global customer support over the phone. Customers from other countries can call your business without worrying about paying high long-distance calling fees.

International Call Forwarding

An international call forwarding service lets businesses forward or re-route incoming international calls to any location in the world. For example, your company is headquartered in New York, but you have a large client base in Mexico. Your Mexican customers can call your Mexico toll-free number, and you can have these calls forwarded to headquarters in the US. This way, customers get to contact you for free, and you get the call where your customer support teams are located. And no one pays international calling rates!

Advanced Call Routing

An advanced call routing feature offers you multiple ways and strategies to forward inbound calls. You can set rules beforehand to manage incoming calls during specific times or heavy traffic periods. You can have calls routed to different locations, offices, and employees. Or have calls ring on multiple devices simultaneously or run through a set sequence. There is a lot to play around with—the key is to identify what routing strategy works best for your business. Here are some key call routing strategies:

Learn about the benefits of advanced call routing for your contact center.

Hosted Call Recording

Use a cloud call center recording software to record incoming and outgoing calls. No additional recording software or equipment is needed. You can save these recordings on your computer or in the cloud for future reference. There are many benefits of recording business calls; these include:

  • Easy record-keeping
  • Monitoring quality assurance
  • Studying customer preferences and behaviors
  • Protecting from liabilities and misunderstandings
  • Recording important transactions
  • Conducting employee or agent performance analysis
  • Adhering to compliance requirements in specific industries and sectors, and so on.

Cloud IVR System

An interactive voice response system or IVR lets you introduce automation within your customer service efforts. The automated voice system answers incoming calls, identifies the purpose of the call, and proceeds to assist the caller. It may provide the caller with a menu of options, pre-recorded messages packed with helpful information, or transfer the caller to the correct department or agent.

You can get a highly customizable IVR system — like the one at Global Call Forwarding — to manage and route calls effectively. Set up rules for routing and forwarding. Add custom greetings and messages to highlight company updates, new hours, new products, service issues, etc.

Outbound Calling

Customers are less likely to answer out-of-state or international calls with caller IDs they don’t recognize. You can use an outbound calling service to increase global coverage and make your customers comfortable answering your call. This is a turnkey solution to help businesses make long-distance and international calls with custom caller IDs.

Softphone Apps

A softphone — also known as a contact center dialer — is an app you can download on your phone or desktop and use as a dialer. You can make and receive business calls with your business phone number instead of your personal number. Softphones are designed to help you make calls, update contact history, access voicemail, transfer calls to other employees, and more, all from the comfort of your devices.

Check out our GCF softphone and how it can help your employees connect from any location and maintain business continuity.

Automated Callback Options

Automated callback options make it easy for your business to connect with customers who cannot easily reach you. These may be customers in remote locations or web visitors who would benefit from your business calling them instead of waiting in long call queues.

Global Call Forwarding offers two types of automated callback services — CallMe Click and CallMe Trigger — to help you connect with your international customers. Customers either submit a short form on your website (CallMe Click) or call a trigger number (CallMe Trigger) to receive an immediate callback from your business.

With our high-availability network and global coverage, you can convert more prospects and web visitors into customers. Reduce friction and improve customer experience by making your business more accessible to interested customers.

What is Cloud Telephony

Source: Stockphoto.com O#23559 ID#100033099327

5 Benefits of Cloud Contact Centers

There are reasons why companies (small and large) are moving their communications to the cloud — from reducing costs to getting access to better and more advanced services. So, how can your business benefit from a cloud contact center solution?

1. Improved Call Management

With various cloud communication tools, you can design and control the way incoming calls come into your business. You can route calls in a way that works best for your needs. During high traffic periods, you can set up call forwarding rules as backups if your main office is busy.

Or, you may route calls to specific locations and regions to meet your customers’ preferences (language, time zone, culture, etc). Try out different routing strategies to find one that supports your business’ call needs.

2. Increased Global Coverage

Virtual phone numbers make it easy to connect with global customers for low calling rates. By getting access to cloud phone numbers from more than 160 countries worldwide, you can take your business to new markets and increase your global coverage. And your business does not need to be in these regions to do business in them.

Additionally, when you use local and toll-free numbers, you allow customers to call your business for free or local calling rates, even if your business is located internationally. All of this makes your business more reachable to global customers and increases your international sales.

3. Workforce Flexibility

By using cloud contact center solutions, your business can open up to remote working and telecommuting options. You don’t need to stick to hiring and working within your geographical boundaries. Look for and hire talent in other countries and keep remote teams connected efficiently with virtual communication tools.

4. Scalability and Growth Support

The best part about cloud contact center solutions is that you can grow your business at your own pace. As you grow, you can add or remove additional lines and services to meet your needs. Get new numbers for new markets. Adjust call forwarding and routing rules to align with your customer support goals. Pay only for what you need and when you need it.

4. Uninterrupted Business Continuity

When you experience a power or internet outage or your office is affected by a disaster, a cloud phone system can prove useful. You can route calls to another office location, remote employees, or to your smartphone instead. This way, business can continue without interruption.

5. Low Costs for High Quality

Finally, by switching to the cloud, your company can cut down tremendously on communication-related costs. This is because you don’t need additional or special equipment to run a cloud contact center software. And since you can enter new countries and regions virtually, you do not need to open multiple office locations.

Another advantage is that you can access multiple communication tools within this one software. So, you do not need to subscribe to multiple services for your business communication needs.

Need Cloud-Based Phone Solutions?

Get cloud contact center solutions for your business today! Speak with our experts to understand how our features and services can support your communication needs. Call us at 1 (888) 908 6171 or chat with us online!

What is Geographic Call Routing and How Can it Help Your Business?

Want to offer your customers support and sales in the time and location most convenient for them? You can use geo-routing to route incoming calls to the closest location or based on the caller ID. This way, you can match the call with the nearest customer support center in the closest time zone and region.

What is Geographic Call Routing?

Geographic call routing — also known as geo-routing, caller ID routing, and location-based routing — is an advanced call routing feature. Call routing is a cloud phone service feature that answers calls and routes callers to specific phone lines, extensions, or locations based on pre-set rules. With geographic call routing, these calls are routed based on the caller’s phone number and area code. And you can route calls to:

  • Business’ closest location
  • Centralized call center
  • Company hub
  • Satellite offices
  • Remote agents located in specific regions
  • Locations needing more business, and so on.

A diagram showing what Geographic Call Routing is.

How Does Geographic Call Routing Work?

There are a few different ways you can set up geo-routing for your business. You can route calls based on location by either:

  1. Automatically routing calls based on the country code and caller ID, or
  2. Asking callers to select their location from a preset menu.

You will need to use a cloud IVR (an automated voice response system) or auto-attendant to manage incoming calls. You can then set rules for the system to follow and route calls accordingly.

Based on how advanced your IVR is, you can set it to recognize the country code of incoming calls and then route calls to a predetermined location where your employees or agents can answer the phone and assist customers.

Alternatively, you can set up the IVR system to ask callers to type in a number that corresponds to their location and have the IVR route the call to the nearest office location or service center.

Basically, with geographic call routing, you get to choose which areas or regions route calls to which locations, satellite offices, or call centers.

Who Can Benefit from Geo-Routing?

Geographic routing is ideal for companies with multiple locations or a large global customer base. It helps connect customers to agents or employees in their time zone, region, and language. This helps further improve caller experience as callers get assistance matching their time and preferences.

How to Set Up Geo-Routing?

Global Call Forwarding offers various advanced call routing options such as time-based routing, geo-routing, skill-based routing, simultaneous ringing, and sequential forwarding. These features come included with our cloud phone number plans, and so you do not need to purchase additional services.

You can get and set up geographic routing for your business with Global Call Forwarding in a few steps:

  1. Get cloud phone numbers for target countries and regions.
  2. Log in to your control panel.
  3. Choose a phone service line and click on Settings.
    Portal screenshot showing how to set up geo-routing.
  4. Select Call Forwarding.
  5. Then, click on the IVR and Manage IVR Applications. This will take you to our IVR Manager.
    Control panel screenshot showing how geographic call routing works.
  6. Click on Create New Application.
    How to set up geographic call routing (part 2).
  7. Then, under Advanced Actions, choose Caller ID Routing.
    Screenshot showing caller ID routing in the control panel.
  8. Set up a new rule to route calls based on caller ID.
    Building geo-routing into your call flows.

5 Benefits of Geographic Call Routing

But why should your business consider routing calls geographically? Advanced call routing features such as geo-routing have many benefits, from improving caller experience to offering advanced call management solutions. Here is why your business should consider getting geographic call routing for your business communication system:

1. Simplified Call Process

Since callers are automatically routed to the right location or agent, they do not need to be manually routed or transferred. In other words, no talking to the wrong people and getting bounced around. geo-routing reduces the number of interactions by letting the caller reach the right destination on the first try. This also means reduced hold times and less waiting for your customers.

2. One Number for Multiple Locations

Geographic call routing is a good solution for businesses with customers and locations in different parts of the world. Instead of using multiple phone numbers for each region, you can simply use one number and forward incoming calls to the most appropriate locations.

3. Offer 24/7 Global Customer Support

By routing calls based on the caller’s location, you can extend customer support hours by adopting a follow the sun support model. Such an approach lets you route calls from one location to another during different times of the day and based on the caller’s location.

As such, you can route calls coming in from one region to your customer support team in that region or time zone instead of your primary support center. This way, you offer support outside regular business hours, and your reps won’t need to work overtime to manage after-hours calls.

This allows your business to offer customer support globally by letting incoming calls route to the closest customer service or sales teams instead of your headquarters.

4. Local Call Reports

You can also use geographic call routing to get localized call reports. Track international phone calls to get a better idea of where your calls are coming from and where your customers are located. This will help you determine what marketing and sales efforts are working according to plan and which regions need more nurturing.

5. Increased Customer Satisfaction

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, geo-routing helps your business offer excellent customer support and increase customer satisfaction. It does so by reducing wait and hold times, allowing callers to connect at convenient times, and ensuring callers reach the right agent quickly. After all, no one wants to be waiting on the phone for hours.

Ready to Get Geographic Call Routing for Your Business?

At the core of any business, you want to do everything you can to improve customer experience. The easier you make experiences for callers, the more likely they will become recurring customers. And routing calls based on the caller’s location can reduce wait times and make your business more customer-friendly.

Get geographic call routing for your business today by signing up for a business phone number with Global Call Forwarding. Sign up online or speak with our representatives to learn more about how this service fits your business.

What is a Global Telephony Provider and How To Choose One?

What does a global telephony provider offer and does your business need one? Here is a quick guide to global telephony and how you can use a global telephony provider to enter new markets, grow your global customer base, and increase international sales.

Everything You Need to Know About Global Telephony

A global telephony provider offers various cloud communications services that help businesses connect with global customers worldwide. From generating points of contact with phone numbers to offering cost-effective and high-quality voice service, your business can enter the global stage and increase international sales without increasing overhead costs.

For example, you can test new markets and gradually expand to them virtually, without opening physical offices in these locations. Use global telephony solutions to take your business global and make it easy for international customers to connect with you — whether for sales or customer support.

After all, easy and centralized business communication can lead to more sales and satisfied customers.

Global Telephony and VoIP

Global telephony providers use voice over IP or VoIP technology to enable communication over the internet. By doing so, users can make and receive calls from an internet connection. This offers flexibility in terms of where the user uses the service and what devices they wish to use.

VoIP is known for ensuring high voice quality with low interruptions and downtime. This makes a VoIP phone service provider a valuable asset to any business wanting a robust communication system.

Features of a Global Telephony Provider

So, what does a global telephony provider offer you that a regular phone service provider doesn’t? A bunch of easy-to-use and advanced features and services like:

  • Cloud phone numbers — Use local and international business numbers from countries around the world.
  • International call forwarding — Forward calls from one location to another to maintain connectivity beyond geographical boundaries.
  • Advanced call routing — Route calls to specific locations, lines, employees, call centers, or voicemail inbox based on pre-set rules.
    • Time-based routing — Route calls based on the time the call comes in.
    • Geographic routing — Route calls based on the location of the caller.
  • Outbound calling — Make outbound calls from any device using custom caller IDs.
  • Flexible voice options — Connect with customers in remote locations.
  • Softphones and web dialers — Make and receive calls from any location or device using a web-based app or browser extension.
  • Integrations and API — Integrate with other apps and services your business uses.

These features and services support a global communication system. Your business can expand its services and offer global support without bearing the brunt and high costs of international trade.

Want to know what services Global Call Forwarding offers? Check out our services or chat with a representative now!

Benefits of Using a Global Telephony Provider

So, why should your business use a telephony provider, and what can your business achieve by using a global communication system? By using a global telephony provider, your business can:

  1. Make and receive high-quality local and international calls.
  2. Make it easy (and sometimes free) for global customers to call and connect with your business.
  3. Access a suite of advanced business communication features.
  4. Offer 24/7 sales and support.
  5. Access new markets and target audiences.
  6. Manage remote and global teams efficiently.
  7. Establish and maintain a global network and presence.
  8. Increase overall profit and ROI.
What Does a Global Telephony Provider Look Like?
Source: DepositPhotos.com – Lic#58479819 ID#27446420

How to Choose a Global Telephony Provider?

When you’re ready to upgrade your legacy phone system, here’s what you should keep in mind when choosing a VoIP service or global telephony provider:

1. Research Different Providers

Start by familiarizing yourself with different providers and the features and benefits they offer. Some important questions to consider when analyzing whether a provider is suitable for your needs:

  • Do they offer services for your target countries and regions?
  • How are these services priced?
  • Are they a CPaaS cloud-based service provider?
  • Is their communication system built on a private infrastructure?
  • What security do they offer?
  • Is there a discount for bundling up or purchasing wholesale numbers?
  • Do they offer an API to integrate within your existing system?
  • Is the provider a licensed carrier?
  • Is their network highly available with multiple connections? Have they partnered with local and regional providers?

Another important factor to pay attention to is their communication infrastructure. You want a provider that has a facilities-based infrastructure that supports cloud communication and global coverage. A regular PSTN provider won’t be able to do this. On the other hand, global telephony providers with facilities-based infrastructure can support real-time cloud communications at scale with high quality and global coverage.

2. Review Costs and Plans

Compare the different plans and prices each of the providers offer:

  • Do they offer a free trial or freemium?
  • Is the trial long enough for you to determine the quality of service?

It is also a good idea to check for hidden fees and long-term commitments:

  • Do you have to pay any set-up or installation fees?
  • What is their cancellation or refund policy?

Remember: You do not want to be caught in a long-term contract with a low-quality provider.

3. Review Customer Testimonials

Next, you want to read through customer stories and reviews to see how the provider’s service has been used. Reviews are a great place to gauge the quality of service but also to understand the personality of the brand itself. Here are some things to consider when looking at customer reviews and testimonials:

  • Do they serve customers in your field or industry?
  • What problems has their service solved?
  • What have customers been able to achieve with this provider’s service?
  • How do they resolve issues or negative customer reviews?

You should also ask about the state of their customer service teams:

  • Do they offer 24/7 support?
  • Do they have dedicated account managers who are easy to contact?
  • What customer support channels do they offer: phone, email, chat, online support center?

Take Your Telephony Global with Global Call Forwarding

Choosing a provider that meets your needs and budget can be tricky—especially if you do not know what to look for. However, with the right information and approach, you can find one that will help you achieve your global expansion goals.

So, why choose Global Call Forwarding as your global telephony provider?

Global Call Forwarding is a leading provider of local and international toll free numbers that come with an array of advanced call management features. We have been in business for over 25 years, offering high-quality solutions to our customers. When you sign up with us, you get a dedicated account manager to manage your business communication system along with 24/7 responsive customer and technical support.

With Global Call Forwarding, you can upgrade your legacy phone system and scale your business as and when you need. Want to learn more about our business phone solutions? Chat with our experts or call us today at 1-888-908-6171.

Related: Global Call Forwarding vs Legacy Telecom Carriers

Modernizing Legacy Phone Systems: How and Why to Upgrade?

Many businesses still struggle with outdated communications infrastructure in 2021.

Legacy phone systems lose functionality and decline in value over time. They will eventually cost you and your team valuable resources and attention.

The good news is there are plenty of options to modernize legacy systems. Modernizing your phone system will not only reduce costs, but can also drastically improve the efficiency of your business operations.

What is a Legacy Phone System?

A legacy system is a software, hardware, or application that is built on obsolete technologies, but still used in critical business processes. A legacy phone system is essentially an inflexible and outdated business phone system that does not deliver modern features.

The most common legacy phone systems involve T1 connections, POTS lines, legacy operators, and PRI configurations. A setup that still leverages copper-based wiring or analog channels is considered a “legacy system.”

Why Should You Modernize Your Legacy Phone System?

Legacy system modernization can provide many excellent opportunities for your business.

The common saying to “not fix what isn’t broken” does not apply to digital transformation. Businesses today must replace older, inefficient systems and adopt more modern technologies in order to stay competitive over the next decade.

7 Reasons to Modernize Your Phone System

Your legacy phone system will cost you in many different ways. Here are some of the most common reasons to modernize your business phone system.

  • High Costs

In order to set up an old-school business phone system, you would need to purchase and install clunky hardware. There are also oftentimes hidden fees for hardware usage and technical support. On top of that, legacy telecom carriers usually try to lock their customers into long-term contracts.

  • Maintenance

Maintaining a legacy phone system can be time-consuming. Updating the software, hardware, and underlying infrastructure can consume valuable resources that could instead be put towards other projects.

Repairs are also a pain as the manufacturer might no longer make your parts. You might have to resort to buying used hardware of questionable quality.

Troubleshooting outdated tech can be even more of a headache. Maintenance could require someone on-hand who is properly trained in using your specific phone system. As your technology systems age, there will be fewer qualified engineers and technicians available to help.

  • Flexibility

The 2020 pandemic proved the importance of flexible infrastructure that is quick adapt to everchanging business needs. With the rise of telecommuting and remote work, employees should be using a cloud-based phone system that enables them to work from anywhere in order to ensure business continuity.

Another thing to consider is changing office locations or global expansion. You’ll need to uninstall, transport, and reinstall your equipment. This can be a confusing and time-consuming process. Modern phone systems, on the other hand, can be set up instantly.

  • Scalability

What happens when your growing business needs to hire new employees, open new offices, etc.? It’s not easy to scale a legacy phone system.

For one, a traditional business phone system can only support a finite number of phone lines. If you exceed that number, you’ll need to add additional ports or buy more equipment.

Similarly, if you need to support a larger call volume, you’ll need to buy extra equipment to increase call capacity. If your legacy phone system is not able to support incoming call traffic, callers will hit busy signals and / or abandon their calls. This could result in lost revenue.

  • Features

Many modern UC providers offer advanced service features and access to call detail records. These can help improve customer experience and internal reporting.

Your current phone system might allow you to answer calls, but it could be missing a lot of functionality that many cloud phone systems offer.

  • Security

Legacy systems have security vulnerabilities, and if you’re still using one, it could be liable to hacks, cyber-attacks, etc. If your IT department is constantly spending time trying to patch holes or recover from security breaches, they won’t be able to focus on more profitable projects.

Don’t make yourself a target. In 2020 alone, there were more than 1000 data breaches.

By upgrading to a cloud phone system, you’ll be able to implement best practices for VoIP security to ensure the confidentiality of your business communications.

  • Integrations

Integrations are all the rage these days. It’s important to sync your business phone system with other tools in order to maximize workforce efficiency. Legacy systems don’t offer voice integrations or other capabilities that modern systems can. If they do offer an integration, lots of customization is likely needed.

Legacy versus Modern Phone Systems

You might be thinking that it’s time to upgrade your phone system. Luckily, cloud phone systems prove a better alternative to legacy telecom.

  • Modern phone systems are cloud-based. This means you don’t need any extra equipment. You simply connect them to your IP network.
  • Modern phone systems are generally much more affordable. You aren’t locked into a long-term contract. You can always upgrade or downgrade your plans as you choose.
  • Both legacy and cloud communications are very reliable. Modern phone systems, in general are more secure and provide much better functionality.

There’s simply no reason to stick with your outdated phone system. If you haven’t started to upgrade your legacy technology, now is the time. But how exactly could you go about doing so?

Upgrade Your Legacy Phone System

Before making a big change — such as upgrading your existing phone system — you need to evaluate what your current systems and determine the best ways to move forward. This will help you transition with limited downtime. Here are a few factors to consider.

1. Workload and IT architecture
To understand the depth of an upgrade needed, you first need to understand how your legacy phone system works and which facilities modernization. Audit your technologies (hardphones, softphones, features, etc.) and infrastructure to determine their functionality, value, and ROI.

2. Operational changes
In an attempt to optimize processes, workflow, and productivity, think of strategies to improve efficiency. How can newer technologies help you achieve these goals? These changes may include new skills, training, software, teams, etc. When noting down these changes, keep costs and timelines in mind.

3. Finances
Evaluate your business spending and budget and identify ways and resources to support such an upgrade. While most businesses are worried about the costs of upgrading their systems, holding onto legacy systems may prove more expensive. This is because your business will have to invest in other service providers to scale up, which increases costs over time. Additionally, maintaining and updating outdated legacy systems tends to be more expensive than signing up for a new one.

4. Security and risks
Lastly, consider potential risks your business may face. This means possible downtimes, impacts to processes, timeline of the upgrade, etc. Also consider the risks of keeping your legacy system the way it is. If you decide to modernize your legacy system, plan to protect your systems and data before, during, and after the process. This is to protect data loss, maintain compliance, reduce downtime, and upgrade smoothly.

When to Upgrade Your Phone System?

So, how do you know when it’s time to upgrade your phone system? It is time to consider modernizing your legacy system if you need to:

  1. Update outdated technology.
  2. Stop overpaying for basic services and features.
  3. Meet the increase in customer demands.
  4. Facilitate an easy move to a new office location.
  5. If you are implementing a hybrid work culture.
  6. Gain access to better features and voice quality.
  7. Prepare for disaster.
  8. Protect from cyberattacks and keep data secure.
  9. Increase flexibility and mobility.
  10. Scale effectively without over-budgeting.
Modern versus legacy phone systems.
Source: DepositPhotos.com – Lic#23304270ID#27446420

How to Upgrade Your Legacy Phone System

Modernizing a legacy phone system means updating and transforming your architecture to prepare for new technological developments. For business phone services and business comms, this means migrating your phone system to the cloud and adopting UCaaS to prepare for digitization. This enables collaboration, remote work, and increased efficiency. The best ways to modernize legacy systems and upgrade your phone system include:

1. Complete Renewal
This involves taking down your existing system and technology and replacing it with cloud communications

2. Gradual or Incremental Changes
This involves replacing certain parts of your existing legacy system one at a time. While this method may seem cost-effective, you may end up with more and more outdated systems building over each other, leading to further complexity.

3. Minor Patch-ups
This approach looks for quick fixes and workarounds to make the system functional. While this approach may add additional features and functionality, it does not improve the overall performance of the system.

4. Enhance Existing Systems
This method is by far the most cost-effective and efficient one. It involves making improvements and upgrading your existing legacy phone system to work alongside new technology and software. Integrations, no-code software, and APIs can help enhance such systems.

Global Call Forwarding Can Help

A legacy phone system can be difficult to upgrade because of its importance in critical day-to-day operations. There are companies, however, that specialize in legacy phone system modernization.

Global Call Forwarding is one of those companies. We offer a cloud PBX that will improve the effectiveness and profitability of your business or department.

  • A no-code solution that is easy to implement.
  • Higher voice quality service for lower costs. Very reliable.
  • Access to user-friendly software (online control panel, accessible from anywhere).
  • Increased geographic reach and coverage (business phone numbers for more than 160 countries globally).
  • Access to modern features and services such as international call forwarding, advanced call routing options, automated voice response, etc.
  • Quick scalability with multiple redundancies and low downtime.

And when you have these key features in place, your business can improve customer experience and employee satisfaction. Your business can be on par with competitors and even gain a competitive advantage with modern, reliable solutions!

Depending on your business, it can be a quick process or it could take some time. Contact us today to learn more about upgrading your legacy phone system and moving to the cloud.

9 Benefits of Advanced Call Routing

Improving caller experience goes a long way in retaining existing customers and attracting new customers to your business. But how can you make it so callers don’t have a hard time reaching your business and getting answers? Here we highlight the various benefits of an advanced call routing service so you can make your business reachable and reliable to your local and global customers.

How Can Advanced Call Routing Support Your Business?

Advanced call routing gives businesses an array of routing options to choose from. These are smart call routing strategies designed for optimal efficiency. Whether you have offices and employees in multiple locations or want to cater to global customers who call during off-hours, you can route calls to multiple locations, lines, or numbers in a way that ensures no calls go unanswered and that all callers reach the right department at the right time.

Here are the key benefits of using an advanced call routing service for call management.

1. Help Callers Reach the Right Employee

With smart call routing, your ACD or advanced IVR system that routes calls can identify the purpose of the call by asking questions and providing the caller with different menu options. Then, the automated system transfers the caller to the right department, employee, or agent for assistance. With this, you can:

  • Connect callers with agents within their time zone or location, and
  • Connect callers with employees they have previously interacted with

Doing so ensures smooth transfers and enhanced customer experience. Customers can connect with the employee best-suited to assist them in making a purchase or resolving an issue, without any hurdles.

2. Reduce Wait Times and Call Abandonment Rates

With advanced call routing, you can route and ring calls on multiple phones simultaneously. Or, you can send calls down a predetermined list of employees; when one is busy, the call moves to the next in line. This increases the chances of the caller connecting with an employee quickly, reducing wait times. Additionally, the less time a caller spends waiting in a call queue means they are less likely to abandon a call. This means callers are getting their queries resolved quickly — probably during the first call — leading to higher customer satisfaction scores.

3. Reduce the Number of Missed Calls

Since you can route calls to different locations and offices, you may choose to forward calls coming in outside of business hours to remote agents or employees in other locations and time zones. This way, callers still get support and your employees do not have to work odd shifts or work overtime. And by ensuring that callers connect with someone — even during off-hours — you can reduce the number of calls missed or unanswered.

4. Adopt a Follow the Sun Support Model

Whether you are a big multinational company or a small business wanting to extend services to neighboring countries and regions, follow the sun routing will help you offer 24/7, round-the-clock support — even if your business is not located around the globe. You can make your business reachable to customers and callers, no matter where they are, by routing incoming calls to your business locations and remote agents in different regions and time zones.

5. Provide Global Customer Support

Part of any global customer support strategy is to make your business available to your customers wherever they are. You can do so by opening different field offices in key target markets and locations. Or, by offering multichannel customer support that is monitored 24/7 via live chat, phone, email, etc.

In the same vein, call routing with international call forwarding allows you to forward incoming calls from one location to another without worrying about international calling fees. And you can route these calls to specific offices or multiple locations, as needed. Together, these services can improve the way your business offers support to global customers.

6. Offer Voicemail and Self-Service Options

If your employees or agents are busy and callers are left waiting, offer them voicemail and self-service options. Let callers opt-out of the IVR system and leave a voicemail with contact information. This way, as soon as an agent is available, they can call the customer back and the customer does not have to wait on the phone.

You may even let your callers know, via pre-recorded messages, that they can submit a ticket, or check out your online support guide. These are self-service options they can use to get assistance quickly on their own, without having to talk to a rep on the phone. In fact, you can even design your IVR system to offer troubleshooting help and answers to common questions. The routing system will send callers to the right pre-recorded message based on their input.

7. Add Custom Greetings and Messages

As customers navigate your ACD or IVR system, inform them of new features and services, company information and updates, and so on with pre-recorded messages (human, not automated). You can use custom greetings for certain groups of customers (predetermined by the number they call from), holiday greetings for big holidays, and so on. This makes your business appear more human rather than having just an automated response on the phone.

8. Balance Out Employee Workload

By routing calls effectively, you can distribute the workload among your employees. This way, no single employee is inundated with numerous calls and responsibilities while others stay idle. Balancing the workload will enable your business to manage high call volumes more efficiently.

9. Improve Customer Satisfaction

Finally, all of the abovementioned strategies and benefits help your business offer better customer support. And when you offer reliable and responsive support, you increase customer satisfaction and gain more loyal customers.

Get Advanced Call Routing Today

Think a call routing service can help you optimize your business communication system? Learn about Global Call Forwarding’s advanced call routing and international call routing services. Call us today at 1 (888) 908 6171 or chat with our representatives online!

9 Ways to Reduce Call Center Agent Turnover

Call center agent turnover (also known as call center attrition) is one of the greatest challenges call centers face regularly. Agents and employees leave for a variety of reasons from low pay, low flexibility, to lack of in-house growth opportunities. Consider these 9 ways to reduce agent turnover and retain valuable employees.

What is the Cost of Agent Turnover?

Most call center costs fall into three categories: administration, labor, and technology. While administrative and technological expenses often remain the same or stable, labor (agent) expenses fluctuate.  These expenses include hiring and training agents, agent and supervisor wages, resolving their errors, and offering rewards. These expenses can easily take up to 55-80% of a call center’s costs. And the higher the attrition rate, the more these expenses increase. The real cost of high call center agent turnover includes:

  • Low-to-bad quality of service
  • Frustrated and dissatisfied customers
  • Lower productivity and collaboration
  • Interrupted and unreliable service
  • Increased call center expenses (time and money spent hiring, recruiting, training, management, poor service levels, etc.)

Reasons for Call Center Agent Turnover

In order to understand how to reduce call center agent turnover, you first need to examine why you may be losing these agents? Is it that your company is hiring unqualified agents? Are agents overburdened or not trained enough? Here are some of the most common reasons why agents leave:

  • Hiring unqualified employees
  • Insufficient training
  • Repetitive and mundane work
  • Insufficient compensation
  • Overburdened; working overtime
  • No-to-low professional growth
  • Low employee satisfaction
  • Poor or competitive work culture

How to Reduce Call Center Agent Turnover?

Call center attrition is a common problem call center managers face. As a call center manager, you must understand how attrition affects your call center. Once you understand the problem, you can proceed to improve the conditions of your call center agents to reduce call center turnover and improve customer satisfaction.

Let’s look at 9 ways to reduce call center attrition and keep your agents.

1. Hire Smartly

Employees who know how to do the job and are familiar with its challenges and rewards are more likely to stay than employees who are unprepared and not qualified. As such, you must hire smartly by focusing on bringing quality applicants on board. When hiring, look for experience, confidence, personality, collaborative attitudes, and skills. You may even expand your search to include referrals and remote agents. Define your job descriptions and roles well — be specific — and highlight your expectations and goals. Potential applicants should know what they are getting themselves into.

2. Prioritize Enhanced Training Programs

Even when you hire skilled talent with years of experience, it is important to train them for your specific call center. If you want high-quality work, you will need to invest the time in training agents accordingly. Don’t settle for only in-house training and free workshops, webinars, or training programs like ICMI. Help them identify key trainings, courses, and certificates in the industry and participate in them.

Furthermore, embrace coaching culture to help teams work together, collaborate, and support each other. Your agents can learn not only from managers and supervisors but also from each other. And so, creating a positive atmosphere for learning and collaboration can go a long way in making agents feel confident.

3. Make Internal Communication Easy

Establish clear communication channels that are easy to navigate. In order for agents to meet your goals, they need to know what is expected of them and how they can achieve those goals. As such, make your company goals and expectations clear. Furthermore, offer constructive and practical feedback consistently; that is, advice and feedback they can actually put to use instead of vague ideas. Lastly, they need to know who to connect with when they have an issue or want to bring forward new ideas. By enabling an easy flow of communication, you can ensure issues are picked up on quickly and improvements can be made.

4. Demonstrate Focus on Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is essential to the success of any call center. If your customers and callers are not satisfied, you will lose valuable accounts and revenue streams. As such, emphasize the importance of offering personalized and considerate customer service and care. This means teaching your teams to work towards improving customer experience, contact quality, increasing first call resolution, tracking and measuring customer success metrics, and more. Furthermore, you must track call center KPIs such as average handle time, calls per hour per agent, and so on. These metrics help you ensure no one agent is overworked and that work is distributed well.

5. Give Importance to Employee Experience (EX)

Most businesses look outward — customer experience and success — to quantify success. However, focusing on and improving employee experience, directly and indirectly, impacts how your customers interact with your business, and by extension, customer satisfaction.

And so, it is simple, if your employees are unhappy and dissatisfied, it will affect their work and encourage them to leave. For these reasons, it is important to identify what concerns or struggles your employees are facing and how you can help fix those issues. After all, happy employees are able to convert more prospective customers into sales.

6. Provide High-Quality Tools and Software

Next, ensure your teams have the right tools they need to do their jobs within the quality you expect. Cheap services and tools can easily hinder productivity. For example, bad phone service can lead to dropped calls, missing audio, etc. Another example is using call center tools like an advanced IVR system to help distribute or manage incoming calls equally to all agents to ensure no one agent is answering a large number of calls. This helps agents balance their work and focus on customers better.

Reduce call center agent turnover with IVR.

Therefore, do your research and find tools, software, and features that can support the work your employees are doing. A high-quality call center software can help employees easily track contacts and their histories, update lists and interactions, and communicate well internally and externally. This does not have to be an expensive affair. Most service providers offering virtual call center software can help you get multiple tools in the same platform and integrate other apps into your existing system. Find the one that works best for your specific needs and teach users how to use these tools to their benefit.

7. Offer Considerate and Relevant Recognition and Rewards

It is important to not just be aware of the employee experience. As a manager, it is your job to find ways to maintain their motivation and desire to stay. And one way to do this to recognize their efforts and hard work. Offer rewards that are relevant and useful to your employees. Some ways you can reward your employees include:

  • Written and verbal praises
  • Awards and accolades
  • Bonuses during milestones, reviews, end of the year, and holidays
  • Events such as employee appreciation day, birthdays, work anniversaries
  • Having a corporate wellness strategy
  • Gift boxes or gift cards (for shopping, traveling, dining)

8. Give Access to Skill Development Programs

Not all employees are happy staying in the same position doing the same type of tasks, year after year. Always provide your employees with the opportunity to develop their skills and to keep learning and growing. This indirectly helps your business as employees learn and stay up-to-date on new trends in their field. They can then apply these trends and strategies to your business.

9. Provide Opportunities for Growth and Promotions

Lastly, try to offer opportunities for employees to grow within the company. This may be moving to a new position or department or promoting internal employees to new open positions. Employees that don’t see growth opportunities in their future with your company will go elsewhere to find motivation. Agents who see that their hard work and skills lead to career progress will work harder and do better.

Improve Turnover Rates with Better Call Center Tools

Global Call Forwarding can help you find the right call center tools and features to support your agents’ workload. We can get you set up with a robust and easy-to-use small business phone system. Call us today to learn more!

How to Create a CX Strategy for Global Customer Support

Customers can make or break a business. And any business paying more attention to only making money instead of improving customer experience will find it hard to retain customers. Customer experience becomes even more important when you’re an international business working with customers and clients spread across the globe.

Here we discuss the importance of customer experience and creating a global CX strategy for your business’ global customer support system.

What is Customer Experience (CX) Strategy? And Why Do You Need One Globally?

Customer experience (CX) covers almost every aspect of a business’ offering such as product features and services, customer care and support, product marketing, packaging and shipping, reliability, and more.

Another way to think of CX is the experience and interaction a customer goes through when connecting with your company; whether they are researching for a new product or making a purchase or getting support.

A good customer experience means that customers were satisfied with your business or product. And these satisfied customers are likely to remain loyal to your brand and also recommend it to others. A bad experience will lead to fallouts, cancellations, returns, and ultimately lower sales.

Therefore, developing a strong customer experience strategy can prove crucial to the success of your international business.

What is the Goal of Customer Experience?

Before you start to create a CX strategy for global customer support, you need to determine what the goals are for your particular business. In other words, what CX objectives do you want to accomplish? A customer experience strategy can help you achieve core business and customer experience goals when executed well. Here are some CX goals to consider:

A) Business goals may include:

 Increasing

  • Customer retention
  • Customer satisfaction and loyalty
  • Product purchases
  • Product development
Reducing

  • Number of bad customer reviews
  • Churn rate and turnover
  • Number of products
  • Number of dissatisfied customers

B) CX goals may include:

  • Including new features and tools
  • Collaborating with other companies that customers use regularly (think: integrations)
  • Giving customers self-service options
  • Improving responsiveness and reliability
  • Preparing for different buyer personas and profiles (remember: not all customers have the same views, and even customers with similar demographics may not have the same experience)

This being said, the main role of a global CX strategy is to get global customers and improve your business’ international presence. And to do this, you will need to focus on your customers and what your business can do to improve their experience.

The ROI of Global Customer Support

But is spending time making customer experience for your global customers worth it? Here are some key benefits for providing global customer support and improving global CX:

  1. Access to a wider, diversified audience and market
  2. Increase revenue and coverage
  3. Improve global customer retention
  4. Improve company’s international reputation
  5. Access to greater talent
  6. Gain a competitive edge

While doing business internationally may come with new costs and experiences, there is great value in reaching a wider audience and providing support to your customers wherever they are.

Learn more about growing your business globally in our guide to global expansion.

Is Customer Experience and Customer Support the Same?

The short answer: yes and no. Customer support, more appropriately, is a part of a business’ customer experience strategy. In a CX strategy, you aspire to make every process of the customer’s interaction with your brand easy and valuable.

This starts with marketing, where your customers first see your brand. This can be via different digital marketing channels or offline marketing strategies.

Next, you focus on other touchpoints such as signing up for a newsletter, downloading a PDF, reading online content, signing up for a demo, chatting with a chatbot, navigating the website, booking a demo, and so on.

Finally, focus on the process of making a purchase, onboarding, customer service and assistance, tech support, and so on.

It is important to note that CX does not end at the customer making a purchase. You will want to retain that customer by continuing to provide value via new features, reward programs, and responsive customer support. Customers who continue to have a good experience with your brand will promote it and become advocates for it.

Global customer experience

Building a CX Strategy for Global Customer Support: 11 Best Practices

When developing a customer experience strategy for global customer support, you need to also consider ways and tools that can help your global teams work well together to ensure your customers experience the same quality of service no matter where they are located. Here we list 11 global CX strategies that will help your business improve CX for global customers.

1. Set Clear Goals and Objectives

First, you and your teams need to have clear goals and objectives that everyone will work to achieve. What aspects of the customer experience do you want to improve? How can each team contribute to this improvement? What steps do these teams need to take to achieve this goal? These are questions to consider when setting objectives. The more clear and specific you get with these goals, the better your team will perform.

2. Adopt a Customer-First Approach

A customer-first strategy is an approach that focuses entirely on the customer and improving CX. Such an approach looks at different ways your business or products can help your customers succeed and live better lives. And to adopt a customer-first approach, you need to work closely with your customers. What do their day-to-day lives look like? What issues do your customers face? Which problems are they trying to solve? And so on.

Learn how to put your customers first in our post about building a customer-first strategy.

3. Take Time to Understand Your Customers and the Market

To understand how to improve customer experience, you need to understand your customers. Who they are, what they need, and how to solve their problems with your solution. And to understand this, you will need to conduct market research.

VoC is a part of a customer-first approach because it makes your business and employees take time to listen to the customer and the market you are trying to sell in. VoC collects customer feedback about a business and its products. This research is then used to inform product and service development.

Market research is the process of researching, studying, and collecting information about potential prospects and current customers. Usually conducted by the sales and marketing teams, market research provides insights into how a product is performing in a new or existing market. Marketing teams may even use this research to update their buyer personas and customer profiles, and to understand the customer journey.

4. Work with Local Recruiters and Hire Locally

Part of running global customer support means being available for your customers in a time and language that they prefer. This means providing local customer support for each location. Experts recommend working with local recruiters and hiring local talent.

Local agents and employees can more effectively communicate with international customers. They’re able to provide cultural context and familiarity which makes callers comfortable. And it bridges the distance between your business and your global customers.

5. Improve Responsiveness and Reliability

This goes without saying but your global customer support team needs to be reachable and quick to resolve issues. Irrespective of the type of business you run, customers experiencing an issue will want answers and resolutions quickly. They need to know that your business is dependable, especially if it is not located in their own country. This means your business should:

    1. Make it easy for global customers to call your business with international toll free numbers, and
    2. Adopt a Follow the Sun support model with time-based routing and location-based routing features.

Cloud-based phone numbers use international call forwarding to route calls from one location to another. This way, you can get international toll free numbers or local phone numbers for multiple countries around the world. Callers from these countries can then call your international business for free or local calling rates, instead of high long-distance rates. And you can route those calls to your global customer support teams spread in different regions and time zones.

By managing your international calls this way, you are providing support without regard for geographic locations and time zones. This is called a Follow the Sun support model. Such a model enables your business to offer 24/7 customer support by routing calls to available agents in different countries. And global customers can get their support in a language and time that works best for them.

Such a model also improves your business’ ability to be responsive and reachable. And that, in turn, makes your global business more reliable.

6. Consider Multilingual Support Tools

In an effort to improve your business’ reliability and accessibility, you want to offer global support in multiple languages. And while most teams may not have the means or budget to hire multilingual employees, there are some tools you can use to translate chat messages and conversations to bypass language barriers.

Tools like Unbabel and Lokalise can translate messages reliably and in real-time. What’s better? They can be integrated into your existing chat or CRM systems such as Intercom, Salesforce, and so on. Use these to reach more customers and improve their interactions with your business.

7. Train Your Staff Well

One key point to offering excellent global customer service is to maintain consistency across all channels and regions. To do this, you need to train your employees consistently throughout all regions and locations. Create a rigorous cross-cultural training program and ensure managers stick to it when training new employees. Conduct regular performance reviews for each support team to see how every region is performing.

8. Ensure Smooth Handoffs Between Regions

You don’t want a customer to have to call back or wait because the agent does not have the right information. Time spent searching through information or making up for lost information can lead to dissatisfied customers. Agents should be able to get the most recent and updated information quickly.

To maintain consistency and reduce interruptions, invest in the right technology and software that ensures smooth handoffs between regions. Consider project management tools, content management systems, and CRMs. You may even consider phone system automation tools that make it easy to update and share information via the cloud.

9. Optimize for Local and International SEO

Building a CX strategy means improving engagement on all touchpoints within the customer journey. You need to map out the journey and look for ways to make it easy for your global customers to find your brand and interact with it comfortably.

This means optimizing your website for local and international SEO. A local SEO strategy means improving your business’ ranking in search results. By doing this, you can increase organic traffic from customers in your location.

International SEO, on the other hand, works similarly to geotargeting where you deliver different content and ads for different locations. Use international SEO to optimize your website for different countries and languages to attract organic international traffic.

You can learn more about local and international SEO from SEO guides published on HubSpot, Moz, Semrush, Search Engine Journal, and more.

10. Provide Self-Service Solutions

Make it easy for customers to get support and help resolve their questions or issues by offering self-service solutions. This could be in the form of:

    • FAQ sheets
    • Knowledge Base or online support center with how-to and troubleshooting guides
    • Help articles and content available online and in-app
    • Ticketing system that automates issues and resolutions

This way, customers can go in and resolve issues quickly, especially with simple tasks. For more complex ones, they can reach out to your global customer support teams.

11. Review and Set Milestones to Match Your Objectives

No strategy is perfect. And as your business grows, your goals and objectives might change. You will need to update your current strategy, identify strengths and weaknesses, and make changes. Review goals, measure and track key metrics, set new milestones, and continue moving forward.

Customers Drive Your Business — Make CX a Priority

It is evident when a business is not paying attention to its customers and their experience. Customers will leave and find another business that takes the time to prepare valuable experiences for them. Don’t fall behind. Don’t underestimate loyalty and word-of-mouth marketing. Give your customers a reason to become advocates for your products and services.

Start building your global CX strategy now because, at the end of the day, your global customers will help your business grow and become more successful worldwide.

How to Centralize Business Communication

Why should companies centralize business communication? What does centralized communication even look like? And can it really help improve productivity?

Centralized business communication — like centralized processes — unifies all necessary information and tools in one place, reducing time spent navigating through different channels, software, and services. But how do you know if your business needs to upgrade its communication system? Let’s have a look.

Centralized Business Communication: What, How, and Why?

When managing a business — whether a small business or global enterprise — not prioritizing and organizing business communication can lead to confusion and chaos.

For example, your business has several players or employees working on different tasks.

There is a lot of work to do. A lot of documentation to handle. Everyone’s main goal is to get the work done quickly.

But that may not always mean getting the work done efficiently.

Now, think of all the different communication channels your business uses to connect with employees and customers: phone, fax, voicemail, email, chat, video, and text.

These channels store important files and information. And when you do not have one centralized hub for your communications, important information and data can get lost.

This can make it hard to find that one file or locate that one customer’s complaint or find the brilliant way your employee handled a difficult customer. And that loss can hurt.

So, how do you prevent this from happening? You centralize business communication so that all essential business-related communication is connected to and stored in one central hub or platform.

What Does it Mean to Centralize Communication?

Time spent searching for information or a document is time taken away from being productive. Depending on your business size, your business communicates through multiple channels:

  • Phone conversations
  • Email
  • Two-way SMS
  • Video conferences
  • Intranet communication options
  • Chat (internal chat as well as chat for customers)
  • Content and project management system comments and chat
  • Town halls
  • Social networks
  • Voicemail, fax, and document-sharing apps, etc.

And when you use multiple channels through different services, chances are, things will get lost in translation and movement. And you cannot always afford to lose conversations, information, and documents.

Centralizing business communication means connecting all business members and stakeholders through one platform where communication occurs and is stored. In fact, 2021 business communication stats suggest that companies are looking for cloud-based tools to integrate all their communication needs into one platform and improve business communication.

In theory, through this centralized business communication platform, all communication, conversations, transcripts, documentation, scheduling, etc., can be stored and tracked efficiently.

How to Centralize Business Communication?

So, how does your company start to centralize business communication? Let’s look at some important factors and how to go about centralizing your communication system.

1. Map Out All Business-Related Communication

First, you need to map out all forms of communication that occur within your company. We’re talking about all kinds of internal (between employees and teams) and external (between the company and its customers) communication.

Once you can visualize all communication channels, you can identify high-priority channels. For example, phone, email, and chat channels may contain more important information. So, you will make those channels more accessible by centralizing them. Company-wide newsletters or training videos may not fall under this list. So, you may look for software or a platform that supports your phone, email, and chat needs.

2. Find a Unified Communications Platform to Support Your Needs

Once you determine your needs, you can start looking for UC solutions that support channels essential for your business. Unified communication platforms unify phone conversations, video conferencing, text messaging, email, chat, and other communication channels in one place. In this UC platform, users can:

    • Share and access information and documents
    • Store information and data
    • Communicate and collaborate in real-time
    • And by doing so, information and data can be shared and located quickly within one place, reducing time spent on searching or lost conversations.

Start by looking for UCaaS providers and comparing what they offer. Find a provider that fits your needs and budget.

3. Think About Integrations

Integrations aid in data accessibility by bringing all necessary systems and processes together in a one-stop service.

Many UCaaS and cloud-based communication providers will offer you various integrations to help organize all communication-relation tools and features in one place. This way, you can bring your work calendars into your communication platform or access all channels (voice, video, SMS, chat) in one place, even if you use different services.

Some providers may even offer a custom API integration. Application Program Interface (API) is a code that gives two separate software programs the ability to communicate and work with each other. API, therefore, allows you to integrate systems and software to create a robust platform. Check with providers to see what options are available before signing up.

4. Upgrade Your Business Communication System

Once you have explored the market and the many features and services available, make the decision to upgrade your existing business communication system. Either sign up with a provider that can provide you with all the features you need in one place, or look for integrations to include within your existing system.

Note that upgrading or switching to a new communication system may seem expensive at first but can cut down on long-term costs and increase office productivity. This, in the long run, can help your business focus on more important things such as product development, customer research, and so on.

4 Benefits of Centralized Business Communication

So, is it really worthwhile bringing all communication-related services and processes together? Especially if you may need to change certain providers and services? This depends on what benefits you wish to reap when you centralize business communication. Let’s look at some advantages of streamlining communications.

1. Keep Everyone Connected

All employees, managers, and stakeholders have access to this centralized communication system. This is especially helpful for businesses that have remote employees and distributed teams spread across the globe. Being able to communicate in real-time and through an easy-to-use platform is crucial for information and knowledge sharing and data storage. A centralized business communication system keeps everyone connected.

2. Increase Transparency

To improve team collaboration and help them work towards common goals, they need to communicate well and know what each other is doing. By having access to all information, communication, and team members in one place, your business can ensure increased transparency.

3. Make Document and Knowledge Sharing Easy

With all channels connected, users can quickly share important information and documents in real-time. Furthermore, documents and data remain on the system for future reference; that is, to bring a new member up to speed or to compare with new content. By making document and file-sharing easy, everyone can have access to necessary and up-to-date information.

4. Improve Productivity and Efficiency

When processes are streamlined and centralized, you can cut time spent looking for documents or important conversations. This is because users can quickly search for information within the centralized business communication system and share it with other members. This further improves task focus as fewer distractions are likely to occur.

Additionally, managers can share important business-related information and documents with multiple employees through a platform that everyone has access to. All of this contributes to an efficient work environment.

Centralize Business Communication with Cloud-Based Phone Solutions

Global Call Forwarding can help you unify all your communication needs in one place. We offer a cloud-based business phone service along with our custom API. Speak with our representatives today to learn how our integrated services can help streamline your business communication efficiently and effectively.

What is a DID Number? Definition and Benefits

Learn how having a DID number for every department in your office can help streamline business communication and call management. Here we explain how DID numbers work, what these numbers are used for, and their many associated benefits.

What is Direct Inward Dialing (DID)?

A DID number works within a business’ cloud phone system and allows callers to ‘dial in’ to a specific phone number. In other words, callers can dial a direct number to reach a specific person or department instantly without the need for an operator.

How Does a DID Number Work?

DID numbers work through a direct inward dialing (DID) facility that enables calls to be routed directly to any phone number or global SIP destination. They are not tied to any physical phone line

Most modern businesses — especially medium-to-large enterprises — use DID numbers in some way or form. This telecom facility gives them unique contact numbers for specific departments or employees. As such, your business can have a DID number for support, sales, marketing, and other functions.

What is a DID Number Used for?

DID numbers can take a simple phone system and give it added functionality and benefits. In other words, you can expand your business phone system by adding DID numbers.

Calls made to DIDs can be routed to any network; including to remote workers and satellite offices. All your employees, teams, and business locations are, therefore, bound into one private branch exchange.

This way, you can increase the chances of calls being answered and ensure business continuity.

8 Ways Your Customers Benefit from DID Numbers

There are multiple benefits of using DID numbers for your business. These benefits range from support for scalability to tracking calls to saving on communication-related costs.

1. Scalability
Your business can have multiple unique DID numbers spread across various departments and teams. Add new numbers and lines without additional equipment. Scale your network up or down as your business grows without worrying about wasting money.

2. Cost-Savings
Expanding your business with DID numbers is cheaper compared to legacy telecom carriers. Reduce costs up to one-third by switching to direct inward dialing.

3. Reachability
By dialing a DID number, your customers can quickly reach the right department. They can get the assistance they need without dealing with a receptionist or response system or waiting in a call queue. This helps your business manage high call volumes.

4. Call Tracking
When you use specific or unique DID numbers for each department and/or employee, you can track incoming calls, time spent on calls, and other metrics with call detail records. Use call analytics to track and improve productivity and quality. You can even track return on marketing investments by assigning numbers to marketing campaigns.

5. Global Expansion
You can get a DID number for global expansion. This means your business can expand internationally without establishing a physical presence. Here you can save on global expansion costs and still increase your international coverage. Furthermore, your customers can evade long-distance calling charges to reach you.

6. Access to Advanced Features
Take advantage of our full set of communication features including call forwarding, cloud call recording, hosted IVR, outbound calling, and more. Use these features to create an efficient business phone system.

7. Multichannel Communication
Open up new communication channels such as voice, fax, text messages, voicemail, and fax.

8. 24/7 Customer Support
Provide 24/7 round-the-clock customer service by adopting a Follow the Sun customer support model with location- and time-based routing. This way, your global customers can find support in their region, time zone, and language.

Finding a DID Number Provider: 10 Things to Consider

Open your business up to new avenues and growth opportunities with a DID provider. When looking for the right provider, consider these questions:

  1. What do you need the DID numbers for?
  2. How many DID numbers will your whole company need? Consider satellite offices, remote workers, etc.
  3. What regions and countries does this provider cover? Are these regions included in your list of target countries?
  4. What additional features does this provider offer? Are these features customizable?
  5. Can your business benefit from these features?
  6. Does the provider offer multiple pricing plans?
  7. Do you need to sign a long-term contract to use their service?
  8. Are there any set-up, installation, or cancellation fees? Check for hidden fees.
  9. What are their current customers saying about their service?
  10. What is their customer service response rate? Are their support teams easy to reach?

Research each provider thoroughly. Look through their services and features. Read the content on their blog or customer stories to see how their features work in practice and in your field. Read case studies, testimonials, and reviews to understand how customers have used their service. Review different providers’ pricing structures to understand what the industry expectation is and compare that to your budget.

Once you have gathered all the information, choose the provider that is the most transparent and reliable.

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