Voice over IP (VoIP) can do more than just save you money

Every time I bring up the subject on VoIP, I always hear “I know about VoIP, it can save my phone bills”. No doubt, VoIP can save your telecommunication budget, but it can do more, much more than you can think of. It can help you to improve productivity, increase your clients’ satisfaction and it is also a critical component of your business continuity plan (BCP).

Improve Productivity VoIP allows you to record your phone conversation in a file with a single mouse click. You can attach it in an email, or even automatically save it in your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. There are so many ways that you can improve your productivity with such mechanism. Let me use an example to illustrate it. If your business is developing software, your client may call to report a potential bug. Your supporting staffs have to spend a lot of time to write down details about the problem. With VoIP recording, your supporting staffs only need to summarize the problem and forward the incident with recorded message to programmers for further details. How much time your office can be saved? And not only saving time, how often have your staffs forgotten to document critical points about their conversation with your clients? One is already too much!

Increase Clients’ Satisfaction If you’re a lawyer, financial planner or real estate broker, you can record the VoIP conversation and make sure you fulfill all your client’s requests. You can also integrate VoIP with your CRM system. Your CRM system can automatically keep track of all your VoIP activities and remind you when you should call your client again. If you forgot what was discussed a year ago, don’t worry! You can call up the last conversation and refresh your memory. If your sale person has left, you may be glad to find out that all his previous conversations are stored in your CRM system. If your client calls you, your CRM can automatically bring up all the latest information about your clients. And you would stay connected with your clients even if there is a disaster hit your office; they would never get neglected!

Business Continuity Planning (BCP) BCP is a huge subject so I am not going into details but one of the critical requirements of BCP is to stay connected with your clients. Your clients should be able to communicate with you through email, fax and phone call no matter what happens to your office. With VoIP, you can make / receive call or check voice message, no matter where you are; as long as there is internet connection. So your clients can find you when are at the office, home or even vacation at Europe.

Other Innovative Ideas Both Microsoft and Google have launched their own 411 services; Bing 411 and Goog 411 let you find local business, restaurant and check weather, traffic or even movie time. What else you can do with VoIP? Discuss with your telecommunication and IT consultants.

Conclusion VoIP can reduce your phone bill, improve productivity, and increase clients’ satisfaction. It also gives your staffs a more dynamic and flexible working environment. If you don’t have it now, then you should look for a telecommunication consultant to setup one for you. If you already have VoIP, then you should ask your IT consultant to integrate it with your CRM system. If you have VoIP already integrated with CRM, then you may want to consider video! If you are looking for VoIP providers, you may want to check the following providers:

But make sure whatever you choose, can fit into your IT infrastructure and integrate with your existing systems.

Andrew Chan is the owner and founder of ALG Inc.

About Andrew Chan
Andrew Chan is an Business Consultant who gives you accurate, consistent and timely information so that you can make better and faster decisions. He is an Associate of Society of Actuaries with over 20 years of IT experience. Apart from strong analytical skills and proven technical background, he was also a former system director at Manulife who had extensive project management experience. If you are looking for someone to gather, consolidate, validate, visualize and analyze data, look no further! Andrew can provide the most cost effective business analytics solution so that you can explore, optimize, predict and visualize your business. Don’t guess on any decision, no matter it is finance, operation, marketing or sales! Always ask for evidence!

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