By Matthew Toth
We live in a connected world today — to a fault, in my opinion. We list 17 forms of communication on signature lines and business cards to reassure our vendors, co-workers and, most importantly, our customers that we can be easily reached 25 hours a day, eight days a week. So what’s the problem with that? Other than the decreasing likelihood of humanity retaining their collective sanity because of the on-call nature of business nowadays, being too connected just may cost you some customers. Confused? Read on...
Perhaps the most important members of your organization are the people that create and maintain the relationships with your customers. Those might be traditional salespeople or dedicated service people that your customer has developed a dependency upon. Those are the people that always take that 6:30 p.m. call when there is a problem with an order. They are the people that take ownership of issues until resolution is reached. They are the glowing face of your organization and may be largely responsible for the growth of your bottom line.
Now here’s the problem: Your customers understand that the most foolproof, failsafe method of contacting the stars of your organization is their cellphone — so what happens when the stars of your organization move to a competitor of yours? What happens when your most dependable customers continue to call in their orders and they contact your former star who now works for your biggest competitor? If this scenario doesn’t worry you, then it should starting right about now.
So how can you protect yourself? You can issue company owned cellphones. When your star leaves, you take the corporate phone back. But you’re now asking people to carry two cellphones (business and personal) around with them at all times. This has been rejected by many people and organizations because of the sheer inconvenience of carrying two phones. It also becomes difficult and time consuming to manage a vast number of cellphones for all of your employees without a quality MDM (mobile device management) program.
A secondary way of handling this is utilizing hosted VoIP. Hosted VoIP provides your organization with phone system features and call control in the cloud. With hosted VoIP, your employees can advertise one phone number that is owned by the business, but can simultaneously ring multiple devices — office phone, cellphone and even a home phone. Many hosted VoIP providers even provide a cellphone app download so that outgoing calls still show the business’ caller ID and not the caller ID of your stars’ cellphone. At the end of the day, your customers are calling phone numbers that your organization controls. If your star leaves your organization, you can simply and quickly change how that incoming call is handled and where it rings to. Most importantly, you’ll eliminate the possibility of your former salesperson getting that call.
It is safe to say that virtually every business owner on Earth has had quality people leave their organization and try to move business to a competitor. Why make it easy for them? It starts with controlling the flow of incoming calls. If you could avoid even one star taking business with them to a competitor, it would be worth taking countermeasures, right? One of those measures to be considered should be Hosted VoIP.
Matthew Toth, president of Collaborative Communications Consulting (C3) has been in telecom for more than 14 years, starting with WorldCom in 2000. In 2008, Toth founded C3, a brokerage of more than 80 telecom and cloud providers that provides data, voice and cloud.
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