Business thrives on effective communication. It’s easy to become disoriented when there are so many internal and external communication channels. Too often, this leads to a chaotic situation at work.
With cloud telephony services, small businesses can implement IVR, call routing, call scheduling, and other over-the-edge telephonic functions at an affordable cost with no capital outlay!
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What is Cloud Telephony?
Cloud telephony or cloud calling is a hosted telephone service owned and operated by a third party that customers access via the internet on a subscription or usage basis.
This means you don’t have to keep a system on your servers in-house. Furthermore, your employees get access to high-quality phone services from any internet-connected device.
Image: Workflow of a Cloud System
Cloud telephony services are a perfect solution for staff who are constantly on the move or who work remotely. Cloud telephony is all about having a phone system that is less expensive and more functional!
The blog explains how cloud telephony can benefit your organization, and how to select the best cloud telephony for your business.
Benefits of Cloud Communications for Small Businesses
1. Helps give Quick Responses
Customer churn increases when they are waited on for an extended period of time or are left unattended. No matter how hard you try, such situations may arise at any time. The best way ahead is to use a cloud system to address this.
- A cloud system integrates seamlessly into other business tools and databases allowing your staff to be at the top of their agility and handle customer calls effortlessly.
- Field agents no longer have to manually retrieve customer data and enter it into their mobile phones. The agent may make a one-click call from within your ERP/CRM using cloud telephony.
- Also, triggered action notifications for leads or inbound calls serve as a follow-up reminder.
2. Quick and Easy Implementation
The use of cloud telephony does away with the need for on-premise infrastructure. This means you’ll be up and running in a matter of days. Furthermore, you do not need to hire maintenance professionals in-house.
3. Lower Usage and Infrastructure Costs
Cloud telephony services save you money in a variety of ways.
Source: Tech. co
Cloud telephony relieves your company of maintenance contracts, limited calling minutes, restricted local and toll-free phone lines, and the cost of separate business SMS services.
There are no unexpected maintenance charges or invoices with cloud telephony. If you want to start off at low expense, forgo purchasing VoIP phones and instead use PCs with headsets and a softphone app.
4. Helps avail Powerful Calling Features
Cloud telephony’s advanced calling features enable you to automate repetitive processes and improve team collaboration and customer service.
Here are some of the cloud telephony capabilities that can help you work smarter:
- Auto-attendant- assists your customers in reaching the right person or team.
- IVR (Interactive Voice Response)- enables callers to “self-serve” and solve their own problems using conversational but automated call management channels.
- Call recording- assists teams in maintaining a high level of service or assists you in keeping a record of your calls, video meetings, and chats.
- Call forwarding– directs inbound calls based on established criteria such that it enables your employees to reduce the number of missed phone calls.
- Toll-free numbers- allows customers to reach you from landlines without incurring additional toll charges.
- Call Masking- helps to route calls between the agent and the consumer without revealing the customer’s actual phone number. (By mapping the customer’s phone number to a temporary virtual number.)
5. Scalable and Flexible
- Small businesses are sure to scale up. And when they do, Cloud Telephony makes it easy for them by eliminating the need to invest in additional infrastructure. With a VoIP service, you can add extra people with a few mouse clicks.
- When you recruit a new employee, you must wire their desk phone, which might take some time to install with conventional PBX systems.
- A cloud-based system is inherently adaptable, scalable, and simple to manage. In fact, you can easily scale up for seasonal demands — such as sales or festivals — and then scale back down again without spending much on infrastructure.
6. Increased Mobility
- Agents can access phone calls, voicemail, set up call routing, and so on from any location and device via the internet.
- You no longer need to be in the same physical area as the phone system to handle it with cloud calling.
- You may make critical adjustments to the system while traveling or at home by using a simple web interface on your laptop or smartphone.
7. Simplifies Work with Unified Communications
Cloud communications enable you to store and retrieve all information on a single dashboard.
- When you use separate business communication solutions for audio and video conferencing and phone calls, you wind up keeping notes and crucial facts in many locations. Searching for previous information can disrupt everyone’s flow at work.
- Therefore, communicate with colleagues, manage customers, evaluate real-time data, collect feedback and take notes during calls, on a single user interface.
- The centralized storage makes it much easier to discover a record of previous contacts and conversation streams, allowing staff to stay focused and on track with day-to-day operations.
- Apart from saving you a lot of money; it also reduces or eliminates the need for multiple platform management, tedious billing, and cost tracking associated with multiple vendors.
8. Reliable and Secure
According to a Salesforce study, “94%of businesses saw an improvement in security after switching to the cloud.”
- Malfunctioning issues with traditional phone systems, such as wiring faults, overheating, and so on, can cripple your services.
- Reliable cloud telephony solutions guarantee a high percentage of uptime, allowing you to continue working uninterrupted no matter what happens.
- When dealing with sensitive customer information, one of the key aspects is privacy.
- Call encryption
- Round-the-clock network monitoring
- Call masking (incoming and outgoing) are just a few of the many security benefits of using a cloud communications service.
9. Improves Visibility of Daily Operations
Cloud telephony automatically captures operational data such as
- Call volumes
- Inbound call channels
- Call timing
- Agent response times
- Call duration
- The average number of calls by each employee
This allows operations managers to track SLA compliance, make data-driven strategic decisions, monitor and train workers, and retain records for future reference.
10. Reporting and Analytics
- Analytical reports provide information about callers’ demographics, geographic location, peak call hours, missed and received calls, daily call traffic, and so on.
- You discover not just about your callers, but also about the performance of your agents, revenue earned or lost, customer satisfaction levels, and other business indicators. Call recording, for example, allows you to go back and assess your behavior for any flaws.
- Traditional phone systems lack analytics, making it impossible to track team performance or gauge consumer satisfaction.
- Small businesses may now statistically monitor their performance and compete in the market with the help of important analytics.
With many providers offering cloud telephony for business services, it’s important to create a plan to help you shortlist those that fit with your business goals and give the right level of ongoing support for you and your team.
Things to look for while Choosing a Cloud Telephony Provider
1. System Capabilities
List your business objectives and how you intend to achieve them by selecting the best cloud telephony software for your firm. Some of the most important features to explore are:
- Call recording
- Direct integration to third-party tools
- Bulk SMS automation
- Post call survey
- Call scheduler
- Reporting and Analytic capability
- Missed call service
- IVR or Interactive Voice Response
- Real-time call tracking and recording
- Toll-free number
- Round-the-clock availability
- Efficient call routing
- Call Masking
2. Support Obligation
Consider the support commitments such as availability and help channels. Only when you obtain the greatest vendor support will you have a more enjoyable experience with the services you have chosen to use.
3. Security Of Data Platform
It is critical to have strict security measures in place when your company deals with sensitive customer information.
Security certifications like ISO and GDPR compliance are excellent for determining whether the cloud telephony platform you select adheres to industry security requirements.
4. Pricing Aspect
Contact your cloud telephony supplier to learn about different pricing alternatives.
- Whether you select basic, premium, enterprise, long-term plans, or even custom plans, ensure that it is the one that your organization requires.
- Also, make certain that the vendor’s price plans are completely transparent. Be specific about the number of people accommodated in the plan, the payment period (monthly or annual), the ability to change plans, taxes, surcharges, or other extra expenses.
5. Service quality and SLAs ’
Get shrewd when you get down with the SLA.
- Understand everything that has been listed. Check to see that the SLA properly defines service level objectives and includes disclaimers, exclusions, remedial procedures, and penalties that are relevant to the objectives.
- Request documentation or case studies that show your provider resolving difficulties promptly and in accordance with their SLA, so you know they can be relied on to deliver.
- In short, if you want the highest level of dependability from your cloud provider, opt for an SLA that guarantees 99.999 percent uptime.
6. Availability of Trial Versions
- It is appropriate to test things though you have done sufficient research on the product.
- Kapture CRM offers a generous 30-day free trial which is pretty sufficient to learn how the platform fits your existing business plan. It will also reveal how the user interacts with the system.
- Utilize the platform to its full potential throughout the trial period. Ask as many questions as you need to and devote as much time as possible to the product.
- To begin, examine the onboarding process to determine how quickly you can get up to speed with your operations post-implementation.
- Investigate the integration capabilities with other business tools and databases thoroughly.
- The Omnichannel CRM solution from Kapture links its cloud telephony service with a variety of communication channels, including social media.
Switching to cloud telephony is a lot easier than you might think, and it is much less expensive than maintaining your old PBX system.
However, if you want to advance and ensure that your phone system does not quash your progress, you must endorse cloud telephony.
Want to see how cloud telephony can boost your company’s performance? Request a Kapture CRM demonstration.
About the Author
|Seema C Mohan
|Seema C Mohan is passionate about all things XaaS and loves to write value-added content. She has been in Business Process Management in the past and has published technology articles in journals.