Phone Features: PopUps, Telephones and Customer Service

Thumbnail image for telephone-rotary.jpgIf your growing business has the pleasure of needing a call center (big or small) to respond to customer needs, the phone system you use and the features it has are important. Even if you don’t need a full-scale call center, but you provide customer service and/or sales over the phone, your phone system and “customer service” features are important.
For example, promotional products vendor, 4imprint, has 415 employees, and finds that using a pop-up feature to display information about the caller (presumably a customer) before the call is answered has helped them to serve customers faster and more effectively.
Many of you reading this might not have over 50 employees, but the principle is the same. Excellent customer service through telephone features.
4imprint is using an all-in-one IP communications software suite called Customer Interaction Center (CIC) from Interactive Intelligence. There are many vendors providing a range of telephone solutions – the key is finding the solutions that best meet your needs (at the right price).
Your phone system is probably one of the most important tools and investments you have – next to your Internet connection. Being able to quickly respond to the needs of customers and proactively solve their problems is so important.
I’ve been using Dell’s support chat feature and find it quite fast and useful. Some companies, such as, respond quite well to emails. However, the telephone is still the key tool of choice for many of us – for getting information on a possible sale, or getting support on a product.

The best way to know what features you want in a phone system is to consider the work flow of your business. Do customers call in. Do you call customers. Do you have many mobile employees. How important is voice mail integration to the computer. Are you trying to find a premium level of customer service.
Once these and other questions are answered you can better determine wha type of phone system you need and what features it should include.
If you want to find vendors that sell phone systems, check out BizBuyer
IP based telephone systems, as opposed to traditional analog systems, are probably the best bet due to cheaper telephone calls over the Internet; more connectivity features to your computer; integration with your network.
Telephone vendors that come to mind are:
M5 Networks
Microsoft Response Point