There are high chances that by mid-April most companies would have shifted to working from home. As governments and essential services combat COVID-19, the rest of the world is trying to keep morale and the dwindling economy afloat. CEOs and self-help gurus a dozen have come out with workflow management ideas, but there are certain undeniable pitfalls when you can’t make it to work. The human body is set into patterns of productivity and rest, and it takes longer than expected to settle into new routines and adjust our circadian rhythm.
Now, more than ever, cloud-based automation is a simple solution to take the stress off employees, many of whom might be balancing household responsibilities with work for the first time. Due to curfews, restricted availability of skillful resource, and multiple layoffs to pad contingency budgets, existing IT departments and maintenance technicians cannot travel to workplaces to oversee hardware and troubleshooting (many CEOs are also giving free ‘at home’ access of courses and other material to their employees), you might want to go the extra mile for public welfare without upsetting current production capabilities.
In this scenario, a unified cloud telephony suite is the answer, as providers can install, manage and upgrade a business’ package with little to no travel and maximised uptime. Should you choose to invest in telephony software as a form of crisis mitigation, here’s 7 ways it can lead to a higher return on investment during the coronavirus pandemic:
Secure a virtual number as a single point of contact
Since employees cannot check into offices to receive customer calls, a virtual number can route all business calls to their personal number without letting customers know the difference. All incoming calls can be forwarded to multiple extensions. If you’re trying to grow your business and this is your first foray into virtual numbers, then it is wise to purchase a premium combination.
Due to the COVID-19 lockdown, customers have more time than usual to scrutinise companies, whereas a business might be overburdened while trying to meet ends. Remove potential obstacles in brand perception, by receiving push reports with updated agent and call logs.
Integrate IVR into work from home operations
Handling high call volumes is difficult when an agent’s sense of routine is upturned. Customers, on the other hand, might be calling in with a greater variety of queries and grievances, some of which a business may not be equipped to deal with. An IVR solution can help soothe these anxieties. Use pre-recorded messaging from professional voice-over artists to let your audience know your company’s current status, and then let callers pick from a preset list of queries. If it’s a new query, a separate option can be created, with the calls then routed to a qualified agent (or agents) who can best resolve it without need for escalations.
Note that phone conversations may not always be possible during this period, so creating a structured self-help menu is another option. Agents are also likely to suffer from boredom while at home, and shifting basic tasks to an IVR system can help reserve their productivity for more challenging tasks.
Opt for a missed call solution to boost sales
Many employees may be worried about losing leads and reduced job performance, which takes a toll on mental health. It creates a cycle of negativity that’s tough to break, but the onus is on the business owner to make the best of the situation. If you see a higher number of dropped calls during the coronavirus pandemic, a missed call service can help you efficiently track and reconnect with forgotten customers. You can receive real-time notifications for every missed call (it includes their number, data and a timestamp), and send callers an automated SMS informing them that their call has been duly registered.
Remember that a consumer giving a missed call is one who is genuinely interested in engaging with your business and its services, making it unwise to leave a single caller behind. Store their information in your database, and call back later with targeted marketing initiatives.
Create a toll-free helpline for the crisis
Numerous emergency helplines have been launched by charities, individuals and government bodies to supply information, and aid in the transfer of essential services to the needy. If your business has the desire and capability for public outreach, then strengthen its infrastructure using a toll-free number. These numbers can be customised with vanity digits that stick to memory and incur no expense on the side of the caller.
Once your campaign is complete, you can permanently retire the number, or choose a different one for future projects. Whether it’s healthy meals, free clothing, rations, educational documents or medical supplies you want to distribute, every business may have something to offer to relax the pressure on authorities.
Use voice broadcasting to improve outreach
You’ve got your toll-free solution, but how will the public know about what you’re trying to do? Quickly connect with a large audience with a voice broadcasting campaign. This doesn’t require any pre-existing infrastructure, but a weighty customer database sure helps. With high-quality calls on an encrypted platform, multiple voice campaigns can be managed on a web portal. A robust cloud call centre software will offer pre-defined message templates. Ultra-customisation never hurts—and is appreciated by the watchful consumer—which is why businesses should also consider customised campaign messages built using text-to-speech engines.
Whether it’s a debut announcement, alerts, ongoing promotions or important, time-sensitive messages, public outreach will naturally be more successful with automation. The call dashboard can then provide scheduled daily reports on your active campaign and bridge the gap directly between interested callers and live agents.
Work smart, not hard with CRM and third-party integration
Currently, many businesses have shifted focus from innovation to stability, and understandably so. To be able to maintain high levels of customer satisfaction, customer relationship management (CRM) software is a common choice, as are third-party apps. However, individually overseeing operations of separate software is a waste of time, which is why you should unify them. Servetel offers seamless API integrations, where you can fuse your cloud telephony bundle with chatbots and webhook for stress-free management.
Should your business require a new degree of personalisation while adjusting to COVID 19, then use Voice API to create your own communication platform. Design call flows, multi-level IVR, and translate your voice messaging into multiple vernacular languages. Numbers matter the most for a new platform, and the software can also help detect whether it’s a human caller on the end, or an answering machine, to automatically leave voicemails.
Buy into a full bundle for cost efficiency
You might have secured hefty seed capital earlier, but with the Indian economy on unsure footing, cost-cutting measures might become the norm in the next few months. There isn’t spare room to experiment with different kinds of business decisions (and thus, your finances). Much like merchandisers, who buy materials at wholesale rates, a business looking to buy cloud telephony software to leverage remote-working ought to purchase a fully stacked bundle instead of individual services.
The bigger picture
Though vaccines and research are underway, nobody knows how strong the coronavirus pandemic’s ripple effects might actually be. As the trajectory of recovering cases increases in one region, another emerges with fresh victims. The most businesses can do during this global health emergency is build contingency measures (automation, crisis management plans, pivoting, e-retail) that can buttress the drop in paying customers, plus keep an eye out for employee welfare. As someone once said, in a time of drastic change, it is the early adopters who inherit the future. And living in the digital age, your business has an immediate opportunity for a head start. You can make the most out of this opportunity with Servetel, contact us at 1800-120-4132 and enjoy best-in-class service and support.