Update: This article was last updated on 28th August 2019.
Metrics such as offline reach or digital presence are not the only measuring parameters to assess your company’s growth. Over the past few years, ‘Customer Service’ has emerged to be a prominent factor in determining your brand’s success.
With the rapid acceleration in technology and access to information at fingertips, customers have become aware and demanding like never before. This rising customer consciousness is pushing businesses to alter their traditional methods of working, i.e., now they are focused on nurturing customer relationships instead of running behind instant profits.
Shifting to Customer-Centric Approach
The more seamless is your customer experience, the more chances you have to retain customers.
Easier said than done, providing seamless customer experience is no walk in the park. However, in the growing technological industry, shifting to a customer-centric approach has become smoother than before. Adoption of cloud telephony is one such approach towards becoming a customer-centric brand.
What is Cloud Telephony?
Cloud telephony is a technology that moves your telephony system to the cloud. On contrary to the on-premise PBX system, it doesn’t require you to install telephony software or hardware locally in your premises. Instead, all the infrastructure is present on the cloud service provider’s premises and is made accessible through the internet.
Deploying your communication system over the cloud ensures that all the application and data are available from anywhere at any time. In less investment cloud telephony offers high returns with value add-ons such as quick uptime and data recovery. Cloud’s stability, quality, and scalability have overridden the existence of a traditional system.
How Cloud Telephony Serves Customer-centric Approach
1. Solving Customer Queries with IVR
IVR is an automated telephony system that answers customer calls without any miss, i.e., no caller remains unattended or unacknowledged. This earns your brand a good faith indicating that customer satisfaction is your top priority. Apart from answering calls, it also guides caller with the query by presenting a systematic IVR menu list.
The menu contains a series of self-service options through which callers can get answers to their queries on their own. For complicated queries, IVR also presents a direct option to connect with the company representatives.
2. Round the Clock Support by Experts
If you have a global reach, then providing uninterrupted customer assistance is just what you need to establish your brand reputation. Delivering 24*7 customer service indicates that you’re concerned for all the customers irrespective of their locations and are there for the assistance whenever needed.
Moreover, with features like call forwarding and voicemail, agents need not remain stuck at their seat. They can attend the calls on-the-move without missing on any call.
3. Zero Cost to Customers with Toll-Free Numbers
Hefty call charge is the barrier that makes a customer think twice before calling you. Cloud telephony service like toll-free number tackles such problems effortlessly. Toll-free number allows customers to report their problems on the call without paying any call charges.
Instead, the cost of the call is the overhead of the number owner in place of the caller. This free of cost calling service makes toll-free number a go-to option for the customers.
Toll-free number is an asset for businesses looking to expand their reach throughout the country. Firstly, customers from any countryside can connect with the company without paying call charges. Secondly, the easy to remember number pattern followed in the toll-free number ensures that callers don’t have any difficulty remembering your business number.
4. Reduce Call Waiting Time with Intelligent Call Routing
In the race to grab customer’s attention, businesses are often too focused on refining the quality of the product that other critical business aspects take a back seat. And efficient customer handling is one among those.
Intelligent call routing feature of cloud telephony brings this overlooked business aspect to the front and streamlines it to deliver exceptional customer service.
Firstly, it allows businesses to shorten the call queue by skillfully routing the callers to the most adept agent. Manually configured at the backend, these routing strategies ensure that every caller is answered in the shortest time possible. Secondly, it distributes the call intelligently among the departments by identifying the query beforehand.
5. Record Calls to Understand Customer’s Expectations
Growth-oriented mindset is a necessity for a company’s success. Call recording provided in the cloud telephony suite caters to this necessity perfectly. Businesses can chart their growth by attentively listening to the call recordings and using it to understand customer’s concerns and expectations.
After understanding what customers expect of you, not only you get to improve your existing products but can tap into new avenues for growth.
6. Analyse Performance by Call Analytics
Call analytics provided by cloud telephony software has helped businesses take a massive leap in their efficiency. Previously, making sense of enormous volume of call data was an inefficient and complicated process. But with call data analytics, extracting meaningful information from the data is a matter of few drag and drops.
Businesses can easily access the insights of collected data on the web portal provided by the cloud telephony service providers. Decision-makers can dive into the information to review number of performance parameters such as customer’s expectations, agent performance or call handling efficiency.
7. Mask Caller’s Identity with Number Masking
In the times, when online theft and data privacy are the primary concerns of business, number masking solution is a step towards privacy.
This solution provided by cloud telephony service providers like Servetel ensures to protect the identity of the callers by masking their phone numbers. To cloak the identity of the caller, number masking solution assigns a temporary number against the original phone number of the caller.
Number masking solution has proved to be of tremendous use to the business model where the phone number is shared with third-party other than the business, and there are high chances of number misuse, such as cab aggregators and food delivery apps.
8. Combat Fraud with OTP Verification
In 2018, new account fraud accounted for $3.4 billion in losses, up from $3 billion in 2017 and number of account takeovers also increased, rising from 380,000 in 2017 to 679,000 in 2018. These rising numbers are a clear indication of the vulnerability of online platforms.
This notable rise is thrusting businesses to adopt newer security strategies for combating fraudulent activities giving rise to solutions such as Two-factor OTP authentication. This service provided by cloud telephony providers checks the authenticity of every user through OTP verification. New user registrations, password reset, user reactivation or transaction verification, every important entry point is being shielded with two-step OTP verification.
Why is Cloud Telephony a Better Approach?
Before adding cloud telephony to your arsenal, you should know why it is a better option than traditional options like on-premise systems.
1. Deployment Cost
On-premise systems demand hefty capital expenditure, including telephony hardware, rack space, electricity etc. Moreover, your business needs additional office space to install extra equipment.
Whereas, in a cloud-based telephony system, all the infrastructure is hosted on the cloud. You do not need to purchase additional office space or equipment to get started with the telephony services. This saves a significant amount of business cost which is further utilized to handle more critical requirements at hand.
Scalability of the phone system in case of on-premise architecture is a difficult task to achieve. To ramp up your infrastructure you need to start from the basics, i.e., purchase space, hardware including telephone boxes, rack space, wires and configure them to make it up and running. Apart from the demanded efforts, the time taken to scale up the whole infrastructure is huge which delays the whole scaling process.
However, with cloud telephony, the scaling efforts are diametrically opposite. To ramp up, you only need to state the scaling requirements to the cloud telephony provider, and they handle the rest without any hassle. Not only does it save a humongous amount of effort but is a lot quicker than on-premise scaling process.
3. Automatic Upgrades
Diagnosing every technical glitch, upgrading software patches or deploying appropriate security measures, everything is the responsibility of the business in case of on-premise systems. That means you need a dedicated team with high technical expertise to monitor and manage your infrastructure needs.
In the case of cloud telephony, infrastructure, including software and hardware, is managed by cloud service providers. This means, diagnosing technical glitches or updating software patches is the sole responsibility of the cloud service providers. As a result, you are not required to indulge in the backend processes which saves a substantial amount of your time.
4. Disaster Recovery
Disaster recovery is a crucial differentiator between both the models.
On-premise systems have a paucity of appropriate data backup and recovery mechanisms. If any disaster such as natural calamity or cyber-attacks strikes, high chances are that all the business data will be destroyed in no time. And to keep backup in place, businesses have to purchase additional server storage which is difficult to afford by small or medium-sized enterprises.
On the contrary, cloud telephony systems are designed to combat any unknown disasters deftly. Data is continuously backed up in different servers present at geographically independent locations to ensure high data availability. The frequency of data backup ranges from hourly to daily depending upon the business activity.