Digital communication is both a blessing and a curse, especially for remote businesses. While the Internet has made the world smaller and made it easier to access data and exchange information and ideas, it also has given rise to an email-driven business climate.
Rather than making a telephone call to address simple business concerns, employees now send email, chats, or TXT.
Email has become the preferred means of communication because it’s easy, it creates a record, and it doesn’t require personal contact. Employees have come to rely on, and hide behind email, which actually slows decision-making. Some go further and believe that employees use email to abdicate responsibility by including people on cc: and bcc:, thereby multiplying the problem.
The challenge to management is how to get someone to answer the phone. The solution may be found in the business phone system itself.
The rising tide of email - how much of a problem is it?
Consider this. The average employee sends 32 emails each day.
Employees spend as much as 6.3 hours each day checking email and at least 3.2 hours each day addressing work-related emails.
Other research shows that 23 percent of employee time is consumed by email, and the average worker checks email 36 times each hour.
The problem is that email is not a product in of itself, and actually, it’s not all that productive. Even the simplest question via email can require a ping pong of messages to get a straight answer.
The same questions could more likely be answered with a quick phone call in a fraction of the time, yet employees seemingly would rather send email than interact with another human being in real-time over the phone.
Email gives you more control over when you choose to respond, and workers would rather respond to email in their own time than deal with telephone disruptions. Yet, counterintuitively, this is not productive.
To get business moving, management should encourage short real-time conversations because they are proven to solve problems faster and with more clarity, than back-and-forth chats, email, and TXT.
The frustration for management now becomes, how to get people to make and take calls rather than sending an email?
You can’t beat personalized service!
Furthermore, the telephone is still an essential tool for business-to-customer communications.
New customers often research online, but make contact via telephone to make their final buying decision. The same is true for customer service. Although automated telephone attendants are more cost-effective, they also are frustrating for callers and may be costing you business as well as eroding customer satisfaction.
With the aid of technologies such as cloud database systems and automated dialling, larger companies are moving more and more away from the personalized touch, and towards chat-bots, automated replies, and ‘help-yourself’. Small businesses now have a competitive advantage – they can offer a personal, real-human service!
By adopting a modern business phone system that employees love to use, companies are able to implement a culture of real-time conversations, and that shift dramatically improves internal problem solving, team work, and customer satisfaction.
How to adopt a business phone system that your employees will love
Let’s face it, that dusty thing sitting on your desk is not exactly awe inspiring. It’s not hip, or mobile, or user friendly. The fact that 75% of desk phones are forwarded to mobile phones should be a clue that your employees are not in love with your current business phone system.
There are literally hundreds of business phone solutions on the market, and that in and of itself is a large problem – what should you buy?
Because most business phone systems do largely the same things, we suggest you focus on two key things:
- Choose a solution that is built specifically for your type of business
- Choose a solution that is well designed and easy to use on a mobile phone
How to choose the right business phone solution for your business
Spoke Phone for instance is the only solution to offer an enterprise-grade business phone system, made specifically for small businesses that have both office and remote/mobile users.
Small businesses are so often left out of new technologies. The companies that develop these new and exciting technologies often tend to concentrate on selling to enterprise accounts, those companies with lots of employees and large budgets. Small business often get left behind.
Not so with Spoke. Spoke Phone is not only proudly built for small business, it’s designed for the unique things small businesses need and the way they operate. You get everything the big companies get, but made beautiful and simple to use.
Spoke Phone comes with a full stack of enterprise-grade phone system features, a powerful conference calling service, and AI powered voice productivity to speed up your day. With Spoke Phone you get all the latest technological and communications advances, rich features, and great cost savings, in a solution built specifically for 1 to 200 employee small businesses like yours.
How to choose a business phone system your employees will actually use
It’s rather simple. People use things they like, make them feel good, empower them, or save them time. When you deliver one or more of these attributes, people will go out of their way to use your product every day.
The problem with most business phone systems is that they are clunky, ugly, and hard to use. People don’t love them, they are not empowering, and they make you feel bad.
Just ask yourself. Do you know how to retrieve voicemail on your desk phone, or easily transfer a call? Chances are your answer is No. And it’s not your fault. 75% of business phone system users have simply become apathetic. And rightly so, because most business phone systems are terrible.
The consumer app market has changed what people expect from technology. We expect (and demand) simplicity, power, mobility, and well designed products. Spoke Phone is such a solution.
Furthermore, Spoke Phone goes beyond the phone call, to actually help you do your job better and in less time.
It may seem obvious, but some office phone systems don’t actually help you talk. SIP phones, hosted PBX and VoIP business phone service are often too complex and expensive for the average small business. Built on top of 20th century technology, they can end up being so difficult to use and maintain that employees end up just using their own smartphones.
The Spoke app transforms the phones that your employees already love and use, into a modern business communication system that is beautiful, helpful, and easy. Spoke makes it easy for employees to talk to each other and to your customers no matter where in the world they are. Moreover, with Spoke Phone’s Voice AI, employees can simply speak to have their every thought written up into text, saving considerable time every single day.
With modern tools like Spoke Phone, you can get your employees talking more, solve problems faster, and give your customers a far better experience when they call your business.
This guide will help you understand the key considerations when choosing a phone system, as well as common mistakes and best practices for implementation.