These days, fast response times are vital in business. They can determine whether or not a contract is won or a sale is made and can mean the difference between a satisfied and irate customer. New technology means we now have the tools to respond even faster than ever to the demands of modern commerce, and the following are just some of the ways to get that winning business edge.
The advent of smartphones and VoIP phone systems means businesses can now meet and deal with each other, regardless of their locations. Bidding for new business can be done via telephone or video link, allowing everyone to participate, whether via an intercom in a boardroom or a smartphone in the field. Thanks to this technology, PowerPoint presentations can be delivered and documents exchanged all from thousands of miles apart.
When travel time is no longer an issue, the response time between proposal and acceptance can be greatly accelerated and an organisation’s pool of potential clients widened considerably, only limited by time zones and Internet availability.
Cloud computing (virtual data sharing and storage) means company representatives can now have instant access to company data stored on the Internet from wherever they happen to be at the time. A salesperson meeting with a client can check on stock levels, availability and turnaround times using their smartphone and finalise an order without ever having to say “I’ll get back to you.”
Responding to client queries and requests can also be expedited with VoiP phone features such as call converging. This is where an incoming call to a salesperson rings at their desk and also on their mobile, meaning they will never miss an important call, even when out of the office.
Other time-saving features available as apps on a smartphone allow you to turn your phone into a scanner, process credit card payments, print documents remotely and access your office computer from wherever you are.
How promptly you respond to a customer query can determine whether they purchase from you or go to your competitor. Nobody likes waiting on the phone and it is estimated that the average person will hang up within less than a minute if not attended to.
VoIP-based business phone systems allow companies to respond quickly and efficiently to callers, no matter how many calls may be coming in at the same time. Auto attendants can acknowledge callers when an operative is not available, deliver pacifying messages if a delay is experienced and direct them through a voice-activated menu to the destination they require. State-of-the-art reception software is also available that allows a single receptionist to manage hundreds of calls from a touch-sensitive computer screen.
Faster response times mean greater efficiency, which is the ultimate aim of every business, and technologies such as these will help you react much faster to your clients’ needs and deliver the kind of service that will set you apart from your competitors.