I have recently bought a memorable phone number that allows people to find my business. What I didnt realise or at that time understand was all of the call management systems that you could choose from on the market. I thought it would be worth getting some clarity on the huge minefield that is Call management.
So to begin with what is call management?
Systems that you set in place to deal with calls that come into your business and deals with them in a way set out by you is what call management means. The variety of ways your calls can be dealt with are numerous but here is a selection of market standard systems.
Web management – what this allows you to do is log into a computer anywhere in the world and read, change, listen to and redirect the phone calls that are coming into your business. Brilliant if you travel a lot and need to be kept upto date with the latest happenings within your business.
A Time/Date plan – lets you organise how your telephone handles calls at certain times of the day. For example directing calls to the office from 9am to 5 pm, your mobile phone from 5pm to 7pm and then voicemail from 7pm till 9am the following morning. You can arrange this for whatever time you want and can be a client saver if used correctly.
Call divert – Most memorable numbers 0800, 03, 0845 etc will let you send incoming phone calls to that number to any other number which makes sure you never have to miss a phone call whatever the circumstances. Can be very useful especially as part of a business continuity plan. You can click here to see 0800 numbers cost
Voicemail to email – ensures that if it is of utmost importance you receive calls that come into the business that you can go into any internet caf? any where in the world and listen to your phone call messages. Do remember however that if you are abroad and have just checked your mail that calling somebody up direct may cost you quite a bit.
Welcome message – A welcome message is exactly what it says on the jar letting the person calling know they have contacted the right number and conveying your professionalism. First impressions are important in business.
Call Queue – “Im sorry the person you have called Is busy you are number 20 in the queue”, not the message you want to hear but lets you know that the person you are calling is busy and that you can either hold the line or leave a voicemail. This kind of system can help filter important and less important calls and also gives you access to a captive audience when it comes to marketing.
Caller options – The sort of phone system that is automated but puts the caller in charge, “press 1 for services, 2 for juggling department” etc. Each option can be broken down into other options allowing the customer to get through to exactly who they want.
Hunt group – A hunt group is really useful as it allows you to direct calls to alternatives that could answer the types of enquiries that would be coming in on that line. Very useful if you have a large team and need specific people to answer calls, will direct to number 1, then number 2, then mobile 3, then voicemail. Helps ensure that potential clients dont get sent to the wrong people and get passed around.
Geographic call routing – This is a handy little feature for people that work within a network of branches or franchises across the country as It will direct to the branch closest to the person that is dialing.
As with any systems make sure you have a clear idea what you want to get out of your call management, in that way you dont spend more than you need to. Most companies are happy to talk through your needs and get to what you want but sit down and write out what your business will need before you spend out, call management is brilliant if used correctly get as much advise as you can, hope this has helped.