Does your company still need a business phone system? Let me show you the blind spots you might miss.

 

First, a funny story.

I had a car that I was leasing five years ago and the lease was coming up due. And I thought to myself, “You know what? I work really close to my house. Do I really need a car? My wife’s got a car. She’s taking our kids everywhere. Everything’s local. Seems like maybe when she’s not using the car, then I can use it. And when I do need a car in a pinch, should I just be using an Uber instead of paying a monthly fee on a car?”

So I thought I’d do an experiment at the time. So for a week or two, I decided, Hey, let the lease expire, turn in the car and let’s go with no car for a week or two and see if this is what I should be doing long term. Maybe times have changed and things are different right now. I can just Uber when I’m in a pinch.

Well, I did that for a couple of weeks. Everything was working out great. I thought I had really found a great niche until my son had to go to baseball practice and I realized something, You know what? This is kind of awkward taking an Uber with all my son’s baseball gear and all that stuff. This is just too cumbersome, too hard. I got to get a larger Uber (which costs extra money) and because I’m the coach, I have all this additional gear with me too. I have a wagon, I have two buckets of baseballs. I have a giant baseball bag and all this stuff. I don’t think this is going to work.

And then there are some conflicts. And when I needed a car, my wife was in the car.  I needed to be here, and she needed to be there.  I had lost freedom and it was starting to cost me more money a month than that lease payment.

How does that relate to you? Well, there’s a lot of companies that will call me and say, “Does our company really need a phone system? You know, all of our users have a cell phone, you know, and they like using their cell phones. I don’t even think we need a phone system.”

That, to me is very similar to the experiment I did.

And I will tell you, your company does need a phone system. And I’m going to tell you why.

 

Why does your company need a phone system?

Before you go out and get rid of your phone system, like the dumb thing I did just getting rid of my car and experiencing things the hard way, let me tell you some of the pitfalls, some of the blind spots that you might not think of, that someone like me who works in phone systems every single day sees regularly. Let me tell you some of those blind spots.

 

1. Customer experience.

There’s several items you want to think about. First is a zero-out function. Without a phone system, you don’t have a zero-out function to escape someone’s voicemail and quickly reach someone else in the company. So if a customer calls in and get somebody’s voicemail on their cell phone, they can’t zero out. They’d have to hang up the phone and call back again. How would you like that if you were that customer? That would be a pain in the butt, right?

Another thing, once a call is transferred, it’s gone. Kind of similar thing is a zero out, but say you transfer that call to somebody
and they’re on hold for a long time. The person says, you know what, let me get to you. Hold on one second and put you on hold.
No music, just silence.  Silence makes people feel time passes differently.  They get impatient more easily and hang up more quickly.
If your company today has a policy where they can see somebody has been sitting on hold for too long, or maybe they’re sitting in a queue for a long time on hold, you’re able to stop that and say, say, “Hey, nobody picked up yet. Let me let me get you somebody.” You don’t have that option if you don’t have a phone system. You don’t even see what’s going on anymore. So you have no visibility,
no way to manage any of that.

Another thing to do with customer experience is that your company no longer has ring groups. So let’s say, for instance,
you do set up an auto attendant somehow and somebody calls in and they ask for sales and it rings some cell phones. Well, as soon as somebody’s cell phone voicemail picks up, it grabs that call and they get somebody’s cell phone voicemail. So you’ve got someone looking to talk to a salesperson and they’re getting someone’s cell phone voicemail. Not exactly the customer experience you want to have.

And lastly, with customer experience, there’s no visibility of call quality. You have no idea what kind of call quality is going on. Cell phones are notorious for having bad call quality. So somebody calls in to your organization and they want somebody reputable to trust and they’re talking to somebody whose call is going in and out and drops. So they now know that your company is being cheap on the phone system. And that’s not exactly the customer experience you wanted.  All of that money spent to attract a new opportunity — lost in 1 minute.

 

2. Employee experience.

What’s it going to be like for the people in your organization without a phone system? So the first blind spot they’re going to have
is that they have no visibility of anyone in the company. A big feature nowadays with new phone systems is you can see everybody’s availability. You can see if they’re on the phone. You can see if they’re out of the office. It’s called presence. Without a phone system, you have no visibility. All you have is your cell phone. So you don’t know who’s on the phone. You don’t know who’s out of the office today. You don’t know who’s in a meeting. You don’t know who’s on lunch. You have no visibility.

So it’s trial and error, right? You’re having to call people. You get voicemail. You’re like, “Well, are they in the office or are they just sending me to voicemail? Are they in a meeting? Maybe I should call them five times in a row.” You think that other employee
wants to be called five times in a row by everybody trying to get that person, trying to get them to answer the phone when they’re in a meeting? No. Every employee’s experience is going to suffer tremendously.  Lots of unnecessary frustrations by all.

Second, there’s no consultative transfer. If you’re transferring calls to somebody within the organization, you can’t say before you transfer, “Hey, this is so-and-so on the phone from ABC Software. Is this somebody that you’d like to speak with?” They don’t even have that option. Everything is a blind transfer. All calls are going to get transferred to employees blindly so that employee has no heads-up of who’s coming in on the call or if its even appropriate for them to assist that caller or if someone else might be better qualified. And I know your executive team is not going to like calls transferred unannounced first.  No thanks.

Lastly, when it comes to user experience, there’s very little separation. Without a phone system, there’s very little separation between work life and personal life. Are you just going to give everybody a business cell phone? So now they have two cell phones? Well, that’s not going to work. So maybe you’re just using the one cell phone for work and personal, but there’s no real separation because it’s their cell phone number. Their friends and family are calling their cell phone number and business is calling their cell phone number and businesses texting mixed in with personal text, leaving voicemails all mixed together. How do you have any separation there of like, hey,
this is my personal cell phone number and you’re texting me at all hours of the day or calling me all hours of the day. It just it’s not a healthy environment for your employees. You want to give your employees some time off, some escape from work. They need to answer the phone a certain way and make sure they text back in a certain amount of time or you could lose business. Everytime the phone beeps, they’re always “on” business mode and will soon look for a new job.

 

3. Company problems.

So without a phone system, you’re giving out all your employees are giving out their personal cell phone numbers to customers. Well, for salespeople within your organization, what happens if that salesperson goes to a competitor? And that customer has gotten used
to placing orders by calling that cell phone number all the time. Now they’re going to be calling your old employee who’s now working at your competitor. It’s very easy for salespeople to take customers with them. If they move from company to company, your customers only know that one cell phone number they’ve called all this time. Or that employee doesn’t work for a competitor or ignores the voicemail and now you’ve still lost a client. Either way, it’s a bad deal.

Secondly, from a management perspective, there’s no way of tracking calls, so there’s no way of from an H.R. standpoint being able to record calls or being able to see a call history. When did this person make calls? How often have they made a call? Who did they receive a call from? There’s no tracking of any of that. There’s no tracking of your marketing. So if you do some marketing, you don’t know how many people are calling in from that marketing campaign. There’s no way of managing your salespeople’s outbound calls. Hey, are salespeople making any calls? How many calls has Jim taken today? You know, Jim says he’s super busy. He’s super super busy. He’s been busy all day, and he’s just doing things and calling customers but you have no tracking of that. So there’s no tracking from an H.R.
standpoint, from a sales standpoint, from a marketing standpoint, management, any of that. There’s no way of tracking any of it.

Lastly, kind of what I touched on earlier, there’s just an overall lack of communication within the organization because without a phone system, it’s so difficult to communicate with one another that employees will just stop communicating. And from a business standpoint,
that’s terrible. You lose the benefits of collaboration, speed of problem resolution, and stronger organizational loyalty that are built by an environment where employees feel they can reach out to each other for help and questions.

 

Make an informed decision.

Don’t decide to get rid of something and have to learn the hard way. If you’d like my recommendation on the best new business phone systems and service providers, reach out. Send me an email. Give me a call. I’d love to give you my advice. I’ve been a broker in this industry for over 20 years, and based on your company’s requirements, I can tell you what I’d recommend to be a good fit for your organization. I’d love to ask you a few questions and give you that advice. And I will tell you which companies have a good reputation and which have a bad reputation. I will introduce you to the right salespeople to work with at those organizations. I will also oversee the quoting process to make sure you get the best pricing. And oh, by the way, I don’t charge you or your company anything to consult with me. Let’s talk. There’s absolutely no excuse not to at least reach out and see what I have to say. I might help you and I would love it. I do this every single day.

So, hey, reach out, ask me my opinion.  Call or text my business number at 618.628.1552.