Market musings

Does My Business Even Need an Office Phone System?

by Sasha Viasasha
February 15, 2018

An office phone system used to be a baseline need for any real business. But is this still true? Some companies don’t even have an office. The rise of the freelance economy and flexible work has made expensive, hard-wired phone system obsolete for many companies. Contractors, field workers, small business owners and operators often run their operations from their smartphones, and don't have the budget or physical space for a PBX. And yet, they may still have the need for business-grade features, including a directory, call log and routing. 

Business is mobile and in 2018 people prefer to use their smartphone for business communication. Not only is the smartphone the easiest way to stay connected on the go, it can significantly boost productivity by keeping all pertinent details and applications organized on a single device, accessible anywhere. And, as smartphones become even smarter and more personalized to each unique user, they will be even more useful. So, it’s no surprise that businesses are overwhelmingly defaulting to BYOD as their baseline business communication infrastructure.

The ease and simplicity of BYOD is winning at sales and service, while helping teams stay connected and allowing workers the flexibility they need to work smarter.

The consumerization of everything

A younger, more mobile workforce expects intuitive, easy-to-use solutions that help them work smarter and faster. The simplicity of the smartphone UI with its elegant app ecosystem has forever changed expectations for workplace technology and communications.

As a result, many companies have gone completely mobile, and have embraced BYOD. BYOD benefits like lower capital expenditures, more engaged employees, and overall savings from less time/hassle in trying to manage complex legacy phone systems have made this an easy choice for growing companies. Yet relying just on consumer smartphones can create bottlenecks and customer frustration when employees need to transfer calls in the field, are unable to access a call log, or aren't able to route calls efficiently.

Customers expect a professional phone system

It can be somewhat difficult to project a professional image and manage call traffic without some basic PBX functionality. For example, without a universal call log, call data might be forever lost, and there is no way to track missed calls. Without a business phone system, customer calls can get lost or overlooked, and business is permanently lost. Also, when it’s difficult for employees to reach one another, this can prevent prompt resolution of problems and create costly miscommunications -- up to $11,000 per employee per year in lost productivity.

Despite the popularity of digital channels and networks, when people need clarity, direction or support, they often pick up the phone. If it’s too difficult to find a phone number or reach someone, people will simply give up and the problem or question won’t get resolved. Customers might turn elsewhere, while employees become demoralized and less effective, creating a deleterious effect on company culture and morale.

This creates poor customer experience, both for customers and employees. Consider these stats:

  • 83 percent of US consumers prefer talking with someone on the phone to solve customer services issues. (CIO)
  • 75 percent of employers are placing more emphasis on spoken communication skills as a hiring prerequisite. (AACU.org)
  • 57 percent of customers have had to switch from an online text channel to a phone call to resolve a customer service issue. (Harvard Business Review)

Oftentimes, a phone call is a last resort. When people can’t get the information they need online, either in a knowledge base, forum or social channel, they pick up the phone. In the digital age, more than ever, a phone call is a lifeline for customers and employees who need information, support or resolution—quickly.

As digital and voice channels converge, new technological solutions that support mobile business communications are on the rise. Telephony solutions delivered as a software-as-service (SaaS) can provide a powerful but simple interface that deploys machine learning, AI and advanced analytics to provide a customer experience that is responsive, relevant and timely.

The enterprise-grade phone system on a mobile device

Spoke Phone is a next generation business phone solution designed to be deployed across your mobile phone infrastructure. It delivers the core features that a business needs to maintain a professional operation, including:

  • Universal call log and smart phone directory
  • Mobile-to-mobile call transfer and extension dialing
  • DDI line and global geo-call routing
  • Team calling and smart notes for saving and sharing
  • HD voice for better call quality
  • Live presence and availability setting 

Spoke Phone can help you transform the phones you and your team are already using into a powerful enterprise-grade phone system, for a fraction of the cost and effort.

You will never have to:

  • Waste time tracking down people or phone numbers
  • Hassle with complex phone trees and menus
  • Lose valuable call data or contact information
  • Give out your personal phone number or ask employees to do so 

Want to learn more? Sign up for an interactive demo and see how much more effective and productive your company could be with a phone system designed for the way you live and work. 

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