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How To Improve Your Company Phone System During Expansion

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  • Digital Team 

As your business gets bigger, you need to adjust the way in which you handle business in order to deal with the increased demand. This could include hiring more staff and upgrading certain equipment – including your phones.

One of the biggest mistakes companies make when expanding is not upgrading their phone system. As the phone starts ringing more, you need to be able to handle the call volume. Below are some tips on how to improve your phone system as your business grows. 

Set up a phone menu and multiple extensions

If you’ve only got one phone between multiple staff members and it’s constantly ringing, it could be time to set up multiple extensions. Having multiple handsets and extensions allows you to take multiple calls at the same time. This can greatly reduce missed calls. 

When you have multiple extensions you can also assign each extension to a different type of caller. Calls can then be transferred to relevant staff members so that the most knowledgeable person is handling them. While the person answering can simply transfer the caller to the correct extension, a more professional option is to set up an automated phone menu. This can tell people to press a certain number to get through to a certain extension using a recorded or automated voice. You may even be able to use an automated receptionist to collect specific routine details before being passed to a human – so that the staff member who eventually receives the call is more prepared for the call ahead. 

Implement a queue to reduce missed calls

If you have periods of the day when there are very high volumes of calls, a phone queue could be worth setting up. Not all phone systems allow you to set up phone queues, so you may need to upgrade to a new phone plan.

A queue can ensure that every caller is answered. Just be wary that queues may put off some callers (one benefit is that sales calls and other spam are likely to be reduced). It’s worth putting some music on for callers as they wait and regularly delivering an automated message to let callers know where they are in the queue. 

Purchase different phone numbers for different outlets

Once you start opening up new outlets in different locations, it’s often not a good idea to continue receiving calls to one number. Instead, set up different numbers for different locations so that calls can be more easily sorted. You may also find that callers are more encouraged to call a number with a local area code.

You can still manage different numbers from one location if you’d prefer to centralize certain calls. For example, when looking for Nevada phone numbers, there are numbers you can purchase online to use with a virtual phone system. You can even set up numbers for different countries (just be prepared to have someone who can answer these calls in the correct language and time zone). 

Save money with a VoIP phone system

VoIP (voice over internet protocol) phone systems can have many advantages over traditional landline systems. You can more easily record data of each call, plus you can set up extensions from anywhere – including being able to receive calls on cell phones or laptops on the go. VoIP systems can also work out cheaper – especially if you have to make lots of calls as well as receiving calls or if you’re calling people abroad. This is because calls between two VoIP users are free.

Of course, these phone systems do rely on a strong internet connection, so you need to make sure that your internet is capable enough. Using a wired internet connection can reduce internet jitter, but does mean that you have to be in the office to receive calls.

Know when to hire dedicated phone receptionist

If you’re getting a lot more calls and these calls are distracting you from other duties, it could be time to consider hiring a dedicated phone receptionist or a team of phone receptionists who can handle calls for you. You will know when it gets to this stage because you and your team will be resenting every phone call. Make sure that you don’t continue to let your work suffer by handling all calls yourself.

When looking for a suitable phone receptionist, consider hiring someone who has experience answering high volume calls. A phone interview could be the perfect way to test their telephone manner. 

Know when to outsource your phone call answering

Another option is to outsource all phone call answering to a virtual receptionist or virtual company. There are services out there that will take all your calls for you, relaying only the most important information back to you. Such services can often be cheaper than hiring an in-house receptionist. 

There are virtual phone answering services with staff available to answer calls around the clock – which can be an affordable way to set up a 24/7 phone answering system. You can also be sure that all staff will be professionally trained to answer calls (although you will have to provide a large amount of information in advance to ensure that people receiving calls understand your business and how to answer various general enquiries)

Reduce general enquiries with FAQs pages and virtual chat boxes

Certain general enquiries could become draining if you are constantly receiving them. As most people will typically visit your website before calling, consider answering these regular questions for them there. This could include setting up a FAQs (Frequently Answered Questions) section on a contact page, or installing a chat box that allows visitors to ask questions via instant message.

Many modern customers may actually prefer to use a chat box than pick up the phone. Of course, someone needs to be on hand to answer any questions made via this chat box. Training an AI chat box could be a way around this – this allows answers to be automated.

Explore ways to filter out spam calls

Nobody likes having to deal with constant spam calls. A great way to reduce these calls is to register your number on the Do Not Call list – which will help block calls from notorious numbers. Having a phone system that displays caller numbers can also be useful for warning you about nuisance callers. Some phones can even tell you if a caller is likely to be spam so that you can decide whether or not to answer it.

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