How Your VoIP Phone System Improves Customer Engagement
In the past year, customer experience finally overtook price and product as the key brand differentiator. Given the importance of effective communication in shaping the customer experience (CX), it’s no wonder that savvy business leaders have adopted VoIP for their business communications.
Customer Engagement Complements CX
One indicator that you’re delivering better CX is improved customer engagement, which can have a direct, positive impact on your bottom line.
- Increased revenue: According to research by Constellation Research, companies that improve their customer engagement enjoy increased revenue across the customer lifecycle. Order size went up by 5 to 85%; upsell revenue increased by 38%; and cross-sell revenue improved by 22%.
- Improved customer lifetime value (CLV): Higher CLV directly correlates with increased revenue. Meanwhile, it’s less expensive to keep existing customers than to find new ones, so improving your CLV is an excellent way to drive more growth.
- Decreased customer acquisition costs: While building a customer engagement strategy does require some initial investment and planning, it pays off in the long run. The right “touchpoints” can keep customers happy and engaged, at a lower cost than more traditional acquisition methods (such as advertising or public relations campaigns).
Reassess the Customer Journey
The first step to improving customer engagement is to analyze your customers’ journey. You’ll want to map out all the touchpoints that your business has with your customers.
If it’s been a while since you’ve taken the time to map out the customer journey, you’ll want to go through the exercise again; consumer habits have changed considerably over the last few years, and those changes accelerated during the pandemic.
Moreover, the current customer journey might offer room for improvement. According to recent research by SalesForce, 54% of consumers think that businesses need to fundamentally change how they engage with customers. As you evaluate your current customer journey, ask the following questions:
- Does each touchpoint require the least possible effort from the customer?
- Would customers prefer to complete this interaction digitally or via a self-service option?
- Is it possible (or desirable) to eliminate this touchpoint altogether, for instance by preventing a customer issue?
- How could we improve the customer experience during this interaction?
- Do customers have multiple communication options at each step in their journey?
VoIP Helps You Enhance the Customer Journey
You’ve probably realized by now that delivering a better customer journey–and therefore increasing engagement–demands a comprehensive communication strategy. And executing that kind of strategy requires a fully integrated communication system that brings together a variety of channels and tools. A traditional public switched telephone network simply won’t cut it anymore, and even digital telephony is too limited for this kind of application. Only VoIP offers the complete set of robust tools and integrations necessary to supercharge your customer engagement.
#1. Keep Your Team Connected Anywhere
Chances are, your business made some dramatic changes in 2020, and transitioning to remote work might have been on that list of adaptations. Even if your company is back at the office, the capability to communicate from anywhere is incredibly valuable. It gives your team the flexibility and accessibility to continue delivering outstanding customer service, even when they aren’t in the office.
Simplicity VoIP clients enjoy access to their communication systems via softphones on employee computers, or via our user-friendly mobile app. Both these options provide the same reliability and features as employees would get from their phones at the office. This means no lapses in customer service, even when your whole team is working from home.
#2. Integrate with Your CRM
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software isn’t just for your sales team. Your CRM is a treasure trove of insights about all your customers and how they’ve engaged with your company in the past.
The best VoIP providers offer seamless integration with a wide range of CRM systems so that your customer service team has instant access to client records that include their entire communication history–and that history gets automatically updated with each new interaction.
Other useful interactions include Microsoft Teams, which is an excellent option for companies in the B2B world. Simplicity VoIP offers TeamMate Connector, which takes in all the PBX and user information needed to register as a softphone application so that you can receive and make calls using the Microsoft Teams integrated dial pad. You can also access and make changes to the Simplicity platform in Microsoft Teams.
#3. Prioritize Incoming Calls Based on Urgency
Your customer service staff, unfortunately, doesn’t have an infinite capacity to handle customer interactions, and some customers have more urgent needs than others. Your VoIP system can help you establish criteria for addressing customer needs based on urgency.
For example, a well-designed IVR menu allows customers to specify what their needs are. Those with pressing needs, or who are “frequent flyers” might be routed directly to a customer service agent, while others might be prompted to take advantage of self-service options to pay bills or complete other mundane tasks. This capability can help reduce customer wait times and keep customers from getting frustrated.
#4. Track Key Customer Engagement Metrics
The right VoIP system offers powerful analytics to help you get a better picture of customer interactions. Your contact center, in particular, is a hub for customer interaction insights, and VoIP systems can provide real-time analytics via user-friendly dashboards and reporting.
In addition to tracking basic metrics like length of time per call or wait times, more sophisticated companies now look at statistics like first contact resolution (FCR) rates and assign customer effort scores. These can be derived based on metrics tracked by your VoIP software system.
#5. Incorporate Multiple Communication Channels
When customers need to reach your company to solve a problem, the old-fashioned phone call might reign supreme–but not for long. SMS text, social media messaging, and web chat are rapidly gaining popularity. Furthermore, customers increasingly prefer self-service options, rather than in-person interactions. To stay competitive, your company must deliver the engagement options that today’s digitally literate customers have come to expect.
The best way to deliver that omnichannel experience is through Unified Communications usually offered as a service (UCaaS). UCaaS is a cloud-based model where VoIP providers can offer multiple telecom services like voice calls, video conferencing, text messaging, and conferencing for an entire network of users. Additional features might include file backup, sharing, and collaboration; online faxing; and screen sharing. UCaaS eliminates the need for multiple collaboration tools across different departments.
#6. Harness the Power of Sentiment Analysis.
Call transcription offers advantages to employees who are actively working with a customer who has already had other interactions with team members in the past. Transcripts might also be used for training and documentation purposes, shedding light on the desires and preferences of your customer base.
Powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, sentiment analysis offers an opportunity to gain even more insight from call transcriptions. Sometimes called the “voice of the customer,” sentiment analysis is the process of determining a customer’s mood, feelings, and attitude during a given interaction, based on the customer’s word choice, voice, and other cues.
One interesting application for sentiment analysis is identifying when customers begin to get frustrated during their interactions with contact center agents. Do customers who get frustrated all have the same issue? Are they experiencing long wait times or enduring a complicated path to reaching the right agent? These insights can help you improve the customer journey and eliminate pain points along the way.
Ultimately your business communication system serves as the backbone for your customer engagement strategy, and VoIP offers the tools you need to maximize those engagements. The right VoIP provider will help you identify the tools you need to deliver an exceptional customer experience across multiple communication channels.