As more small companies shift toward a hybrid work environment, they must consider how that could affect customer experience. One critical consideration: How do you ensure that callers to your business have a seamless, consistent and satisfying phone experience no matter whether your employees are working from home or the office?
Having the right business phone service makes all the difference, says Holly Hinze, senior director of voice products for Spectrum Business. Your customers shouldn’t have to know whether an employee they’re speaking with is working from home or the office—the experience is the same either way.
“The right phone service offers your employees the flexibility and features to ensure callers always reach the right person at your business and get the information they’re looking for,” Hinze says. “At the same time, your employees should always have access to the business phone features that allow them to easily work from anywhere.”
Hinze offers these four tips for providing an exceptional caller experience in a hybrid work environment:
1. Maximize your business phone features
An advanced business phone service provides you with the features and functionality that make your caller experience seamless, regardless of where your employees are working. Here are some of the features that help:
- Sequential ring—This allows you to direct all calls through a series of employees’ phone numbers, so that if the first employee doesn’t answer within a few rings, the call is automatically redirected to the next employee’s phone number.
- Simultaneous ring—Every call is directed to multiple phones to ensure someone answers promptly.
- Auto attendant—This is essentially the main greeting people hear when they call your business. You can include an introduction with relevant business information, such as your operating hours, as well as provide a menu of options (such as “Press 1 to speak with our receptionist; press 2 for Sales”).
Access to an easy-to-use online portal for managing your business phone settings across your organization is also very important. For example, Spectrum Business Voice offers an online portal that lets you manage your phone lines from anywhere.
2. Create a communication plan
There can be gaps and inconsistencies in your caller experience when employees are regularly switching between their home and the office, Hinze says. So it’s important to create a voice communication plan that ensures a seamless, consistent caller experience. This plan should include:
- Expectations for how business calls are answered (whether at home or the office), to ensure calls are answered consistently and professionally.
- Protocols for setting up simultaneous or sequential ring and designating who is responsible for setting up and managing those features through the online portal.
- How voicemail is handled. Who is responsible for checking it and ensuring all voicemails are responded to promptly?
“It’s never good when someone calls a business and hears that the voicemail box is full or has to be transferred around to multiple employees,” Hinze says. “By thinking through these types of phone issues in advance and communicating a plan, a business can avoid these negative caller experiences.”
There can be gaps and inconsistencies in your caller experience when employees are regularly switching between their home and the office.
3. Consider setting up business phone service at home
When your employees are working from home, they may be relying on their home phone. This, of course, isn’t ideal if you’re trying to maintain a professional, business-like caller experience.
Spectrum Business Voice allows companies to set up business phone accounts at employees’ homes and over their existing internet line. This gives employees the ability to access all of the advanced business phone features, as well as have a caller ID with the business name (rather than their personal caller ID) when making or taking calls from home.
4. Maximize business mobile
When employees are working remotely, they may not always be sitting in their home office. They could be traveling to customer locations or working from a coffee shop. Business mobile provides your employees with the utmost flexibility by giving them an easy way to take and make business calls on the go. Having a designated mobile phone for business allows them to easily keep their business calls separate from personal calls, including having a business-specific voicemail message.
While a hybrid work environment can provide your employees with many benefits, it’s essential to ensure your customers continue to have a great experience.Print this article