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Upgrading your phone system doesn’t have to be difficult

There’s no doubt about the benefits of replacing an outdated phone system with a modern cloud-based one that offers far more features at lower costs. If you’re worried about the transition process – don’t be. Silver Cloud’s experts put a detailed and thorough plan in place for each customer, and then ensure that it is followed correctly. 

The process has three basic elements.

Technology

Planning should start before you even decide what new system to buy. The first step is a thorough audit of your existing arrangements and how you use them to communicate. How can collaboration be improved? Which teams would benefit most from new features? Some of those features will demand more of your network: can it manage that? Can you continue to use some of your existing hardware? We’ll find the answers to all these questions, and more.

Processes

You can’t improve your working practices unless you fully understand what they are at the moment. So we start by looking at all your current processes, such as how inbound customer calls are handled in different scenarios. What happens if customer service staff are unavailable? How does this vary at different times of day? We also look at how your teams share information, collaborate and manage projects, not just internally but also with external partners and suppliers.

Now we can work with you to decide how might improve those processes, using the newly available features of a cloud-based phone system. To give just one example, instant messaging and screen-sharing can improve collaboration between customer service and back-office teams, enabling them to provide faster responses to customer queries.

People

As with any project that introduces a change, it’s essential to bring people along with you. As part of the installation process we’ll make sure that you know how to use the new system. We can also provide further ongoing training, if required.

You can prepare the ground by making sure that everyone understands how the new system will make their working lives easier, and the benefits for them as well as for the wider organisation. If you’ll be introducing new working practices – flexible and home working, for example – then staff need to be involved in those decisions so that they fully buy in to them.

Four common problems and how we avoid them

Here are four examples of problems that we’ve seen in transition projects that weren’t planned properly, and what we do to avoid them happening to our customers.

 

Missing a key feature when the new system is launched

The system goes live, and suddenly the CEO’s PA can’t screen calls. We avoid problems like this by doing the technology audit thoroughly, and making sure that we fully understand all of the customer’s requirements.

 

Disruption on transition due to lack of process mapping

A customer calls when all your customer service staff are busy, and the call is lost because it isn’t re-routed or held in a queue. To ensure continuity of existing processes, we make sure that we capture all the necessary detailed data capture before we start: number blocks, call flows, call handling, hunt groups and contact centre call routing.

 

Network infrastructure makes the new system perform poorly

You’re trying to run a video conference with suppliers, but the audio is constantly breaking up and the screen keeps buffering. This sort of thing won’t happen if a thorough technology audit has assessed the existing network, and ensured that you have enough bandwith before the new system goes live.

 

Employees don’t understand the new system well enough to get the most out of it

Maybe sales staff are cutting short conversations with prospective customers, because they don’t know that they can move calls seamlessly between their desk phone and their mobile. Initial training is obviously part of the solution, and you also need to know that you have the right level of ongoing help support available.

 

The future is bright

A cloud-based phone system can open up many new ways for people to work together, communicate with customers, and provide a great service to them. It can be a great step towards stronger business performance and better customer relations. And with the right suppliers and partners in place, taking that step can be straightforward and easy.

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