When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and cities and states began issuing “Stay at Home” orders, many businesses were left scrambling. “Should we move to remote work or just temporarily shutter?” For some, this difficult choice was made for them due to limitations in their available technologies. With autumn right around the corner and a vaccine still far from being available, the potential for returning to “Stay at Home” looms large.
Now is the time for businesses to invest in the technologies which will allow their workforce to be successful wherever they are in the world. In this series, I will be focusing on technology solutions which drive success for remote employees and allow your workforce to be efficient wherever they may be.
Every company does at least some of their business on the phone. When you can’t be in the office, that can make it extremely difficult to sell your product and support your customers. If your team uses their cell phones for business or already has access to a softphone solution (a telephony solution not tied to an actual phone, such as a mobile or desktop application), working remotely can be easier. But that means limited data on your team’s phone activities, and when your team is remote, they’re still going to be missing some of the tools they rely on in the office to be efficient at their jobs.
One of the most impactful ways teams amp up their CRM experience is with computer telephony integration (CTI). Integrating your phone system with your CRM offers a range of features which can streamline your workday. Click-to-dial and power-dialer capabilities help your team reach your customers faster by removing the time it takes to dial the phone and giving that back to your team so they can start researching the client while the phone is ringing.
Skills-based routing ensures the person answering an inbound call is the right person to address a customer’s needs. And screen pops allow known callers to be identified immediately, meaning your team can get right down to business, shortening call times and allowing everyone to field more phone calls. Add to that call scripts, extensive reporting on phone activity, and enhanced features some CTI tools enable, such as shadowing, whisper coaching (letting a supervisor speak to an associate without the customer hearing them), and the ability for managers to join or take over calls, and your team will have a rich toolset that will help you shorten calls, enhance forecasting, proactively address bottlenecks, and drastically improve the employee and customer experiences.
There are a number of strong CTI solutions on the market. Cisco, Avaya, and other enterprise telephony providers offer prebuilt connectors to Salesforce and other CRM solutions along with APIs that allow your team to build something custom to meet your needs. Ring Central, Inside Sales, and Five9 offer fully cloud-based telephony and CTI solutions integrated with or built on the Salesforce platform, allowing associates to use their personal phones from anywhere in the world while still having access to some or all CTI features.
On top of these, more solutions are hitting the market constantly, offering a wide range of features and pricing levels to meet most company’s needs. If you’re looking to make an impact for your team as they return to the office while setting yourself up for success the next time we all have to work from home, CTI should be one of the first solutions on your list!