Its not what you use its how you use it.

I recently purchased the latest BMW, with assisted parking, all the bells and whistles, however it runs on leaded petrol…………. How ridiculous would that be however this is what we are seeing with some customers buying VOIP telephone systems, from vendors who have  no understanding of the correct Message on Hold Solution.

Messaging on hold is critical to my business and my customers however it seems with the advent of companies moving to VOIP, the technologist are suggesting we move customers back to the dark ages of playing chimes; a not very funky playslist of music; the radio (which happens to be illegal) or even worse nothing.

Messaging on hold has NOTHING to do with technology and all to do with a discreet marketing communication being delivered to callers into your business.  Please do not be confused by this and please ensure your telephone systems provider is providing you with accurate information about how and what can happen.

With all newer technologies there is always benefits that need to be explained in more detail.  The POTS (plain old telephone system) is now fading away and being replaced with sophisticated Software utilising IP (internet Protocol) to make and receive Voice and Video communication, this is now called VOIP (Voice/Video over Internet Protocol.)

This technology provides a number of real benefits

  1. More economical to run, with call costs and line rental typically up to 50% cheaper than normal
  2. Additional features such as
    1. Voicemail to email
    2. Conference bridging
    3. Presence or unified communication
    4. Sophisticated call queuing
    5. Extension dialing over more that one physical location
    6. Administration overhead is a lot more economic and easier to manage, for the simple MAC”S (move, add change) this is software driven and can be achieved by your supplier remotely of on site by an administration person through a secure browser.

With all benefits there also comes some watch outs.  Customers are being overwhelmed by this new technology and are not considering the basics.

Your customers, suppliers, prospective customers and general business associates don’t know and possibly don’t care what sort of telephone system you are using.   What they care about is their experience of calling you.

In the first instance they want to be welcomed by a system or a person who is friendly, courteous and fully trained on what to do in handling their call.  Then the transition from initial answer to transfer on hold or queuing is extremely important to get right.  The person calling your company needs to have a great experience in this transition.

Don’t play the radio, don’t play generic music, don’t play chimes, don’t play nothing.  Take this time to have an up to date, relevant and uplifting communication with them. Make sure you have this loaded correctly and it is programmed for your specific needs.   This will reinforce your brand and messaging to this caller and hopefully even brighten their day.

One of the catches we have seen is on a number of VOIP systems, the MOH (Message on Hold) always starts at the same location, when the caller is transferred from 1 location to another.  This shouldn’t happen and it does devalue the company’s message that they are trying to communicate.

Companies should be making it clear in their selection of systems to ensure their messaging on hold is managed properly and the systems integrator understands your requirements before they implement the solution.

With all the migration from POTS to IP Phones, translation is being lost within technology but business fundamentals aren’t changing.  Your brand and communication is your brand and your communication, because you have had a change of technology should alter your position if anything it should strengthen it.

The partner you select is extremely important in your new telephony solution.  Ensure they have complete knowledge of their system and start asking detailed question about this like message on hold.  And the clear suggestion is if they cannot fully support your needs don’t buy it!  There are sophisticated companies who specialise in Business VOIP who will cost the same (if not cheaper) who fully understand communication strategy not just technology for technology sake.

Have a Great Day


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