Friday, 10 December 2021 09:31

You can change your call centre platform with no pain and much to gain

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If your call centre hardware or software isn't serving your business needs anymore, the good news is changing your platform is as easy as can be with no great effort or expense.

Perhaps your call centre still runs on individual phone lines and an on-premises PABX. It’s not so long ago this was the standard, with businesses of all sizes and types running their own telephone hardware. In fact, even the name PABX refers to the office phone system being an extension of the public telephone exchange.

Problems with physical phone lines are many; your business pays a rental fee for every line every month. Subscribe to too few and you can’t make or receive enough calls for demand; subscribe to too many and you can’t answer them all, pay excess fees, and annoy customers with unanswered phone calls.

Of course, in this modern age, we're no strangers to server virtualisation and while the traditional data centre has moved off-premises, the phone system has not always followed suit. Yet, it can; and not only can you virtualise a phone system, but you can subscribe to Internet-based SIP trunks instead of the traditional phone line.

It doesn't end there; in the same way software-as-a-service - or SaaS - options now exist for all manner of business software like accounting (NetSuite), customer relations and sales (SalesForce), and more, so too you can run your whole call centre on cloud-based software.

It comes down to this: your business may well be using call-centre software that you have to install and manage yourself, on servers you have to buy and manage, using fixed phone line services you have to provision in advance and carefully balance against customer volumes and staff numbers. If this is you, in whole or part, there’s a whole new world of opportunity for you.

Or, perhaps you know all this, and your call centre is modern but running with software that’s costly, inflexible, and lacking in features.

Whatever your situation, Aircall says there's a better way. Aircall is a French startup providing a VoIP - voice-over-IP, or voice over the Internet - phone system to companies across Australia, Europe, and the United States. It offers a full call centre offering meaning it’s more than adequate for small to medium businesses also.

You pay a fixed fee per phone user per month with the flexibility to scale up and down as your campaigns require. Depending on your audience and the features you require you can select one of several plans that include either 1000 minutes of outbound calls or unlimited outbound calls, and unlimited inbound calls from any device or unlimited calls domestically, along with other features like analytics, live call monitoring and more. Each plan includes voicemail, IVR, text messaging, and call recording, as well as more than 80 integrations with other popular applications.

You can provision new phone numbers when you need for a small fee, for as little or as long as you require. You have desktop, laptop, smartphone, and tablet softphone clients allowing you and your staff to work from anywhere.

Imagine the ease during - oh, let's say a global pandemic - of sending your staff to work from home and so long as they have an Internet connection, a computer, and a headset they can still work equally as well as they did in the office with absolutely no effort on your part to divert phone numbers? Compare that to the expense and work involved in diverting landline phone numbers to staff mobile phones or trying to set up computers, desk phones, and telephone numbers in another location.

So, with all this said, we promised you it was only a few easy steps to change your platform.

In fact, you can start in as much time as it takes to fill in a form. Aircall offers a free seven-day trial letting you make and receive calls from whatever device you have at hand, right away. The trial includes call monitoring, performance analytics, integrations, click-to-dial (so you can simply click on a phone number in an email signature, for example) and more.

Now, if you're ready to go live, the steps are

  1. Set up your Aircall account with the number of user licenses you want, based on how many concurrent calls you will need to cater for at one time, both inbound and outbound.
  2. Set up your users with the softphone app on whatever devices you choose. With nothing more than an Internet connection and a headset needed, you can have your call centre up in minutes.
  3. Choose whether you want to start with a new number or re-use your existing number. Aircall can supply you with a new phone number, but you can also port your existing number in most cases, no matter the type of technology it currently uses. There may be some caveats, depending on your current carrier’s restrictions. Porting your existing number means your customers don’t need to make any change whatsoever.
  4. If you start with a new number you can still divert calls from your pre-existing services, but there will typically be a fee for this, so be sure to place a timeframe on long you intend to redirect for.
  5. Update any marketing collateral, email signatures, websites, etc., to list your new phone number.
  6. Explore the options you have within Aircall to ensure you get the best results. Monitor your user’s calls to ensure they’re following your guidelines and best practices. Explore the analytics to figure out your busy periods to make sure you have sufficient staff numbers.
  7. Cancel services with your previous telephony, call centre hardware, and call centre software suppliers.

Actually, of these steps, you can see besides figuring out which phone number to use, your only real work is in signing up for Aircall and getting started within minutes.

It really is that easy. So, if you want the best for your business, for your staff and customers, give Aircall a try and see for yourself how easy it is to change your call centre software today.

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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.

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