Your business may be part of your family and part of your life, but it is not a child! It is an entity that needs to be fed new business to survive. As the entity thrives so do you. As a result, we all know that businesses want to maintain a competitive edge and keep their names at the forefront of their customers minds. While advertising on T.V. is out of reach for many companies, it’s easy to understand why a Call Centre would be required to answer inbound calls if an advert had just flashed up on a television screen.But what about for us normal business people! How do we become as effective, without the £’000′s price tag or attaining the mind controlling powers of a Jedi knight?A bit of perspective Let’s face it, no one likes the thought of Call Centers. Rows of people, rows of desks and rows of dialog. Call Centers can conjure up quite a negative impression of a working environment as well as the perception that these “Centers” only relate to financial services or teleshopping.What’s more, most businesses are not interested in the technology because they think it’s not relevant to their business – but they’re wrong!Telecoms manufacturers have created new methods of “contactability” which benefit all areas of customer activity. These areas include calls in, calls out (obviously, but the difference is in the detail) but also encompass, emails, web activity, sms, chat and even fax (but it’s not as popular nowadays). All activities are being viewed with equal importance.Is a telephone inquiry more important than an email inquiry?What was once the preserve of the Call Center industry and Internet savvy business has now become available to everyone with a price to match. Let’s face it, it’s only software!This Call or Contact Center technology enables a business to incorporate all forms of communication and apply a bespoke level of importance as to how and when the customer is responded to. The simplest analogy is that of a funnel; as the various “contacts” with your customers flows in, your staff handle each inquiry in the priority you choose on the way out!Consider this; how can your customers be “King” if you can’t see them, let alone prioritise them.The Telephone SystemBefore I go any further, it’s important to be aware that most telephone systems will allow connection of computers which run Contact Center software. If you are unsure, contact your supplier who will be able to tell you whether or not you can and secondly how this is achieved.Take a minute to think about this; if we all have 24 hours in a day and all businesses are equal when it comes to generating new business, why are some companies better at it than others?A great deal of functionality can be achieved from your existing telephone system, however, much depends on the creativity of your current supplier. But don’t forget, they’re not responsible for poor sales figures or poor performance.Chicken or the egg!As the saying goes, running a business without advertising or marketing is like a man winking at a girl in the dark, he knows what he’s doing, but the girl doesn’t!So the chicken and egg comes in to play. If you’re not making the marketing effort in whichever guise you deem fit, then this technology is not for you – rather, it would be a waste of time, effort and money. The problem is, not many sales companies ask you what amount of investment goes in to your annual budget for attracting new business.It’s about checks and balances. If your staff have their noses to the grind-stone every day of the week, how can you be assured that the structure you have can accommodate their efforts.Where to start lookingA good place to start is to get hold of a book that has been published by Avaya which is very helpful, especially if you’re beginning to think that this may be a sensible area to focus on. What’s more, it’s free. Go to avaya.co.ukThe “art” is being able to interpret the technology and features and put them in to a constructive method of operation for your business. But it still boils down to the fact that a business must first be aware that the technology exists before it can have an affect their operations. Reading the book will help.Contact Centres and Media BlendingOnce you decided that you want to operate and handle more business more efficiently there are few stages to be aware of.Stage OneCosts – This time, don’t consider it. To some companies taking on another member of staff is not given a second thought, especially when someone leaves or if you want to generate more business. This time concentrate on how much you can increase revenues. Consider, if you let a member of staff “go”, their salary would pay for any new capital purchase in the first year. By the second year you’re already in front financially. If you lease any equipment it is all considered a revenue expense and therefore can offset on your balance sheet (but you knew that anyway) plus you get to keep the cash in the bank.Stage TwoBased upon your ROI analysis, if you need to change your phone system – do it. You’re only adding components to your moneymaking entity. These are one-off purchases.Stage ThreeEstablish your business process; read our book Profit from Technology, and put in place a technology team to map out exactly how the equipment is to be structured and what your staff are supposed to do.Stage FourMarketing; KIS – keep it simple. Start with deciding what you want to focus on first; outbound or inbound contact? Set your goals and targets accordingly.Reporting – WYSIWYGAs the saying goes, if you can’t monitor it, you can’t manage it!Inbound Phone Calls:-However the telephone call arrives at your telephone system, the speed and efficiency as to how it is handled is paramount.Routing the call:Only the speed to answer counts. There are four methods of inbound ringing; longest idle, hunting, group, and strict cycle order. You have to decide which method is most effective.Skills based routing:If numbers are structured to point to departments it is possible to create overflow groups to ensure that the correct personnel handle the call.For example, if a call to the sales department goes unanswered, but a member of customer service is fully aware of the sales process. It makes sense to include this member of staff in overflow group if the sales team are busy or not available.The same principle applies to all departments. Simply because the department is busy does not mean that a call should go unanswered. In simple terms, the call is rooted to the next best person.Outbound calls:- If your business depends on making outbound calls, dialing from the screen is crucial to ensure the highest productivity;Manual dialing = 100 calls per day,Dial by screen, clicking on a telephone number = 150 calls per day.Progressive automated dialing = 200 calls per day.It is easy to calculate that a company with the right tools can be twice as effective.If productivity is increased by 100% – is your profitability?Media Blending In today’s modern multi-medium communications age the ability to measure and manage all forms of interaction is known as media blending. Here, voice calls, emails, text messages, and even web call-backs and chat inquiries are received at a single point and distributed to the right people capable of handling the inquiry.Benefits: Forecasting inbound calls and messages is not an easy task. Customers call and email when they want to… not when you want them too. This inevitably leads to fluctuating workloads and organisations then have to decide how to have enough people to deal with the peaks – which means that in troughs you have people sitting idle – or accept that at peak times you will keep customers waiting.Blending lets you automatically manage the work. If you mix inbound calls, outbound calls, emails, SMS text, call-backs and chats you can keep everyone busy all of the time and still meet all your service levels.Medial Blending in Action: Increasingly as their customers turned more to the Internet, a leading metal processing firm got more and more customer inquiries through e-mail or other media, than just through normal voice calls. It was becoming obvious that although their agents were still busy on calls, e-mails were being left unattended in the Sales Team mailbox, and customers were not getting dealt with promptly. The day they lost a new customer because of this, they knew they had to do something fast.The answer was to blend together the phone calls and e-mails, so that e-mails were dealt with promptly, while not keeping callers waiting. When customers call the Sales Team they don’t want to be kept waiting, so it was decided that e-mails would only be distributed to agents when the number of calls fell below an agreed number.The results were dramatic. Because agents were now automatically routed emails when e-mails were available, response times improved, and the Sales Team became more efficient as they had a more consistent workload. Additionally, when a customer sent an e-mail to the Sales Team mailbox, an auto response would be sent to the customer straight away to let them know that their message had been received, and would be dealt with shortly.This overall change in customer contact handling increased productivity, customer satisfaction and most importantly sales. A five star hotel reservation team receive 500+ emails a day and were having problems using Microsoft Outlook as they had difficulty in tracking service levels. It was hard to find messages and impossible to track user productivity. The Reservations Manager wanted to find a new way to increase customer service. The hotel decided to change their business process so that they blended telephone and email work as well as dinner and room reservations being confirmed by SMS.The result is that time taken to respond to customer emails has been reduced by 50%, the centralization of messages has made it easier to handle customer complaints and user productivity has increased by 100%. Additionally, management information has lead to better resource planning and confirmation by SMS has increased customer satisfaction.Web Chat & Call BacksWeb call back allows a web site visitor to click an icon or link requesting the company whose website they are visiting to call them, now, in 15 minutes or in an hour etc. Web chat is another interactive web site browsing tool that opens up an on screen, two way, dialog box whereby an agent at the web site company can ‘converse’ with the web site visitor.Benefits: These applications are all about getting more sales and capturing more value from website visitors. This is about striking while the iron is hot. Web Call Backs & Web Chat in Action: An on-line fashion mail order company found that whilst many visitors to their web site got to the point of ordering, the sales process often ceased at the point where the customer had to decide upon the size they required.They installed both a Web Call Back and Web Chat buttons on their web site to offer the customer the option of discussing any aspect of their purchase (colors, sizes, delivery times and postage charges etc) with an experienced sales agent. The results were a dramatic increase in the ratio of web site visitors to sales orders received as well as an equally impressive reduction in goods returned because they were the wrong size or color. The company increased productivity and profitability whilst at the same time gaining many new customers who were referred on to them by satisfied users.ConclusionTechnology is the facilitator to generating terrific sustainable profits, but the vendors and sales people must become more business savvy and show potential customers the way forward and how new technology will increase their bottom line.
When building a computer, there are a number of different pieces of hardware you will need. I will first list all the required items.- Computer Case
- CPU & Fan
- Hard Drive
- CD Drive
- RAMComputer Case
This one is pretty easy to choose, just go for one you like the look of and make sure there is enough room for your motherboard. They usually always give you the dimensions of the case and motherboard, so just make sure they fit.Motherboard
The motherboard is probably the main part of your computer as it connects everything together and allows them to communicate. Everything plugs into the motherboard.CPU & Fan
The CPU or central processing unit is the brain of the system, it is where all the calculations take place. One of the hottest components of a computer is the CPU so it requires its own fan.Hard Drive
The hard drive is where all your information is stored. So the bigger the hard drive the more documents, music, videos etc you can have.CD Drive
You don’t really have to have a CD drive, however this is the easiest way to install your operating system. You can also install your operating system through USB pen.RAM
The RAM or random access memory is where any running programs are stored, so if you were using a word processor such as Microsoft Word, whilst this is being used it would be running in RAM, so the more RAM you have the more programs you can run without affecting your systems performance too much and slowing down your computer.