Published Wednesday 29th July 2020

In the immediate aftermath of lock down being announced, it was surprising just how many organisations were simply ill prepared to connect their remote workers to a Fixed Line telephony solution. Many companies resorted to deploying mobile phones in an attempt to provide continuity, but in a number of instances this was simply not suitable, for example those operating contact centres or mission critical departments.

Fortunately, most of these were able to expedite the adoption of some form of technology, which provided an element of ‘business as usual’ to end-users. However, before IT departments pat themselves on the back, for pushing through a successful solution in record time, the following should be considered:

  1. On-point Solution – Although a solution is up and running, it is possible that the solution deployed has been one which has been recommended by an incumbent supplier, who is tied to that vendor. Whether or not this is the right solution, only time will tell.
  2. Commercial Terms – In a rush to get the solution deployed, the process of undertaking a market review and due diligence would almost certainly have been condensed, or by-passed altogether. The chances of a higher total cost of ownership and/or unfavourable contract terms increase, and will present themselves further along the system’s lifetime.
  3. Adoption by End-users – Dependent on what technology end-users have been used to, the training time frame for staff can vary significantly. For example, if users have typically been used to a very basic telephone system and are suddenly presented with a ‘top shelf’ product with many features, they may be overwhelmed by information during training, which in-turn leads to a slower adoption process.
  4. Just a telephone system? – A lot of organisations view their telephony solution as a tool for making/ receiving calls only. However, by taking a more strategic viewpoint, it can deliver an exceptional customer experience and provide your organisation with the “edge” amongst your competition, and increase sales. Examples include:
  • Supporting the different communications channels used by your customers (voice, email, messaging, social media, web-chat etc) and centralisation of these these into a single solution
  • Offering an easy and efficient experience for your customers to buy from you
  • Use efficient/intelligent call routing to ensure your callers are always routed to the right department/ person
  • Integration into your CRM (or other back-end) systems to ensure your employees have the most up to date customer data, to provide a more personalised service
  • Provide analytics to enable the organisation to make any necessary changes and evolve

A review by the ERA Communications Team cannot only secure increased value for money, but also assist in how technology can be deployed more effectively to secure efficiency and increased sales.

About the Author: Pritesh Patel, is a results focussed Project Manager with a reputation for delivering consistent results for his clients. His main specialism is Communications and during thirteen years with ERA has implemented over 400 successful projects. Together with his expertise, strong analytical and negotiation skills, he is able to deliver tangible results which deliver long-term benefits to clients.