Written by John Dickson on July 14, 2017
The Lessons Learned from a Sunset Industry
I worked in the two-way radio business for many years, but I have since devoted the last decade to cloud-based business communications (VoIP, Unified Communications, Call Centers, etc.). Even though two-way radios have been around for over a century and VoIP barely a decade, there are things to learn from the radio business that can shape how you set up your communications.
Two-way radio communications are “one to many” – picture a 911 operator dispatching incidents to all the cars in the vicinity, an Electric company dispatching trucks during an outage, or any business managing a fleet of trucks. Everyone hears the dispatcher and the responses.
Gregg Miller was a radio pioneer who built RACOM Corporation to one of the largest independent radio dealers in the country – and he built it in Marshalltown, Iowa. With a population of around 28,000 Gregg realized that he would have to open remote locations to reach a large enough customer base. How do you manage people when they’re spread across seven locations?
So he decided to keep an extra radio in his office in order to hear how the company’s day was going. He once said, “I like to hear the Orchestra play.” Gregg would leave the radio on low, like background music, but he always knew how to read the chatter.
If radio traffic was light, either everything was going well or nothing was going at all. And when it was heavy he knew either work was fluid and busy or that something in the system was broken. Either way, Gregg was able to listen to listen with an attuned ear and could decode how the day was going for his business.
Cloud-based phone systems, for the most part, are “one-to-one” communications. Sure, you have conference calling and web broadcast tools, but the bulk of the traffic is one-on-one between customers and coworkers. So how do you “Hear the Orchestra Play” in this environment? The answer is Call Reporting.
Momentum’s reporting tools give business owners a look into the most important part of their business – customer interactions. In real-time or historic views, you can track incoming calls, outgoing calls per salesperson, average customer wait times, etc. Staffing decisions can be made based on real data instead of intuition. More importantly, you can now track individual call segments that trace a customer’s experience going through your auto-attendant, hunt groups or receptionist.
History shows that many callers give up, and hang up after being transferred multiple times. So we designed a report known as “ka-ching.” This report runs live during the day and tracks incoming calls through each segment – from initial answer, transfer to another department, to wherever the call ends – often in voice mail. In short, this report details calls that weren’t answered or that the company failed to call back. Our clients tell us that this one report alone pays for their new phone system, because they know if that they follow up on a missed or abandoned call quickly then they can still make the sale or provide valuable support for their customer
The ability to build reports like this is one reason why most companies are switching to cloud communications and they are doing it quickly. This technology that was previously only available to very large organizations with enterprise budgets, but is increasingly becoming more viable for businesses of any size.
The most important step when transitioning is to take your time and select a vendor that will work with you to design the right solution for your business including critical aspects such as call flow and reporting solutions. Pick a company that will work with you to integrate your service and offer time saving collaboration technologies such as call reporting in addition to many others such as CRM Connector, Call Recording and more. This groundwork will help your businesses efficiency by maximizing your overall resources so you reap the benefits. And be sure to choose an organization with expertise and resourcefulness to help develop you develop your own “ka-ching” report when it comes down to a call reporting product. Doing this will allow you to enhance your customer experience, increase sales and most likely save money in the process.
And most importantly, you will also get to enjoy the music!