If you are looking to supercharge your organization’s e-commerce operations, switching to a VoIP phone system could be hugely beneficial. It’s time to ask yourself how your business shapes up when it comes to communication.
There’s a lot more to think about when overhauling your communication techniques and strategy than just improving your cold-calling scripts. If you are still using a physical landline number, stop and consider how VoIP could positively impact your online business. Speed, reliability, and cost benefits are all key motivators for making a change.
Firstly, let’s define exactly what is meant by the term, “VoIP”.
What is VoIP?
VoIP is a commonly used modern business phone system that replaces traditional landlines. Its name is short for Voice over Internet Protocol – but what does that actually mean? Simply put, it means audio calls that take place between two devices which are connected to the internet. Users can talk over the internet from any location in the world.
VoIP has lots of fantastic features which can help your online business to flourish. These include:
- 3-way calling
- Video conferencing
- Digital faxing
- Call routing
There are many different plans available from different companies to suit businesses of all sizes. You can choose to have a local number or a free to call national number, or both – whatever works best for you.
VoIP is changing the way people do business in so many ways. While this type of phone system is suitable for just about any business, it is ideal for e-commerce retailers. Below, we will look at how using a VoIP phone system can improve your e-commerce operations.
1. Creating better customer service and experience
One of the benefits of e-commerce is that because your shop operates online, it can be open to serve customers 24 hours a day. Your customers can purchase a product at any time of the day. However, what happens if you are a small business without a large team of staff? It’s a problem when there isn’t always someone there to physically pick up the phone.
E-commerce businesses need a flexible solution which gives the appearance of staff all working in one location whereas, in reality, VoIP allows teams to work from anywhere (see point 3 for more information on this). This enables employers to hire staff in different time zones, meaning there is more efficient coverage. Your business will be able to seemingly provide round-the-clock customer service.
Business owners can choose local number prefixes. This allows them to appear as if they are operating from a single location. Along with multiple other features, this ensures that you can create a great customer experience. This will keep your shoppers returning time after time.
Dealing with customer complaints
Unfortunately, in the world of e-commerce, customer complaints are inevitable no matter how hard you try. Providing proactive customer service is the best way to deal with complaints. This is where a VoIP phone system really comes into its own. Being able to respond to customer complaints quickly is essential to their successful resolution.
The function of being able to automatically record every single call is invaluable in training new staff. This allows them to become familiar with your customer journey and gain knowledge of the common, and sometimes individual, issues which are relevant to your business. This can really improve your customer support.
Customer experience is everything
Enhancing customer experience is always a win-win situation. Without the constraints of a single landline number, your business will be more able to provide this. If a single landline number was engaged, your customer simply wouldn’t be able to get through and would have to hold or leave a message. If they called out of business hours, there would be no response until the next working day.
VoIP has the power to change these frustrations with clever features. Customers can be automatically routed to the exact person they want to speak to, like your finance department. There is also the feature of listening to voicemail from anywhere, enabling you to stay truly connected and help your customers when they need it.
Benefiting from lightning-fast internet cables, VoIP also provides a crystal clear audio experience. After all, if a customer needs your support, a crackly line isn’t going to help.
2. Cutting costs but not the quality of calls
Research shows that for 60% of users, cost mattered most when choosing a VoIP provider. VoIP technology comes at a fraction of the cost of traditional landline bills, freeing up cash to spend on other areas of your business operations. Not using analogue phone lines will reduce your costs significantly including:
- Cheaper line rental
- Free internal calls
- Reduced external call costs
- Economical calls to international numbers
- Cheaper operational costs
The savings apply to all businesses but are particularly relevant to e-commerce retailers. This is due to the fact that telephone costs can account for a large proportion of operating costs.
3. Improving flexibility and mobility
A VoIP system will provide you with the ability to answer calls from well… anywhere really! There is absolutely no requirement to use a fixed desk phone. Although, this is possible if you prefer. You can forward calls to your personal mobile or landline and even use a desktop or laptop computer to receive or make calls. This creates flexibility for remote or home-working.
The use of VoIP technology has prevented a mass work stoppage during the COVID-19 pandemic, along with video conferencing tools. While many businesses were forced to shut down, e-commerce operations using VoIP technology were able to easily adapt to home-working teams.
4. Introducing seamlessly integrated technology
In a world where omnichannel customer engagement is everything, VoIP can synchronize your whole business, connecting to other cloud-based technologies.
The main benefit of synchronized communication over asynchronous communication is that it allows for real-time interaction. Examples of asynchronous communication include emails or posting on a discussion forum. Instant feedback and clarification are the positive results of synchronized communication..
More choice of communication channels places more demand on retailers to provide consistency. Consumers demand personalized and consistent experiences when they communicate with online businesses across various digital devices and platforms.
Creating a personalized and integrated customer experience
Creating a seamless and integrated customer experience has become the holy grail of communication in 2021. If customers are interacting with your business through a multitude of methods, providing a unified and personalized experience is a must.
For example, a customer may start a conversation with your team via a message on Twitter. They would then expect to be able to have a phone call to discuss the issue further, without explaining themselves all over again.
VoIP has CRM and other software integration capabilities which also create faster response times to customer queries. Data is easily available to employees throughout your organization, making resolving any issues much quicker than if several different customer support tickets needed to be filled in.
5. Enhancing workflow
A better team workflow also ensues from having VoIP platforms like Talkdesk, or other alternatives, in place. Some processes, which may have taken multiple steps in the past, are now possible to complete with a single click.
Teams are shown to work smarter and faster when using voice over IP technology. With call center operatives being able to quickly access information from integrated CRM systems, effectiveness and productivity are dramatically increased. Advantages to your team’s workflow can include:
- The ability for management to listen to calls
- Recording calls so that important points aren’t forgotten
- Being able to put callers on hold temporarily
- Transferring calls to the appropriate voicemail boxes
- Retrieving a call from all the calls currently being received by the organization
Your employees may also find improvements to their personal workflows. This is achieved once they are released from the necessity of staying near a fixed desk phone. Being able to take office calls on a mobile phone at any time, lends itself to a much more effective style of working.
VoIP can help you to scale up your e-commerce operations
It is essential for e-commerce businesses to be able to communicate with customers from all over the world. With a traditional landline set up, this can be hugely expensive. More and more businesses are recognizing the cost and reliability benefits of VoIP features. Moving your business communications to the cloud can help you to support a remote workforce, boost your call center, and increase customer satisfaction.
When considering changing to a VoIP platform there are a few things to remember. Make sure that you shop around and find the perfect provider for your e-commerce business. Also, don’t forget to include VoIP encryption in your cybersecurity strategy.
By embracing the future of telecommunications, you will soon start to see an improvement
in your ecommerce analytics. VoIP technology is your perfect partner for future growth and profitability.