Business communications have become extremely complex.

In addition to phone and fax, we now have text messaging, voicemails, live chat, and social media communications of all sorts — Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, LinkedIn, Google, and more.  And increasingly, important business communications are occurring on all of them.  It’s a whole lot to keep up with.

At the same time, customer expectations
are rising quickly in this “Customer Experience
Renaissance” we are in the midst of.  Two-hour
delivery of almost anything

— maybe soon with flying drones.  Free shipping, free returns, fast, generous compensation for bad experiences, elaborate loyalty programs, and vertical integration to tighten logistics and improve customer experiences.  It’s fiercely competitive.

Business tools can be segmented in endless ways but one way is fixed and changing.  The stapler hasn’t changed much in maybe fifty years.  The webmail changes a little all the time.  We don’t expect nor want the stapler to change because it’s already almost fully-optimized for driving metal strips through paper.  And that’s all we need and want it to do — maybe ever.  But webmail needs to change and improve with time because our needs change (we want to see Facebook posts that mention our company in a single communication stream alongside our emails, for example) and technology and best practices for business communications change.  Unlike the stapler we need and want our webmail to change — as long as it’s steadily getting better and the changes aren’t disruptive.

Well somewhere back a few decades ago, business phone service became something that a lot of business people came to view as a stapler.  They just wanted a phone service for their business that allowed them to make and receive phone calls and do a few other simple things reliably and cheaply.  And every few years they wanted their new phone service to do these same simple things more reliably and more cheaply than the service it was replacing. 

Well, you can say one thing about private businesses: they don’t spend lots of time and money making something more than it needs to be to sell.  So for decades, business phone service largely lacked significant innovation — and pretty much everyone was okay with that.  But not anymore . . . not with the explosion of communications that business people now need to manage and the sky-high customer expectations.  Businesses today need help and many are looking to their business phone system as part of the solution — or even the heart of it.

In the decades when business phone service was stuck in its “stapler era”, a new industry was born to help businesses to manage their customer relationships more successfully and efficiently.  Aptly named Customer Relationship Management (CRM), this industry that didn’t exist twenty years ago will sell about $30 billion in services to businesses in 2016.  CRM helps business win and keep more customers.  When used properly, CRM can transform a weak or mediocre company into a superstar.  For many businesses, their phone service is their primary communication tool — both internally and externally — so linking CRM to business phone service is something that numerous service providers have done.  The most common approach is for the CRM and the phone service to “plug-in” to one another using a software plug-in that connects the two applications.  This can be effective but the experience often suffers as the user is using two applications at once sort of on top of one another.

The solution for this is not to build separately and then try to connect two entirely different business applications designed to do two very different sets of things but rather to build one application from the ground up that is designed to do what businesses really must succeed at — winning and keeping customers — and do it seamlessly and intuitively.  The most successful example of this is RingByName.

RingByName is way more than a business phone service and that begins with it having fully-integrated CRM into the application.  It’s not plugged in or grafted on — it’s in the DNA of the application, in the bones.  So much so that you can’t tell where the phone system leaves off and the CRM picks up.  On inbound calls RingByName instantly looks the caller up, runs their name through a proper name pronunciation engine, and greets the caller by name, “Hello, Susan.  Thanks for calling Apex Services again.”  Next RingByName looks up the last call from this person and makes a helpful offer to the caller, “Last time you called you spoke with Mike in Service, would you like to speak with him again?”  This level of integration and ease of use between the phone system and customer, prospect, and contact databases can only be achieved through a ground-up architecture and application development.  No sync, plug-in, or widget can deliver what businesses today really need like RingByName does.

RingByName with built-in CRM helps your business in numerous ways including:

  • Allowing you to deliver a better prospect and customer experience with the option to welcome and route callers by name
  • Providing all your employees with visibility into shared activities: see missed calls, voicemails, and other events to improve teamwork.  Visibility can be restricted as desired too.
  • Giving all your employees needed tools like a mobile app for iOS and Android, voicemail to email, eFax, and conference calling
  • Delivering basic CRM company-wide: upload and share contacts, create and assign tasks to individuals or groups, enjoy group calendaring and notes, easily share voicemails and call recordings
  • Supplying instant individual and neighborhood profiles on prospects and customers.  Profiles include a wealth of information including personal, financial, home and family, and consumer-behavior details.
  • A business application like RingByName can be described but it cannot be fully-appreciated without experiencing it. 
  • Does it really do all this stuff? 
  • Is it actually as easy to use as Facebook? 
  • Is it true that it probably costs less than what our business is spending today on phone service? 

All these questions and more can be answered through a 15-minute consultation with a RingByName business consultant.  Click here or call 855-345-RING to take a look.  Business communications aren’t going to magically get less complex and prospects and customers are not going to wake up tomorrow with lower expectations, so you’re literally hurting your business and making it harder for you and your employees to succeed every day you wait.  Apologies for being kind of harsh there at the end, but I could sense you needed a little push.  We all do sometimes…  So here it is—call 855-345-RING right now!  You have a phone there, just pick it up.  There you go . . .  😉

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