RingCentral vs. Jive vs. RingByName: Which Is The Best Choice For Your Business?

T here was a time when buying business phone service was easy.  There were only a few service providers to choose from and all were huge, established companies.  No matter which provider you chose, the service was the same: it did and didn’t do the same things, worked the same way, and probably was delivered by hardware and software from the same suppliers – companies like Lucent, Nortel, Avaya, and Cisco.  So it came down almost entirely to two things: price and support.  Support is almost impossible to evaluate as a potential customer, as every company will tell you their service is great and can provide a couple references to reinforce the claim.

Price was therefore often the primary focal point.  What many businesses would do is take their latest phone bill, make a few photocopies, and give them to a number of phone companies to come back with a proposal showing a savings.  Whichever company proposed to replace the business’ current phone service at the lowest price, would usually be chosen.

Chart

Well, unfortunately perhaps, it can’t be done that way anymore.  Today there are hundreds of service providers businesses can choose from; their services are very different from one another; and – on top of all that – it’s unlikely that you will save a tremendous amount off your bill by switching, so focusing on price doesn’t make nearly as much sense as maybe it once did.

So how does a business choose which phone service is the best choice for them?  Well it isn’t as simple as glancing at a few proposals and choosing the lowest-priced, but it also isn’t rocket science, as the saying goes.  What it really comes down to is this simple question: which of the options to replace our current phone system will help our business win and keep more customers?  Winning and keeping customers are the primary responsibilities of any successful company – so this is really a question that should be asked about nearly every dollar a business spends.

“what you should be looking for is a phone service

that is a competitive weapon, a phone service that

does a better job at helping to win and keep customers

than the alternatives you’re considering”.

Obviously every business phone service helps a business win and keep customers.  After all, many new customers call a business to begin a relationship and many existing customers call to reorder or for support – but what you should be looking for is a phone service that is a competitive weapon, a phone service that does a better job at helping to win and keep customers than the alternatives you’re considering.  Think about it this way, why settle for and pay the same for a phone service that just does an average job at helping your business, when you can get one that does an outstanding job?  Here’s another thought: how much is a single customer worth to your business?  Depending on your business, the answer could range from a few dollars to thousands.  That means that winning just one additional customer per month or preventing just one customer from leaving per month could be worth a great deal – in many cases worth more than your entire monthly phone bill

So let’s break it down . . . can one business phone service actually help win and keep more customers than another business phone service?  And, if so, how?  To get into that we need to think about how customers get acquired and retained and how phone service plays an important role:

  • First Contact: for many prospects, their first contact with a business is by phone.  They may be calling to learn the business’ hours, whether they have a product in stock, or to get directions.  An outstanding business phone system would identify this caller as a first contact, would route that caller to the appropriate person in the business – identifying the caller as a first contact, and would offer fast access to the answers to frequently asked questions like hours or directions.  Neither RingCentral nor Jive are capable of this sort of functionality – only RingByName with its built-in customer relationship management (CRM) can look up an inbound call, identify it as a first contact, route that call to the right person, and pop-up information on computer screen, tablet, or smartphone that notifies the call recipient that this is a first contact plus provides additional information on the caller that can help make that first contact a great first impression.  Great first impressions are a crucial ingredient to new customer acquisition.
  • Pre-Sale Dialog: for many businesses it takes several contacts with a prospect before a sale can be made – and many of these contacts are by phone.  One thing that prospects are evaluating during this pre-sale phase is whether the company has the desired qualities in a trusted provider of goods and services.  In other words, “Am I going to be happy if I decide to become a customer of this business?”  We’ve all heard jokes about the difference in treatment between being a prospect and a customer – no one wants to be the butt of those jokes.  An outstanding business phone system would offer the option to welcome repeat callers by name, “Hi, Susan, thanks for calling ABC Plumbing again.”  Route repeat callers by name to the person they last spoke with, “Last time you called you spoke with David, would you like to speak with him again?”  And put in front of the call recipient the entire contact history for the caller including any notes or tasks – regardless of who in the business the caller has spoken with previously.  Both RingCentral and Jive are good phone services, but neither can do anything like deliver the remarkable customer experience of RingByName.  Only RingByName welcomes callers by name, routes to the last person spoken with by name, and stores and displays in real-time complete notes and tasks associated with the caller.
  • Post-Sale Support: in survey after survey consumers express their clear preference for phone support over other means in almost every situation.  So customers are going to call your business after they buy from you and the experience they have will largely determine whether they’ll be loyal.  An outstanding business phone system would offer callers the option to request a callback rather than leave a voicemail and would instantly send both the caller and the call recipient emails confirming the receipt of the callback request.  Recent surveys have shown that consumers today have a low degree of confidence that voicemails they leave will be heard much less generate a response.  Customers with low confidence in a returned call are likely to call repeatedly – generally getting more agitated with each attempt.  Missed and unreturned calls are another big source of current customer discontent.  An outstanding business phone system would visually notify not only the intended call recipient that they’ve missed a call but also visually notify everyone else in his department – and do so on their PCs, tablets, and smartphones – making it less likely that a valued customer will fall through the cracks due to the oversight of an individual employee.  Given that nearly 3 in 4 customers leave due to “perceived indifference” on the part of the business (see Figure X), anything a business can do to combat that perception is likely to have significant bottom-line impact.  Only RingByName with its built-in CRM and full-featured user interfaces on all devices delivers these key customer retention capabilities.  Using RingCentral and Jive could mean also needing to buy other business applications and services, adding complexity and cost, to help ensure a satisfactory customer experience.

chart3

Figure 3: Reasons Customers Leave (Source: “Lessons from the Field” by Howard Feiertag and John Hogan

In conclusion, choosing he best phone service for your business is about focusing on which one best helps with your two primary missions: winning and keeping customers.  Winning and keeping customers are perhaps the most challenging things for a business to accomplish so smart businesses value an edge.  What’s great is that winning and keeping customers is so central to success that even small improvements make a huge difference: winning or keeping just one or two additional customers per month can be the difference between a business that struggles and one that thrives.  Ignoring the opportunity that improving your business phone service offers can be a costly mistake.  RingByName, far more than phone services like RingCentral and Jive, delivers the edge that helps your business win.  Learn more now at www.ringbyname.com.

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