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Professionalising business telephony: all options on the line

In this digital age, we can manage many things ourselves. The internet is endless and most questions have been answered by people who have gone before us. But occasionally it can be quite nice to ask your question in a more personal way to a real person, perhaps a professional. Many companies have a contact number and customer service available to answer such questions. Emerging technology has also changed some things about this, to make the job a bit easier and get people talking to them faster.

Easy transfer to the right information

The first thing you often hear when you call a company’s customer service is an automated message. Such a message often gives basic information about the company, the opening hours of the telephone customer service and, for example, whether there is a queue. A choice menu can then be read out. A choice menu can be used to make it much easier for a customer’s query to be handled by a specific department. This way, the question does not have to be forwarded every time, but goes directly to the employee who knows the most about it.

Many companies still use pressing a button on the phone as a choice menu, but the interactive voice response, or IVR, is becoming more familiar. With IVR, you can speak a short message and it is converted via systems into a language that the computer recognises and you are connected very easily. A company can also use Vo-IP, where they can work with several employees on 1 phone line and thus easily speak to customers at the same time. All voice data is sent over the internet and arrives centrally. On the front end, this is done via ‘normal phone numbers’. You can now request a 204 London phone number or a 212 New York phone number. You can answer incoming calls from wherever you want. From Groningen but also from abroad when on a business trip, for example.

Everything is clear

This may sound a bit complicated, but in general the basic principle is quite simple. As a customer, you don’t notice much else about these complicated technologies working in the background. These technologies make work easier for the company’s employees as well as for customers trying to contact this company. So you know exactly where you stand when you pick up the phone. You know whether you have called the right number, which choice to indicate for the best answer to your query and how long you may have to wait until you can be helped. This clarity makes it all a little nicer.