When relocating, keeping your business running smoothly can be a challenge. Making sure your customers can still get in touch throughout the process is key, because any down-time could be damaging for business.
A growing healthcare support staff company, Care Support UK, needed to move premises when there was a planning issue with their old location in February 2013. The business, employing 10 office staff and a further 60 staff out in the field, relies on telecoms as the backbone of the business. Their customers, ranging from the NHS and care homes to rehabilitation units and disability support, need instant access to their customer service desk. The business also needs to be able to contact its staff in the field so they can respond instantly to urgent healthcare issues.
With a huge reliance on its communication channels, the move raised big concerns about how moving premises would impact on the business. To ensure the relocation went smoothly, they turned to Intercity Telecom to help manage the process of switching their telecoms to the new premises and onto a brand new phone system. All this needed to be done with minimum disruption.
Intercity Telecom advised Care Support UK that they could keep all their old phone numbers and have the new system ready for when staff moved in. Mobile devices supported by Intercity Telecom stayed online throughout the process so that the business could keep responding to the needs of its customers as normal.
Lee Asbury, MD, Care Support UK said “I can’t underestimate how concerned I was about my business’ communication lines in the relocation. If they were to go down, not only could we potentially lose business, but we could miss a really important call from a client caring for patients with serious health issues. Losing internet would also have been a big issue for our staff working on day-to-day activities.
“Luckily, Intercity supported us throughout the process and managed the whole thing, from porting our old numbers to plugging the phones in at our new office. It was really simple, hassle free, and above all, our important business communication lines were working throughout.”
Elliot Roberts, Business Development Manager at intercity telecom added: “Understanding the needs of Care Support UK was key here. Knowing that telecoms channels are the bloodline of a business like this, we made sure there was minimal disruption to everyday operations during the move. That means creating a seamless transition so that as far as Care Support’s customers are concerned, it’s business as usual.”
To find out how Intercity could help your business, get in touch.
|"I want access to technology that gives my business the edge over global competitors.”|
We’re not telling you anything you don’t already know when we say staying ahead in business can be challenging at the best of times. However innovation, be it in product design, processes and back end business infrastructure can not only ease the pain but actually transform your business to be able to compete more effectively against global competitors.
Changes to your telecom infrastructure can bring you instant gains by helping you work the way you want to, respond to customers and suppliers faster and control your costs.
So what can you do? Well… quite a lot actually. We’ve pulled together five tips to solve key business challenges – competing successfully against global competitors, communicating more effectively with customers and suppliers and trimming non-essential communication costs.
Smart working with smart devices
You’re never going to avoid travelling to trade shows or visiting suppliers abroad - its part and parcel of what you do. What you can do is exploit the opportunities devices such smartphones and tablets give you when working away from the office.
A word of warning though. The smarter the device the more inclined your staff will be to want access to confidential emails, files and reports. That’s great when you’re sitting at home, not so great when you leave the device in the back of a taxi half way across the world.
What you can do:
Tip 1: Mobile Device Management can help you secure access to corporate data and easily manage your mobile fleet. You’ll also be able to deploy apps to all devices from a centralised point and wipe their content if ever they’re lost or stolen.
Get the plumbing right then build, build, build
You’re probably tired of people telling you it’s a digital age, if you’re not “It’s a digital age”! IP networks offer reliable business communications and are a real money saver.
Investing in the right kind of telecoms ‘plumbing’ now will set you in good stead for upcoming innovations. You can also significantly improve your customer service by connecting internal systems such as CRM to your communications platform.
What you can do:
Tip 2: Take a look at what you do now, skip the consultants and run an internal ‘Blue Sky’ session to think about how you’d like to work. You may find that there’s a telecoms service already out there that may help. Products like SIP trunking are a great foundation for future proofing your communications.
To me, to you...
The effects of missing a call for an order can range from mildly annoying all the way through to disastrous. There can be a number of reasons, but being stuck with a prehistoric telephone system that’s failing to keep you connected is definitely one of them.
What you can do:
Tip 3: If you’re out of the office regularly ‘Twin’ your desk phone to your mobile. Both will ring at the same time and can be answered by you if you’re out, or a colleague in the office.
What’s more, newer phone systems can email you missed call details and voicemails. If you have a smartphone you can pick these up on the move.
Let’s get ready to un-bundle
Telecom bundles are like gym memberships, they seem like a good idea at the beginning but you could end up paying for a service you don’t really use. For example if you signed up to a tariff at the peak of an overseas project or sales push, you might not be using your international allowance but you will still be paying for it.
What you can do:
Tip 4: Do an audit of the minutes and data your staff use on their mobiles and landlines. If you can, go back six to twelve months and see what your usage as a business really is. And don’t get stuck on a consumer tariffs for mobiles, it’s better to get a business tariff giving you shared minutes, data and free in-group calls so usage allowance is never wasted as everyone uses the same pot.
Knowledge is power
As with most areas of your organisation, the demands on IT and telecommunication budgets are never ending. There are constant calls for streamlining and cost efficiencies, but at the same time the business wants greater flexibility, faster connectivity and the latest technology to improve productivity.
What you can do
Tip 5: As the title says ‘knowledge is power’. Unless you’re an Excel whizz and enjoy looking through rows of call data, we recommend signing up to your provider’s online billing service. A good platform should make it easy to drill down into historical data and help you monitor and manage your spend.
Want even more telecom tips?
About five years ago I read an article in a major telecoms trade publication with the headline “R.I.P. PBX”. It told the tale of the death of companies buying telephone systems situated within the business premises and the mass exodus to Voice over IP platforms. I recently decided to look up the article to see who would brave such a comment to the telecoms industry and found that the author was the Director of a start-up Voice over IP company. It also came as no surprise that this company was no longer trading.
The reality is that no one system suits so many different kinds of industries and businesses. We all have different needs and requirements and to think otherwise is a big mistake. If the time has come to review your telecoms situation, the first step is to work out what you want from a new or upgraded platform. By truly understanding how you want your communications to work can you make the educated choice about the solution.
The modern breed of on-premises business telephone systems are just as advanced as their Voice over IP counterparts and in many cases suit customers better. Here’s a quick comparison of an onsite PBX system and a hosted VoIP platform. I’ve used our Avaya IP Office and Voice Over IP Horizon platforms to illustrate how similar they’ve become.
|Feature||IP Office 500||Horizon|
|Inbound Call Routing||Y||Y|
|Music on Hold||Y||Y|
|Voicemail to email||Y||Y|
As you can see, all the core features customers look for are available on both systems. I've found that if you have lots of small sites then a Voice over IP solution offers greater flexibility. The case for an in-office solution becoming stronger when you've got 10+ extensions.
Ultimately there's only so far you go with a checklist. The best way to work out what solution works best for your business is by getting honest, impartial advice from someone who sizes up phone systems day-in-day out.
Looking for greater flexibility from your business telephone system? Get free impartial advive on your business communications.