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How to Improve Customer Service in Your Contact Center

Until recently, most contact centers looked like a sea of low-walled cubicles with agents speaking into headsets – with all customer transactions occurring at a fixed office location. Today, contact center agents can work just about anywhere: at home, in hired office space, or even on the move from a mobile device. But that’s not the only benefit mobility has on customer service.

Here are five ways you can boost customer service levels using mobility and cloud-based services…

1. Manage resources to maintain service levels

Some ebb and flow in contact volumes are seasonal, while other times volume may be unexpected. Whatever the case, with cloud-based contact center software, additional seats can be ‘spun up’ in virtually no time at all. Staff at other locations can be redeployed to manage customer interactions during busy periods. Agency staff can be online and handling inquiries and home workers can be ready to go at a moment’s notice. When call volumes stabilize, you can return to normal staffing.

2. Improve access to specialist skills anywhere

In some environments, contact center staff may need in-the-moment access to specialists. Rather than put the customer on hold until finding someone available who can help, the agent can use presence to see if the specialist is online and then either dial that person directly or send him or her an instant message while staying on the phone with the customer. Of course, UC tools allow specialists to be contacted on the go too. If a customer has a question that an agent needs a specialist’s opinion on, the agent can quickly communicate with the expert via a mobile device.

3. Attract and retain staff

Traditionally, contact center staff had to be recruited from a specific geographic location to work in the local office. With virtual contact center technology, businesses can now access a much wider employment pool. That means that you can hire exceptional agents, whether they live near your business or not. This is particularly helpful for contact centers that require agents to have specialist skills, such as technical, medical or legal expertise. And once you find stellar employees, offering them the option to work remotely can help retain them.

4. Ensure your business is always available

Single-site contact centers that cope well during normal working hours may struggle to offer the same level of service at other times. It may be difficult for customers to access the right specialist after regular office hours, especially if the expert is required to work in a fixed office location. But mobility tools allow customers to get their problems solved at all hours of the day. Allowing contact center staff to work from home increases the likelihood you’ll find agents willing to work night or even split shifts, making it easier to offer coverage around the clock.

5. Ensure business continuity in the face of disaster

Cloud-based contact center systems offer resiliency and mobility, meaning you can continue to serve your customers with little interruption caused by power outages, public transit strikes, natural disasters and other situations that may leave you without a place for contact center agents to work. If your office gets knocked out, agents can work from another location or even from home. In addition, staff from other departments and in other locations can be drafted to handle contact center functions remotely.

Ready to improve customer service in your contact center? Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

10 Ways TCI Host Service Connects Your Mobile Team and Makes Managing Tech Easier

Without the right tools in place, transitioning from in-office to home-office communications gave a lot of businesses a taste of how difficult it can be to keep conversations going.

In today’s remote working world, don’t you wish your team could be connected seamlessly no matter what device they’re using?

If you’re exploring ways to improve how your team communicates, TCI Host provides a locally supported, customized service with all-in-one collaboration and mobility tools, so your business won’t miss a beat.

How TCI Host keeps your employees connected and simplifies your job…

1. Never Lose Your Place with One Stop For Communication.

How much time do you waste by losing the thread of the conversation? TCI Host makes all your communications available from a single hub on your desktop. It’s always there but never in the way. Keep an eye on every call and message and never lose sight of important details.

2. Work From Anywhere, Together.

Gone are the days when teams worked in close proximity and shared a simple project document. In paper, no less. Nowadays, though, team members can be anywhere – at home, on the road, in another country. To stay connected, multi-party videoconferencing, desktop sharing and audio conferencing are key. Everyone on the team can collaborate in real-time.

3. Take The Conversation Smoothly From Text To Voice with Ad-Hoc Meetings.

Big deal on the table? Need fast thinking and even faster decision making? TCI Host helps you connect with the one person who has the information you need to close the deal – at the precise moment you need their help. With one click, start a meeting and keep the conversation going.

4. Respond To Important Messages Faster With Visual Voicemail.

Nothing ushers in a greater sense of urgency – and stress – than checking your voicemail after a long morning of meetings. With our Outlook voicemail integration, messages are sent to email so you can scan and prioritize who to call back first.

5. Get To The Right Person At The Right Time.

The flexibility to work anywhere is a benefit – except when an answer is needed fast. With presence, employees make their whereabouts known to everyone in the organization. So, when a customer calls asking the question only a subject matter expert can answer, everyone knows where and how to reach them.

6. Know Your Communications Will Be There.

Communications is the heart of any business. You can’t afford a moment of downtime, especially if you’ve invested in integrating your line of business apps with your phone system. If you’re seeking fail-proof redundancy that’s affordable and easy to manage, TCI Host’s architecture and system redundancy is designed to be reliable.

7. Be as Productive On the Road as in the Office.

Working outside the office is often frustrating because employees don’t have access to the tools they have in the office. But TCI Host transforms this experience. With its mobile app, employees take the office everywhere and get the same experience on the road as they do on at their desk. Whether in the office or on the road, they can join a meeting with a single click, without the need to enter those cumbersome participant codes. It’s that easy.

8. Live In Your CRM…

Which does your sales team love more? Their phone or their CRM? Please, don’t make them choose! When you integrate your phones with your CRM application, salespeople never have to switch between the two. They stay in the CRM to make and receive phone calls. Plus, it saves them from the dreaded task of data entry. Just by answering their phone, items are automatically added to their to-do lists.

9. …Or in Outlook or G Suite.

Sales teams shouldn’t be the only ones who have all the fun. TCI Host also integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Outlook and G Suite, easing adoption of your new phone system throughout your business.

10. Do More, Spend Less.

Here’s one last thing you might not know, and it may be the best part… You can have a seamless and reliable communications and collaboration tool without breaking the bank. TCI Host offers everything as an affordable monthly subscription.

The good news doesn’t stop there… Our project team handles all the transition details to get it all going for you! Contact TCI today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

 

Hybrid, Public or Private Cloud Deployments… 5 Questions that Lead to the Right Choice

The cloud is a proven platform for deploying and managing all-in-one Voice, UC and collaboration capabilities across every location in your enterprise. Of course, every business has its own needs. As you consider which cloud environment makes sense for your company – public, private or hybrid – asking the following questions can help you choose the best path for you…

1. What level of privacy and security do you need?

If you’re in a highly regulated industry, like financial services, government or healthcare, consider which data should be kept on-site versus a private cloud. A hybrid solution enables you to keep control of some parts of your communications infrastructure while still reaping cloud benefits like scalability, resiliency and cost management. If privacy and control are essential to your business, this route may provide the flexibility you need.

2. How important is reliability?

If your workforce needs immediate and reliable access to complex data like large multimedia files, consider either a private cloud or storing the data on site. If you operate a contact center, consider a hybrid solution: a private cloud combined with on-site back-up. Such redundancy protects you from costly downtime; if you lose your on-site system, the cloud is there. Likewise, if a network failure hits your cloud provider, your in-house infrastructure becomes your safety net.

3. Will the communications system grow and flex with you?

For organizations with fewer than 500 users, the public cloud environment is the most cost-effective. For one thing, your business can pay on a user-per-month basis. In addition, even though you still use a public Internet connection, it can be combined with private network solutions. A hybrid solution using the public cloud via a secure private network gives you room to scale up when necessary and allows you to maintain reliability and control.

4. How can you connect to the cloud?

  • SD-WAN (software-defined wide area networking) uses one or multiple network connections to prioritize applications, using a mixture of Internet and/or Internet with MPLS services to review and evaluate all network traffic. To ensure data and call quality are optimized, it can switch circuits quickly.
  • MPLS (Multiprotocol label switching) uses high‐speed networks to efficiently transport packets over virtual links. It also provides high call quality and a secure connection.
  • Public Internet Access Services like business-grade broadband connections are used for voice and video services. This is an economical choice for small and growing organizations.

5. What goes in the cloud? What stays?

Start by identifying the applications that really matter and checking for redundant functionality across applications; then focus on the key business and technical reasons for moving to the cloud. Use those decisions to shape the specific criteria for determining which applications should move to the cloud. Start with an overall digital strategy and work backwards, evaluating each offering against your value proposition.

TCI can help you refine your cloud deployment strategy and implement a solution tailored to your specific needs. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

8 Ways to Ensure Your Remote Workers Feel Like They’re in the Conference Room

Because remote employees are not physically at the conference table, they miss the non-verbal cues and side conversations, while those attending in person often forget who’s on the other end of the speaker phone.

To make your remote colleagues feel connected and valued, here are 8 ways you can help them feel like they’re in the conference room along with everyone else.

1. Make it mobile-first.

The first step toward changing this dynamic is to provide remote employees with the right tools. They need the ability to join meetings from any device with a single click – mobile, tablet, desktop – and any operating system.

2. Set a clear agenda.

A UC solution with a built-in agenda capability enables you to send the meeting plan with the invite. This way, remote employees aren’t at a disadvantage. Everyone is on the same page from the get-go.

3. Establish meeting ground rules.

For instance, one person speaks at a time with no interruptions. Have everyone say their name before speaking to help remote colleagues who are not in the room. This also serves to remind everyone that remote colleagues are on the call.

4. Start with introductions.

Have everyone say “hello,” give their name and role, and explain why they’re on the call. Small talk can help make everyone feel included, especially remote colleagues. If it’s a video call, make sure everyone is on video – not just audio. If someone can’t be on video, ask them to post a photo of themselves.

5. Invite participation.

Since it’s easy to forget who’s calling in, it’s the job of the facilitator to make sure everyone contributes. Keep track of who has spoken – and who has not. Ask direct questions to those who haven’t contributed.

6. Speak clearly.

It is important that the facilitator speak clearly and slowly, with more pauses to make sure everyone is following.

7. Make it visual.

Use collaborative conference software that allows anyone on the call to share their screen. Use visuals to keep everyone engaged. Ask different participants to share documents.

8. Break it up.

When planning the meeting, be conscious of keeping it interactive. For instance, stop after three slides to ask questions. Assign different items on the agenda to each participant. In this way, the remote worker feels like an important contributor to the meeting.

Conference calls have always been challenging, but with more team members working remotely, it’s essential for businesses to make sure they contribute and feel included.

Let TCI help you choose a cloud business communications solution that gives you the tools to create an inclusive, collaborative workspace. Contact us today: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

 

 

Remote Work Considerations as the DC Region Prepares for Coronavirus/Covid-19 Impact

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst… The Covid-19 outbreak is moving fast and you’ll need to be flexible in the coming weeks to minimize disruptions to your business.

TCI is Ready

At TCI, our staff’s welfare and your need for support are top of mind. Rest assured that our customer and tech support staff are equipped to work remotely as necessary and will be able to continue to support you without interruption.

Preparing Your Business

You’re likely thinking about how your business will stay connected to continue operations and serve customers. If your employees need to work at home, there are several teleworking options available. Depending on the licensing and system levels of your phone system or service, TCI experts can help you coordinate…

  • Softphones – implemented via an app installed either on your desktop/laptop or smartphone
  • Twinning – having desk phone and cell phone ring simultaneously
  • Teleworker Phone – a physical phone that can be used at home and programmed with the same features and apps as the business phone at the office
  • Conferencing Services – enables virtual face-to-face meetings to complete projects and make decisions
  • Mass Notification Solutions – broadcasts information to teams, groups or the entire organization via text messages, phone calls, and email.

Arranging Call Forwarding 

In many cases, you may want to forward your main business telephone number to a primary point-of-contact’s extension. As a full-service provider, TCI can get this done quickly.

You can also Call Forward your desktop extension to your teleworker phone prior to leaving the office or set call forward to your smartphone. Make sure you have a way to cover any incoming faxes.

Do Not Delay

News about Coronavirus/Covid-19 is developing fast, so now is the time to arrange your contingency plans and test your solutions in case your main office has to close to protect your employees and customers.

Let’s talk more about safeguarding your business. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Get to Know the Mitel Teamwork App – and Cool Ways to Use it in Your Business

Mitel’s collaborative Teamwork app is designed for mobility. It transforms the way you work and enables your teams to be more productive and collaborative, whether they’re in the office or on the go.

Watch the Mitel Teamwork video

Here are some of the cool things you can do with Mitel Teamwork…

  • Stay organized: The personal Dashboard allows you to stay organized by delivering a single source for you to view your tasks, @ mentions, and new items.
  • Manage projects: Keep your projects organized by creating virtual rooms for your teams to collaborate in. Workspaces can be private or public to ensure the appropriate team members or anyone within the organization stay engaged.
  • Share files: Upload files directly to a workspace so team members can easily find and access documents from anywhere.
  • Assign tasks and due dates: Provides a holistic view of a workspace’s to-do list to determine workload and appropriate timelines – all within a single app.
  • Conferencing: Join and create conference calls directly from a workspace. With a single click, members can quickly join a conference and automatically launch the call from within their team workspace.
  • Messaging: Chat with all team members within a workspace or one-to-one through direct messaging. Users will be notified of unread messages and any messages they are mentioned in if they are away when the message is sent.
  • Mentions: Get users’ attention by tagging them with @mentions so they are notified of questions and comments within workspaces. The @all mention makes it easy to get the attention of every team member within a specific workspace to quickly address timely questions or concerns.
  • SMS Texting: Incorporate Short Message Service (SMS) texting into the business with one-to-one texting with clients and customers from any Teamwork app that is linked with the sender’s business identity rather than their mobile device number.

When you combine these capabilities with an all-in-one Cloud Voice service, you can increase cross-team productivity and unite your employees to communicate and collaborate effortlessly.

Improving your teams’ communication can improve your business… Contact TCI today: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

Managing Your Multi-Site Enterprise Voice & UC is Easy with TCI Host

Now you can simplify managing your enterprise phone systems. Join the wave of Multi-site businesses replacing their mix of vendors and outdated phone systems with a centralized, seamless UC as a Service.

Reduce costs, increase productivity and improve customer service 

Our TCI Host service is built on a powerful, scalable cloud platform. It’s a proven solution for deploying and managing all-in-one Voice, UC and collaboration capabilities across every location in your enterprise.

Seamless Migrations

Cloud communications isn’t an all-or-nothing endeavor. There are several deployment models you can choose from depending on your business’s unique situation, and you can shift from one approach to another over time. Our project teams handle all the details for you.

TCI Host brings your offices closer together, providing award-winning customer experiences, and closing the gap on activity with a powerful feature set. Your communications will never be the same.

More Mobility and Collaboration

TCI Host users can access team collaboration tools from their mobile devices and laptops. Designed for today’s workforce, your work will no longer be a location but an activity that can be tackled anywhere.

An All-inclusive Monthly Subscription

TCI Host eliminates the upfront costs of investing in an expensive on-site system. Your low monthly price connects you to a flexible selection of IP desktop phones, integrated mobile apps, award-winning call control features, and outstanding local support delivered by TCI.

Bring it all together

When you combine business communications, mobility and the cloud, borders disappear, barriers collapse, your costs drop, and productivity rises. If these sound like the kind of results you want, it’s time to move your voice, collaboration and customer service to the cloud.

Let’s talk about how TCI Host can centralize and simplify your enterprise communications. Contact TCI today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

 

Is Your Building a Barrier to Your Smartphone’s Cellular Signals?

Suffering from weak or intermittent cell phone coverage in your building?

You’re not alone… Businesses everywhere are looking for ways to ensure that on-the-go employees and visitors can stay connected in every corner of their buildings. At stake are productivity, customer service, and corporate image.

When mobile carrier signals can’t penetrate your building’s glass, metal, concrete or other obstructions, you can expect poor signal strength or dead zones. Which means more dropped connections, wasted time and a lot of frustration.

What’s needed is a carrier-neutral, in-building Distributed Antenna System (DAS) that allows you to take control of your wireless communications. DAS covers anywhere mobile connections may be a concern, including…

  • Offices in high-rises
  • Parking garages
  • Warehouses and manufacturing facilities
  • Arenas and entertainment venues
  • Hospitals
  • Campuses

TCI offers DAS solutions that have the flexibility to accommodate any space or floor plan. Our network infrastructure experts will design, configure, install and support the latest DAS technology from the industry’s leaders to increase the voice, text, 4G LTE and 5G signals of all carriers and service providers – including Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.

Your DAS project team manages all the details from site survey to configuring the equipment that gets the carrier signals into your building. They will also deploy the antenna systems and cabling that provides the coverage you’ve been missing.

Don’t let spotty in-building cell signal coverage put your business on hold. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

How On-Site, Wireless DECT Phones Offer SMBs Cost-Effective VoIP & Flexible Communications

Smaller companies need mobility and flexibility. Employees have to be reachable by customers or colleagues from any location in the office or in the building. But your resources are stretched thin and you’re juggling a lot of balls. What should you do?

Going with VoIP DECT phones from TCI and Mitel provides an on-site wireless communications solution. Using a DECT mobile handset or headset, your people can transfer calls, set up conference calls, access the company directory, and more.

With one-touch speed dial everyone can communicate easily and quickly no matter where they are in the building. And because VoIP DECT phones use encrypted technology, you can be confident that all conversations are secure.

Quality, Security and Reach

Cell phones are great, but you can’t depend on them for a clear connection in every setting. With DECT mobile phones you get high-quality sound with no crackling or drop-offs. Both handsets and headsets include an ambient noise filter – essential when you’re calling from a busy environment. DECT’s use of encrypted wideband voice technology provides an extra layer of security to ensure conversations are confidential.

Ease of Use and Installation

VoIP DECT phones are intuitive with user-friendly features, applications and softkey prompts that will enable your people to manage calls with little or no training.

Systems are configurable via a web-based interface. A base station can support up to 20 cordless phones. The unit fits in a small enclosure that can be mounted on a wall or placed on or under a desk. You can expand the system by deploying additional base stations and add more lines without running more cable.

Although the phone’s range from the base station is 150 feet (50 meters), if you need a little more room you can simply add a repeater in another part of the building to boost the signal.

Everything You Need

Just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean you can’t have all the bells and whistles the big guys enjoy. For example, using VoIP DECT phones with a cloud communications solution, your people can access a company directory, transfer and forward calls, use call waiting and hold functions, and conduct conference calls.

When choosing a VoIP DECT phone, ease of use should be a priority. Look for features such as a color backlit handset, intuitive menus and navigation, and a speakerphone option. A long-lasting battery should be a requirement, so you don’t have to worry about recharging mid-day.

If your small business is ready to sound like a big player, contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Webinar Recap… Supporting Your On-the-Go Workforce with Mobile-Ready Cloud Voice Services

Workers today are no longer tied to their desk. They’re working in the field, traveling, and balancing time between office and home – proving that how work is done is more important than where it is done.

In this Mitel webinar, you’ll learn how you can better support your free-range workforce with cloud communications and collaboration tools. Among the topics covered:

  • How the workplace is shifting and creating new demands for a mobile workforce
  • Ways collaboration tools increase business efficiencies and user productivity
  • Why providing employees with the right tools will make your business more successful

Watch the webinar now [28:22]

TCI mobility experts enable work anywhere, anytime, on any device. Support your on-the-go team… Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.