Voice technology has probably become an essential part of our life and you may not even know it. From safely making calls in the car to performing chores around the house and searching the internet, you and your customers are already using voice technology every day. There’s no questioning that voice technology enhances the way we live, but how can it shape the way your customer service team works?
High-performing customer service departments embrace voice technology by using VoIP, or voice over internet protocol, to provide better training, streamline operations, communicate more efficiently, and create better customer engagement. By integrating VoIP with their CRM and other digital channels, agents are empowered to provide great service.
VoIP stands for “voice over IP” or “voice over internet protocol.” More broadly, you may hear it referred to as “cloud telephony.” This form of voice technology allows businesses to make phone calls without a landline by transforming analog audio signals into data that can be transmitted digitally through the internet.
That may sound technologically advanced, but it essentially boils down to this: With VoIP, as long as your service team is connected to the internet, service agents will be able to make phone calls and assist customers from any device.
Organizations who take advantage of this form of voice technology enjoy cost savings by getting rid of clunky desk phones and there is no added expense for long-distance calls. This voice technology solution is more agile and flexible than traditional phones. Any agent with an internet connection can use VoIP, so you can scale your service team up or down without investing in more hardware that can gather dust.
As technology evolves, one thing remains a constant. Phone isn’t going anywhere in the customer service space. According to the fourth edition of Salesforce’s "State of Service
" report, 89% of service professionals say the phone will always have a customer service role. The phone will always be an important customer service channel, and by integrating voice over IP with your tech stack, you can fundamentally change the way agents serve customers over the phone. By connecting this voice technology with your CRM, agents are able to provide better, more personalized customer interactions and solve complex problems faster than you ever thought possible.
As more service professionals work from anywhere, VoIP helps everyone stay connected. Over half of service professionals worked from home in 2020, a drastic increase from the 19% of people in the customer support sector who worked remotely in 2019. While the world is slowly adjusting to the new normal, the majority of service pros said they either plan to work remotely or are unsure of whether or not they will be in the office in 2021.
For retail service teams who are working onsite, in-person customer interactions are diminishing with heightened health and safety concerns. Top-performing service teams are embracing this change and relying on voice technology to stay connected to their customers in the age of remote work.
When integrated with your CRM platform, VoIP can remove barriers so there is always room for open communication with customers. VoIP enables service teams to take calls remotely based on customer availability without setting up call forwarding. Agents can help customers from their desk, at home, or even while traveling to offsite meetings.
Because the phone will always be a vital part of customer service, training an agent to provide excellent service through this channel is an investment that will stay with your organization for as long as that agent works for your company. Voice technology simplifies training processes, giving management more data and insight so they can help agents provide top-notch service over the phone. Using VoIP and other digital channels, management has access to more tools to improve quality assurance efforts.
VoIP gives management more analytical insight into customer interactions than traditional phones. Dashboards allow service teams to easily see average hold times, when calls are coming in, and how long they last. With VoIP, management can even listen in on calls live for real-time coaching or record them for quality assurance purposes. When integrated with CRM software, VoIP can be used to transcribe calls so management can look back at phone interactions with agents after the call to discuss performance. This integration brings even more visibility into who your customers are and what issues they are calling about.
Despite all the options they have to get in touch with customer service, customers still rank the phone as their second most-preferred service channel
. Technology takes what could be an antiquated service channel and brings it into the 21st century. By integrating VoIP into their service tech stack, top-performing organizations are able to add a personal touch to customer-facing interactions.
The benefits of voice technology, and more specifically VoIP, can be extended when they are integrated with CRM and service software, allowing entire conversations to be recorded or transcribed and logged in customers’ records. By eliminating the need to manually record call notes, agents can give customers their undivided attention and focus solely on solving the problem at hand. Incoming calls trigger customer profiles to pop up on the customer service agent’s screen. This functionality cuts down on tab surfing and the need to put customers on hold while searching for information.
With a complete, robust customer profile at their fingertips, customer service agents have up-to-date information regarding previous marketing, sales, or customer service touchpoints and can be more empathetic to the customer’s experience. When agents have access to more customer insights, they have the tools they need to establish better rapport with customers through more personalized interactions.
For both customers and agents, better service means faster service, and integrating VoIP with your CRM will make the phone more effective as a service channel than ever before. This integration allows your team to speed up internal processes and work more efficiently with fewer errors. VoIP can be leveraged to streamline mundane processes so agents spend more time solving complex problems and less time looking for information, transferring calls, or listening to voicemails.
Organizations rely on customer-facing employees to record important customer touchpoints, recall data to keep customers up to date, and determine the best strategies for handling issues as they arise. VoIP can integrate seamlessly with your productivity, collaboration, CRM, sales, and customer service software to streamline all these tasks, enabling agents to help customers faster.
When customer touchpoints are recorded automatically under their customer profile, agents always have a complete view of the customer’s experience. Service teams don’t need to rely on the customer to fill in all the details of ongoing cases. All the information they need will be right at their fingertips. Notes are automatically recorded, reducing opportunity for human error caused by agents taking notes and assisting customers simultaneously. Entire phone conversations can be transcribed so no detail is ever lost. Agents can see important customer information at a glance on a single screen, reducing hold times and customer frustration.
With VoIP, automatic call forwarding reduces wait times and clients can get in touch with the appropriate agent quickly and efficiently. Even if an agent is working remotely, the call can come straight to the agent’s home office or wherever they are connected to the internet. Customers don’t need to repeat their problem to multiple agents to get the help they need because they’re connected with the right person right away.
By integrating VoIP with your CRM, your service team will be able to record better, more accurate data, automate mundane tasks, and provide great service anytime, anywhere. Voice technology enhances a 19th century communication tool, the telephone, so agents can use it to meet and exceed customer’s ever-increasing expectations of immediate solutions. VoIP empowers customer service teams to improve customer satisfaction scores (CSAT), helping customers faster with more personalized interactions.
Ready to leverage VoIP to supercharge your customer service efforts? Learn how Salesforce’s Service Cloud Voice
product enables real-time service with cloud telephony voice technology.