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7 Advantages of Using Automatic Call Distribution

Businesses the world over have been using an Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) system for better call management and to enhance caller experience. Let’s review the top 7 ACD advantages to understand how your business can use an ACD system to improve customer service.

7 Automatic Call Distribution Benefits

An ACD system is a telephony service that automatically routes incoming calls based on rules input previously by the account manager. These rules are based on various factors such as the time of the call, location of the caller, agent skills, agent history, and more. By routing calls automatically, the ACD system assists businesses by sending callers to the right agent or department for customer support or sales.

Read on to learn about the top 7 ACD advantages.

1. Automatic Call Routing

The most attractive benefit of an ACD system is its ability to route calls automatically and intelligently. The calls are routed based on predetermined rules and algorithms. Some ways to use ACD for call routing include:

    • The caller or customer’s information and history with the company
    • The caller’s area code or location
    • The time of the call
    • Agent availability
    • Agent skill such as language or area of expertise
    • Voice menu configurations

By using these call routing strategies, your business can save on missed or dropped calls, wrong transfers, and wasted time. Instead, callers will reach the right agent or department quickly, leading to better customer service and call resolution.

2. Quick Response to Calls

By transferring calls immediately to the right department and the right agent, your employees can answer customer calls quickly, almost instantly. Furthermore, you can even provide users the ability to leave a voicemail or offer a callback option during high call traffic periods. This ensures that callers will not abandon their call before speaking with an agent.

Furthermore, some ACD systems even offer a service to identify VIP customers and instantly route them to the appropriate agents. All of this makes it possible for businesses to quickly respond to calls and better manage your call handling process.

3. Better Agent Productivity

By routing calls effectively, your agents are better equipped to handle incoming calls. They won’t be overburdened or under-burdened as calls will be distributed equally. Additionally, less time will be spent on transferring callers to the right department or figuring out how to help a customer beyond one’s training or experience.

4. Increased Cost Savings

One of the most attractive ACD benefits is the system’s cost-effectiveness. An ACD transfers calls automatically, reducing the need for a receptionist or for employees to transfer calls back and forth. By doing this instantly, the ACD system makes it possible for the right agent to answer the call quickly, increasing first call resolution rates. Your business can improve customer service this way as callers don’t need to wait to be transferred to the right agent who knows their history or language, and so on.

Furthermore, you can subscribe to a cloud-based ACD system which is hosted by the provider. This reduces costs that would have been spent on installation and maintenance. All your business does is use the ACD service and improve call management.

5. Benefits of Cloud-Based Phone Systems

As mentioned above, cloud-based phone numbers do not need installation or purchase of new hardware. Additionally, you do not need an experienced IT team to maintain, manage, or update this hardware or software. All your business needs is a high-speed internet connection and you can use the service without interruption.

By going virtual, your business can connect agents and employees from any location through your ACD system. This makes remote working possible as your agents can work from any location as long as they have an internet connection.

6. Streamlined Business Processes

ACD systems can easily be integrated with a business’ CRM, helpdesks, social media platforms, live chat, and lead generation tools. By doing so, agents can get a wholesome understanding of each customer’s needs, preferences, and their previous interactions with the business. Through voice over IP integration, all customer information can be viewed and tracked in one interface instead of bouncing between multiple apps and software. As such, ACD systems can streamline business processes and make it easier for agents to perform efficiently in their jobs.

7. Increased Office Efficiency

All of the above automatic call distribution benefits indicate that such an automated system can vastly improve office efficiency and agent productivity. By having calls automatically routed to the right destination, no time is wasted on providing customers with assistance and support. And by creating a comfortable and integrated workplace, employees can stay up to date in regards to their callers and collaborate better with their fellow teammates.

Using ACD in Your Business

ACD systems can greatly impact the way your business interacts with its customers and enhance caller experience. Customers do not have to wait in long lines or deal with being transferred from one person to another. You can even use interactive voice response — a component of ACD systems — to have your phone system interact with callers and provide them with multiple options and assistance. To learn more about ACD and IVR systems, speak with our cloud communication specialists at 1 (877) 898 8646 today.

SIP Response Codes: A Complete Guide

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Learn about SIP response codes, how they function, and the different types of response codes available. Understanding SIP codes can help you identify issues within your communication system.

What are SIP Response Codes?

Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is a signaling protocol used to facilitate and control communication sessions. As such, SIP lets users make and receive calls over the internet instead of traditional phone lines. This paves way for unified communications by enabling the transmission and sharing of voice, video, and other files.

A SIP session is based on a request/response transaction. Therefore, each session consists of a SIP request and at least one SIP response. Response codes indicate the status of the SIP request when making a connection between two or more parties.

How Do SIP Response Codes Work?

SIP responses use a 3-digit response code to outline or detail the status of a SIP request. For example, was the SIP request accepted, was it a bad request, and so on. These codes are divided into 6 broad categories, namely:

  1. Informational/Provisional
  2. Success
  3. Redirection
  4. Client error/Request failures
  5. Server error
  6. Global failure/error

These codes also contain a “reason phrase” which can be varied to provide additional information or in a different language.

Different Types of SIP Response Codes

So, what are the different types of SIP response codes and what do they indicate? Important abbreviations to be aware of:

  • User Agent Client (UAC) – initiates the requests
  • User Agent Server (UAS) – responds to the requests
  • Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) – a string of characters that unambiguously identify a particular resource

Here we will look at each response code in each category in detail:

1xx = Informational SIP Responses

1xx SIP response codes are sent at any time when a connection between two parties is being created. Common 1xx codes are:

100 – Trying: The request was received and an extended search or unspecified action is being performed.

180 – Ringing: The user agent has received an INVITE (SIP request code) and is alerting the user.

181 – Call is Being Forwarded: The call is being forwarded to another destination, receiver, endpoint.

182 – Queued: Indicates that the destination is temporarily unavailable and the server has placed the call in queue.

183 – Session Progress: Provides information about the progress of the call.

199 – Early Dialog Terminated: Indicates that an early dialogue has been terminated. Usually sent by the User Agent Server.

2xx = Success Responses

2xx codes indicate that the SIP request was received, understood, and accepted. Common 2xx codes are:

200 – OK: Indicates that the request was successful.

202 – Accepted: Indicates that UAS has received and accepted the request, but it has not been authorized or processed by the server yet.

204 – No Notification: Indicates that the request was successful. However, no response will be received.

3xx = Redirection Responses

3xx response codes inform the UAC about redirections and further action is needed to complete the request or reach the UAS.

300 – Multiple Choices: The request address returned several choices with different locations. The UA can select one of several options of endpoints to redirect the request.

301 – Moved Permanently: The user is no longer at the address used in the request. The original request URI is no longer valid. A new address will be provided in the Contact header field. This address should be saved and used in the future.

302 – Moved Temporarily: A new address will be provided in the Contact header field. The UAC should try the new address. This address should not be saved for the future.

305 – Use Proxy: To access the destination and address, a proxy is required. The proxy will be displayed in the Contact field.

380 – Alternative Service: The call failed, but alternatives are noted in the message body.

4xx = Request Failures/Client Error

4xx response codes indicate that the message was not processed due to an error. The request may include bad syntax and therefore cannot be fulfilled at this server

400 – Bad Request: Indicates that the request could not be understood.

401 – Not Authorized/Unauthorized: Indicates that the request requires user authentication.

403 – Forbidden: Indicates that the server is refusing to fulfill the request, even though it has understood it.

404 – Not Found: The user does not exist in that particular domain.

405 – Method Not Allowed: The method specified in the Request-Line is understood, however, it is not allowed.

406 – Not Acceptable: The resource can only generate responses with unacceptable content.

407 – Proxy Authentication Required: Similar to the 401 code, the request requires user authentication.

408 – Request Timeout: The server couldn’t find the user within a suitable time frame.

409 – Conflict: User already registered (deprecated).

410 – Gone: The user is not available here anymore.

411 – Length Required: The server needs a valid content length before accepting the request.

412 – Conditional Request Failed: The given precondition has not been met.

413 – Request Entity Too Large: Indicates that the request message body is too large.

414 – Request URI Too Long: The server refuses to accept the request. This is because the request URI is longer than the server can interpret or understand.

415 – Unsupported Media Type: Requested message body is in a format that is not supported by the server.

416 – Unsupported URI Scheme: The request URI is unknown to the server or not supported by the server.

417 – Unknown Resource-Priority: Indicates that a resource-priority option tag was present, but without a Resource-Priority header.

420 – Bad Extension: Bad SIP Extension was used. The SIP extension is not understood by the server.

421 – Extension Required: The server requires a specific SIP extension that is not listed in the supported header.

422 – Session Interval Too Small: The request contains a Session-Expires header field with a duration or interval that is too small or below the minimum.

423 – Interval Too Brief: Similar to 422, the expiration time of the resource is too short.

424 – Bad Location Information: The request’s location content was unsatisfactory or “bad.”

428 – Use Identity Header: An Identity header field is required by the server policy and one has not been provided.

429 – Provide Referrer Identity: The server has not received a valid Referred-By token on the request.

430 – Flow Failed: A specific “flow” that was sent to a user agent has failed. However, other flows may succeed.

433 – Anonymity Disallowed: The request was rejected since it was anonymous.

436 – Bad Identity Info: The request has an Identity-Info header filed and the URI contained cannot be identified.

437 – Unsupported Certificate: The server could not validate a certificate for the domain that signed or sent out the request.

438 – Invalid Identity Header: Server obtained a valid certificate used to sign a request. However, the server could not verify the signature.

439 – First Hop Lacks Outbound Support: The first outbound proxy doesn’t support the “outbound” feature.

440 – Max-Breadth Exceeded: A client that received a 440 response can interpret that its request did not reach all possible destinations.

469 – Bad Info Package: A 469 response indicates that the receiver is not willing to accept this Info Package.

470 – Consent Needed: The source of the request did not have the recipient’s permission to make such a request.

480 – Temporarily Unavailable: The recipient is currently unavailable.

481 – Call/Transaction Does Not Exist: The server received a request that does not match any dialogue or transaction.

482 – Loop Detected: Server has detected a loop.

483 – Too Many Hops: Max-Forwards header has reached the value ‘0.’

484 – Address Incomplete: The requested URI is incomplete.

485 – Ambiguous: The request-URI is ambiguous.

486 – Busy Here: The recipient is busy.

487 – Request Terminated: Request has terminated or canceled.

488 – Not Acceptable Here: Parts of the session description of the request URI are not acceptable.

489 – Bad Event: The server could not understand an event package specified in an Event header field.

491 – Request Pending: Server has some pending requests from the same dialogue.

493 – Undecipherable: The request contains an encrypted MIME body, which the recipient can not decrypt.

494 – Security Agreement Required: The server has received a request that needs a negotiated security agreement.

5xx = Server Errors

5xx response codes indicate that there’s an issue with the server and it has, therefore, failed to fulfill a valid request.

500 – Server Internal Error: The request could not be fulfilled due to some unexpected condition.

501 – Not Implemented: The SIP request method is not implemented here.

502 – Bad Gateway: An invalid response was received from a downstream server while trying to fulfill a request.

503 – Service Unavailable: The server is in maintenance or temporarily overloaded. Therefore, cannot process the request.

504 – Server Time-out: The server tried to access another server while attempting to process a request. However, there was no timely response.

505 – Version Not Supported: The SIP protocol version in the request is not supported by the server.

513 – Message Too Large: The length of the request message is longer than the server can process.

555 – Push Notification Service Not Supported: The server does not support the push notification specified in the SIP URI parameter.

580 – Precondition Failure: The server is unable or unwilling to meet the constraints specified in the request.

6xx = Global Failures/ Global Error

The request cannot be completed at any server.

600 – Busy Everywhere: All possible destinations are busy.

603 – Decline: Destination cannot participate in the call and there are no alternative destinations.

604 – Does Not Exist Anywhere: The requested user does not exist anywhere.

606 – Not Acceptable: The user’s agent was contacted successfully. However, certain aspects of the session description are not acceptable.

607 – Unwanted: The call is unwanted by the recipient. Future attempts are likely to be similarly rejected.

Buy Quality SIP Trunks from United World Telecom

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Related: SIP Trunk Pricing Breakdown (2020)

IVR versus ACD: What is the Difference?

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Both interactive voice response (IVR) and automatic call distribution (ACD) can help your business deal with high call volume more effectively. Both automated systems can direct callers to the right employee and also ensure a proper distribution of calls. You must understand the differences between IVR and ACD in order to choose the right solution for your business.

Read on for a detailed comparison of IVR and ACD.

IVR Versus ACD: Definitions

Interactive voice response and automatic call distribution are telephony automation tools that facilitate efficient call management. Both IVR and ACD can answer calls, distribute calls, and assist the callers. Both systems also provide assistance to employees and agents to help boost productivity.

Let’s discuss how these systems work and how they differ from each other.

How Does IVR Work?

Many businesses use IVR to streamline their business calls and facilitate effective call management. Interactive voice response is a voice menu that automatically answers incoming calls and assists callers. More specifically, an IVR welcomes the caller and offers menu options to identify the purpose of their call. For example, Welcome to [company name], Press 1 for Customer Support, Press 2 for Sales, and so on.

Callers select the option by either entering a number through the dial pad. Then, the IVR directs them to another set of options or transfers them to the right department or agent. In fact, some advanced IVR menus may even allow callers to complete predetermined actions such as:

  • Activate a service or account
  • Process payments
  • Send callers to voicemail
  • Record a complaint
  • Provide company and product info

The IVR system ensures that callers reach the right department or can resolve issues by themselves. In fact, some callers may not even need to interact with an agent or employee. This frees employees up to work on more complicated issues and concerns. It can also help businesses save money on hiring staff as customers can resolve most issues on their own through the voice response system. Lastly, advanced IVR systems can even record and deliver real-time stats needed for tracking and studying important KPIs.

What is ACD?

ACD works similarly to IVR. However, automatic call distribution routes calls to the right agent or department based on pre-determined rules. These rules can be based on a variety of parameters such as area code or location of the call, the time the call comes in, skills required, and so on.

An ACD distributes calls based on rules input by the account manager. These rules and conditions determine how the calls will be routed. Some common routing strategies include:

  • Round robin: Distributes calls equally among agents so no one is over- or under-burdened.
  • Least-occupied agent: Sends calls to the least-occupied agent to ensure everyone is putting in the same amount of work.
  • Simultaneous ring: Routes incoming calls to simultaneously ring multiple phone numbers within a hunt group to ensure no call goes unanswered.
  • Programmed distribution: Routes calls based on specific rules such as location of caller, time of call, customer-agent history, language skills, etc.

IVR versus ACD: Difference

The terms IVR and ACD have often been used interchangeably as if they are the same systems. However, they are not. More specifically, IVR is a part of ACD and can conduct a variety of tasks within the system. So, how do they differ?

Interactive Voice Response Automatic Call Distribution
This technology allows users to receive information from the phone system. Users need to input preferences. This technology automatically routes calls to employees, agents, or departments based on predetermined rules.
Upon receiving a call, the IVR provides the caller with options and menus. Upon receiving a call, the ACD system uses the Dialed Number (DNIS) system to check the rules for processing the call.
This system can perform a variety of application functions such as activating services, customer info look-up, etc. The IVR system works within the ACD system.
Interaction with employees is not needed. If interaction with an employee is needed, then the ACD kicks in to transfer the call to the right employee.
Offered by phone service providers as well as virtual phone service providers. Offered by phone service providers as well as virtual phone service providers.
Available as a hosted service as well. Available as a hosted service as well.

Which Do You Need?

More than their differences, IVR and ACD systems complement each other. Together, both systems can provide a robust business phone solution. They can help you manage calls and high call traffic while ensuring you do not lose valuable clients. After all, a well-managed phone system can help you provide prompt and efficient customer service. A cloud or virtual call center software can help you utilize both IVR and ACD within your office phone system. Call us today to learn how you can use a cloud IVR system to offer better customer service!

What Does a Systems Administrator Do?

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Think being a systems administrator is the job for you? Learn what systems administrators do and what is expected of them. This way, you can prepare appropriately for the job and your interview.

Systems Administrator: Job Description

A systems administrator takes care of a business’ network and computer systems. From installing new equipment to maintaining the network and software used. These professionals work for businesses of all types and sizes; from small businesses to large enterprises and they work for public, private, and governmental organizations.

The salary range for a systems administrator in the US ranges from $23,000 to $182,000 per year, with the average salary sitting at $83,620 per year.

What do Systems Administrators Do?

So, what is the day-to-day like for a systems administrator? As the backbone of a company’s IT team, the systems administrators are responsible for:

  • The installation, configuration, and maintenance of all computer systems
  • Identifying and correcting issues
  • Making the necessary updates to software and equipment
  • Providing technical support
  • The daily monitoring of all systems, processes, and equipment
  • Resolving and handling help desk requests
  • Reviewing application logs and keeping track of backups, and more

Additionally, a systems administrator is skilled in understanding what types of technologies can be implemented and utilized for a particular business’s benefit. For example, in regards to communications, they may consider using VoIP to develop a customized business phone system, which can be tailored to the company’s specific needs. They will also be knowledgeable of different automated systems, such as interactive voice response, as well as other tools like simultaneous ring to streamline that calls that come into the business.

How to Become a Systems Administrator

To apply for a systems administrator position, you will need to have the necessary prerequisites and experience. Here we will look at what education, licenses, and certificates are needed for this position.

Education
Some employers only ask for a postsecondary certificate or associate’s degree. However, some employers will also require a bachelor’s degree in a computer or information science-related field. A degree in computer or electrical engineering may work as well since the job requires you to work closely with computer systems.

Additionally, you can obtain a degree from programs that focus specifically on computer network and systems administration. Furthermore, many administrators go on to take additional IT courses and attend computer network conferences to stay up to date on the latest technology. Keep in mind, some companies may require a master’s degree as well, so it may be a good idea to be prepared.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registration
Licenses and certifications indicate that a potential hire has the required knowledge and skills needed to do the job efficiently.

As a standard, businesses require their systems administrators to be certified in the products used by the company. You can get certifications through product vendors or vendor-neutral certification providers. You may even look at getting your certifications from Microsoft or Cisco.

You can also get certifications from the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), a worldwide provider of IT certifications. Popular certifications they offer include CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, and CompTIA Security+.

Field Experience
Obtaining experience is an important part of landing your dream systems administrator job. Typically, employers expect or prefer to see at least 2 or more years of experience. Start by seeking internships or part-time opportunities right after you complete your bachelor’s degree. You can start out as a help desk rep or an IT specialist and gradually advance into the systems administrator role.

Desirable Qualities
Along with network and computer skills, you will also need personality skills and traits to be a good systems administrator. Here are some desirable qualities employers look for in systems administrators:

  • Technical and Analytical skills — the ability to evaluate and analyze networks and processes and identify issues.
  • Multitasking skills — the ability to work on multiple tasks, issues, and concerns at the same time.
  • Problem-solving skills — the ability to quickly and efficiently resolve issues.
  • Communication skills — the ability to describe goals, standards, issues, and solutions to IT and non-IT employees.

Is Being a Systems Administrator Right for You?

If networks and computer systems dominate your life, then you should find a job that lets you apply your skills and love for technology. And being a systems administrator can help you achieve this. So what are you waiting for? Get the right education, the right certifications, and build your professional experience to position yourself as the ideal candidate for these types of positions.

6 Ways to Analyze Your Call Center Data

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Want to analyze your call center data to improve agent performance and customer service? There are a few different ways to analyze cloud call center data. In this post, we will outline 6 ways to gather valuable data about the functioning of your contact center so that you can determine ways to improve performance.

Analyze Your Cloud Call Center Data: 6 Methods

Tracking and call center analytics continues to be important as contact centers can use these insights to offer better service, find valuable leads, and increase sales. And once your company has this information, you can identify areas of strength and weakness and then improve your service and increase customer satisfaction. Here are some useful and practical ways to track and collect call center data:

1. Watch Your Call Detail Records

Call detail records list down all incoming and outgoing business calls. This means that you can get insights into how many calls your business makes and receives per day. You can identify patterns such as what days in the week or times of the day your business receives the most calls. This information can help your call center prepare for high call traffic periods by having more agents on call during those times.

Additionally, you can use call tracking to identify where your calls are coming from. For example, you can assign different local numbers for different geographical regions or advertising channels. And as calls come into specific numbers, you will be able to determine which location or marketing channel this customer came through. This information will help improve marketing efforts in areas responding well to your services.

2. Track Call Center KPIs

Track call center KPIs to see how your cloud call center is performing. Tracking these KPIs should be the focus of your business as they can help you maintain desirable performance. Six of the most popular contact center KPIs include:

1. First Call Resolution: Measures how often a caller’s query is resolved on the first call itself. This means, no follow-up calls or emails were required.

2. Average Time in Queue: Measures the time callers wait in the queue before being helped. This KPI gives you a good idea of how efficiently your agents respond to customer calls. Track the response time for various channels like live chat, email, or social media.

3. Average Handle Time: Measures the average time spent on handling a call (talk and hold time). A delicate balance must be struck between keeping low handle times and effective customer service. If you cut down on the handling time, you may negatively affect customer service quality.

4. Average Abandonment Rate: Measures how often customers leave or abandon a call. Customers may abandon calls after waiting for too long. Short wait time and easy-to-navigate IVR systems can help reduce the average abandonment rate.

5. Customer Satisfaction or CSAT scores: Tracks how satisfied your customers are with your company. Use surveys, feedback portals, and forums to gather CSAT scores.

6. Response Time: Measures the percentage of calls answered. This helps your team understand the goals and standards set so they can work towards them.

7. Agent Absenteeism: Measures the amount of time agents are not at their desks. Productivity can be impacted by missing agents. Therefore, you must identify this issue and resolve it.

8. Agent Turnover Rate: Measures call center turnover rates so that you can identify reasons why agents leave and how to make them stay.

3. Study Customer Preferences

It’s no secret: good customer service leads to good sales. In order to offer better customer service, you need to understand your customers and their preferences. This is where it is important to listen to what your customers need, pay attention to and understand their emotions, study their preferences, and so on.

Likewise, adopt and empathetic active listening, ask for their opinion, and offer service that complements their preferences and expectations. For instance, some customers may prefer email or live chat over phone conversations. Having email and live chat as alternative communication methods can help satisfy these customers.

4. Make Quality Assurance a Priority

Quality assurance (QA) is the process of offering good, effective, and high-quality customer service. Cloud call center QA is often achieved by:

  • Training agents to offer high-quality service
  • Listening in on calls — also called call monitoring — to offer agents feedback and help as needed
  • Reviewing recorded calls to train agents on appropriate and inappropriate behaviors
  • Studying customer preferences

By conducting call center QA, you are not only monitoring agent performance and employee-customer interactions but also improving your overall client relations.

5. Key into EX Metrics

EX refers to employee experience and this is one of the call center analytics that does not get talked about enough. While businesses focus on improving the experience for customers, not many focus efforts on creating a good and healthy work environment for employees. EX metrics are important to measure since low EX rates can lead to more attrition and agent turnover, which in turn will cost your company more.

Some ways to improve EX and reduce turnover rates include:

  • Training new agents and offering refresher training for current agents on a regular basis
  • Equipping employees and agents with the right cloud call center tools to do their jobs effectively
  • Making sure management is approachable
  • Offering incentives for good and successful results
  • Helping employees maintain a good work-life balance
  • Keeping remote working as an option
  • Asking for feedback from employees

6. Collect Customer Feedback through Surveys

Lastly, another piece of call center data is collecting customer feedback. Feedback can help you identify how customers view your service and what they need from you. And you can use this information to make your service better and improve customer satisfaction.

Use Call Center Analytics to Reach More Customers

Call analytics and virtual call center software can help your business attract new customers across the world as well as increase the retention of current customers. Set high standards and track metrics to ensure your teams maintain those standards, and watch your business grow locally and internationally.

5 Unified Communications Trends You Need to Know in 2021

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Every year, businesses need to check themselves and see how they stack up against not just competition, but market trends. This is where unified communications trends of 2021 come in. How can businesses continue to improve their communication system and, by extension, maintain productivity and manage remote teams?

Unified Communications Trends: 2021

The unified communications trends for 2021 seem to focus not only on increased productivity, advanced technology, and better customer service but also on ways to improve employees’ experience and team collaboration. Read on for the top UC trends for 2021 that businesses should keep in mind.

1. Adoption of UCaaS

One of the top UC trends is the growing adoption of UCaaS. Large companies and enterprises are investing in unified communications as a service as a business communication system. This is because UCaaS consolidates major communications channels and platforms such as voice, video, SMS, and email in the cloud. And by combining all of these applications and channels in one place, UCaaS boasts a cost-effective and organized business phone system.

2. Rising Presence of AI

As can be seen with most industries, artificial intelligence (AI) is slowly expanding and making its way in major processes. Telecom and business communication is no stranger to AI. However, a growing unified communications trend sees AI becoming a more common tool. Think: virtual chatbots, virtual assistants, integrated services, and more. The implementation of AI resonates with the goal of using technology to improve productivity and collaboration and achieve faster and more accurate results.

3. More Cloud Solutions

Cloud communication solutions continue to be on the list of UC trends. And this is simply because cloud computing and storage have been in great demand and used by almost every business. According to a 2019 study conducted by Nemertes, about 67% of companies are currently using some part of their UC cloud solution while a third of those companies are using their UC cloud solution to the fullest extent. Because of this, UC providers are looking at partnerships, affiliations, and integrations that enable users to take advantage of more comprehensive cloud solutions.

4. Rise of Global SIP

As businesses across the world are renewing and improving their global communication systems, it is important for your company to stay ahead of the game. Global SIP gives multinational businesses the ability to expand with ease and reduce communication-related costs. With SIP trunking from VoIP providers, your business can place focus on voice network infrastructure, offer multichannel and multimedia support, and have access to centralized cloud communications.

5. Focus on EX as well as CX

While most UC trends are focused on improving customer experience (CX), in 2021, focus has shifted to employee experience (EX). Improved EX directly leads to enhanced CX, which at the end of the day should be every business’ goal. Unified communications can help employees become more efficient; efficient employees reduce costs and increase customer satisfaction.

Switching to UC for Business

Unified communications can vastly improve your business’ productivity while ensuring it stays in the game with advanced telecom technology. Find out how United World Telecom can help your business; speak with one of our experts today!

5 Benefits of Unified Communications for Remote Teams

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Struggling to manage your remote teams? Unified communications for remote teams or UCaaS can be the solution you need to increase visibility of remote teams while maintaining productivity.

Unified Communications for Remote Teams: 5 Benefits

Unified communications compiles all business communication and phone system tools together in one place. And so, you and your remote teams can access voice, video, email, and text messaging in one location, one platform.

UCaaS focuses on internal communication. As such, it benefits remote team collaboration and connectivity. This is why unified communication is growing more and more popular as a communication solution for remote teams. So, how exactly can your remote and distributed teams benefit from this service?

1. Mobility: Make Remote Working a Possibility with UCaaS & VoIP

Voice over IP (VoIP) is a communication service that enables business communication such as audio, video, and SMS transmission via the internet. With VoIP technology, users can make and receive calls from any location and any device as long as they are connected to a stable internet connection.

This means you can improve connectivity with your remote workers by giving them the ability to stay connected no matter where they are. And so, they remain accessible not only to the rest of your team but also to customers and business contacts. With call forwarding, customers won’t even realize that the business number they dialed is being forwarded to another location. They can still receive timely and efficient customer service even when your teams are distributed.

2. Easy-to-Use Softphone Solutions

Most VoIP providers will offer you easy-to-use softphone solutions that help users transform their devices into business communication tools. Softphones or webphones come in a variety of forms. You can get a software application, web dialer, or web/Chrome extension. A web phone has many advantages such as:

  • Making outbound calls to anywhere in the world using a dynamic caller ID feature to match the location being called
  • Access to contacts and customer history
  • Call logs and records
  • Quick and easy call transfer within your network
  • Free in-network calls to other team members
  • Access to voicemail

Having this tool can help your users stay up-to-date on calls and contact history which paves the way to better internal and external communication.

3. Flexibility: Use Any Device

Whether or not your business implements a BYOD policy, unified communications for remote teams will let users use devices they are comfortable and familiar with. This gives them the opportunity to use tools and apps that can improve their efficiency while not having to panic when a device fails. They simply log in through another device.

4. Plenty of Communications Tools to Use

The best part of UCaaS and VoIP working together is that your team gains access to advanced communications features such as:

  • Call monitoring
  • Call recording
  • Outbound calling
  • Call transfer and extensions
  • SIP trunking
  • Creative routing strategies
  • SMS, voicemail, and fax forwarding
  • IVR

These tools and features are designed to boost your workforce for optimum results. By equipping them with the right tools and software, they can do their job effectively, even when working remotely.

5. Maintain Productivity & Efficiency

The biggest issue businesses face when switching to a remote working system is accountability and lower productivity rates. But unified communications for remote teams can help fix this issue by making your remote teams more visible and transparent. You can continue to maintain productivity and the desired results by reducing the space between you and your teams through virtual communication.

Remote Working Made Easy with UCaaS & VoIP

Because of COVID-19, remote working as a trend has grown popular and will continue to be a desired workplace policy. And so, businesses should prepare for remote teams to ensure there is no drop in efficiency and business growth. Speak with one of our experts today to see how unified communications and VoIP can support your company!

6 Useful Ways to Reduce Abandoned Calls in Your Call Center

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Is your call center not performing well in terms of customer satisfaction? Then you may need to rethink how customers interact with your call center and how many customers give up and abandon their calls. Here we will look at 6 practical methods to reduce abandoned calls and increase customer satisfaction.

What are Abandoned Calls?

Call abandonment or abandoned calls refer to callers that hang up before receiving service or dropped calls. Calculating your call center’s abandoned call rate—an important call center KPI—can help you identify areas that need improvement. Callers that abandon their calls may do so because it is taking too long for them to receive support or to get a human being on the phone. A high call abandonment rate leads to low customer satisfaction. So, what can you do to provide better customer service?

Here are 6 useful ways to reduce abandoned calls in your call center.

1. Invest in a Cloud IVR System

An IVR is an automated phone system that assists a call center in managing incoming calls. The IVR interacts with callers, identifies the reason behind the call, and proceeds to help either via:

  • Pre-recorded messages
  • Transferring the caller to the right department
  • Or sending the call to voicemail

In some cases, the IVR may even assist the caller in performing predetermined actions such as:

  • Activating an account,
  • Processing payments,
  • Providing common troubleshooting help,
  • Submitting a trouble ticket, etc.

A well-designed IVR phone system will effectively determine the purpose of the caller and assist them. This way, it can cut down the number of calls that need an agent for support. And if the IVR can’t help the customer, it can quickly forward the call to an agent. This is a good way to reduce abandoned calls.

Related: Interactive Voice Response: Definition and Benefits

2. Try Different Call Forwarding and Routing Options

Next, try different call routing options so calls go to the right agent or department and less time is spent transferring or keeping callers on hold. Some common call forwarding and routing strategies include:

  • Time of day routing — route calls to specific numbers or lines during set times of the day.
  • Select country routing — route calls to specific lines based on where the caller is calling from.
  • Direct routing — callers select their preference of the menu provided by your cloud IVR.
  • Data-direct routing — route calls to the right agent based on the caller’s data and history.
  • Least-occupied routing — route calls to agents who have answered the least number of calls.
  • Simultaneous ringing — incoming calls ring multiple phones or lines so no call goes unanswered.
  • Failover forwarding — incoming calls are sent to the next agent in line if the first agent is unavailable.

Different routing strategies can help your call center balance incoming calls and distribute them evenly. You can even have calls made over the weekend or during off-hours forwarded to remote agents. This way, there’s always someone available to answer calls.

3. Prepare a Knowledge Base for Online Support

With everything being easily available over the internet, most customers will first try to solve an issue by themselves before they call a company. For this purpose, having an online Knowledge Base or Support section that provides assistance and troubleshooting for common issues can be a blessing.

Web visitors will first try to resolve their concerns via looking up your Support, FAQs, or Knowledge Base tools. If they are still unable to fix the problem, they can then choose to email or call your company. However, users that are able to fix the problem will not need to make the call, thereby reducing the number of calls in a queue and reducing abandoned calls.

4. Offer Multichannel Support

Another way to reduce abandoned calls is to offer other mediums of support. The Knowledge Base is one such tool. However, other communication channels include live chat, ticket tracking software, email, SMS, etc.

5. Train Your Agents for Common Issues and Large Call Volumes

Irrespective of how well you distribute your calls, if your representatives are not trained well and unable to perform under pressure, then your efforts are in vain. Take time out to ensure that call center agents get the training they need to succeed. Have refresher courses, webinars, and workshops on the regular to reinforce good habits. Furthermore, provide them insightful resources and incentives that can help them do their job well even during high volume periods such as holidays. You may even run a rewards program as well as provide quick and easy access to troubleshooting documents and so on.

6. Schedule Agents Based on Call Traffic

Lastly, study your call logs to see when and where most of your calls come in and schedule agents to tackle high-traffic periods. This way, your team is prepared to deal with the load of incoming calls while offering quick service. Plus, having more agents available during these times will help distribute calls better.

How Can United World Telecom Help?

We offer a variety of virtual communication tools specifically designed for call management. You can rely on our call forwarding options, cloud IVR systems, and rest assured that incoming calls reach the right agents on time. Improve your customer service today by signing up for our service. To learn more, call us or chat with one of our experts today!

Hosted Call Recording: Top 7 Benefits

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Hosted call recording can help you improve productivity and efficiency in the office. You can also use the system to conduct quality assurance and performance analysis. Here are the top 7 benefits of hosted call recording for businesses.

Benefits of Hosted Call Recording

Hosted call recording or cloud call recording is a recording system hosted in the cloud. Hosted call recording is offered by telephony providers like United World Telecom. Most small- to medium-sized businesses can use this service without worrying about any hardware or maintenance costs. All you pay for is your subscription with the provider.

More and more businesses are getting cloud call recording services to increase productivity within the office. So, why should your business invest in a hosted call recording software? Here we will look at the various advantages of using hosted call recording to aid productivity and performance.

1. Keep Records and Documentation

Having a hosted call recording software can help you and your team keep records of all important calls and interactions, transactions, receipts, and more between your business and its clients. Reviewing these recordings can help your team understand customer behavior and preferences and serve them better.

2. Improve Quality Assurance

Most small- to medium-sized businesses use call recording to improve quality assurance within the customer service team. In other words, you can review recordings to see which approaches are more successful than others. This way, your customer service team can be trained to provide good customer support.

3. Conduct Performance Analysis

Call recording can also be used when conducting your agents’ performance analysis. There are many ways to record VoIP calls for review during yearly evaluations and help agents do better or reward them for being efficient.

4. Protect from Liabilities

Furthermore, in case of any misunderstanding or fraudulent activity, call recordings can protect your business from liabilities. Recordings can present as proof or evidence to prevent liabilities or keep your company safe.

5. Collect Customer Feedback

Businesses need to focus on customer experience and customer happiness to remain successful. You can use hosted call recording to run surveys and collect valuable feedback from customers. Then, review the feedback to improve your service and increase customer satisfaction.

6. Comply with Regulations

Financial institutions and companies are required to comply with recording regulations such as the Dodd-Frank Act and MiFID II. These regulations call for transparency during business calls and avoiding fraudulent behavior. Recording business calls will ensure that your finance company remains in compliance with these regulations.

7. Increase Productivity in the Office

Ultimately, all of the above reasons ensure that your office and teams remain productive. You can keep track of your employees’ performance which gives them the incentive to do a good job. Furthermore, you can keep your business safe from fraudulent activity and liabilities. All in all, hosted call recording will help you create a better work atmosphere and improve quality assurance.

Get Hosted Call Recording

You can get call recording from United World Telecom by adding it to your virtual phone number plans. You can record up to 100% of all incoming and outgoing calls and store them for up to 6 years. Call us today at 1 (877) 898 8646 to learn more or to get hosted call recording for your business!