Businesses have been using call reporting software for many years with great success. There are various reasons for the implementation of call recording, some businesses use call recording to monitor the traffic on their phone lines while others use it for security and to maintain control over their telecommunications expenditure. Information is power and having the ability to monitor calls in your organisation can prove to be very valuable indeed.
What is call reporting?
Call reporting is the use of software or hardware to gather information about calls made from a certain network. The collected information usually includes things such as the number dialled, the duration of the call, the user who placed the call, the time of the call and in some instances the call itself may even be recorded.
Call reporting is done via software that integrates into your analogue or digital PABX system. This allows you to monitor calls in much the same way that your telephone service provider monitors calls in order to issue your bill at month end. As the technology used to facilitate telecommunications has changed, so too has the technology used to report on calls. Today’s reporting systems are much more advanced than those of yesteryear and includes more useful features.
Who uses call reporting?
Call reporting is mainly used by service type businesses. Imagine a law office which employs numerous barristers with many clients. Call reporting is very useful in this setting since the clients are normally billed for every telephone call made on their behalf. Collecting this information manually would be a very tedious task with unreliable results. The automation of call reporting is therefore extremely important in this scenario.
Call reporting software also allows businesses to assign a call limit to every employee. This aids in the managing of a large organisations telephone bill. At the touch of a button management can take a look at the current usage and even break down usage to a individual user level. Automation can again be employed to stop users from running up a huge telephone bill intentionally or unintentionally.
As can be seen from the above examples, call reporting is indeed very useful in business since it provides information that can be used to determine the efficacy of processes like telephone marketing. It also allows for better management of billing and the use of telecommunications resources within a business.
The advantages of call reporting for business owners
To measure is to know. With this in mind it is clear that call reporting is an essential part of resource management in any business. Many companies rely on direct tele-marketing to promote their services. The information obtained via call reporting is very useful when trying to determine if the money spent on telemarketing is being effectively converted into sales.
Call reporting also ensures that business owners and management can keep a close eye on the use of telecommunications resources within a company. Employees who spend too much time on the telephone may be abusing the resource for personal use, call reporting is an excellent way to detect and control this problem.
While these features are very useful, the sole purpose of call reporting is not to act as a policeman for telephone users, it also offers other advanced features which are essential to any modern business. Communication and being easily reachable is vital in business. Many times a problem with incoming telephone calls go unnoticed for a while leading to a potential loss of sales. Call reporting will usually detect problems with any incoming or outgoing telephone lines and re-route calls to other functioning lines. Since this is a completely automated process it guarantees that a call will not be easily missed due to a faulty telephone line.
Other functions such as IVR or Interactive Voice Response is another great feature that reduces or eliminates the need for a switchboard operator. Smart IVR systems can automatically route a caller to the applicable person or department based on their responses to voice prompts. The automation of this task reduces the number of employees that a business has to employ while still getting the job done professionally. IVR also means that a caller is attended to immediately, no more waiting for a swamped operator to answer their call. Research has shown that callers will easily abandon their call if they are made to wait for extended periods of time before being served.
Next generation call reporting systems also offer advantages such as one touch backup. Intuitive prediction of numbers that are dialled often means that should your system be damaged for any reason, data can be restored with minimal downtime to the business. This is essential in today’s hurried times where a missed call can easily lead to a missed sale and lost profit. By pre-programming routing for calls during busy times via a feature known as hunting calls can be automatically routed to available operators quickly and efficiently. This automated routing ensures that all calls are answered and dealt with swiftly. Hunting offers many options that can be customised to meet any individual businesses needs effectively. Options such as ring time and destination routing are a few of the programmable management functions.
The role of call reporting software has evolved from pure reporting to a more integrated management system. Today’s call reporting software allows total management of telecommunications infrastructure and activities via programmable options and parameters. It even allows for the programming of systems via remote devices such as tablets and smartphones. This means that you can access and program your telecommunications systems even when you are not in the office. Remote access offers total flexibility, you can for example create user ID’s on the go allowing new employees to begin using telecom systems immediately, even if the systems manager is not on-site to program the appropriate devices.
Call routing allows calls to be routed from fixed devices to mobile phones ensuring that employees are always available no matter where they are. With effective call reporting and management systems there is no need to supply multiple numbers to customers. Salespeople can be reached by phoning the office even when they are not in the office. This functionality makes it easier for customers to communicate with your business while at the same time making it easy for you to stay on top of the activities of your sales team. While serving as a management function, access to call information is also useful in determining customer patterns and the effectivity of sales strategies. This information can also help identify any problems that your sales strategy may be faced with, which is useful when trying to solve a problem.
Key features of call reporting
Another key feature of call reporting systems is the ability to generate hot maps. Hot maps are a graphical indication of where calls are originating from. This can help a business to identify and effectively target areas with higher sales. Hot maps are generated by monitoring the area codes of incoming calls so as to generate a topographical map showing the areas where most calls are received from. Research has proven that it is much easier to expand in areas where a company is already active than trying to break new ground in other areas. Hot maps are thus invaluable when attempting targeted marketing.
Call reporting and management systems also offer other critical services such as call transfer. This function allows for calls to be transferred both internally and externally. Calls can be transferred to other employees who are better suited to deal with the specific customer or situation in question. Calls may also be transferred to the external telephone network, even worldwide if needed. This flexibility in call management is critical to any business and the ability to monitor calls as they are being transferred is just as important for various reasons.
Call reporting also comes with the basics such as caller identity which allows the effective screening of calls, allowing you to send the incoming calls directly to the appropriate person or department to attend to the customers request promptly. Data is only useful when it can be accessed with ease. Call reporting is accessible via an app from your smartphone enabling changes on the go. You can monitor call activity remotely which in turn enables decisions regarding marketing to be made even when you are not in the office, greatly improving productivity. Call queuing is another exciting feature that is especially handy in environments with heavy call volumes. This function aids in the effective management of calls and cutting down of waiting times, ultimately improving the overall customer experience. Queuing management is very useful for call centres where calls are routed to agents who manage multiple calls at the same time. Calls are automatically routed to agents in such a way that the workload is evenly distributed between agents. This approach ensures happy customers and employees.
In the modern world being able to work remotely is becoming more and more important, working time is no longer restricted to office hours and as a result having remote access to applications and tools is very important. Being able to access the management console of your call reporting system has many advantages such as making changes to hunting groups and other system wide settings. This function is not available on most traditional PABX systems so it is a definite advantage that can be accessed by using newer cloud based telecoms systems.
Can call reporting be used for other purposes?
Call reporting has more to it than just being an effective marketing management tool. Many times call records may be required in order to resolve disputes or investigate situations. Call recordings can prove to be invaluable in certain situations where unquestionable clarity may be required to resolve a dispute.
Call reporting is also a very useful tool for accounting professionals. The data provided by reports allow for better financial planning and management. Costs can be broken down by department and user enabling a better understanding of how money spent on telecom services are being converted into sales. Since a lot of time is spent on telephone calls, it is important to gain a clear understanding of how that time is spent and how it translates into profit for the company.
The main purpose of call reporting is to make it as easier for companies and staff to manage their telecommunication systems with ease from a variety of platforms. Implementing call reporting systems also gives companies the added benefit of having one central number that can be called nationwide. This number will then link to your company and allow customers to memorise one easy number to reach you. Research has shown that having one easy to remember number can greatly boost sales and calls received.
Call reporting has been around for a very long time. The first systems were simple handwritten ledgers and provided only basic information. Since the inception of these systems they have developed greatly into an essential part of every businesses arsenal. Having access to contacts and telephone numbers at the touch of a button is not just comfortable, it is also essential to maintaining good customer relations. Competition in the business world is now more fierce than ever before, giving your business every possible advantage makes a lot of sense and is something that every business owner should be doing. Understanding how effective your marketing is, is crucial to the bottomline of every business. The unique insight that call reporting provides is a investment that is well worth considering.
Last, but not least, call reporting provides employers with a clearer picture of what exactly their employees are up to. Unfortunately many employees do not think twice before abusing valuable company resources for their own gain, call reporting is an easy way to identify and manage the abuse of telecommunications equipment by employees. No business should be without the advantages offered by effective reporting. Call reporting offers many benefits and is not an expensive tool to implement. Speak to a consultant at Number Supermarket to find out more about the systems on offer and how they can be of use to your business.