Does Your Phone System Help or Hinder Employee Productivity?

    When you’re evaluating your company’s business phone system, productivity might not be one of the factors that receives a lot of weight. But if efficiency is lagging, you should look closely at your communications technology for opportunities to improve employee performance, especially as the workforce becomes more mobile.

    Around 50% of U.S. businesses say productivity is a top priority for employee engagement on mobile devices, according to Forrester Research. Smartphones, tablets and laptops can increase an employee’s ability to collaborate with colleagues, respond faster to customer requests and access data for smart decision-making. But the ability to accomplish these tasks is often contingent on the ability of your phone system to connect employees to the critical tools, data and applications they need.

    This means businesses still using a traditional phone system – one with basic calling features and little else – could be hindering productivity. To empower your employees to get the most out of their workday, here are a few key challenges your phone system must be able to address.

    Support for a True Mobile Office

    Delivering a true office experience on the go while keeping calls and data secure is a challenge for IT teams. But new cloud communications technologies make it possible for your staff to share and access customer data seamlessly from any device and any location. With features such as “dual persona,” employees can easily conduct both personal and business tasks from the same device. And if your phone system offers richer unified communications capabilities, connecting with colleagues for conference call or via instant message is just a tap away.

    Enabling Better Collaboration and Faster Decisions

    A truly productive workforce requires an environment that promotes the open exchange of ideas – even if team members are scattered among different offices or geographic locations. Without this, collaboration is more difficult, extending the time it takes to reach decisions and bring products or initiatives to market, which is an imperative in today’s highly competitive business landscape.

    Here’s where your communications technology can be a game-changer. When tools such as instant messaging, video conferencing and desktop sharing are integrated into your phone system, employees spend less time getting various systems to work and the barriers to collaboration begin to fall away.  

    Improving the Customer Experience

    One of the most powerful ways to increase the productivity of your sales or customer service teams is to give them quick access to data. And not just any data: robust customer information integrated with call history. With details about past purchases, issues and associated resolutions at their fingertips, customer-facing employees can deliver a more personalized customer experience, while also reducing call times, increasing revenue opportunities and improving customer retention levels.

    Productivity may not be the most obvious value to consider when reviewing your phone system needs, but it should be. Advances in communications technology have taken phone systems to new levels that are enabling employees to save time, find information faster and respond to customers more quickly. The time has come to ask yourself if your phone system is pushing you to new levels, or slowing you down.

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