Using a call transferring system has played an important part for businesses for a long time. It became integral for sales teams, call centers, agencies, etc., either to reach out to and keep in touch with clients or improve their customer service.
With call forwarding, incoming calls are automatically forwarded to a preset number without going through the user. It’s not to be confused with call transferring, which is an act of switching a call from one user to another. Any business that communicates with customers over the phone is likely going to need a call transferring service at some point.
In the 1990s businesses started shifting their phone systems online. Prior to that, they were using analog phones, which transferred sound into electric pulses. Now digital phones translate video and audio signals into binary code. This opened the doors for Voice over Internet Protocol.
What is VoIP
VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) is a technology that allows you to transmit voice over an internet connection (digital) instead of a regular (analog) phone line. This means VoIP enables you to make voice calls from smartphones, computers, special VoIP phones, tablets and other mobile devices.
VoIP has benefits for both customers and businesses. Unlike regular phone services, they have additional features like call recording, the option for creating a custom caller ID, lower prices than the typical phone bills (low international rates), and voicemail to email.
Another great thing about VoIP is the fact that it allows companies to unify their communications, as it supports audio, video and text-based communication methods. This allows employees (in an organization), to be more effective in communicating, without having to use different types of applications.
There are two main types of VoIP telephones — hardware-based and software-based. Hardware-based VoIP telephones are very similar to the traditional phone. Software-based IP phones just have the software installed on a regular computer or any mobile device.
To make sure your VoIP service works properly, you’ll need a fast bandwidth internet speed. That’s the most important equipment requirement, meaning that other parts of the equipment don’t need to be the best quality or expensive to make a difference.
A brief history of VoIP
VoIP started around 1995 when a company called VocalTec created the first internet phone for commercial use. The intent of its creation was to save the money for regular long-distance and international telephone charges. These internet phones worked using the same software, with connected speakers and microphones.
Soon after, users were presented with an option to also connect to a call by using a computer. The only setback for the rise of VoIP back then was that users had to listen to advertisements before, during and after their conversations.
Companies quickly realized the benefits of faster, cost-decreased communication. Skype is one of, if not the most famous company offering VoIP to its users.
Fast-forward to today, you have applications such as Zoom and Microsoft teams that offer endless options of communication using Internet Protocol, with video conference calls being the most popular.
How does VoIP work?
VoIP service converts a person’s voice into digital data, that data then “travels” through the Internet Protocol. In the receiving end, that digital data converts back to a voice sound, listened to by the receiver.
To achieve this, there’s a thing called codecs that VoIP needs to use. These codecs are a process that can compress and decompress large amounts of data. The quality of data such as voice sound quality might suffer when compressed but it significantly reduces bandwidth demand.
The process involves wrapping this data into data packets before sending it to other users. These packets are broadcasted over the Internet Protocol and are unwrapped into audio at the receiving end.
Call transferring with VoIP
Most of us remember old landlines that had a bunch of additional buttons such as “Line 1”, “Line 2”, etc. Those buttons were used for transferring calls between local landlines. Today, this option is even easier and faster with VoIP.
Transferring a call with VoIP can be done in multiple ways. What all of them have in common is the fact that they label phones with extensions/caller IDs inside the organization so that they would know where to transfer calls.
Note: Call transferring is meant to be used for inbound calls.
Call transfer can be a blind (cold) or announced (warm) transfer. Simply put, a cold transfer is when one user routes a call to the other extension (user), by selecting/dialing the blind transfer key. Your caller is put on hold while you dial the desired extension (transfer call to another phone). Your call is ended as soon as you dial the other extension.
While this is an easy and fast way to transfer a call, it’s not as good of a customer relation option. Your caller might need to reintroduce themselves and explain the purpose of their call a couple of times. It can be frustrating, to say the least. Imagine how your business might look if the call goes to a voicemail or gets dropped for whatever reason. Certainly, not the best solution.
On the other hand, an announced or warm phone call transfer is when you put the caller on hold, while you call the extension yourself first, to make sure they can answer the call.
This time, you select the announced transfer option instead of the blind transfer key. You can explain the caller’s problem, so the caller doesn’t need to repeat himself. As soon as you hang up, the call will be transferred to the other phone.
There are more types of call transferring, such as a call park. Call park is when an inbound call is placed on the park and the software assigns it a new extension.
The software interface will include a pop-up notification of a call on park with the assigned extension key, where anyone can pick up the call by dialing the extension.
Another interesting option is a group pickup. This is great for the sales teams or call centers that have multiple employees that can answer the same call.
This means the software notifies (or the phone rings) multiple phones so that any of them can pick it up. This is a great addition to improving your customer relations!
Automated Phone Surveys
Automated phone surveys help organizations enhance the customer experience and promote development. They are an important part of continuous improvement projects because they provide vital feedback that managers can use to benchmark business performance over time.
What is a Phone Survey?
A phone survey, often known as CATI or computer-assisted telephonic interview, is a research method in which the researcher conducts phone interviews with respondents. In contrast to email surveys, researchers collect data by conducting phone conversations and punching the replies personally.
A CATI is identical to a paper survey, except that the researcher enters the collected replies into a computer survey link. The researcher cannot change or amend the study questions and must adhere to a strict script for the phone survey.
Examples of Automated Phone System Surveys
Here are some of the examples where you can use phone surveys;
The use of automated phone surveys in polling during political campaigns is popular, and it is sometimes referred to as Robo-polling. It is a low-cost and rapid method of data generation, however, it has been criticized for this.
2. Government and administration
It helps in investigating the government’s efficiency and accomplishments.
3. Feedback from the conference
Provide a dial-in number and invite attendees to ring in after a conference session to provide feedback. Allow everyone to participate, and do away with paper forms and laborious tabulation.
Automated phone surveys are quite beneficial in that you receive a call, clearly listen to all questions, and react appropriately without any extra disagreements or delays. Closed-end questions and answers are usually beneficial to analyze data for further actions and decision-making.