With au­toma­tion in re­tail pick­ing fast, cloud tele­phony is emerg­ing as a hot choice

Progressive Grocer (India) - - Front Page - By Ankit Jain

The Re­tail in­dus­try is evolv­ing and adopt­ing tech­nolo­gies at a faster rate than ever. To meet the higher bench­marks set by e-com­merce, the sec­tor has turned its back to the con­ven­tional ways of ex­e­cut­ing business pro­cesses. Re­tail stores have re­al­ized the power of au­toma­tion. Of all the tech­nolo­gies that they are adopt­ing, cloud tele­phony is has emerged as an in­no­va­tive tech­nol­ogy for the re­tail in­dus­try.

Cloud tele­phony has as­sisted the re­tail sec­tor trans­form the face of its business call man­age­ment, and on-call cus­tomer ser­vice. Apart from this, cloud tele­phony has also helped re­tail brands keep an eye on their mar­ket­ing cam­paigns, agents’ per­for­mance, or­ders placed on calls, etc. Let’s have a look on how cloud tele­phony prod­ucts are re­solv­ing the chal­lenges faced by the re­tail in­dus­try.

Saves costs, in­creases prof­its

Cloud-based PBX sys­tem is aid­ing busi­nesses save costs and earn more prof­its by elim­i­nat­ing the need of man­ual call han­dling. Hence, it saves labour cost in­curred from man­ag­ing calls. In other words, it saves cost of a hu­man re­cep­tion­ist.

More­over, cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture for main­tain­ing a PBX server is zero. Set­ting up a cloud-based PBX sys­tem does not re­quire any in­fras­truc­tural cost or one time heavy in­vest­ment. Busi­nesses just need to pay their monthly sub­scrip­tion charge as they use the ser­vices.

Up­grades cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence

Be­sides sav­ing costs, re­tail out­lets have up­graded their cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence with the help of vir­tual PBX sys­tem. IVR dis­trib­utes calls au­to­mat­i­cally to the right staff/agent as per call­ers’ re­quire­ments. This re­duces wait­ing time of the call­ers sig­nif­i­cantly and en­sures ef­fi­cient call man­age­ment even dur­ing peak hours.

Fur­ther­more, a vir­tual num­ber acts as a cen­tral­ized con­tact num­ber of a re­tail chain ir­re­spec­tive of the mul­ti­ple ge­o­graph­i­cal lo­ca­tions of its out­lets. So, it be­comes con­ve­nient for the call­ers to con­tact a re­tail store for any kind of queries ir­re­spec­tive of the city or state they are lo­cated in.

Whether it is en­sur­ing best cus­tomer ser­vice dur­ing peak hours or pro­vid­ing 24*7 after sales ser­vice to the cus­tomers, all have been made pos­si­ble with the help of cloud tele­phony.

Ef­fi­ciently mon­i­tors all cus­tomer queries

Fea­tures like call record­ing as­sist re­tail busi­nesses keep a proper track of on-call or­ders and cus­tomer com­plaints. Call logs are au­to­mat­i­cally main­tained along with the re­spec­tive call record­ings, and th­ese can be ac­cessed from any­where, by any user in the com­pany.

If any con­fu­sion arises in terms of or­der placed, call record­ing is suf­fi­cient to re-con­firm the or­der. Both­er­ing cus­tomers again to re­peat the placed or­der def­i­nitely sets a poor ex­am­ple. In case, any dis­pute arises be­tween staff and the con­sumer, call record­ings can act as an ev­i­dence to ar­rive at a quick res­o­lu­tion.

Tracks agents’ per­for­mance

One of the ma­jor chal­lenges faced by re­tail stores is to keep a track of per­for­mance of all their agents. Call track­ing fea­ture helps re­tail stores keep a track on each in­di­vid­ual agent if he/she is an­swer­ing calls dur­ing the work­ing hours, and num­ber of calls

getting missed by a par­tic­u­lar agent. Call record­ings are used to mon­i­tor how agents are in­ter­act­ing with the cus­tomers, and han­dling their queries. This gives bet­ter in­sights about the best per­form­ing agents, and staffs who are lack­ing be­hind. Call record­ings are also used in train­ing new staff and en­hance per­for­mance of the ex­ist­ing ones.

Takes mar­ket­ing one notch up

Cloud tele­phony has made it easy to track ROI of mar­ket­ing cam­paigns. Unique vir­tual num­bers are as­signed to each in­di­vid­ual ad cam­paign, and in­com­ing calls on each vir­tual num­ber are tracked. This lets the re­tail brand know which ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paign is bring­ing more num­ber of calls and most rel­e­vant traf­fic. Hence, it be­comes easy to fig­ure out the best ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paign and al­lo­cate mar­ket­ing bud­get ac­cord­ingly.

An­other fea­ture, re­mar­ket­ing, as­sists re­tail brands pro­mote the prod­uct to their call­ers through SMS mar­ket­ing and face­book ad­ver­tis­ing. It has, thus, be­come easy to in­form cus­tomers about peak sea­son sale, any new prod­uct, new fea­tures in­tro­duced, per­son­al­ized dis­count of­fers and so on.

Whether it is en­sur­ing best cus­tomer ser­vice dur­ing peak hours or pro­vid­ing 24*7 after sales ser­vice to the cus­tomers, all have been made pos­si­ble with the help of cloud tele­phony. Although the ad­van­tages that cloud tele­phony pro­vides to the re­tail in­dus­try aren’t lim­ited to th­ese, re­tail sec­tor is still in the process of reap­ing its full ben­e­fits. Cloud tele­phony has changed the way re­tail sec­tor op­er­ated and dealt with their cus­tomers, and it will be a ma­jor weapon to win the war against e-com­merce in the years to come.

Ankit Jain is the founder of Voice­tree Tech­nolo­gies, a cloud tele­phony com­pany bet­ter known for its prod­ucts My­op­er­a­tor and CODAC, which of­fer au­to­mated business so­lu­tions.

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