Whether your business is small, medium or enterprise, your telephone system and call handling is likely a critical part of your customer interaction.

Are you able to answer these important questions:

  • How many people call your main telephone number?
  • When do you receive the most calls?
  • How long do callers wait for someone to answer their initial calls?
  • How many people called in response to your new marketing campaign?
  • How many calls were answered per person?
  • Who is answering the fewest calls?
  • How long are callers waiting on hold?
  • How many abandoned calls do you have?
  • Do you have enough lines to handle your call volume?

By deploying an ACD (Automatic Call Distribution) system, you could have the information at your fingertips to answer these and other crucial questions.

Here is an abbreviated summary of ACD benefits:

Among the many benefits that ACD can provide to users, nothing compares to the overall increase in Customer Satisfaction that can be gained using this tool.

Callers entering into ACD systems have the comfort of knowing that their call is being processed by prompting the caller periodically through various messages. ACD above all else, eliminates terminal holds which can be extremely frustrating to customers, and the business can ultimately lose the customer. This can cost businesses thousands of dollars in lost business that can never be measured.

Decreasing Costs always provides a tremendous benefit to organizations, and ACD systems can certainly help accomplish this goal.

Efficient call centers can:

  • Eliminate multiple handling of calls, reducing staff expenses.
  • Manage staffing levels by providing report data on call center activity and call flow.
  • Connect Multiple Locations: ACD can easily route calls to agents sitting at different or remote locations. All the agents working in different geographies can function as one single team.
  • Manage agent efficiency.
  • Reduce returned calls.
  • Help determine the correct number of incoming lines.
  • Responding fast to a call by transferring it to the most appropriate agent, will definitely improve the chances of first call resolution and the customer can get his query resolved without transferring him to other agents or departments. This will reduce the time taken to answer a call and hence reduce cost-per-call.
  • With efficient routing of incoming calls, agents can use their expertise in solving the problems of a caller rather than indulging in activities that are outside their scope. ACD acquires usage data such as total number of calls, time spent on each call, waiting time etc which is used for reporting purposes. This will enable managers to assess key performance indicators  and optimize resources more effectively.

Exploring these possibilities could be an important step in improving customer service and ultimately your bottom line!

You may contact us for a complimentary consultation: sales@nutecelectrotel.com.

We have all heard automated telephone greetings including statements such as, “This call may be recorded for quality assurance purposes.” There is increased recognition of the value to be gained from call recording today. Accordingly, there is a recognized need to move beyond the associated negative stigma and refer to it as voice documentation.

Email communication is an important part of the daily communication for most businesses today. Email is quick and efficient while providing a documented audit trail of the communication. However, when compared with voice communication, it misses the immediate real-time response and the between-the-lines meaning that is inherent to voice expression and tone.

By deploying voice recording in your business communication system you can gain the benefits of both worlds, maintaining the personal touch of voice communication while having documentation for future reference.

Whether you are an automotive, construction, education, healthcare, hospitality, industrial, or manufacturing organization, there are tangible benefits to deploying voice documentation. Here are five specific reasons why voice documentation is a valuable tool to protect and enhance your business:

  • Resolve Disputes  

With a voice documentation system, a misunderstanding between an employee and the customer can be quickly and professionally resolved. The voice document for the call can be easily retrieved and an extract of the call emailed to your client to confirm details.

  • Demonstrate Compliance  

Obtaining documentation of each interaction with a customer is often crucial. For many organizations it is necessary to demonstrate that regulatory guidelines have been followed.

  • Monitor Quality  

Review calls to ensure that all clients have been dealt with professionally at all times. Replaying past conversations is a great way to teach new employees and keep current employees trained.

  • Improve Performance  

Work with staff to develop their telephone and telesales techniques. In today’s highly competitive environment and the impact of social media’s instant reactions, delivering excellence in customer experience is paramount.

  • Share

Share conference calls and online meetings with business colleagues.

Voice documentation is available for analog, digital and VoIP business communications platforms. Integration into your existing telephone system is not only necessary, it is easy to do.

The advantages of using voice documentation are abundantly clear. When documenting all phone-based communications with your customers you can control liability threats, improve employee performance, enhance the quality of your client interactions and develop an archiving tool all in one shot.  Voice documentation is a simple way to ensure that your employees feel protected and knowledgeable at all times, enabling them to consistently deliver a better customer experience.

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Two-way radios play a more important role in industry, event management and emergency services applications than most people realize.

Two-way radios are available in mobile, stationary base and hand-heldportable configurations. These are half-duplex devices and are usually equipped with a push-to-talk button. Repeaters may be used to extend the range between radio units.

Trunked radio, a specialized repeater system, may be implemented to allow a large number of users to share a relatively small number of frequencies. One or more towers could be installed to support a trunked radio deployment.

Points to keep in mind:

  • Radio communications are not private, so don’t share confidential information
  • Keep messages short and ensure clear understanding of your communication
  • Repeat important messages back to avoid misunderstanding
  • Keep your radio powered off and charging when not in use
  • Industry Canada requires two-way radio frequencies to be licensed

VHF or UHF

Selecting the correct frequency type for the intended use of your two-way radios is very important.

  •  VHF radios have a longer wavelength and are mostly suitable for outdoor use in open areas.
  • UHF radios are suitable for indoor and mixed use. UHF, with its short wavelength is effective within metal and concrete sites, or heavily wooded outdoor areas.

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Given the growing complexity and options in the field of telecommunications, it is important to keep an eye on developments if you expect to keep a reasonable handle on planning for your short and medium term needs. Of course, defining your requirements is much more involved today than, for example, “I think we need 15 lines and 30 telephones.” Other considerations may include:

  • Voicemail

  • Voicemail to email integration

  • Unified Communication

  • Integration with CRM software

  • Contact centre users

  • Mobile users

  • Remote/work from home users

  • Multiple branch communications

  • Conversation recording

Premise Systems

Premise based telephone systems are well suited for larger organizations and those with the resources to support and administer on-site hardware. These are available in either Digital or VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) solutions.

Digital Systems

Premise based digital telephone systems may be equipped to support both analog and digital connections (trunks) to the outside world. Digital trunks or PRIs(Primary Rate Interface) will each support up to 23 voice channels. Internal workstation and other end points will be equipped with digital telephones. The system may also have analog station ports to connect other devices such as fax machines, door phones, etc.

Digital systems may also be configured as hybrid systems and include support for IP end points. This is often useful for the remote/work from home users.

VoIP Systems

VoIP (Voice over IP) systems may be equipped to support both analog and digital trunks as well as SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) trunks. Both IP telephones and analog devices may be supported internally. IP telephones would normally be supported by PoE (Power over Ethernet) switches rather than connecting to a power source at each end point.

Before ordering a VoIP system, have a network assessment performed to ensure your network is suitable.

Hosted Systems

Hosted, or Cloud-based VoIP systems offer sophisticated features without a capital investment. UCaasS (Unified Communication as a Service) is quickly becoming a popular option and certainly worthy of consideration. The ability to deploy this system using the operating budget makes it particularly attractive to small and medium businesses.

As in premise-based VoIP systems, a network assessment is a pre-requisite for a cloud-based system deployment.

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A clear definition of your security requirements is at the forefront of successfully deploying and using your system. This includes defining the characteristics of your environment and potential vulnerabilities.

Intrusion Security

An intrusion security system should be part and parcel of an overall security and loss prevention plan. Intruders seek out sites that offer high rewards with low risk of being caught. The “success” of the intruder’s activity is dependent upon such factors as time, detection, lights and noise.

Access Control

The sophistication of today’s multi-faceted access control systems enables integration with intrusion security and video surveillance systems. Together these integrated systems can help control the movement of people and assets.

Adequate planning is critical to the success of your system. To ensure compatibility with your existing IT infrastructure and any new components, collaboration with your IT staff is highly recommended. This will aid in deploying and maintaining a functioning, reliable system.

Video Surveillance

Either analog, IP based, or hybrid video surveillance systems are available. If you are starting with a new system, an IP solution gives you the most options and provides the potential for the best quality results.

Considerations for a successful system include:

  • Bandwidth

Your network may already have the required bandwidth. However, a network assessment is an important part of the planning process. Factors to consider include the type and number of cameras required, internal network parameters, and internet bandwidth.

  • Router

An appropriate internet router is required for remote viewing and system access. This may include a wireless component to complement any wireless access points for connecting with wireless cameras and viewing devices.

  • Switch(s)

A network switch or switches with Power over Ethernet (PoE) will reduce the need for locally powered cameras.

  • Computer

A suitable computer is required to manage the system and provide control for the cameras, recording and monitoring.

  • Viewing

Provide for both on-site and remote viewing of cameras. Prominently displayed monitors offer an effective deterrent.

  • Storage

Video storage requirements are dependent upon the number of cameras, resolution of the video, and how long the video files need to be kept. Using event-based recording such as motion detection can effectively reduce storage requirements.

security2

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Your fleet and asset management system can be a major contributor to enhanced productivity and cost savings. Effective deployment is probably the most important consideration to ensuring the best results.

GPS Fleet Tracking

Having a strategy to share your plans and engage staff in the benefits of theGPS (Global Positioning System) can be a key to reducing misconceptions and resistance to the system. Benefits include greater safety and security, reduced waste, increased productivity, and improved customer service.

To get the most benefits from your fleet tracking system, take to the time to learn how to utilize if for everything from scheduling vehicle maintenance to improved dispatch and route planning.

Asset Management

Your asset management system may utilize GPS and/or RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) technology and include tracking and managing:

  • Construction tools
  • Shipping containers
  • Healthcare and medical equipment
  • Cargo monitoring
  • Trailers
  • ATM machines
  • Waste disposal containers
  • Lone worker security

Again, the key tip here is to ensure adequate training and understanding of the system in order to take full advantage of its important benefits.

business

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Computers are such a broad topic that having a conversation about them could go on indefinitely! In this post, we will attempt to address just a few of the basics. This may be a review for you, but let’s include them anyway.

comp 1
Basic Operations

For openers let’s talk about what occurs when you start your computer.  Does this process take too long? If your computer takes a long time to start, perhaps there are too many programs associated with startup. To check this out, enter “Run” in your programs search, and then enter “msconfig” to open your System Configuration folder and click on the Startup tab. This will display the programs that are running when you start your computer. From here you can turn off startup programs and shave several seconds from the startup time. Before turning any of these off, be sure they are not essential to some of the required processes that are required by your programs and drivers.

Are you interested in speeding up the process when you are typing? Using keyboard shortcuts can be a great time saver.  Move the cursor to the beginning of the previous word using CTRL + Left Arrow or to the beginning of the next word using CTRL + Right Arrow. For superscript text use  CTRL + SHIFT + = and for subscript text use CTRL + =.

To paste copied text as plain text CTRL + Shift + V instead of the standard CTRL + V. To remove formatting from text already pasted use CTRL + Spacebar.
Do a screen shot without copying your entire display by using ALT + Print Screen to just capture the active window to the clipboard. Go direct to the Windows Task Manager by typing CTRL + Shift + ESC instead of going through CTRL + ALT + DEL to get to it. Instead of moving the mouse and clicking to view a different tab in your browser, save time by pressing CTRL + TAB.

Security

Lock your computer to prevent unauthorized use while you are away from your desk. Use Control + Alt + Delete and select Lock this Computer. If your computer is equipped with a camera, you may have the option of AutoLock. It can be set to automatically lock when the camera detects that no one is there.

When installing a new program on your computer, read each step of the installation process to ensure you are not getting unnecessary default options installed that may cause you future problems. Avoid just clicking on “NEXT” repeatedly throughout the installation.

Backup

Whether your file storage is on your desktop computer, server or NAS, having a backup is critical to ensuring preservation of your data in the event of equipment failure, theft or disaster. Here are some options to consider:
• If you are using Windows, it is wise to use the backup and restore feature as one part of your backup plan. This should be done on a regular basis to keep everything current. However, it will not protect against theft or disaster.
• Duplicate your files to an external device. External hard drives are available with built-in backup software to automatically perform this task for you. Consideration needs to be given to where this device will be stored securely.
• There are cloud backup services offered for backup as well. This offers off-site secure storage for your important data.

Networks

Wired Networks

comp 2Wired networks transport over copper, fiber or coax cables and utilize various hardware components.

Cable Selection

Copper cable is suitable for local area networks and is manufactured in various categories with specific characteristics to suit your network requirements. CAT7 or Class F cable will soon be replacing CAT6a as the new standard for 10GBASE-T networks. Labor is a major portion of your cabling costs, so keep this in mind when selecting cable for a new installation and be sure to select a cable that best suits your expected future needs.
Copper network cables are limited to a maximum of 100 meters between active devices such as routers and switches. To meet the standards of their category, they must be terminated using connectors that meet the standards of their category or a higher category. Hence, the overall network is rated in the category of its lowest component.
These cables are available with different outer sheaths depending on environmental requirements.
Structured cabling is an organized arrangement of cable and hardware which may include patch panels, and outlets for end points, all of which match the category of cable being connected. Matching patch cables of various lengths provide the connections between the patch panels and network switches.
Fiber optic cable is suitable for extended distances and has an effective range of up to 80 kilometers between repeaters, or optical amplifiers. It is useful for serving different areas within large buildings, or over longer distances between buildings or communities. Fiber optic cable can contain up to 1,000 fibers in a single cable and is available with different outer tubing for environmental protection. Unused fibers in a cable are referred to as dark fiber. “Lit” fiber commonly has a capacity in the terabytes per second range.
10BASE2 Coax cable still exists in some local networks but has become increasingly obsolete.

Network Routers

Network routers are used to connect multiple networks together and forward data packets as efficiently and quickly as possible. As an example, routers connect computers to the internet, or to other networks. Routers are usually hardware devices. However, software-based routers are becoming increasingly popular.

Network Switches

Network switches connect computers together in a network and may be equipped to support both copper and fiber networks. They may be sized to handle from a few ports to 48 ports. A basic layer 2 switch may be found in most LAN environments. Layer 3 and layer 4 switches are used in more advanced and specialized networks. The more sophisticated switches also perform routing functions. There is more demand for switches to provide power to end point devices such as IP cameras and telephones. So PoE (Power over Ethernet) switches are often required rather than using a power adapter or power injector for the end point. An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is a wise equipment component to support your routers and switches. It is important to remember to size the UPS devices and PoE switches to support the required current loads.

Wireless Networks

comp 3

Wireless networks use radio communications between nodes, reducing the cost and inconvenience of installing cables into, and between, buildings.
Access Points
A wireless access point (AP) provides the connection to a wired network and can be a stand-alone device, or part of a router. In large buildings and outdoor spaces, multiple APs are often required in order to reliably cover the area. These APs may be designed to mesh wirelessly with each other, or be hard wired to the network. Each site needs to be assessed to ensure the wireless network is designed to perform as required.

Network Security

Security on either a wired or wireless network is an important ingredient in order to ensure that only those people who you want to have access may use the system. Security options on wireless networks include Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) which encrypts the information and helps to ensure only authorized users have access by authenticating users. The later version, (WPA2), is more secure, but may not be compatible with some older devices.
In a workplace environment, users may be validated, and access provided by 802.1X authentication. This offers the network administrator the potential to design a secure wireless network.

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tollfraudinlineWhat is Toll Fraud?

Toll fraud is the theft of long distance telephone services. This is a growing challenge estimated to be a $40 billion worldwide problem and as high as $100 million annually in Canada alone.

Preventions Tips:

  • Learn how toll fraud can occur. Talk to your telephone equipment provider and learn how they can help you. Engage your long distance service provider and implement appropriate prevention measures. If your business doesn’t require international calling, consider blocking international calls from being initiated from your system.
  • Limit access to your telephone system. Hackers may gain access to your telephone system and call long distance directly using your lines. Often this is accomplished through voice mail menus. They use system commands to obtain dial tone and place calls as if they originated from within your premises. Your system may still have factory default passwords. Simple passwords such as these enable fraud and make access easy to achieve.

Establish a toll fraud prevention plan.

    • Implement prudent password management policies and procedures.
    • On IP systems, block access to remote maintenance ports and system administration ports.
    • Use complex access codes and change them regularly.
    • Perform routine reviews of your system status and usage.
    • Limit the number of consecutive log-in attempts to five or fewer.
    • Delete inactive voice mail boxes.
    • Review your long distance telephone bills monthly to detect irregularities.

Report incidents of toll fraud

  • Contact your long distance provider.
  • Contact your telephone system service company.
  • Report the matter to your local police.

Fraudsters and hackers are constantly finding innovative approaches. The above recommendations do not address every possibility, so be diligent. Remember, you are responsible for the charges on calls originating from your system whether you authorized them or not.