At this very moment, I am sitting on my couch with my cat, a cup of coffee in hand, and an empty house writing this blog.
As of a few days ago, Orange County issued a strong suggestion that all residents stay in their homes because of the Covid-19 virus. At this point, my customer service team was already working from home and it was finally time for me to do the same. As I packed up my things, I made sure to unplug my desk phone to bring home.
For the first time since I started overseeing our customer service team, and really in our twenty years of business, our entire customer service team was going to be working from home. Like many other businesses, we did not have time to prepare for how this was going to work. It happened almost overnight.
All of my team had taken home their work phones, connected to their Internet, and continued working. As if they were all in the office, side by side. I can call their extensions, I can intercom individuals, and I can page the whole team to provide group updates. A true VoIP Phone System makes it easier for inter-office communication, managing your employees and ensuring quality work, while everyone works from home.
Monitor Your Team with Busy Lamp Fields
A Busy Lamp Field (BLF) is a light on an IP phone which tells you whether another extension connected to the same business group is busy or not. In the above photo, you can see my customer service team’s names and extensions. Jorge at extension 79 shows that he is busy on a call. The redacted number under his name in red is the phone number of the customer that he is on a call with.
There are many benefits to BLF’s including my ability to monitor my team’s activity in real time. When our main customer service line rings, I can make sure that the call is getting picked up and the customer is being attended to. If I am looking to talk with a member of the team, I can make sure that they are currently available by looking to see if their BLF is busy.
BLF’s are helpful for call pick up when a colleague’s phone is ringing when there are away from their desk. For instance, if a colleague isn’t at their desk and they receive an incoming call, someone else can pick up the call simply by clicking the flashing BLF. This is helpful under the circumstance that an employee is out sick you can monitor their phones activity and pick up the calls that are going directly to that colleague’s number.
BLFs can be customized for each person in your office so that you can have the BLFs for the individual’s that you contact the most. On top of the ability to monitor coworkers, the BLFs also function as speed dials to those colleagues.
Continue to Train and Coach with Call Monitoring, Whisper, and Barge
One of the reasons that BLFs are a useful feature is being able to know when your team is on a call and then utilize features such as monitoring, whisper or barge to help train and guide them through calls.
- Monitor show you the real-time status of another user in your business group. If they are on a call it tells you who they are on a call with and allows you to listen to the call.
- Whisper allows you to coach your employees while they are on a call with the customer without the customer hearing you. It is as if you are whispering in their ear advice or tips for handling the given situation.
- Barge allows you to interject yourself into the call if you hear that the situation needs upper management or that the employee needs some help handling the customers case.
These three features make remote management possible. It allows for real-time insights into your team’s workflow and tasks and allows for continued training from the comfort of your home.
Finally, the use of our call recording feature allows you to ensure the quality of your teams calls. Being able to listen to the recording of your teams’ calls ensures that they are staying focused and handling customer’s concerns. It holds them accountable to the same standards that you hold in the office.
There are many benefits to a VoIP phone system that allow working from home to be an easy and seamless transition. The management benefits make it easy to continue your daily duties of guiding, coaching, and monitoring your team. Even though everyone is stuck at home, a VoIP phone system makes work feel as interconnected and seamless as is possible.