Monthly Archives: April 2019

How Alexa Integrations Can Improve YourAct! CRM’s User Experience

Alexa - Smart speaker concept. AI speaker. Voice recognition.

Would AI help you in your daily tasks?

CRMs don’t just organize customer trajectories or automate workflows. Your company’s CRM is also a resource of information that everyone in your company needs to do their jobs. Whether a salesperson needs to know a customer’s preferred name, a financial manager needs to know the threshold for approving a certain discount, or your contracts team needs to know when a customer’s renewal date is, that information needs to be easy to access.

The problem is that the database might be hard to comb through. Alexa can help when you have an Act! CRM. Here’s how.

Multitask without flipping through tabs.

When you’re in the middle of a critical email or a ticket, the last thing you want to do is interrupt what you’re doing to go search for details across multiple open tabs. Instead of stopping to search for a customer name or an internal phone number, ask Alexa and keep going with your train of thought. Act! CRM is now enabled with Ask Act! functionality so Alexa can deliver the exact answer you’re looking for.

Task switching is one of the leading time wasters in corporate settings. Even switching to your CRM and back can interrupt your productivity. So ask Alexa to get the details you need instead of pausing in the middle of a sentence.

Invite Alexa to your next meeting.

Even with video conferencing, display screens, and all of the technology companies have to make meetings easier, they can still be technologically tedious. If you’ve finally gotten your screen sharing with everyone else, it can be a headache to search for answers on recent developments without getting the whole meeting off-track.

So make sure Alexa is set up to answer questions during your next quarterly sales report or team meeting. Alexa can search across the whole Act! database to find the data you need. You can also ask her to check for recent developments that changed between when you made your reports and the actual meeting.

Make sure your CRM is accessible to all of your employees who need the information.

There’s a lot of emphasis on making buildings accessible to employees. Many ADA regulations apply to physical space, such as wide walkways, ramps, and clear signage. There are fewer regulations in place to make sure web-related resources are accessible to everyone, and job-related tools are even less regulated. But it’s important to make sure all of your employees are equipped to do their jobs.

Ask Act! lets all of your employees access customer information through another medium. Whether your employees can use the extra functionality to keep their focus clear, use the tool to minimize hand-based information-gathering, or get accurate information sightlessly, it improves their workflow. It also makes your company a better place to work.

Mobile agents and field reps can get more done out of the office.

Use voice-controlled AI doesn’t just make life easier in the office. It also gives your field sales representatives and service technicians more options to get work done throughout the day. They can confirm customer details as they walk into a meeting without having to search for them. Depending on your state’s driving laws, they can even pull up critical details while keeping their eyes on the road.

Even better, Act!’s newest versions have a mobile app powered with the same functionality as the desktop version. So your field reps can ask for information with their voice and then go into the app to make updates after each appointment or meeting.

Voice-controlled AI and tools are becoming more and more common. Adding integration with Amazon Echoes into your company’s CRM-based workflows make information-gathering easier and more accurate. It also gives your employees more options so they can deliver the best results. Go to SystemsNet to learn more about the different features Act! CRM has so you can optimize customer relationships.

5 Employment Perks You Can Offer After Integrating VOIP Phones – Part 2 of 2

Integrating VOIP Phones

Integrating VoIP Phones into your business makes communication seamless.

Welcome back to the second half of our two-part article on what VOIP can do for your employment benefits. By using the versatility and unified communications system of VOIP, it suddenly becomes possible to offer your employees a lot more freedom as well. Being in and out of the office matters less, and you can reliably use one phone number no matter where your team is working from.

Last time, we talked about work from home days and flexible sick days. Join us again as we pick up where we left off with remote positions, travel, and multi-location jobs.

Remote Positions

The primary cause of the current War for Talent is that skilled professionals realized they didn’t have to move for work or come into the office every day. Many modern jobs don’t actually require a physical presence in the office to deliver results, which is where the remote job trend is coming from. Before VOIP, your office may have been limited to hiring only in-office employees in order to give employees access to their work number and internal network access.

But with VOIP numbers for the entire company, you will become infinitely more competitive with the ability to offer modern professionals remote or partly-remote positions. Whether you’re looking for software programmers, accountants, digital artists, or content marketing specialists, VOIP allows you to hook them directly into the company communication system without requiring them to step into the physical office even once. And that is something young talented professionals value very highly in an employer.

More Travel Opportunities

Business trips, meeting clients, and training across multiple facilities has always been something of a logistical nightmare. Any time an employee has to travel, there is a certain amount of risk and chaos. An employee usually has to fall back on secondary mobile equipment or their own personal mobile devices in order to stay in touch and to get any work done on the road. But VOIP offers a variety of solutions that can significantly simplify employee travel.

VOIP makes it possible for your traveling staff members to stay in touch on the same number no matter what device they currently have charged and active. In fact –unlike smartphones with SIM cards– employees can even reconnect to their VOIP number on a borrowed device if their phone is lost or dropped in the pool. This means your team members are almost always in-touch, even if it’s on a borrowed device or hotel lobby computers.

Dual-Location and Circuit Positions

Finally, there are those unique positions where an employee actually has an office in more than one facility or location. Technicians and managers who serve two locations and fly between them alternatingly are surprisingly common in some industries. While other industries frequently have circuit managers who cycle between offices in several different facilities in order to provide regional oversight.

Both dual-location and circuit positions are also a pain in the neck for keeping track of phone numbers. These professionals usually wind up living on their personal cells because their office phone number changes every few weeks. But VOIP can give constantly moving professionals a single work number that will ring to their current desk no matter what office they happen to be sitting in. A circuit office, their temporary office, or even a guest cube in a shared working space. VOIP provides ultimate location flexibility for your mobile employees.

If your business has been considering making the switch to VOIP, it is important to think about all the technical details. But don’t forget that VOIP has benefits far beyond the upgrade process. Internet phones aren’t just more affordable, scalable, and software-friendly than traditional phone lines. VOIP also opens up a world of employee perks through mobile flexibility. With VOIP, employees can now be ‘at their desks’ and ready to work from anywhere with an internet connection. For more about the right VOIP upgrade for your business,  contact us today!

Hiring an External Team for Your Internal IT Help Desk

A nurse speaking on the phone in the nurses station to an internal IT help desk

Having your own internal help desk is costly and not efficient compared to hiring a MSP

If your business doesn’t support a piece of software or offer online services, then there’s a good chance that you don’t have an IT help desk team. Hardware stores, insurance brokers, and dentists offices — as a few examples — usually wouldn’t include an IT help desk among their departments or full-time staff. Many manufacturing companies, 3PL suppliers, retail, and financial services don’t include IT. Real estate agencies also probably don’t have an IT help desk either.

So if your business doesn’t have one, it’s certainly no surprise. After all, why would you? If you never have customers calling in for help with computers and programs, then there’s no need for a customer-facing IT help desk. But… that doesn’t necessarily mean that your business -never- needs IT support or wouldn’t benefit from a little IT expertise from time to time. This is why many companies that have no outward facing IT still have a team on board to handle internal IT challenges.

Internal vs External IT Help Desks

Not all companies understand the difference between internal and external IT help desks. An external help desk would be a team of people who take calls and emails from customers. This is only necessary if your business results in a significant number of customers who need technical help, like a company that produces software and then has a help desk to help customers use that software.

But an internal help desk is an entirely different story. Even if the products/services you provide aren’t very technical and don’t require IT support, there are still dozens of computers and technological processes going on inside the business itself. And employees don’t always know how to handle their own IT.

An Internal IT help desk isn’t for the customers. It’s for the employees. This kind of service gives your team members someone to call if their computer breaks, if they can’t access their email, or if the business wifi appears to have dropped. And to have someone with solutions on-hand in case of a malware attack. These are not things customers need to worry about, but your employees do.

Outsourcing Your Internal IT Help Desk

Now comes the question of cost and convenience. Most small to medium businesses don’t actually have the resources available to add an entirely new team to the mix. Or the space to give them a separate office area. Even if your business uses enough technology in a day to need an internal IT help desk, you may not be in the right position to hire one onto your core staff.

In fact, in many cases, it would not actually be beneficial for a business to hire their own full-time IT staff. Why? Because they don’t have enough IT problems to justify full-time work. The beauty of a help desk is that they are there when you need them and, presumably, working on other things when you don’t.

This is why outsourced IT has become such a rising trend in the current business community. Both for managed services and on-call help desk support. If you need an internal IT help desk to solve email and software problems but don’t have the demand or infrastructure to hire internally, you don’t have to!

Outsourcing your internal IT help desk is a great way to both provide your team with the IT support they need and minimize the burden on your company for adding this new layer of support.

If you have been struggling to keep up with internal IT demands, there’s no need to go on this way. With outsourcing innovations, you can easily hire the time and expertise an IT help desk when you need the support without worrying about keeping your technicians busy when everything is working perfectly. Or paying for a new full-time department. For more insights into the possibilities of outsourced IT services, contact us today!