Sometime back in December, we got a new toll-free number for our support hotline. After testing it out for a few months, we decided to retire the old one and move over to the new number completely. Here it is again:
+1 (866) 832-3090
Why is this important? Because this isn’t just any ordinary number. It’s the number we bought using our own phone channel.
It might have slipped past your radar, but we recently moved the phone channel from “beta” mode into active status. Which means not only did all of our customers gain access to it, but our support team also made the switch from physical phones to a call center on the clouds.
That’s right, instead of connecting to the phones that litter our cubicles, our built-in phone channel patches calls right over to our helpdesk. That’s all the capabilities of a call center, without any of the expense, hassle or hardware. So, no matter where we are or what we’re doing, we’ll be able to jump in and start supporting without any problems. Compared to our previous process, which involved Grasshopper, this is worlds apart.
There are no additional costs get the phone channel and it is available even on our Sprout plan. You’ll just have to pay for the minutes you use and a dollar, a month, for a number in the US.
And here’s how it has (already) revolutionized our support process:
1) IVRs are our new best friend: We’ve set up IVRs to direct users to the team that they want to talk to (Sales, Customer Service, whatever rings your bell). The best part is, even if John isn’t at work, we can forward the call to his mobile phone so that the customer’s query gets resolved quickly.
2) Contextual conversations: The word “context” will never be the same to us again. Now, whenever someone calls us, we can quickly see their support request history and recorded conversations. This way, all it takes is two seconds for us to know who’s calling, why they’re calling and how we can help them.
3) Accountability: Because tickets are like time bombs, phone conversations no longer get lost when they go from our support team to the product management, bug-fixing or operations desk. They get assigned away just like every other ticket.
4) Hold times are down: Every time the browser rings, the call is automatically patched over to an available agent (a hurray for Round-Robin!). So, previously while our customers had to wait for our lines to get freed up, now every support guy on shift is a potential door for them. And it doesn’t matter where we are or what we’re doing as long as we’re logged into our helpdesk.
5) Call transfers are now a piece of cake: The ability to seamlessly shift calls between phones and browsers is a godsend. The fact that it’s now free is icing on the cake.
6) Feedback: Ever since we started using our phone channel, the higher ups (and by that, we mean our support head and our CEO) have started running through call logs and actual recorded conversations to make sure we’re up to scratch. If something does feel off, they make sure to bring it up at the next Support meeting.
7) Ideas, ideas everywhere: Ever since our “call center” took to the clouds, every phone call that comes into our hotline gets converted into a ticket. So, every discussion – whether it’s a bug fix or a demo, is logged in our system for scrutiny. Not only does this hold us accountable for everything we say (and promise) but, for our product managers, it’s a veritable goldmine of information as well. Feature ideas have been popping up left, right and center.
The good news is that, by now, phone channel is available across all of our plans, to all of our users. So go ahead, don’t be shy, take a look at our Phone guide and jump headfirst into the magic that is our cloud-telephony integration. If you’ve gotten a head start, tell us about how it’s made your support better.