Here's how technology can help!
So the holiday season is all but over and you're back at work in the thick of it; snowed under with emails and calls while juggling with the everyday running of your business.
You're stuck dreaming of a week or two ago when you were spending valuable time with family and friends, and wish there was a way that you could work more flexibly – thus allowing you to reach a more favourable work-life balance.
Well, there's actually never been a better time to achieve this; after all it's 2015 and technology is in abundance and businesses have never had so many tools at their fingertips to enable more flexible and efficient working.
You don't have to be techy to make use of technology
Cloud-based and hosted services, including telephone solutions, don't require any expert knowledge or specific know-how to set up and use for your business.
You can be up and running within minutes and ready to embrace your newfound, modern way of working, benefiting from a range of features and tools which you may have previously had no access to.
So, what are just some of the specific features that a cloud-based telephone service can provide to help you work more flexibly and better your increasingly important work-life balance?
Smart call routing
A vast selection of call routing options enable you to have complete control over where, and how, incoming calls to your number are answered.
This is a very useful feature when you want to achieve a better work-life balance. How? Well for starters it means your calls are no longer tied to a fixed location. Within a few simple clicks of a button in your online account you can configure calls to ring on your primary number, as well as route calls to a combination of one or many mobile, landline or internal extensions.
And because VoIP is internet-based, it means you can easily extend your phone system to any location you wish allowing you to virtualise your business and enable home-working.
Time of day routing
Another routing feature you can take advantage of is Time of Day Routing, which unlike other methods of routing, gives you a specific call diversion plan to automatically activate when your business is closed.
It's a routing plan you're flexible to play around with, increasing the control you have over how calls are handled when you're closed. For example you may wish to play callers a message informing them you're closed and when you will reopen, and then invite them to leave a voicemail if needs be.
Alternatively you may wish to route customers to an emergency or 'urgent enquiries' on-call number, so customers with important issues are still able to reach someone within your business even after your normal operating hours – which can significantly boost your customer service and their perception of your business.
As an electronic call director, IVR lets you create interactive voice menus so incoming callers can quickly and easily be electronically connected to the correct department, employee or other destination.
This saves callers from potentially being passed from pillar to post, while simultaneously saving you and your employees from the time and effort of checking if 'John Smith' is available to take a call and then manually transferring the caller.
You can view a host of other features here.
Did you know?
A survey on more than 1 million small business owners found that three-quarters of a million were compromising their family and social life in order to run their business?
- While running a business of course takes a tremendous amount of hard work, determination and dedication, we're all human and spending valuable time with family and friends is good for us.
- Out of those surveyed nearly 50 per cent revealed they scrap social plans during the week, while more than 12 per cent conceded they don't even bother making plans in the first place – all due to the pressures of work!