Monthly Archives: November 2015

Nov 24

Business Christmas reminder: change your call-routing on your inbound number

By admin | Advice Centre , Articles , Uncategorized

With the festive season upon us, it’s important you don’t leave your valued customers in the lurch when they try to contact you. Though it may be a time for packing up your business for a couple of weeks, customers still might want to get in touch about your products. We know that business is rarely 9-5, Monday-Friday.

It’s vital that when they call they don’t hear a never-ending dial tone or an irrelevant message that only infuriates them more. We know the downsides of having poor customer service and we probably needn’t remind you that a customer is still a customer during Christmas, or not.

That’s why with our eCall cloud-based portal we’ve made business solutions easy. You are able to change your call-routing inbound number destination quickly and efficiently, as well as being able to add a new voicemail message to inform your customers of any changes to business hours and record it direct from the app.

Thankfully our innovative telecom portal doesn’t work 9-5, Monday-Friday either. The simple app, available to iPhone and Android smart devices, allows you to take control of your business number 24/7 and enables greater communication whether you are on the road, checking up at home or in the office. Voicemails, missed calls and faxes can be routed straight to your email, too so you needn’t think about missing customer calls with eCall again.

eCall’s online portal is always within easy reach, so just get in touch with us today and ensure all communication with your customers remains on top form this Christmas.

Nov 17

How 0843 and 0844 numbers can benefit your business

By admin | Advice Centre , Articles , News , Uncategorized

business call

 

With a range of available phone numbers out there, we at eCall understand that the choice can be confusing.

Below we aim to set out how 0843 and 0844 numbers can be used and precisely how they can derive benefits for your business, whether big or small. Numberstand.

First some history – 0845 numbers used to be the most popular choice for businesses, but when they stopped generating revenue for companies and charged customers the same as a local call, 0844 numbers replaced them. Once Ofcom realised the popularity they released 0843 numbers to meet demand.

Thousands of organisation across the UK now use 0843 and 0844 numbers, and here’s why:

  1. 0843 and 0844 allow you to realise the potential of non-geographic numbers. As they don’t point to a specific location they don’t restrict your product outreach and allow your company not to be judged by location. It works to your advantage as it means more business enquiries from outside your area without hesitation when they are unaware of your location. A local landline number could act as a deterrent for existing or prospective customers of your business.
  2. The number is virtual as it sits on a line rental that you already possess, whether it’s an existing landline or mobile. So once you purchase the number and attach it to a landline, it’s free to run.
  3. Being able to vary where to direct the incoming calls to means flexibility. So if you want the number to operate before, during and after business hours or offer after-sales services with contact centres, for example, 0843 and 0844 prove a popular choice. Especially for businesses that offer technical support, customer service lines and products such as ticket sales.
  4. You make money! As you receive a call rebate from all incoming call traffic, it means your company can generate significant revenue which could cover operating costs for your business. It is a cost-effective solution to your communication problems and means you needn’t worry about on-going service charges or paying to receive those important customer calls.
  5. It enables your business to answer calls promptly and efficiently. It acts as streamline communication for customers who want to be directed to the correct member of a team quickly, a crucial process to enhance customer satisfaction. It’s essential you make it easy for existing and potential customers to contact you while you deal with a large volume of inbound calls. An ideal alternative to 0845.
  6. You can monitor your advertising and marketing in a straightforward way as the number acts an extremely useful marketing tool. It gives you extensive, impressive nationwide capabilities with a more professional appearance and greater national footprint. Unrestricted, UK-wide coverage of products.
  7. The number is portable, so if you decide to relocate the business customers can still reach you on the same number. If you rely on your mobile for your business calls you’re still able to keep that number private while the 0843 or 0844 sits on top of it. Or if you’re a bigger business you can benefit from a switchboard which diverts calls and ensures call management runs smoothly.
  8. You are also given the opportunity to invest in a memorable number which is both great for advertising and for ease of memory for customers. You can even create an alphanumeric number, such as 0845 888 TAXI, which means you will stand out from competitors and your customers will never forget it.

eCall offer a range of number packages through our cloud-based portal; giving you access to call management solutions, whether that’s call routing, one-click disaster recovery, voice to email or IVR menus. The web/app portal can allow you to monitor call response rates with call statistics, too among other services. For a full range of services that eCall can offer you with 0843 and 0844 numbers, ask one of our eCall team for more information today.

Nov 10

Avoid bad customer service performance like HMRC with eCall

By admin | Advice Centre , Articles , News , Uncategorized

MPs have called on HMRC to vastly improve the customer service they provide after statistics show only half of the calls through to their helpline were answered in the first half of 2015.

A cross-party committee have produced a report asking Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs to evaluate the impact of bad customer service on tax revenues and to “produce a detailed plan setting out how and when it will provide an acceptable standard of customer service.”

The Public Accounts Committee believe the failure to answer public’s phone calls is unacceptably poor and will hamper tax collection. The MPs also stated how corporate tax evaders are let off too lightly by the revenue, with many corporations failing to pay their fair share of tax.

Meg Hillier, chair of the committee, and an MP for the Labour Party, said: “HMRC must rapidly improve its customer service, previously described by the PAC as abysmal and now even worse – to the extent it could be considered a genuine threat to tax collection.”

Lin Homer, chief executive of HMRC also gave evidence which revealed the customer call response rate to be “dipping down towards 50% of calls answered” for the first half of the year.

Hillier, determined to pressurise the HMRC to improve, said: “It beggars belief that, having made disappointing progress on tax evasion and avoidance, the taxman also seems incapable of running a satisfactory service for people trying to pay their fair share.

The report also shows a number of prosecutions for offshore tax evasion, a number they consider “woefully inadequate,” and believe there could be substantially more of. Despite HMRC officials stressing the high costs and complexities of court cases, Hillier argues that these high-profile prosecutions would act as considerable deterrents for corporations attempting to evade tax with offshore accounts. “A prosecution is public; it’s there for everyone to see,” she said.

HMRC spoke of their disappointment in the Public Accounts Committee for overlooking some good results, including the collection of a record £517bn in tax revenues and the further reduction of UK’s “tax gap,” remaining one of the world’s lowest. The committee did acknowledge, however, that HMRC has reduced costs by from £3.4bn to £3.1bn since 2010; a period when tax revenue has been on the rise.

A spokesperson told The Guardian: “We explained to the committee that we hadn’t provided a consistent level of customer service in the first half of the year and we had recruited around 3,000 new staff to improve service levels. But these customer service issues did not affect our ability to collect tax.

“Last year, we secured £26bn of additional yield across all our compliance work, ensuring everyone pays what they owe. Tackling tax evasion is a top priority for HMRC and last year alone we successfully prosecuted a record 1,200 cases, resulting in 407 years of custodial sentences. We also routinely publish the number of tax avoidance schemes, which show a steady decline as a result of tough government action. We brought in more than £1bn from the first year of applying accelerated payments to avoidance cases and have closed many loopholes and secured tough new enforcement powers.”

How to avoid bad customer service with eCall

Don’t let the statistics speak for your company and speak to a member of our team at eCall today. With services such as on-hold advertising, missed call alerts, voice to email and monitoring your call statistics with timed reports you need never have bad performance with telephone customer service like HMRC. Don’t hesitate to call on 0800 808 9900 and we can give you more information on what our portal and packages can offer your company.

Nov 03

BT anger customers with ‘maddening’ delays

By admin | Advice Centre , Articles , News , Uncategorized

The telecommunications giant BT has been criticised for their customer service in Devon.

Customers in the new Mill Gardens in Sidmouth were subjected to lengthy delays in having their phone and broadband connections installed, with no explanation from the staff.

A customer told the Midweek Herald of their frustration, likening the issue to the pre-privatisation of the company where you needed to wait months for a phone line.

Gail and Philip Goldsmith spoke of how their problems began in July when they moved into their Mill Gardens home, despite them already agreeing on a BT package prior to the change. After sending out change-of-address cards and a new contact number, the couple expected to be connected by July 24th.

Eventually an engineer visited and told them it was impossible to connect them, which marked the start of the dispute with the company. Gail threatened the firm with legal action for mis-selling the fibre-optic broadband as she eventually found it could not be provided in the area.

On September 29th, over two months later, a working phone service was finally installed and they were able to connect to broadband on October 9th.

Gail said: “If they had said on July 24th that we might not have it until October, that would be maddening enough, but to be told every few days it will be there – it is just so frustrating.

It was only through talking to other people who have had the same problem that I realised it was a nightmare for many,” she added.

Another BT customer from Mill Gardens, Linda Williams, experienced the same difficulties with the firm. After being a customer for multiple years the company failed to transfer her phone and internet over to her new home when she moved.

She said: “Trying to get through to BT by phone was awful. When I did get through to the call centre, the staff were unfailingly polite but could not explain why no engineer had come or make a swift appointment.

An apology was issued by BT spokesman Jason Mann, he said: “Fibre broadband is not yet available in this area. The job required a great deal of work to the local network, including the installation of new cables.

“Our advisers provide as much information for the customer as they can, but when a great deal of work is needed, such as in this case, it can be difficult for them to say with certainty at the outset when service will be provided.”

How eCall can help your business avoid bad customer service

Ensure your company doesn’t get bad customer-service-related press with our eCall portal – a disaster-proof solution which lets you continue to stand out professionally and keep your customers satisfied. Bad customer service is one of the biggest put-offs for telephone callers, so it’s vital your telephone system doesn’t let you down. Our eCall business telephone services are a perfect way to give a professional first impression to your customers and keep them returning.