Category Archives for "Advice Centre"

Feb 26

How tracking numbers help you calculate your ROI

By admin | Advice Centre , Articles , News , Uncategorized

What is call tracking?

Call tracking allows your business to see directly where your custom is coming from. The common factor of all advertising goals is to boost sales and brand awareness, which call tracking allows you to do.

Call tracking means you have a number of unique telephone numbers which you use in different pieces of marketing that you are running at once – whether newspaper, AdWords, PPC, social media, TV, radio or door-to-door flyers – for tracking purposes only. These numbers are then directly routed to your normal number, landline or mobile, and answered in the usual way.

Placing one number in one single marketing campaign, and another in a different one lets you use tracking numbers to show the real effect your advertising efforts have on your business.

Understanding your return on investment (ROI) is the most important measurement for an advertiser. It is guaranteed to help you evaluate whether the money you are spending is going towards a profitable cause.

By determining which marketing methods are successful, you can use your customer’s calling as a sales opportunity in more ways than one.

What can I track?

Though it’s vital to track a number of callers, which our portal eliminates the need for you to do manually, it is important not just to rely on tracking the number of callers alone.

In order to track the quality of your numbers, you should be tracking the duration of the call too. Some calls are more valuable than others and are more likely to yield successful leads and generate more meaningful conversations. More often than not, the longer the conversation, the better.

The location is also an essential factor when considering your ROI. Knowing the locations of your calls results in a larger percentage of conversions, and highlights where you can target upcoming marketing campaigns.

The time of day, again, allows you to gather a more accurate understanding of your ROI because you can understand the callers and their level of interest in your product. With our portal, you will receive detailed reports regarding all call patterns.

What can I gain from call tracking?

Simply, with call tracking, you know where your marketing is working and where it is not. The key to improvement is being aware of your successes and failures, and call tracking gives you the exact insight you need to streamline your marketing and focus on the effectivity of successful channels.

It is a tool that encourages certain aspects of your adverting to be adapted, tweaked, improved, kept the same or lost or together and helps you decide how to allocate your budget to better-performing campaigns, reduce wasteful spending and result in financial gains.

You needn’t have to ask your customers how they know about your company with call tracking because it is a reliable way of recording data as a result of advertising and represents leads.

The benefits of accurately proving your ROI and correctly attributing marketing efforts are impossible to ignore. To impact your business, you should know where your money is working and if it is at all.

Is call tracking difficult to put into practice?

Call tracking is not difficult to put into practice. It is a simple, cost-effective system that makes a huge difference to your business.

It can be done at a very basic level, set up in advance and sounds more complicated than it is. You will have access to regular reports about all of the calls made on our easy-to-use portal, and be able to see how effective each strategy is from then on.

It is a measurement of business efficiency, no matter the size of your company and tough to know what’s profitable and what is working without it.

Make a return on your investment with eCall’s helpful software solution today.

Feb 08

eCall’s new bespoke call conferencing service

By admin | Advice Centre , Articles , News , Uncategorized

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We at eCall are now offering a bespoke call conferencing service for businesses. As a part of our web-based portal, you can have instant and hassle-free access to the facility without the need to worry about purchasing additional software with complex set-ups and costs.

The service is straightforward, user-friendly and reliable, as well as both professional and effective. You can record a company message and work flexibly to host a conference call within your business and with clients.

Giving you the freedom to work simply, the service is free as a part of our eCall portal with an 0844 number, though calls cost whatever your provider charges.

The impressive facilities function cross country, work simply for clients and represent your company as up-to-date and reliable; reinforcing a positive company message.

Invaluably, it can enable your company to link with communities and other professionals with an efficient and high-quality audio line.

Users of the call conferencing will be provided with a telephone number to dial, as well as a PIN to give them access. The service is supported by our eCall customer service team, on-hand to help with your call-conferencing needs.

Jan 25

What the eCall portal can do for your business, big or small

By admin | Advice Centre , Articles , News , Uncategorized

business call

Portals and applications allow businesses to have a mobile switchboard in the palm of their hands that can be accessed at any location for both those in the office and in the field.

Not dissimilar to ours, other portals and office systems in the market such as the recently launched App2Chat work exclusively from existing smart phones and allow you have multiple phone numbers sitting on one device to make both business and personal calls.

Despite the Pink Telephone Company’s App2Chat catering for small businesses, it lacks in benefits for medium and large enterprises who can gain an advantage with our eCall portal.

Limiting the ability to keep track of calls, App2Chat, unlike our portal doesn’t enable you to monitor your inbound calls with a suite of vital call statistics and timed reports. With eCall you can access any telecommunications data you might need in real time, including last number redials, call answering times, duration and volume; all crucial when assessing your phone-based customer service performance.

One of eCall’s tools also gives you access to heat maps that illustrate where your callers have dialled from and the average the time of day; letting you handle future marketing campaigns and explore the effectiveness of current projects.

Though it has been deemed revolutionary in terms of office management and the ‘must-have mobile office system of choice’, as far as we can tell, App2Chat does not boast an IVR Menu or Advanced Menu like our cloud-based portal either, which provides your company with optimum automated call direction.

With over 400 SMEs progressively introducing the App2Chat office system since its launch at the Business Show in December, it’s clear to see the benefits of slashing the cost of business communications in the office. But without these SMEs having knowledge of other types of systems, they are limiting their businesses to applications that are not boosting the company to their maximum.

Replacing tired infrastructure and outmoded hardware, eCall lets you transfer your calls mid-call with no second-call costs and gives you missed call alerts so you needn’t ever miss any custom for your business.

With 5 million SMEs in the UK alone we can’t see how App2Chat is a game changer, especially without one-click disaster recovery, call statistics and mid-call transfers. Furthermore, eCall are in the process of launching the most innovative, up-to-minute call-conferencing system you could possibly need, so keep a look out for that and read about everything our portal offers you here.

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

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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.

Oct 29

Competition and Markets Authority clear EE and BT deal

By admin | Advice Centre , Articles , News , Uncategorized

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) have provisionally cleared the £12.5bn deal between BT and EE which was announced in February.

It will see the BT group takeover the UK’s largest mobile phone operator EE. The swoop was cleared by the competition watchdog on the grounds that the deal was “not expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition in the UK,” they said.

The deal will create a communications giant, covering fixed-line phone, broadband, mobile and TV and will treble BT’s retail customers. The CMA proposed no changes in the terms of the deal, as with little similarity between BT and EE’s core markets it is unlikely to damage the interest of consumers.

The CMA said the two firms operated in different telco areas “with BT strong in supplying fixed communications services (voice, broadband and pay TV), EE strong in supplying mobile communications services, and limited overlap between them in both categories of service.”

John Wotton, chair of the CMA inquiry said: “Having considered all the evidence, the group does not provisionally believe that, in a dynamic and evolving sector, it is more likely than not that BT/EE will be able to use its position to damage competition or the interests of consumers.

EE currently has around 25m subscribers and is joint owned by former state telecom companies, Deutsche Telekom in Germany and Orange in France. Both French and German governments retain stakes in the business and will gain stakes in BT under the proposed deal.

BT chief executive, Gavin Patterson welcomed the arrangement: “The combined BT and EE will be good for the UK, providing investment and ensuring consumers and businesses can benefit from further innovation in a highly competitive market.”

BT is dominant in the UK’s broadband business, owning the infrastructure of how broadband is delivered throughout the UK – even via Sky.

Communications watchdog Ofcom have launched a separate investigation in a wider review of the competition in digital communications, specifically into the breakup of internet broadband and the position of BT-owned Openreach in the market.

Competitors such as Vodafone have spoken of their disappointment of the CMA decision and call for Ofcom to force BT to sell off Openreach; improving competition and the service they provide.

The CMA said in a statement: “We are aware of concerns voiced recently about Openreach and wider concerns are currently being considered by Ofcom in their review of the whole telecommunications market.”

The publication of the enquiry’s final report, however, has been pushed back until January 18th in order to consider all responses.

BT also continue to have increasing conflict with leading pay-TV providers, Sky, as they introduce more pay-TV services and make substantial investments in sports rights. Furthermore, Sky plan to offer mobile contracts through a deal with the second largest mobile operator O2, which will continue to drive competition in the market.

Oct 20

Customer service improvements with eCall

By admin | Advice Centre , Articles , News , Uncategorized

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There’s a concoction of universal skills consumers expect when communicating with a company. Many of them should be blindingly obvious and the core of the service you provide, such as: patience, attentiveness, clear communication skills, compassion and empathy or deep knowledge of products.

To improve interaction with customers who demand speed and convenience, technology is crucial. Ensuring members of staff harness the skill to use that technology is even better.

Many businesses rarely communicate with customers face-to-face as their product simply doesn’t require it, so telephone and digital media are not only the first point of call but quite often the only one. With that then comes important approaches when giving that first impression, satisfying customers and building enough trust to bring them back.

Supplying customers with personalised, straightforward and pertinent information and always asking first if they can be put on-hold are some things you need to hold up on your end of the bargain.

Adhering to the unspoken rules such as answering incoming calls before the third ring or responding to messages within one business day is still, of course, critical. Provide a barrier-less customer experience; for the prospectives deciding whether to do business or not, or for the existing (sometimes irritated) who are judging your competence as a business.

As consumers we’ve all undoubtedly experienced the aggravation of being passed around to multiple members of the team (72% of people in this survey blame their frustrations on this), constantly being transferred and sometimes not getting a solution at all (26% of people in this survey were transferred without solution). Calls should be directed to the right person, and quickly-provided resolutions is how good service is defined (69% of people in this survey think so, too).

Reduce the work a customer has to do to get their problem solved without running the risk of alienating them. Our eCall packages only enhance that superior customer service and allow your business to flourish. Increase your sales, time-management, customer loyalty and enable positive word-of-mouth advertising.

The simplicity and inconvenience of the cloud-based portal gives features such as: missed call alerts, voice to email, fax to email, on-hold advertising/music, midcall transfers, IVR menus/advanced menus and pre-connection messages.

You needn’t go a literal extra mile like these examples of fast-food workers redefining customer care. And you needn’t get the reputation industries like banks have for bad customer service (with only 25% of consumers happy, according to research).

In another report, of over 18,000 customers in the UK and eight other countries polled, 90% of people said good service made them feel positive about an organisation, and 81% claimed they “just wanted questions answered” when they had a complaint or query.

Principal analyst in customer engagement at Ovum, Jeremy Cox, said: “This study is a wake-up call for brands looking to revamp their customer service to cater to today’s more demanding and better informed customers.

“While brands have the ability to precision-target highly personalised communications for every single customer, the study shows what people around the world actually value most are the basics – questions answered with minimal effort on their part.”

Don’t let the statistics speak for your company and speak to a member of our team at eCall today.

Oct 13

Increasing importance in BYOD for businesses and how eCall can help

By admin | Advice Centre , Articles , News , Uncategorized

Employees Only

With the constant changes in technology, business employees are increasingly wanting to use their own devices at work.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) means IT departments needn’t struggle in keeping up with those rapid technology changes, whether the device is a phone, tablet or PC. Businesses are evolving and encouraging those employees to access things such as corporate email, text documents and real-time statistics.

‘IT consumerisation’ gives the workplace freedom to choose how they do so with technology they’re familiar with, whether on iPhone 6, Nokia Lumia or iPad Pro. This initiative brings several advantages to both big and small businesses, but primarily it increases productivity while reducing costs. What’s not to love?

All of eCall’s cloud-based portal packages (bronze, silver, gold or platinum) come with an app for either Apple or Android that enables access to data wherever, and for whomever you feel like accessing it. The app allows you to edit features such as pre-connection greetings, as well as routes to landlines and mobiles, and many others depending on the package you buy.

Without the worries of IT security being threatened, the app is secure, straightforward and acts as IT self-sufficiency for your company no matter the size. Employees who already own smartphones and tablets can innovatively have greater communication control 24/7; on the road, in the office or working from home.

As Mark Coates, EMEA VP at Good Technology, points out: “[BYOD] is about being innovative and helping your employees to work better.

“Employees want to use the devices that they are comfortable with in the workplace. They want to have the same experience at work that they have at home. People are used to using applications now, rather than browser-based solutions. By giving employees what they want, companies will ultimately benefit.”

Operating a BYOD strategy doesn’t only improve staff motivation, satisfaction and productivity but it enhances customer service, which only means advances in your company. Staff working more flexibly while enjoying statistics is all encompassed in our advanced portal and application.

As part of reducing your hardware and hardware maintenance spend, the convenience is within easy reach. Don’t hesitate to call eCall today, where a member of our team on 0800 808 9900 can give you more information on what our portal and packages can offer your company.