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Are virtual switchboards necessary to get customers where they need to be?

When dealing with ever growing corporations and large establishments, the virtual switchboard can be invaluable in connecting customers with someone who can help them.

When dealing with ever growing corporations and large establishments, the virtual switchboard can be invaluable in connecting customers with someone who can help them. It can be infuriating to be unable to contact the right member of staff, being transferred between departments until the right person is found. The virtual switchboard removes this problem, immediately routing the customer’s call to the correct location. Where companies’ sales, accounts, customer service or resourcing departments can be spread across many locations, ensuring it is as easy as possible for the customer to meet their needs is key.

Virtual switchboards are able to direct how incoming calls are managed via an easily controlled web interface. This means that calls can be routed to different locations or departments according to the time of day, and settings are easily controlled by the company. There is also a large market for interactive voice response functions, the menu whereby the caller is instructed to press a number on their telephone keypad to be connected to a specific person. These announcements are pre-recorded and can also be changed to suit the needs of the business.

Switchboard services can meet many different business needs, but all of these ultimately benefit the customer. For the business user, the switchboard might be set to divert all incoming calls to whichever handset they are currently using – be that mobile, office or home – making it more convenient for the customer to reach you without having to try several different numbers. As mentioned, each option on the switchboard could point to a different service or department, enabling the customer to reach the member of staff who is able to help with their query. This also gives a corporate feel and a single point of contact, making marketing more effective as there is only one telephone number to publicise and providing a professional appearance.

Customers are notoriously fickle, not wanting to be inconvenienced at all when looking for businesses to meet their needs. Particularly when dealing with larger companies, it is easy to lose the personal touch – making customers feel like they are not being treated with the care they warrant. Making it as easy as possible for the customer to reach the right person is the main benefit of the virtual switchboard, and the main reason they remain necessary for most business applications. Such an easy thing to implement but with significant consequences to reputation and professional image, switchboards are here to stay.