VoIP Teleworker “Imagine This…” Whitepaper
Have you ever wondered what some of the benefits a new VoIP system may bring to your organization? Well, Imagine this…
Your business has been at the same address for the last 10 years. As it gets closer to the lease ending, the landlord is wanting a 30% to 40% increase in your rent. As you start to shop for a different location for your office, you only see a few realities. You can drastically downgrade the quality of the office space, take home less net income, move to the “burbs” or…
Reducing Real Estate Expenses through Technology
According to Rich Pancioli at CBRE, the average square foot rate for real estate space in Houston, TX is $28.97 per square foot per year. So how much money would you save by reducing real estate by 10%? On a 10,000-sq. foot space, your company would save $28,970 PER YEAR. The question is, how can you save 10% on your real estate?
For years people have toyed with the idea of the “Teleworker”. The concept has grown, but has not evolved to its full potential. Most business owners struggle with managing a remote worker and making them part of the team. In most cases, an employee may fall into an “out of site” and “out of mind” category. This can cause high turn-over and low productivity. As our Houston VoIP sales manager Brent Blevins likes to say, “If you cannot measure something, you cannot manage it”. With these challenges, most businesses have only deployed remote teleworkers in easy to manage positions only. These positions fall into the Pay for Performance segment of the market place. In most cases, this would be their outside sales force.
VoIP Phone Remote Worker Benefits
So, what are some of the many benefits that may arise from a proper VoIP remote worker deployment?
- We have already discussed real estate cost reduction. This reduction can be real and a profound increase to the bottom line.
- My personal favorite is an increase in talent pool available to an organization. This is especially important for a company that requires skilled labor for computer or VoIP phone system based jobs. You have now opened up the talent search as large as you would like. You can now expand your search for talent from Houston, Austin and San Antonio to a nationwide or worldwide search.
- A company can generally pay less to a VoIP Teleworker than to an employee who comes to the office. Teleworking eliminates toll roads, gas and wear and tear eliminated on a vehicle. VoIP Teleworkers also provides the employee a drastic increase in quality of life.
- According to the accountants at Dorean Mayhew, a Teleworker can write-off their home office. This is a substantial tax deduction for most people. Check with Dorean Mayhew or your accountant for details and specifications on how this works.
- A reduction in furniture cost is a real savings for a VoIP Teleworker program. If you are shopping for new cubicles or office furniture, you know the reality of this costs. An average cubicle in Houston, TX costs approximately $4,000.
- The benefits of allowing employees to VoIP Telework can assist an organization in recruiting higher skilled employees without the higher priced pay. For example, if you are in Houston, TX, you may be able to find talent in a rural area for 10% to 20% less. In San Antonio, TX you can easily recruit possible employees from The University of Texas in Austin.
Now that we know the benefits of VoIP Teleworking, we need to discuss the tools to manage remote VoIP phones. There are benefits for Customer Service Representatives, Outside Sales People, Field Technicians, Insides Sales, and Assistants with business telephone systems in Houston, Austin and San Antonio.
Customer Service Representative
Imagine a customer service representative is at home working on a computer tied into the office. They have a VPN and a VoIP phone that is linked to the Houston office.
Now, a manager (or anyone else in the office) can see if the customer service person is on the phone, in a chat or handling an e-mail. By the press of a button, you can speak with the CSR, share desktops, chat or even go into an immediate video conference with the person and other team members. Internal people can easily see when the CSR is available and communicate with them in a seamless fashion.
The above is very similar to the person being in the office. For instance, if a manager wants people in the office so he can walk into their office and put a sticky note on their phone saying “call me as soon as you get off the phone”, the manager now has the ability to send a digital sticky note or even burst into a phone conversation to let the CSR know that they need to talk to them ASAP.
Not only can we now communicate with the CSR like they are in the office, but we can also track and monitor activity. This helps to ensure the person is actually working and not babysitting the kids or handling unnecessary tasks. Real time monitors are available for managers that can show how many phone calls a CSR received, how many phone calls they did not answer and who they talked to. Computers can be monitored for when the person logged in, idle time of the PC, how many e-mails they handled, how long it took to process each e-mail and even record the calls for quality assurance purposes.
Outside Sales Representative
Now, imagine the possible struggles many companies have managing outside sales representatives. As a naturally mobile work force, this provides a variety of challenges. Companies are having to either provide mobile phones (a major expense and management nightmare) or reimburse sales representatives for a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) concept which has its own technical management and turn-over challenges.
Let us say, in Houston, TX you need to hire an Outside Sales Representative. Your company provides the Managed IT and VoIP communications for the employee. They are in the field and are financially incentivized. Therefore, you decide to allow them to work from their home office. They are also allowed to use their own smart phone since they preferred a particular model and did not want to carry two phones. To assist in getting them started, you had management walk them around and introduce them to all of your clients. The sales representative provided all of the customers his mobile number vs. the office number.
The Next 6 Months
Over the next 6 months you have several issues with the new sales representative. The company has received numerous complaints that the person has not returned calls. The sales are not what you expected from the new hire and when you do get an order, there is a lot of “well, your sales person told me…” and the company is having to do a lot of credits to the accounts. Your overall customer satisfaction and employee productivity is at an unacceptable level and your company has to make the unfortunate decision of an employee change.
Once your company has released the employee, you find out through LinkedIn that the employee is now working for your competitor. Despite the non-compete the sales person has and that they are not allowed to pursue the customer base, your customers have the person’s personal mobile number and are calling it for orders. This is causing customer confusion and, furthermore, the ethics of the sales representative is also questionable. Instead of forwarding the calls over to your office, the person is starting to take orders at the new company.
You immediately get an injunction put on the sales person but customers keep calling the mobile number. The person now simply lets the calls go to voice mail and does not tell you about the call. Furthermore, you discover that they saved all the contracts and proposals they worked on to their personal laptop vs. the server which is company policy. Now sure, you let all the customers know about the change via e-mail and personal visits as fast as possible. You also realize it is not happening with every customer. Unfortunately, over the years it has been a repetitive problem and frustrates your clients.
Now, imagine this alternate and more positive scenario….
You hire a new sales representative. They get to use their own computer but your company loads a client on the computer. This allows you to perform Managed IT of the computer. Now you can ensure it has the appropriate anti-virus and Windows updates. The sales representative now has remote access to all information but they have to access it via the server. This means no information is downloaded to their laptop. Management in the office can see when the login to the laptop and see all proposals and contracts since they user has no option as to where they save the information.
The employee wants to use their own Android/iPhone because they do not want to carry two phones. Now, even though they use their own phone, your office Caller ID is published vs. their personal number. They will still receive the inbound caller ID of the person calling. Furthermore, they have the added benefit of transferring inbound mobile callers to anyone else in your office. In addition, the office can see when the sales person is on their smart phone and redirect the call appropriately. From the smart phone, sales people can change their status to in a meeting or driving (or any other status) and automatically redirect their phone calls and text messages to another destination or to voice mail.
While supplying the ultimate in mobility tools to these Houston representatives through new VoIP and business telephone system technology, management now has the tools to monitor the activity in the field. Even though the call was on the mobile phone, managers can pull up recordings of the calls to ensure quality of information. Proactively, managers can now train the sales representatives on their weaknesses and knowledge issues insuring the highest levels of quality assurance. The manager can also easily run reports of each call made, who they called, when and for how long on all inbound and outbound calling. With minimal development, managers can synchronize this data with their CRM to ensure customers are being contacted on a regular basis.
Now, if for any reason there is turn over in the position you can easily disable the user. An Active Directory update is made and the server connection is turned off (no more company files or e-mails), anti-virus is removed, client is removed from the computer and mobile phone and the person’s published number is now redirected to an appropriate person to handle the incoming call. If you decide to allow BYOD, you have even eliminated the nightmare of managing corporate mobile phone plans. The worry of retrieving hardware has also been eliminated.
The scenarios continue for technical positions, internal sales, assistants, HR and other departments. If you would like to know how VoIP can help you in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, just contact us.