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Turn Your Receptionist into a Call Management Ninja

By Mark Maxwell|Tuesday November 20, 2018

Ooma Office has added two new small business phone products, and any employee dealing with a high volume of calls can benefit from the power, speed, and ease of managing calls with the new devices.

The Yealink T27G IP Phone and the Yealink EXP20 Expansion Module provide full access to Ooma’s communications features and are a great choice for anyone who manages a high volume of calls, such as receptionists, executive assistants, or executives. In addition, the devices may solve some of the business communications problems that affect your office.

Yealink T27G IP Phone Ooma

Find out how using these Yealink phone devices with Ooma’s award-winning business phone service can help your staff members do their jobs better and improve your customer service.

Business Problem #1: Phone Line Management

Your company’s receptionist may be jumping through hoops when transferring calls by pressing a sequence of buttons and extension numbers, likely consulting a printed staff directory with extension numbers during the process. This isn’t an efficient system, obviously.

The Yealink T27G IP Phone is an excellent tool for managing multiple phone lines. It has eight programmable buttons that provide one-touch access to advanced calling functions such as speed dial, new line, call transfer, and call park.

In total, each phone can accommodate up to six lines, up to three call park functions, and unlimited speed dial functions.

Do you want even more capacity? The phone’s additional virtual pages let you cycle through menu screens so you can have up to 21 programmable buttons (seven buttons per page for three pages). The feature automatically turns on when more than eight buttons are configured.

Business Problem #2: Information Access

A desk phone that doesn’t have a full screen can leave your staff flying blind when making call transfers. Creative users will rig up sticky notes so they know which button corresponds to which extension.

While there’s nothing wrong with the DIY approach, it can be improved through the 3.66-inch backlit LCD screen with full graphical capabilities offered by the Yealink T27G. Customizable digital button labels display the information that you enter when configuring your presets.

The digital display will automatically update when you make changes, and when this information is readily available, staff can be more efficient in how they transfer calls.

Business Problem #3: Many Callers and a Large Staff

Like a booster pack to an already powerful rocket, the Yealink EXP20 Expansion Module expands your phone’s capability, making it easy to manage calls across a wider set of employees.

Ooma Yealink EXP20 expansion module

High-volume phone traffic positions such as receptionists or administrative assistants can be the funnel point that bridges your business’ many callers with its large staff. A limited set of tools can slow down the exchanges that happen in this role.

With the Yealink EXP20, your power users will have 20 additional physical buttons at their fingertips, offering one-touch access to essential functions such as call forwarding, speed dial, and hold. With a backlit screen and dual-color LED keys, the 60 x 320-pixel display is legible even in low-light conditions.

Keep in mind that the EXP20 isn’t a standalone unit, and it must be physically connected to a Yealink T27G IP Phone to operate. Up to six EXP20 expansion modules can be paired with the T27G desk phone. Two expansion units can be powered by plugging them directly into the phone. For three or more expansion modules, an additional power supply is required.

Business Problem #4: Phone Setup

When the process of customizing your phone is archaic or frustrating, users are often less likely to take full advantage of the phone’s available functionality. However, when using these Yealink devices with Ooma Office phone service, configuring your devices is as easy as updating an online contact list.

To set up the phone extensions and custom buttons on your devices, simply use your computer or mobile device to log into the newly designed Ooma Office Manager. From here, you can access administrative tools and configure your optimal phone system.

Yealink Ooma Office phone setup

While there are endless customization possibilities for your Yealink T27G, many businesses start with the following:

    1. Configure the first two to three buttons as “lines” for making/receiving calls. If you have more than two or three simultaneous calls regularly, consider more lines.

 

    1. Configure two to three “Call Park” buttons on each phone across a small company or department.

 

  1. For anyone who needs more than six speed-dial buttons, add the EXP20 Expansion Module hardware to the phone.

Yealink T27G IP Phone and Yealink EXP20 Expansion Module

While these Yealink devices may seem to give your receptionist ninja-like phone management powers, the tools can also be a strong preventative measure for keeping clients and customers happy.

Consider how an incoming caller’s overall opinion of your business might be affected if a call is dropped during a transfer, if he or she is routed to the wrong extension, or if the process takes too long. When a receptionist has the telephone tools available to provide better call management, you might find that both your staff and customers are more satisfied.

Note that when using Ooma Office phone service, the Yealink T27G and EXP20 are the only devices on which programmable buttons can be configured.

The additional functionality available with the Yealink T27G and EXP20 is only available for customers on the current pricing model. Ooma Office customers with legacy pricing plans can contact the Ooma sales team to discuss options for accessing this advanced functionality.

Find out more about how the Yealink T27G IP Phone and the Yealink EXP20 Expansion Module can improve business productivity.

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Loyal customers are critical to business success because they tend to be a source of repeat business. According to The Loyalty Report 2018, “Loyalty programs that establish positive emotional connections with Members see 27% more of their Membership increasing their spend with the Brand.” This research tells us that building customer loyalty can lead to more spending.

Loyalty programs vs. improving customer experience: Designing your approach

There are different approaches to building customer loyalty. Some companies use loyalty program cards, bonus offers and other incentives. You might offer access to special deals like CVS or take 5% off the purchase price like Target. You might even give some or part of your product away for free, like airlines that provide free flights through their loyalty programs. What if your small business isn’t interested or able to offer these kinds of loyalty programs?

There is another way to encourage loyal customers to keep giving you repeat business. Gather customer feedback through a phone survey and then use that data to improve the customer experience. When customers see that the business owner has acted on their feedback, they may feel inspired to return to that business. That means more revenue for the bottom line. You just need a fast and straightforward way to conduct a customer satisfaction survey. That’s where a focused business phone survey comes in.

Why increasing customer loyalty with a phone survey is a good choice.

Organizing a customer satisfaction survey by phone offers notable advantages compared to other methods. While a net promoter survey can give you interesting data, there is no conversational element involved. Further, using the net promoter survey approach effectively requires a certain degree of specialized training in the net promoter methodology.

You might also consider online customer surveys. Surveying your email list or website is worth attempting. Depending on the size of your email list or website traffic, you might be able to get a large number of survey responses. The challenge with online customer surveys is that you will have to spend a lot of time reviewing the data to find insights. There is no way to ask a customer to clarify their survey responses or provide an example.

Conducting a customer satisfaction survey by phone gives you the best of both worlds. You can ask questions and get survey responses. However, you also have the opportunity to provide the human touch. For instance, you may hear a customer complain about a lost or delayed order. When you hear about a problem during a phone survey, you can gather all the necessary details to make the situation right with the customer.

How to increase customer loyalty with a phone survey step by step.

The following steps give you a starting point to create a simple customer satisfaction survey. Over the course of a month, you could gather a significant amount of insights to improve your customer service by calling five to 10 customers per day.

  1. Define your customer satisfaction survey goals.

Before calling a single customer, reflect on your business goals. Are you seeking to improve your profit margins? In that case, you may want to focus your survey on the customers that spend the most on your business. Finding ways to make high-spending customers content may give you an excellent return. Alternatively, you may decide to focus your survey project on whether your local SEO has attracted customers. 

  1. Write your customer satisfaction survey questions.

Now that you have clarity on your goals, it is time to write your questions. According to Survey Monkey, a survey software company, it is best to focus your survey on closed-ended questions. An example of a closed-ended question would be: “How many times have you bought from our business in the past 12 months?” However, this kind of question may not give you the ideas you need to improve the customer experience.

At the end of the survey, consider asking one or two open-ended questions to understand better what your customers like. Encourage customers to think creatively with a question like this: “If you could change anything in our business, what would you improve?”

Tip: Reduce your need for note-taking by using call recording, but make sure that you ask for permission first.

  1. Test the survey with a small group of customers.

With your list of customer satisfaction questions, make a few test phone calls to customers. The purpose of the test is to discover if any of the questions are unclear. If you receive confusing answers, revise the question to make them clearer.

  1. Train employees on how to gather survey responses.

Consider running a few training phone calls for your employees. Ask them to call you or other employees in a role-playing scenario. Making a few practice calls will help your employees become more familiar with the questions. Besides, practice phone surveys will help employees learn how to record survey responses accurately. Once the training is complete, give your staff a list of customers to call and let them get started.

  1. Review the survey responses for insights and follow up with customers.

After all of the survey responses are in, schedule time to review the results. In particular, look for patterns in the results. If a large number of people gave low scores to your website, you may need to make improvements. Also, review the survey responses received in the open-ended questions. You might be pleasantly surprised at what customers tell you.

  1. Follow up with customers after the survey when needed.

A phone survey lets you gather rich insights because you can quickly ask follow-up questions. However, merely gathering survey responses may not impress your customers very much. Instead, offer to refer problems to the business owner for improvement or offer to enter the respondent in a drawing for a gift card. That is a much more compelling improvement! By addressing problems and issues when they arise, you stand a much better chance of winning additional loyal customers.