Landlines have been a big part of how we've been able to communicate over the past few decades, but post-pandemic businesses need so much more than what old phone systems provide. In other words, for businesses to thrive in the flexible work landscape, their phone systems need to have the “IT” factor.
Remote work is here to stay
In February and March, GoTo commissioned Frost - Sullivan to survey 1,000 small and midsize business leaders in management and IT in North America, Europe, and APAC to look at the top trends for the future of work.
The new research confirms the age of employee empowerment and that the hybrid work model is here to stay. As a result, IT infrastructure needs to be up to scratch, and antiquated software is simply unfit for the remote working age. Digital tools that are fast to deploy and simple to use are crucial to a successful and productive remote workforce.
So what comprises the “IT” factor of phone systems?
In short, the next generation of phone systems needs to be versatile and simple to use, like a Swiss Army Knife. With a Unified Communications and Collaborations (UCC) solution like GoTo Connect, a whole new realm of possibilities is unleashed. Users can talk to others on any internet-connected device, including smartphones, laptops, and desktop computers. Unlike legacy PBX systems based on hardware that are complicated and expensive to install and maintain, cloud-based systems use the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, which is typically more economical, easier to use, and can be managed from anywhere.
The cloud telephony solution GoTo Connect consolidates meeting, messaging, collaboration tools as well as an integrated contact center solution into a single, easy-to-use platform. Read this blog post to find out more about how GoTo Connect is supporting Australian businesses adapt to the new working environment, resolve their IT challenges, and change their game in customer engagement.
Success stories with GoTo
Y Whittlesea (previously known as YMCA Whittlesea) provides a range of programs and services in the local community which focus on the healthy living, empowerment and social impact of young people. With the organisation having more than 450 staff and numerous volunteers, the pandemic turned its operations upside down. Y Whittlesea executive assistant Carolyn Kleiman says the organisation had been using physical handsets.
“Obviously, during COVID, no one was in the office. Our recreation and childcare centers shut down, and while our inclusion services department stayed open, they operated with minimal staff,” she says.
“We had to quickly figure out whom we should divert our phone calls to and realised we needed to move to softphones.
Kleiman says getting GoTo's Phone, Meeting and Messaging solution setup and customised was easy, and it only took her a couple of weeks to learn the admin side of things and set up the dial plan.
“It gives our employees the flexibility to move about, making them happier and more satisfied with their jobs. With much of our staff still working from home, having GoTo has most definitely increased our productivity,” she says.
“Feedback from the team has been positive. They love that the app is on their mobile phone and that they can take phone calls without being stuck to their desks.”
Family-owned computer retailer Umart, which has three major distribution centers and ten retail locations across Australia, also had a significant phone transformation with GoTo. Umart's head of customer service Evan Casey says the company's previous phone solution was very basic.
“I had no control, so if I wanted to make very simple changes, it felt like I had to go and ask mum and dad for permission. And because I had to rely on someone else to make changes for me, there were times that my change requests would be misinterpreted or just ignored. Something as simple as putting a different message on our phone IVR was a chore,” he says.
Umart's previous solution also fell short when it came to reporting. For example, Casey had to try and navigate CSV files which he says were a complete mess to try and get data from. But more importantly, the company's lack of control over phone settings also led to disappointing experiences for Umart customers.
“Our vendor wasn't there to support us and close our queues on public holidays and other days we needed to close. On several occasions, our phone lines were left open even though we didn't have anyone available to answer calls,” says Casey.
When he tried out GoTo, Casey says he was pleasantly surprised. GoTo was more affordable than Umart's previous solution, and the company gained far greater features and services than it originally had. Since implementing GoTo's Phone, Meeting and Messaging and Contact Centre solutions, Umart has seen significant increases in important metrics, including the company's Net Promoter Score (NPS).
“We've seen increases in our customer effort score and our NPS. Over the last year, our NPS has increased 20 points,” says Casey.
“Our customer effort score has increased, too. We started at about 71% and have since boosted the score to 89% - a full 89% of our customers say that when dealing with our customer service team, they're either ‘satisfied' or ‘very satisfied' with the service, which I'm quite proud of.
There's still room to improve, but for nine out of ten customers to say that you make it easy for them, I'm quite happy with that.
Switching to a better communication system has never been easier - or more affordable
In the Australian Federal Government's budget this year, one billion dollars has been allocated for small businesses to digitise their operations through a new bonus tax deduction.
Named the Technology Investment Boost, Small-Medium Enterprises can earn a $120 tax deduction for every $100 they pour into the digital economy in areas like flexible work technology, cloud adoption, cybersecurity, and web design. That works out to a 20% return on every dollar invested. There's also $12.7 million to provide independent advice to small businesses to help them build their digital capabilities through the Digital Solutions – Australian Small Business Advisory Services program and $15.3 million to enhance the value of electronic invoicing to help businesses reduce costs and increase productivity.
There's never been a better time for Australian businesses to digitalise and future-proof their technology, and GoTo is encouraging SMEs to consult their accountants now to see if their business would be eligible for this incentive.