Thursday, August 27, 2015

Cloud Telephony for Small And Medium Business

SMB/SME(Small & Medium Business/Enterprise)  plays a very important role in Indian economy, they contribute more than 45% to  industrial output, 40% of country’s total exports and create 1.3 million jobs every year  and currently there are more than 48 million SME in India (source: Ministry of MSME, GoI).  Looking at these data, we can say that the MSME sector plays a very important role in Indian economy.  Due to their importance in national economy, government has launched many schemes to motivate them, yet they struggle on multiple account, like financial, HR issue, technology, regulatory and many more.
Without knowing in detail, I cannot comment on all the areas, but being associated with telecommunication industry, I could like to put my thoughts about the new technology advancement in telecommunication sector, which would be very helpful for small and medium business owners.
Telecommunication technology has changed phenomenally in few years, also the dependency on communication has increased drastically, today complete sales cycle, i.e. from lead generation to sales closure and customer service happen over the telephone/mobile. One of the new technology that has evolved in few years is Cloud telephony or Cloud Communication or Cloud Call Centre.
Cloud Telephony is a data communications technology where all communication applications, switching and storage devices are hosted at service provider premise, organization wanted to start the service  just have to pay monthly charge and  the full-fledged (i.e. IVR, Recording, Analytics & many more) telephony service can be started  on traditional phones, mobile or system i.e. desktop, laptop or tablet.
The Cloud telephony is like a boon for SME’s, it solves many of the problems related to communication, at a very reasonable cost.
Let’s look at few of pain areas for Small and Media Enterprises & how cloud telephony can help to solve that.

  • Dependency on mobile phone: For small business owners most of the sales or customer call comes to mobile phone, due to this there is a high probability of missing a business call due to multiple reason like no battery, no signal while travelling etc., and “A missed call can be a missed opportunity”.
    • With cloud telephony business owner would never miss a call, even when mobile phone is switched off, the caller would be greeted with an IVR and the call would be recorded.
  • High Initial Capital: Cost of Setting up any traditional call centre is very high.
    • With cloud call centre, you don’t have to invest any capital in equipment, just pay the monthly charges and start a full-fledged call centre.
  • Don’t have call management solution:  Many organizations are totally dependent of employee for better call management and customer service, there are no automated mechanics to monitor call and quality of customer service offered.
    • With Cloud telephony all the calls would be recorded, which will make the employee’s more accountable and would improve customer service.
  • Multiple contact Number: As the business grows up, organization goes for multiple numbers to handle all the calls, which is very cumbersome.
    • With Cloud Telephony a single contact number (unified number) can be used,   irrespective of call volume, at the blackened you can have any number of representatives handling the call.
  • Unique number of each location: As organization expands to new location, each location gets a unique contact number, which is very confusing for customer and not advisable in long term.
    • With Cloud telephony a company can use the same number for all the locations.
  • Call not integrated with CRM : Most of companies customer calls are not integrated with CRM
    • With Cloud call centre, you can easily integrate customer call with CRM.

At the last, I would say that undoubtedly Cloud Telephony would not able to solve the fundamental problem faced by MSME sector, but it would definitely  equip them with best communication technologies, which will help them become more competitive and could serve their customers in a better way.