Why You Need a Customer Advocate When You Go to the Cloud

If you’ve been reluctant to upgrade, the tech industry labels you a Luddite or “late adopter.” Instead, as we have learned through close working relationships with our clients, you’re probably quite eager to leverage new technology. What you’re quite understandably averse to is the burdensome processes and aggravation of onboarding.

 

The onboarding process doesn’t have to be such an aggravation but, as most of our new clients have affirmed, it’s why they waited so long. We were able to change their perspective on adopting new tech.

 

One of our clients quipped recently, after we migrated them to the cloud: “If I’d known it would be this smooth and easy, I’d have ditched our rotary phones a long time ago!”

 

We Don’t Pass You Off, We Get Our Hands Dirty

 

A while back at Gregg Communications, we put our heads together to identify what it is that seems to come through inherently in our customer service that our clients don’t experience elsewhere.

 

What we discovered is this:

Making technology adoption smooth and easy takes technical skill and experience, sure, but it also requires caring more deeply about the client’s success than the sale.

 

The reason most businesses have a negative experience with their upgrade is they are passed from the vendor from whom they purchased the phone system to a manufacturer who actually does the system implementation. What’s worse is they get passed off to a novice project manager who may or may not have ever completed an onboarding and certainly doesn’t have years of experience.

 

What you need is a “Big Brother who sees you through the purchase, implementation and beyond and, if you find yourself at a sticking point, jumps in beside you and boosts you out.

 

White Gloves or Work Gloves, It’s About Being a Big Brother

 

Through our everyday approach to supporting cloud phone systems and our continual study of what leads to success and satisfaction, we created our Big Brother service to provide clients with the absolute best in support, advocacy and facilitation. We’ve included everything necessary to make getting a new phone system smooth and easy. Some clients have called it a white-glove service. We think of it more like putting on work gloves.

 

Here’s what our Big Brother service includes:

 

Engagement

Your Gregg Communications advocate participates in all of your calls and interactions with the phone system manufacturer and, between calls, proactively engages you and supports each step in the onboarding process.

 

Expertise

Our technical team knows each and every product we sell inside and out. So, whenever there’s doubt, uncertainty or the beginning of a hiccup, your Gregg Communications advocate will bring in our experts. As you can imagine, this is a much more personal experience than being passed among departments (and continents) by the manufacturer.

 

Training

Phone manufacturers often offer to “train the trainer” at your company and leave it at that. While the name suggests that it builds your capacity, these “train the trainer” programs are usually a cost-cutting measure. We believe in training the end user directly because it has several benefits:

·         We observe and ensure that every team member comprehends and performs best practices

·         Each individual has the opportunity to ask questions

·         Our responses to those questions generate discussion that better enable us to configure the platform to your business’ specific needs and workflow

 

Advocacy

We make sure you get every last ounce of performance and the full value of the product you purchased. For example, in the case of an outage or if the manufacturer misses a deadline, we leverage our relationship with the manufacturer to get you additional technical support or compensation for lost productivity.

 

Migrate Your Phone System to the Cloud and Get a Big Brother for Free

 

Our Big Brother service is a great value, but it’s especially a good bang for your buck when you migrate your phone system to the cloud. That’s because you receive our superior support and advocacy, and it doesn’t come out of your pocket. It comes out of the vendor’s pocket.

 

You have a Big Brother on your side which means there’s no longer any reason to delay upgrading your phone system. Give us a call (630-706-8222) or email us, and we’ll make sure it’s smooth and easy for you!

How to Achieve Meaningful Collaboration for Your Business

An evolution in the mobility of the workspace is happening right now. We do business from everywhere and that requires being connected wherever you are and whenever you need it. For companies that know how to leverage the collaboration systems available, connections are more productive and meaningful.

 

Successful collaboration requires more than buying communication systems that offer collaboration tools; it also requires a partner who knows how to use those tools for your success.

How Collaboration Tools Work

Collaboration tools bring people together and make the information and productivity tools they need available across a shared workspace. That space might be an open group chat window or a video conference call with screen sharing and group access to a shared document with live updating.

 

Collaboration tools move your team beyond the kind of unproductive, time-killing group emails that plague most businesses today. You know the ones we mean. The emails where recipients are copied or removed seemingly at random and where most responses are at least three emails behind and opine on issues already decided.

 

Instead, consider a common case we find among our clients once they have adopted the right collaboration tools and we’ve helped them learn to use them:

 

A salesperson is speaking with a prospect who raises a technical question. Instead of saying, “I’ll get back to you” and losing the mojo she has worked hard to generate, the salesperson pings the on-call person in the relevant technical department and a 3-way conference call is instantly launched.

 

The benefit here is clear. Not only does the prospect receive a timely answer, but the business demonstrates how seamlessly it pulls together experts to solve a customer’s problem.

 

Collaboration Takes More than Tools

The collaboration tools you deploy are what you might call necessary but insufficient. Achieving meaningful collaboration depends on your company culture, how well your team is trained on the use of the tools and how the tools are configured.

 

Company culture

Just because you have the tools available doesn’t necessarily mean your team will utilize them. Establishing a culture of collaboration is the first order. It involves developing workflows, processes and polices that initiate and enable collaboration.

 

Training

Knowing how to use the tools at hand is the lynchpin that makes the wheel go ’round. This includes, but goes beyond, an initial education. Sometimes corporate culture fails to adopt new tools immediately and additional education can pave the way. There’s also staff turnover to consider. Once everybody is finally humming along, the vendor releases a new version that looks nothing like the previous one. In these cases, refresher trainings are key.

How tools are configured

Configuration is about enabling the features you need and identifying who needs access, when, and with what permissions. Just as too many bells and whistles can cause paralysis within your organization, having every member of the team participating in every interaction at all times will not produce meaningful collaboration.

 

The Right Help to Make Your Collaboration Meaningful

It takes a lot more than downloading and installing the application to make collaboration tools meaningful for your team. That’s why it’s so important to engage the support of a knowledgeable partner. A trusted partner will help you determine:

  •        What you need

  •         Who needs it

  •          When to use it

  •          How to use it

 

Many Value-Added Resellers (VAR) will install your new system and then set you up with a tutorial video. If you’re lucky they might train one member of your staff who will try to train the rest.

 

Gregg Communications does it differently. We support you through the entire onboarding process and only consider the job “done” when your full team is trained and successfully using the product to achieve meaningful collaboration.

 

Our promise of meaningful collaboration means we work with many vendors to help you select the right tools, remain engaged to support you for new version releases and perform periodic check-ins to ensure the tools are working as they should – enabling your culture of collaboration to thrive.

 

Give us a call at (630) 706-8222 or email when you’re ready to make meaningful collaboration a reality and we’ll help you get there.

Work-from-Home Phone Systems Increase Flexibility, Satisfaction and Productivity

Forward-leaning businesses used to adopt communications technologies that let them do business from anywhere. But, the latest advances in cloud-based phone systems allow you and your employees to do business seamlessly from everywhere.

 

Doing business from everywhere is an evolution in workplace mobility. You can be more flexible with your employees – allowing remote work arrangements that increase satisfaction and retention. And, you can maintain uninterrupted productivity and complete control over internal and outward-facing communication while you and your team are out of the office or on the move.

 

Work from Home Means Productive Employees

Almost as difficult as finding good employees is keeping them. An increasingly essential component of employee recruitment and retention strategies is to offer full or partial remote work arrangements.

 

One of the primary concerns most of our clients have when evaluating remote work options is a loss of productivity. Instead, we have observed the opposite both within our four virtual walls and among our clients. Not only does productivity not decrease; in many cases it increases, along with morale, for several reasons:

 

  •      Less stress from the commute.

  •          Remote workers can completely personalize their workspace.

  •         No tendency to skip out early to avoid rush hour.

  •         It’s easy to sit down for a few minutes and catch up or get ahead once the kids are put to bed.

  •          A visit from the repair person becomes a seamless part of the workday rather than requiring a long

    lunch or a vacation day.

 

At Gregg Communications we can attest firsthand to the benefits of flexible workspace. We have recruited and retained several valued, highly qualified techs by offering full or partial remote work arrangements. Moreover, when temperatures dropped below -20 in Chicago during this past winter, we had all our employees work from home with no planning or costly deployment of new tech.

 

We gained valuable employees and avoided shutdowns and disruptions by adopting a phone system that also benefited our in-office team.

 

Work-from-Home Phone Systems are Better for Business

In this challenging recruitment market, offering remote work arrangements would be worth it if it only improved employee satisfaction and retention. It enables smaller companies to compete for and retain the same talent as larger ones.

 

However, with the right communications technology solutions, the benefits extend throughout your business operations. Here are a few of the benefits of new premise-based and cloud phone systems.

 

Outbound call routing

Your employees can make calls from their personal phones wherever they are, and your prospects and customers will see your business’s caller ID as though the call originated from an on-site desk phone. This solidifies the relationship between the customer and your business.

 

Documenting customer interactions

When integrating your phone system with a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application like Salesforce, you can effortlessly document all communications between your employees and departments and a particular client. This record helps you provide better customer service and avoid the loss of institutional memory when an employee transitions out.

 

Reduced cost of calls

Advanced phone systems process offsite calls through the internet for outbound call routing and documenting customer interactions. Because everything occurs online, you can avoid costly long distance and international charges when your employees are on a home or hotel Wi-Fi connection.

 

Complete real-time directories

Not only do advanced phone systems make appropriate prospect and customer information available throughout your organization, your employees and supervisors can monitor calls in real time and access specific numbers and extensions to answer or make calls from everywhere.

 

The communications technology solutions powering this evolution are surprisingly affordable. Businesses enjoy greater employee satisfaction and retention as well as a slew of productivity and savings benefits.

 

Give us a call at 630-706-8222 or email Gregg Communications and we’ll help you start doing business from everywhere.

What Innovation Really Means When Choosing a Phone for Your Business

You can probably remember a time not so long ago when your business spent more time doing business than technology. Unfortunately, as your business has grown and the universe of communications solutions has proliferated, those days of focusing on your business may seem like a fond and distant memory.

 

It shouldn’t.

 

In fact, we hear this theme from many of the business owners who come to Gregg Communications looking for a mature, innovative, strategic partner. They say their different locations or departments seem to operate disjointedly despite – or more likely because of – some new technology solution they recently implemented to improve collaboration.

 

Then, in conducting our review of a new client’s systems and business processes, we most often find that the problems occurred because the IT department or former communications provider had goals that were different than the business had set for itself.

 

What’s New at Gregg Communications: Cloud-Based Business Phone Solutions

 

We have thrived for 52 successful years within the constantly evolving and disruption-loving tech industry for one reason above all else: we are 100% committed to the goal of solving our clients’ challenges.

 

1.    Working with several industry-leading manufacturers

Clients often come to us hoping that their existing system can be made to work the way it was promised, and yet they are also so frustrated that they want to scrap it entirely and migrate to something else. This usually happens because their previous provider was dedicated to a specific vendor’s platform; whereas our allegiance is to solving your problems and ensuring you have the best phone solution for your organization.

 

We have relationships with several best-in-class cloud-based and on-premise phone vendors. We might be best known for our support of Mitel and ShoreTel on-premise and cloud-based phone solutions, but we also offer and support a number of other industry-leading solutions.

 

Our cloud-based business phone solutions include:

                                          i.    Mitel MiCloud Connect unified communications

                                         ii.    RingCentral phone systems

                                        iii.    8x8 phone systems and contact centers

                                       iv.    NICE InContact contact centers

                                        v.    Genesys contact centers

                                       vi.    Intellisys  

                                      vii.    Star2Star

                                     viii.    Vertical communications

 

 

By offering our clients a broader selection, we’re able to ensure that every customer gets solutions to meet their needs.

 

2.    Listening to you and understanding your business processes

Upstart communications providers often recommend a technology solution solely based on its specs or their limited partnerships. They ignore how the solution will – or won’t – work with established workflow, needs and objectives. Even the coolest, newest and seemingly greatest technology isn’t necessarily the best fit for your organization.

 

One of our clients recently was convinced by their managed IT provider that moving to a cloud phone solution would be their silver bullet. When we laid out the pros and cons as they specifically related to their business operations, it was immediately clear that an on-premise setup was more cost-effective and practical.

 

3.    Adopting only proven innovation

In the rush to get to market, developers are often triaging bugs and fixes before the product launches and schedule remaining fixes for release after the launch.

 

One company in our peer group found they were billing clients for hundreds of hours of troubleshooting and patching that could have been entirely avoided if they had scheduled the onboarding for just a few months after the release of a new solution.

 

That’s not how we treat our clients.

 

Our approach is to adopt innovations once they are proven reliable, safe and stable.

 

A Mature Approach to Cutting-Edge Innovation

Each platform on the market has different capabilities, compatibilities, workflow requirements and new product release schedules. This amounts to a technology ecosystem that is confusing enough on its own without discovering that your communications provider is learning as you bungle along.

 

Instead, our team of dedicated professionals is certified in the on-premise and cloud-based platforms from all the leading manufacturers. That professionalism also means we will never lead you into the tech wilderness by chasing after the latest and greatest before we have vetted and investigated it – on our own time. This confirms that it’s ready to solve problems, not create new ones.

 

We know that innovation doesn’t mean a solution. We’d rather identify the best tool for what your business is trying to accomplish rather than have you acquire a playground of toys while your team digs in the sand.

 

This problem-solving approach has built long, trusting, fruitful partnerships with our clients. And, it’s the results-oriented attitude toward innovation that continues to place Gregg Communications at the leading edge of the sphere within the tech industry.

How to Spot the Best Contact Center Provider

There are a lot of contact center providers who promise the moon, sun and stars in the contact center they sell you, but can they support it? Do they have the expertise needed to implement it and configure it so you are able to leverage every feature it includes?

 

No matter how fancy the contact center, if your vendor can’t set it up properly, it’s not going to do what you need it to.

 

Many contact center vendors won’t support your system, can’t guide you on the different features and how they can help improve your operations, and don’t have the expertise needed to do more than sell it. In fact, many communications vendors don’t sell contact centers because they don’t know enough about them. There are those unscrupulous few who sell you on features and benefits but don’t know how to implement them.

 

5 Signs of a Good Contact Center Provider

 

1.    Experienced with contact centers

Not all communications providers are experts at implementing and supporting contact centers. Ask them about the different contact center solutions they’ve sold, installed and support. If they are few and far between, they do not have enough experience to handle the technical curveballs that can arise with installation and configuration.

They also won’t be able to help you streamline and optimize your contact center system to operate at maximum efficiency or configure the contact center so that you can take full advantage of the features it offers.

 

2.    They offer support

Your contact center is likely a major source of income. There is safety in having a supportive partner who is there for the long haul. Contact centers are complex systems with a lot riding on their successful deployment and ongoing functionality. Your vendor should offer both remote and onsite support after the installation so that, if you experience any challenges, you have someone to talk to and can get a resolution quickly.

 

Also ensure that they have continuity on their staff. How many people on staff know your contact center? Gregg Communications has taken over contact center support contracts from other ShoreTel (now Mitel) vendors because they had only one certified technician and that individual left the company, leaving all of their contact centers unsupported. With eight technicians fully certified on ShoreTel contact center products, we’ve been able to offer our clients long-term expert support.

 

3.    Can configure and explain different features

All the automation features, reporting functions, routing and self-service options won’t work if they’re not configured correctly. Many vendors don’t do any of the configurations during the installation, and they don’t have the expertise to advise you on which features are best for your organization or how to access the features you need while staying in your budget.


“Having grown over 85 years to one of the nation’s leading florists, we needed a state-of-the-art communications system. ShoreTel improved our handling of customer calls into the Contact Center, gave our distribution center and ten Chicago-area branches uniform station equipment for the varying needs of our users, and added far more features than our previous systems at a lower monthly cost.”

— Jim Phillip, Chairman & CIO, Phillip's/1-800-FLORALS

4.    Work to keep you running at peak efficiency

 

The demands placed on your contact center will change frequently, and it takes someone with the knowledge and skill to ensure that the system can not only keep up but is performing flawlessly. We review contact center reports with our clients, explaining what the reports mean to their productivity and bottom line, and offer recommendations to improve.

 

For example, we worked with a Dallas contact center and their management did not want to use an auto-connect feature that we recommended. We recommended it to eliminate the agent delay in answering a call. We were able to configure it for a one-month trial period and showed them that it eliminated 12 seconds of response time. We helped them do the math: their 800 calls per day x 12 seconds = 2 hours and 40 minutes of more productivity per day.

 

5.    Can help you evolve as your needs change

 

Contact center is a process, not an end result. Your partner needs to be capable of helping you grow and evolve as a contact center organization. That means they have the flexibility to offer different contact center solutions and have enough insight into your organization’s needs to make recommendations and support your initiatives.

 

We recently upgraded a contact center for one financial services organization and it helped them triple their growth in the last 2-3 years. As they grew, their vendor was unable to support their system, so we took on their support and helped them navigate a network update. These are normal activities with growth and the evolution of your organization. Your provider needs to be able to keep up.

 

Gregg Communications has been implementing and supporting contact centers since the early 1980s. We have unmatched expertise and experience. Contact a Gregg expert online or call 630-706-8222. Let’s talk.

Secrets to Having the Best Contact center for Your Dollar

Your contact center is an opportunity to set you well ahead of your competitors – even your larger ones. With the right contact center, you can have smooth, streamlined customer-centric conversations, track your employee productivity and leverage automation to do more with fewer reps.

 

It sounds like a dream, and yet so many contact centers are a constant headache for their IT directors. It’s simply a matter of ensuring that you have the right Contact Center for the job – and ensuring that it’s set up properly by your vendor.

 

What to Look for in a Contact Center

Some service managers and IT directors, in a desperate attempt to resolve your problems, might be shopping the most expensive solutions thinking they’ll solve all contact center issues (they won’t).

 

There are two keys when shopping a contact center: make sure you have the right contact center for your organization and have it set up by a company with specific expertise in contact center design and implementation.

 

Features That Make Contact Center Life Easier

1.     Reporting features. Features that can help management track productivity levels and hours worked and compile reports on calls handled, time spent on the phone and other key metrics are a lifesaver for busy customer service managers.

 

2.     Multiple methods of contact. Chat, email and voice should all be available to your customers.

 

3.     Self-service options, like account information or other quick-access information to reduce the volume of calls handled by a rep.

 

4.     Call recording capabilities. You can get more sophisticated with this like including speech analytics for emotions, words or phrases, so the system can help you more efficiently help with situations like irate customers.

 

5.     Screen recordings. Sometimes it’s telling to see what the agents are doing on the screen. When one client of ours juxtaposed the screen recording of a rude customer service rep with their phone call, they discovered their agent was playing a computer game while talking to the customer.

 

6.     Workforce management. Manual scheduling should be a thing of the past. Many contact centers can masterfully synchronize the 30, 40 or 50 odd call rep schedules and account for paid time off, breaks, lunches and other factors. These tools can also calculate different scenarios and help forecast how many agents are needed based on anticipated demand.

 

7.     Post-call survey. How will you know how happy your customers are if you’re not asking them?

 

Consider Hardware to Software-Based Contact Centers

More contact centers are shifting to the cloud for the benefits that the cloud brings. Cloud-based contact centers leverage a bring-your-own-device model of contact, letting their agents work from home instead of a central location. If you have the right capabilities, this is easy to deploy, and with the labor market today, it’s ideal for you and the employee.

 

Software-based systems can reduce the capital costs of getting a new contact center and often have more access to features and productivity tools. It makes sense that the software is where the real advancements are, and the more you can offload offsite in the cloud, the less your IT team has to contend with and manage.

How to Know Your Contact Center is the Right Fit

A lot of organizations are working with dated systems or are selecting new systems and struggling to implement them effectively. One such company contacted us last October. They had a 20-year-old system they couldn’t get support for and they needed better capabilities. They knew they were faced with another busy season in December and didn’t want to get through the month on pins and needles wondering if everything was going to crash.

 

Within four weeks, Gregg Communications had their new system working.

 

We went through our customary lengthy discovery process with them to understand how their unique contact center operates, delivered specific recommendations and conducted a cost-analysis to help identify if cloud-based or onsite-based would be best for them.

 

Finally, we provided training to their team before and after the new system was implemented, so their December was a very jolly experience, instead of an anxiety-provoking month.

 

With nearly 30 years of experience as a Managed Contact Center Service Provider, Gregg Communications has the expertise to ensure that no matter what contact center solution you work with, it’s going to work exactly as it should.

 

Get the most out of our contact center. Contact Gregg Communications for friendly, expert support.

How to Squeeze More Productivity Out of Your Contact Center Solution

You can have the best call center solution on the market, but if you don’t have the right partner, you’re likely wasting your money on features that aren’t going to be effectively implemented. Simply put, the most extravagant contact center can’t save you from poor implementation. On the flip side, any quality contact center solution, when implemented correctly, can save you big dollars in productivity and efficiency.

The most significant expense in a contact center is the labor cost. Serious contact center solutions on the market have several tools to help you maximize productivity. Think about this: if a few small tweaks can save 5-10 percent of labor costs, doesn’t increased efficiency become a game changer for your organization?

 

Here are 8 incredible productivity tools that your contact center solution should have:

1.    Smarter call routing

The goal is to get the calls routed to the right person as quickly and efficiently as possible. A good contact center system features skills-based routing to ensure calls, emails and chats are handled by the right person with the skills to address the caller’s issue.

 

2.    Overflow routing

Advanced systems will allow you to program overflow routing, enabling calls to be routed to primary, secondary, tertiary groups, etc. If nobody is available in the primary group, the system will include the secondary group in addition to the primary group. If those queues fill up, the system can add the third group and so forth.

 

3.    Hierarchical routing

Assign prioritization of your agents based on weighted factors you designate, such as their specific skillset, language or product knowledge. That way you can quickly route calls with limited manual interference and ensure the best customer experience possible.

 

4.    Customer Service Level reports

These reports should provide the number of incoming calls, abandoned calls, average wait times for answered and abandoned calls and average time to handle calls. You can set parameters such as the percentage of calls you want to handle live in a designated span of time. From those specifications, the customer service level report issues a grade of service.

 

5.    Agent Productivity reports

Almost every contact center manager goes right to these reports to determine how well agents are performing. These reports show how many calls were offered to and handled by an agent. Instead of focusing on the number of calls each agent fields, look at how long the agent spends with clients. Any outliers can be assessed at a deeper level to find out if the agent is offering clients the best service, or if they are simply mismanaging the call, transferring, hanging up or otherwise trying to beat the system.

 

6.    Call recording

Call recording in the contact center is becoming almost mandatory. Not only is this required in some situations for compliance reasons, it’s essential for training purposes. Some systems can be programmed to record a designated number of calls for each agent to allow for closer supervision. Pair that with the agent productivity report and you have a recipe for improving effectiveness of any agent, with the capability of highlighting particularly good (or bad) calls to train other agents, and to offer intelligent feedback during performance reviews.

 

7.    Self-service options

Many contact centers offer customers self-service features, such as emails with tracking information or getting an account balance delivered through AI, instead of requiring live agents to perform these functions. The features are nominal in cost compared to their potential to save hours per week of labor costs.

 

8.    AI features

The AI options coming out now for contact center solutions are incredible time savers. They can help website visitors find information they need, reducing call load, and they can function in webchat to assist the call center rep by feeding them information from a database based on the conversation that the rep is having with the customer. The most amazing thing about AI is if something is not in the AI database, the AI can continuously monitor the rep’s work and learn from it.

 

Gregg Communications – Contact Center Experts for Over 50 Years

Gregg Communications has been working with Chicago-area contact centers large and small for over 50 years, advising on the best strategies to solve challenges, advance the contact centers goals and expertly implement the right contact center solutions and features for each customer with which we work. No two contact centers are alike, and we believe you should partner with experts who take the time to understand your operations, needs, challenges and customers before recommending and implementing a solution, so you get the most from your contact center solution.

 

Is your contact center configured to save you money?  Contact us to find out.

Why Gregg Communications Has the Best Customer Support

You might be surprised to know that we take one thing more seriously than our customers – and that’s our employees! Call it our Southwest Airlines mentality, but we think the better we take care of our employees, the better we take care of our customers – and it shows in our results! Over recent years, among ShoreTel vendors, we remained one of the top service departments with:

  •          Retention rate – 99-100%

  •          94% of our clients sign on for maintenance agreements with us

  •          Taking over maintenance for over 40 clients who were unhappy with their last vendor’s

    service

  •          We have an externally verified net promoter score of 92%

Clearly, our customer service is unmatched. So, what’s the secret behind our stellar results?

We sat down with Karen Wilson, Chief Operations Officer (and recently, a first-time grandma!), to find out what’s the secret sauce of Gregg Communications’ service team. Here’s what she shared:

q: what makes gregg communications’ customer service the best in chicago?


This might seem cliché, but it’s our culture. We know skills are important, but it’s more important that our technicians are a fit with how we see customer service.

Our motto is E3 : Experience Excellence from Experts. We talk about this internally and how we can make this the experience of all our clients. When one of our team is complimented from a customer, I make sure the rest of the company knows about it and share that they’re modeling E3. 

Our employees are treated really well, and we have a lot of fun here. We believe that by giving our employees the recognition they deserve and a fun place to come to work, they’ll take good care of our customers. And, we see that in their tenure. The average tenure of our tech team is 14 years. Management’s tenure is 24 years on average. And clearly, our customers are very happy.

 

q. your net promoter score is 93.21% - how did you get so good?


We like to maintain good relationships with our clients. When they call, we know who they are. We work to earn their trust and let them know t we are there for them. I always reach out to see how clients are doing. Tom Rickert, (co-owner and CEO) handwrites letters to clients, and account managers meet with their clients frequently in person.

Not only that, but we know they want options. Our customers can trust that we’re looking at the best solution for them. For instance, we’re one of the most experienced Chicago-area partners when it comes to Call Centers. We offer a few different cloud solutions and hybrid models, and we offer Mutare voice to text and call recording and management – we’re not just a phone dealer and our customers appreciate that.


q. what kind of certification do you require your technicians to have?


I’ll tell you – it’s not just about certifications though those are important. It takes about 10,000 hours to become an expert at something. Here, we’ve racked up 364,000 hours learning the industry, our products, and the challenges our clients are faced with. We’ve seen everything and that’s where the real expertise comes from. All our technicians have dozens of certifications. And, we have something that isn’t that common: redundancy. We don’t have any technician as the sole person certified in any product or solution.

 

experience excellence from experts


We make it a point to make our clients happy. That’s our E 3 motto. We take exceptional care of our employees and our clients. That’s why we’ve got excellent tenure and a team that’s friendly and responsive no matter what time you contact us. Finally, we must be doing something right because we’ve been in business for 50 years and have amassed real expertise and some outstanding customer satisfaction. If your phone provider isn’t cutting it, we’re happy to help.

How happy are you with your phone provider? Contact Gregg Communications and learn how  we can make you smile again.

 

The High Cost of Doing Nothing About Your Office Phones

When was the last time you upgraded your office phone system? Seven years ago? Ten years ago? Or was it so long ago you’re not quite sure?  Your aging phone system may be costing more than you think. Not only do you have higher resource costs, maintenance costs and infrastructure costs, you also have outdated features, limited mobility capabilities, and fragmented applications and tools. The total costs of not having an up-to-date office phone system are staggering when you add them up.

An updated office phone gives your customers, staff and business the best possible experience.

Customer experience. The right phone system isn’t just any cloud phone, it’s one that gives your customers a single, simplified way to manage their phones, contacts, instant messaging, conferencing, scheduling and video.

Team efficiency.  With technology as easy as making a phone call, your team has the ability to check for presence, search for experts, send a quick instant message, turn messages into a call, add participants, share desktops and get problems solved quickly.

A secure and reliable phone solution for your business. Making sure a hacker doesn't tap calls on a Wi-Fi hot spot and a plethora of any other security concerns go out the window with features like Secure-Real-Time Transfer Protocol (SRTP). This delivers the highest call quality, phones that are always up and running, reliable service and an optimally balanced network.

Upgrading Your Phone Saves Money

Let’s look at some of the costs of your current (outdated) phone system and how updating your phones can help you lower costs.

 1.     Maintenance costs

Once your warranty expires, your options are limited to a maintenance contract or paying for time and materials. When the manufacturer stops providing replacement parts, you’re stuck sourcing used parts on the internet. And, when you find the right part, you’re left wondering what condition it’s in and how long it might last – what a hassle! You’ll be shopping on eBay for parts.

2.     Moving, adding, or changing lines

Scaling up and scaling down is part of doing business, and moving is also part of business. You need a provider who is not going to charge you additional fees for each configuration change. Costs of redundant equipment and trunks to ensure your phone system is always on can be significant. With cloud solutions you don’t have additional costs. It’s just always on. Some cloud phones allow your phone to automatically route to a mobile location, adding another layer to your availability.

3.     Voice and data fees for existing services

Being charged extra for more voice, data or other services may be how your current phone solution works but not with Gregg Communications.  A single, predictable, monthly fee allows you to know exactly what you’re paying and makes budget planning a snap.

4.     Carrier contract auto-renewals that lock you in

When is the last time you audited your existing bills? Do you know when your current contract renews?  Most business owners don’t realize their existing carrier contracts auto-renew 60 to 90 days before the contract anniversary, triggering early termination fees if you switch providers before the next renewal date.

Soft Costs You Didn’t Factor In

 Delays and missed deadlines

With all the other priorities and responsibilities in-house staff have on their plate, it can take longer than necessary to complete simple moves, additions or changes. Adding new features, if they’re supported, can lead to significant delays and there may be unplanned expenses. Whether your in-house team needs a feature that wasn’t purchased or requires additional training to implement the feature, you’re left with more surprises and delays.

Quality of service

Bad quality equates to a bad customer experience. Don’t have your customers experience poor connections, blocked calls and other frustrating call issues that cause them to question the quality of your own offerings.


Opportunity Costs

Putting off moving to the cloud because you’re focused on other things such as core business? Why not focus on your core business priorities and let an expert move your phone system to the cloud?

Some cloud phone solutions make these costs obsolete. What becomes relevant is having modern technology to support your business and your customers. As a hosted managed VoIP phone service, you can choose a service plan that fits your needs and your budget without all of the hard costs, soft costs and opportunity costs.    

 

How much are you wasting on an outdated phone system? Gregg Communications has been serving Greater Chicago businesses for over 50 years with exceptional solutions and service. Contact us online or at 630-706-8222.

What Mitel's Partnership with Google Cloud AI Means for Contact Centers

Customer experience is one of the most important competitive aspects of business today. With so many customers turning to online support models, businesses looking to ensure customer satisfaction without steep labor costs are challenged to find innovative ways to integrate 24/7 online customer support through omnichannel contact centers.

Rising to meet this challenge, Mitel announced in July of this year a new partnership with Google Cloud Contact Center Artificial Intelligence to bring next-generation web chat features to all Mitel Omnichannel Contact Centers, including MiContact Center Business, MiContact Center for Enterprise, MiVoice Connect Contact Center and MiCollab Contact Center.

In case you haven’t seen the incredible demonstration from Google I/O earlier this year, the Google AI demonstrates a surprisingly human grasp of language through Google’s unique natural language processing and uses machine learning to expand its capabilities and knowledge over time. Google’s AI has become one of the most sought-after enterprise AI tools on the market.

The sophisticated new feature will offer more personalized and intelligent customer experience, giving even small enterprises a polished, affordable and powerful contact center that requires very little technical expertise. With the offering available across multiple Mitel Contact Center platforms, it truly helps to level the playing field for enterprises wanting a simple and flexible webchat feature.

The contact center will not only offer the AI-powered virtual agent to enable more intelligent customer self-service but will also offer an AI agent assist which allows easy transfer of customer inquiries to live agents with full context and continued AI support to provide the agent with real-time assistance, coaching and research. It also includes powerful analytics, to offer companies valuable insights to enhance their products and services on an entirely new level.

Here’s an example of how it works: When a customer visits your site and uses the webchat feature of your contact center, the Google AI will interpret their text intelligently and use conversational speech processing to understand the intent and the question being asked. They will then source the answer in the knowledge base and provide an answer to your customer.

In situations when the chat bot is unable to determine the answer or is not confident in its interpretation, it will bring in one of your live agents to manage the interaction. What makes the new feature different from other companies using AI is that once the representative joins the conversation, the Mitel Contact Center chat bots remain in the conversation, learning and assisting the live agent. The bot will coach and support the agent by retrieving information once it understands the question and will gain new, useable knowledge from the experience. Agents will have the option of choosing to maintain only live contact with your customers while still being able to leverage the speed and intelligence of AI.

Mitel’s new AI contact center feature is expected to roll out in Q1 of 2019. As a Mitel partner, Gregg Communications can help you determine the best contact center option for your business to gain access to this incredible new feature. Contact us for more details.