Sam Makad is a business consultant. He helps small & medium enterprises to grow their businesses and overall ROI. You can follow Sam on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.
Call logging is a standard practice in business world, read on to learn the process companies have to create, manage, handle, record phone call logs.
If you’re unsure how to go about this or why it’s important in the first place, read on, and we’ll give you the in-depth explanation you need to log phone calls at your small business.
What is call logging?
Put simply, when you log inbound calls, you’re taking note of the main pieces of information that are unique to a given phone conversation.
This includes when it took place, how long it lasted, what was discussed, and where the call originated from.
In the past, much of this would have been done manually, with employees expected to record call details ad hoc. Today, modern software and telephony systems allow for a greater degree of automation in call logging as part of a wider drive to boost productivity.
How can you log phone calls?
How you collect data on the calls your business receives will depend on the type of phone system setup you’ve got. Let’s go over the main options available.
1. Manually log call details on a document or spreadsheet
You might implement a manual call logging process even if you have automatically generated logs available. For example, it could make sense to do this if you require more depth to your logs than is afforded by the platform you’re using.
If that’s the case, then there are spreadsheet templates that provide a convenient way to handle this digitally. You could also print out paper documents for written call logs if you prefer, although really, it makes little sense to do this
2. Rely on built-in automation
If you’ve moved away from an analog phone system and embraced modern communication solutions, you could already have automated call logging available.
Basic details may be captured without the need for human input, giving team members more time to focus on keeping customers happy rather than wrangling repetitive tasks.
Bear in mind that it’s generally still necessary to add peripheral info to call logs, such as the topics touched upon in the conversation.
Choosing a service with speech-to-text transcription capabilities makes sense if you’re looking for the ultimate efficiency. That way, entire calls can be converted into text in real-time and logged automatically or even forwarded elsewhere as needed. This is useful for translating voicemails into emails, for instance.
3. Use a virtual phone app that integrates with other apps to log incoming calls
It’s easier to log calls and embrace automation in this arena if you’re using a modern app that supports virtual phone capabilities.
Not only is this more convenient for on-site and remote call handling, but it’s also a better option if you want to integrate your telephony setup with any other applications that you’re using. For example, the latest services can combine with your CRM, which helps to keep customer contact information and call history closely linked.
If you’re wondering how to get a virtual phone system, this OpenPhone guide is a good starting point. Even if you’ve taken advantage of VoIP capabilities in the past, it may be necessary to upgrade your setup to extract the maximum benefit from cutting-edge business phone tech.
This is particularly useful for companies like Dropoff, which provides same-day delivery services. Wherever there are time-sensitive interactions with customers on the cards, having a well-integrated phone system that works across landlines and mobile devices is the difference between satisfaction and frustration.
What you need to know about effective call logging
Of course, it’s not enough to know how to go about creating call logs; you also need to consider how to handle this successfully. Good call logs need to be:
- Consistent – everyone should contain the same pieces of information and the same level of detail about the topics of discussion, and all of this should be organized and formatted in the same way
- Clear – any log should be comprehensible to every team member, regardless of who was responsible for creating it.
- Accessible – the right people should have access to call logs so they can do their jobs daily, while unauthorized access must be prevented and monitored.
- Integrated – call logs are relatively meaningless in isolation; they have to be combined with other key performance indicators to highlight strengths and weaknesses in your phone operations.
What are the advantages of logging phone call info in a business environment?
By this point, you should be up to speed with what you have to get to grips with in order to log calls at your company. The next step is to understand why this is worth doing, and there are several reasons to consider, such as:
1. Measuring call center performance
To know how team members are performing and assess the overall impact of your call center policies and practices, you have to be harvesting data from every call you make and receive.
Everything from the average call handling time to the number of calls needed to resolve a customer issue will tell you something about individuals and entire teams.
It’s even possible to keep tabs on call center costs by looking at this data, weighing up things like sales figures, customer retention rates and other KPIs in a broader context.
2. Bolstering customer service quality
Employee performance metrics aren’t just there to tell you who to promote and who to fire; as a manager, it's your duty to look for deficiencies and work with the individuals in question to ensure that the quality of the service they provide customers improves over time.
Likewise, if you’re tuned into what customers typically talk about when they get in touch, you can pinpoint pain points that haven’t been identified elsewhere and find solutions that will fix these flaws.
Anticipation of customer requirements and an innate level of responsiveness and engagement are achievable only if you’ve got the cold, hard data to back up your decisions.
3. Handling employee recognition
Today, businesses recognize that there’s much to be gained from giving employees the recognition and credit they deserve, not just for the big achievements but for the little victories that take place every day.
With call logs, you’ve got the evidence you need to decide who’s deserving of praise, and as well as enhancing morale, this can also be used to reinforce good habits and create more of the aforementioned consistency in dealing with customers.
4. Adhering to industry regulations
For some businesses, logging customer calls isn’t just a luxury but a necessity if they want to remain compliant with minimum standards for safety and security.
This is usually associated with calls involving financial transactions, such as allowing customers to give payment card information to make purchases over the phone.
Failing to meet standards can have all sorts of unwanted ramifications for companies, and small businesses are especially vulnerable to regulatory action against them, so it’s not worth taking any risks.
5. Plotting the course of changing requirements
Small businesses can grow and grow fast. The upshot is that they can also be stifled not by market conditions or a lack of demand but by an inability to take advantage of the opportunities they’re presented with because they’re limited by the systems they have in place.
By logging calls, you can get a historical overview of how volumes change over time and extrapolate forward from this to establish a likely trajectory for increases in the future.
In turn, you’ll know how long you can get by with your current setup and at what point it will be sensible to upgrade it and expand your capacity for handling customer calls.
This usually involves adding new members to the team and also rolling out the right hardware and software to put them to work seamlessly.
6. Minimizing the fallout of missed calls
It’s not just the calls you answer which make a difference to your business. Any inbound call that goes unanswered could be an opportunity to maintain an existing customer’s loyalty or convert a juicy prospect missed.
Up-to-date business phone systems do their best to limit the chances of this happening in the first place, but if calls do get overlooked, logging software rides to the rescue once more.
Even missed, lost or disconnected calls are recorded in the system, and alerts can be sent out to ensure that team members follow up with the customer in question.
How can you get customers to call you?
It’s obvious that call logging is a boon for small businesses, but what if you’re not getting the volume of calls from customers that you’d hoped for? Try out some of the following tactics:
- Add CTAs to landing pages – rectify this immediately if your website doesn’t have landing pages with an included call to action that mentions your company’s sales or support number.
- Emphasize the importance of answering calls in employee training – team members must be explicitly told about the expectations that are in place regarding their telephone interactions with customers, including answering the phone promptly.
- Choose the right number – a memorable phone number for your business is valuable, as is one that’s got a geographic area code targeted at the audience you’re catering to.
- Update your social profiles – businesses with a phone number in their social media bio will get more calls from existing customers and prospects.
- Embrace multichannel marketing – promote your brand far and wide, including your phone number on print ads and other offline channels and on the web.
How can you improve customer service strategies with call log data?
In terms of making a positive difference in how you take care of customers who get in touch over the phone, call logs provide a compelling way of updating and tweaking strategies and tactics.
Most importantly, you need to be ready and able to test out any changes you make to ensure that they’re getting the right results rather than being a step backward.
The easiest way to do this is to set up a different phone number targeted at a particular customer niche and with a specific approach to service attached to it. That way, you can separate the data you gather from the rest of the call details you log, allowing for in-depth analysis that takes less time to complete.
You also need to ask for and listen to customer feedback. Including this in the standard call handling procedure will mean that your team will all be gathering input from callers, which you can act upon to make improvements going forward.
The bottom line on call logging and the small business benefits it creates
Choosing to log phone calls is only a small part of what organizations of all sizes need to do to stay on top of their telecommunications responsibilities in the digital age.
As well as collecting call details, you need to learn lessons from the insights that are provided. Otherwise, the entire exercise is pointless.
Thankfully, there are plenty of tools designed to streamline the way businesses encompass customer calls. Automation is a godsend, from collecting the data to extrapolating the value locked within it.
Ultimately, compatibility and integration support is the key to picking the most suitable set of services in this context.
You need each service you select to be somewhat interoperable, or else you’ll end up with separate silos of data that can’t be intermingled without another layer of complexity being added.
Maximizing the effectiveness of your use of call logging is not something you can expect to do immediately, of course. So it’s wise to adopt the tools and best practices now while being patient about reaping the rewards.
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