Improve Communications by Integrating Mobile Phones to Your PBX System
Most people no longer regard the office as their workplace. It may be a place you work, but mobile devices and the internet mean most people have a much more fluid definition of the workplace. This is because sometimes you work in the office and sometimes you don’t.
To remain as efficient as possible businesses have to make it easy for their staff to work from anywhere while retaining procedural and technical control. Connecting mobile phones with PBX systems is one of the ways businesses can do this
There are many situations where this is beneficial. For example, a sales person in your business can call a client using their personal mobile phone but your businesses number shows on the client’s caller id. Similarly, it improves productivity and customer service when a receptionist can connect calls even when individuals can only be reached by mobile.
How to Achieve This Integration
The most common type of system that allows the integration of mobile phones to a PBX system is a hosted PBX. This is essentially a cloud-based system, i.e. instead of having physical hardware at your location the system is on the internet.
Hosted PBX systems offer many benefits in addition to mobile integration. These include improved flexibility, scalability, and lower costs.
While the benefits of connecting mobile phones to PBX systems are undeniable, most solutions are severely limited. After all, voice is just one of the ways we communicate. In fact, for many people, voice may not even be their primary method of business communication. What about chat messages or sending files?
Consider this scenario: a customer contacts a business using the chat feature on the website of the business. The customer service rep who answers the chat cannot solve the problem so puts the customer in touch with a specialist who is only contactable by mobile.
The specialist calls the customer on a mobile device that is integrated with the company’s PBX system. This means the business phone number appears on the customer’s caller id, which is beneficial.
However, a voice call was not the customer’s preferred choice of communication – they more than likely had the option to call, but they chose to send a message. This already represents a failure in the system.
Now consider the call between the specialist and the customer. For example, it might help the conversation if the customer sends the specialist a screenshot or another type of image.
This is probably possible, but only with the use of third party apps, i.e. to receive a screenshot the specialist would have to open their email app after giving the customer his/her email address.
You can see this is now getting messy. The PBX system did the first part of the process really well in that it was able to connect the customer to the specialist even though the specialist was only available on mobile. The situation would have been greatly enhanced, however, if other communication tools – like those you get in any commonly used messaging app – were also available.
This includes one-to-one chat, group chat, and file transfer features.
You can achieve this to some extent through a unified communications solution, plus there are other technologies in development which will make it easier still. Once they become available, communication in businesses of all sizes will be brought to new levels of efficiency.