Trans Electric have been trading for over three decades, and throughout this time there have been changes to improve business processes to be able to increase productivity and deliver a better service to their customers. Electrical Wholesaling is a busy, technical, time critical and customer service orientated business. The core customers are electricians, builders, contractors and engineers for whom the fastest and by far the most preferred method of communication is by telephone.
The existing telephone system at Trans Electric dates back to the early 1980s. However, it was functional and worked well for the simple features it provided. This system was replaced with an IP based telephone system that gave Trans Electric features which allowed them to provide a higher level of accountability and service, while also saving time and dramatically cutting the monthly cost of their telephone calls.
- Web Interface – As with most businesses, majority of business operations takes place on the computer. Having the telephone interface one click away makes it simple to call a contact or reference a telephone conversation without taking your eyes off the screen.
- Call Log and Contacts Management – Previously customer and supplier telephone numbers were kept in the accounting system, so when a call needed to be made the number would have to be looked up and dialled into the telephone handset. Now that customer contact information is kept in the telephone system database, calls can usually be made by typing the first few characters of their name with the type-ahead-search function. Business transactions usually involve calling parties repeatedly, when the Call Log is displayed on the screen it makes redialling as easy as a click of the mouse.
- Caller ID and Call Routing – Rather than Caller ID which simply displays a telephone number our system uses the name entry in the contacts database to let you know exactly who is calling. This is very useful to ensure that if a customer calls who currently is dealing with a member of staff, that particular person can pick up the phone saving time and providing a better service to customers by reducing the pinball effect where they are passed around from one member of staff to another. Contacts can also be organised in the database with different categories, in this case suppliers and customers are kept separate. Call routing can take this into account, and calls from suppliers can avoid ringing the sales staff on the trade counter and only ring the office for example.
- Call Recording – Electrical Wholesaling can be quite a technical business where details can make all the difference. All calls are now recorded and easily played back from the web interface – this means that if there is ever a question on any particular product for a customer, recordings can be checked and the customer can be sure that they will get exactly what they asked for. Often, a list of materials would be given over the telephone. With call recording, it may not be necessary to even write this down if you are busy. It is easily possible to delegate the task and have somebody else listen to the recording and process the order. Recordings are also useful if staff are away on lunch or making a delivery. Rather than making notes, recordings can be listened to. All of these methods reduce errors and increase reliability through reducing duplication.
- Smart Voicemail – Our voicemail system is displayed on your computer screen so you can easily see who has left you messages. Listen to them in any order you like, all without listening to a robotic voice. It is invaluable to have an easy to use reliable voicemail system in the times where you may be under-staffed and cannot always reach the phone. Different voicemail greetings are used when busy during the day verses outside of business hours.
- VoIP Call Routing – With calls routed through our low cost VoIP provider, Trans Electric have been able to cancel some of their BT Lines making considerable savings. A nice side effect of this is also that the call audio quality is much improved.
The new telephone system allowed Trans Electric to be better organised. Communication is the core of any business and our improvements put Trans Electric in touch with their customers and suppliers faster and easier than ever before. Call recording has been key to the business. Rather than making many notes on scraps of paper, recorded calls are less likely to be misinterpreted and also cannot get lost. Purchase orders can be placed in confidence as verbal contracts with customers are in place.