Due to the spread of new coronavirus infections, the number of companies introducing telework is increasing rapidly. Telework frees us from commuting and allows us to work in a way that is not bound by time or place. On the other hand, the issue of responding to phone calls to the company during telework remains. In this article, we will introduce in detail the issues and countermeasures for telephone correspondence in telework, and how to reduce telephone calls as much as possible.
Table of contents
The background to the emergence of phone problems during telework
Due to the spread of the new coronavirus infection, the spread of telework has progressed rapidly. At the same time, the means of communication are diversifying, and there is a shift from face-to-face meetings to web conferences, emails to chat tools, and other tools that enable communication in the same environment as much as possible, whether in the office or at home. Among them, issues that have not been regarded as problems until now have come to the fore. One of them is phone support during telework. As telework progresses, the number of employees who come to work will be limited. There is a concern that if fewer people are answering the phone than before, the time will be spent only on the phone, and they will not be able to go to work and do the work they want to do. The expansion of the work style of telework without considering the method of communication with outside the company has highlighted the issue of what to do with the phone during telework.
Causes of phone problems during telework
There are three main reasons why calls during telework can be a problem.
- Company landline support
- Potential for lower customer satisfaction
- Personal information increases and responsibility becomes ambiguous
Let’s take a closer look at each.
Company landline support
The first reason why calls during telework can be a problem is the company’s landline phone support. Many companies that have introduced telework are using telecommunication tools such as “Microsoft Teams” and “Zoom” instead of using conventional telephones to communicate using web conferencing and chat tools. However, not all trading partners have the same means of communication. In addition, in situations such as urgent requests, reminders, and minor inquiries from business partners, conventional telephones are still necessary. In that sense, it is necessary for employees to come to work in order to respond to the company’s landline phone.
Potential for lower customer satisfaction
The second cause of problems with calls during telework is the possibility of lower customer satisfaction. Due to the spread of telework, the number of people who go to the office will be limited. Therefore, the company’s landline phone support is limited. If the response is delayed or not possible compared to before the introduction of telework, it may give the impression of being dishonest. It can lead to poor customer satisfaction.
Personal information increases and responsibility becomes ambiguous
The third reason why telephone calls during telework become a problem is that the amount of personal information increases and the location of responsibility becomes ambiguous. If you don’t have rules for sharing what you say on the phone, you end up with more information that only the person who takes the call knows. Also, the content may change depending on the interpretation of the person receiving the call. If something goes wrong, responsibility can be ambiguous. Even if there is a problem with the other party, there is no record of the conversation over the phone, so there is concern that it will be the responsibility of the person who received the call.
Countermeasures against telephone problems during telework
There are three ways to deal with phone problems during telework.
- Get a call back from a representative
- Use forwarding service
- Deploy Cloud PBX
Now let’s go through them one by one.
Get a call back from a representative
The first way to deal with phone problems during telework is to have the person in charge call you back. As a measure that can be implemented immediately, it is to call back from the person in charge. Although the number of phone calls increases, the company can respond more appropriately if the person in charge responds reliably. Employees who receive a lot of calls should be provided with a company cell phone. With the provision of mobile phones, the person in charge can directly call each other, saving the trouble of returning calls.
Use forwarding service
The second countermeasure against telephone problems during telework is to use a forwarding service. A call forwarding service is a service that forwards company calls to an employee’s mobile phone. You can also forward incoming calls to a pre-registered phone number, or easily forward calls to another phone number after answering the call. With many call forwarding services, you can enable/disable “call forwarding” and change the forwarding destination from another phone even when you are away from home. By using the forwarding service, you can receive calls from anywhere without having to go to work. However, since charges are incurred for each incoming call, it is necessary to consider the cost aspect.
is a telephone answering service for you who want to concentrate on your work. Received calls will be notified by chat or email without leaking. You can check the history on your smartphone and never miss an important call. You can improve your work efficiency by making your phone calls smarter. Recommended for companies that want to improve productivity by streamlining in-house telephone brokerage, and companies that want to shift to a telework system or want to make their in-house telephone response to the cloud in order to achieve both work and telework.
Features of Fondesk
- Receiving phone calls for companies and offices, notifying the content of calls via chat and email
- You can start using it today by applying online. In about 10 minutes, the operator can immediately start responding
- Services that can be introduced from a basic monthly fee of 10,000 yen
Deploy Cloud PBX
The third countermeasure against telephone problems during telework is to introduce a cloud PBX. It is also a good idea to introduce a cloud PBX as a countermeasure for telework phone problems. A cloud PBX is an Internet-based telephone system in which all functions are consolidated on a server installed in a data center. Cloud PBX offers more features than traditional phone systems and is easy to set up, even for non-technical administrators. In addition, there is the advantage that the introduction cost is lower than the introduction of company smartphones.
How to reduce phone calls during telework
Here are two ways to reduce phone calls during telework.
- Take advantage of non-telephone services
- Publish help and support information to customers
Take advantage of non-telephone services
The first way to reduce phone calls during telework is to use services other than phone calls. This is the time when you want to avoid as much as possible non-urgent calls, calls involving small talk, and calls with disorganized information. You can reduce the number of phone calls by using services other than phone calls rather than calling. Specifically, tools such as email and chat. For frequent communication, it would be more efficient to use chat or email. However, a phone call may be faster for a large amount of information to be handled. By using chat and email, you can quickly get to the point and reduce unnecessary contact. In addition, the history of exchanges is saved, which is useful for trouble avoidance. For companies that make a lot of phone calls, it is important to raise awareness on a daily basis about whether the phone calls are necessary in the first place.
Publish help and support information to customers
A second way to reduce phone calls while teleworking is to open up help and support information to your customers. Many phone calls may be due to the fact that the company has not disclosed the necessary information to the customer, or the information may be in a location that is difficult for the customer to find. Publish help and support information to reduce calls. When compiling help and support information, we recommend using sharing tools.
In this article, we have introduced in detail the issues and countermeasures for responding to telephone calls in telework, and how to reduce telephone calls as much as possible. While telework allows for a work style that is not bound by location or time, new issues such as telephone problems during telework have also arisen. As a countermeasure against telephone problems during telework, it is effective to have the person in charge call you back, use a transfer service, or use a cloud PBX. Also, let’s consider an approach to “reduce the number of phone calls” by publishing services other than telephones, help and support information, and utilizing information sharing tools.