Voipfone - The Future Of Communication

The Auto Button



Our dishwasher’s down. Its heating element has gone the way of all things. Normally I’d take on the challenge to fix this as I see it as my role in life to dadfix anything and it’s a personal failure if the only solution is a trip to the tip. Or, god forbid, I have to ‘get a man in.’

But I’ve fixed this beast several times – it’s had various problems along the way – but as it’s now 16 years old it’s probably time to say goodbye, and, as my dad used to say, “it owes me nowt”.

I have to say, I was a little bemused by the first sale guy I rang to get an upgrade, he asked me how old mine was then said “they don’t make them like that anymore.” Apparently, they make them worse now. I’ll spare you the details about how Covid has created massive shortages in the white goods industry and so on. I finally found one that seems suitable and it’s now happily whirling away under the worktop.

I’ll also spare you the details of what you find when you remove a dishwasher from a place that hasn’t seen the light of day for 16 years but is also in close proximity to a waste bin. No, this monologue is about

FEATURES

My 13 year-old sales guy was hot on features and could bang on all day about them. The dishwasher I finally bought has a measly nine features involving combinations of temperatures, eco, noise, out-of-hours working. And a magnificent button called ‘Chef’ – eh? My child salesboy doesn’t know this but I actually bought it for a single feature called ‘Auto’. Press that button and it decides everything. I can reliably predict that that button will wear out first.

But it doesn’t seem to be like that in Voipfone. We’re constantly developing new features. We do this for two reasons 1) we haven’t got an ‘Auto’ button, 2) people keep asking us for them. Almost as soon as we put out a new product we get asked to add another feature to it. In our world things get increasingly intricate because features are useful things. We start with as simple a product as we can and it just grows. Last month we produced an update and upgrade to our IVR produce with new flashy features and in a couple of months it’ll be call barring’s turn. Then call queues. Features, features, features.

The pundits of the industry tell me that features are so last year, then reel off whatever the latest fad they’re trying to promote is. They don’t even say “people don’t want features they want solutions” anymore; but they will, it’ll be back. I just nod and smile and think of the length of wish list that our customers have created for us.

But I really wish we had a ‘Auto’ button.


New and Improved IVR



This month we’re launching an update and upgrade to our Interactive Voice Response service. That’s a fancy name for the “press 1 for Sales, 2 for Accounts and 3 for a good time” system that we all love to hate when we meet it as a user.

IVRs sometimes get a bad press because they’re often used appallingly with far too many choices and layers – done badly you soon forget where you are and don’t know how to get out without slamming the phone down. The very worst are those that force you down a convoluted funnel then dump you into an everlasting queue followed by a “sorry, please call back later.”

Anyway, rant over. They can be very useful tools to direct calls to exactly the right person to answer your question and save everybody time and effort; they just need to be used with the caller in mind.

So what’s changed? Well we’ve added the ability for the caller to enter the extension number of the called party directly if s/he caller knows it, which gets the caller directly to who s/he wants to talk to without any more messing around.

You can now also have as many IVRs as you like and as many levels in each IVR as you like. Now, far be it from me to put anyone off buying lots of stuff from us but, please don’t go mad with umpteen layers and choices, best to use as few as you can to get the result you need. Our customer service people will happily help you find this happy medium.

Oh, and by-the-way, don’t forget that if you’re shy, you can also use our professional voice artists to create the messages for you.

You asked for it, we built it.


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