For construction companies of every size, the pandemic accelerated the shift toward hybrid information technology solutions that facilitate both remote and in-office communications between customers and employees. In the marketplace today, this has increasingly involved mobile and office phones with integrated software that offers sophisticated voice, video, messaging, and workforce management capabilities.
This has augmented the complexity of the phone system requirements and presented construction businesses with a plethora of options. Users usually operate from office phones and mobile devices and are working more in and out of the office, so there is a greater demand for forwarding messages to avoid missing calls.
Also, a host of new services beyond calling are often expected such as Short Message Service (SMS)/Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), video conferencing, visual voicemail, and call recording. On top of all this, the phone system is increasingly connected through APIs to existing company systems such as contact centers, workforce management, and Customer Relationship Management systems (CRMs), so important data can be monitored and evaluated in various ways.
CHALLENGE TO SOLUTION
The challenge for construction companies, however, has been dealing with issues of quality and integration, along with constantly escalating provider prices and add-on fees that can end up costing over $70 per user each month. When managers need the services to stay operational but do not have the time or inclination to sort through complex billing, they can feel like a captive of their technology provider.
“Today, construction business owners feel besieged with all the software-as-a-service fees, which constantly creep upwards, never downwards in cost. They are enticed with low offers to start, and then the price doubles or triples on renewal or any changes,” says Eric Brackett, president of BTI Communications Group, a technology convergence provider serving the business and logistics sectors. The company acts as a single-source provider of complex phone (VoIP), network, and physical security systems, down to installation of wiring and conduit as well as cybersecurity monitoring and protection.
In addition, construction businesses prefer a phone system that includes access to every service option from the start, whether used or not, at a low fixed monthly rate, which eliminates extra fees and complexity. “Business owners and managers appreciate having only one line item on the bill that covers everything. When the prices don’t change for a fixed period, this eliminates the issue of escalating expenses and surprise add-on costs,” says Brackett.
He notes that such a system can improve both the customer and employee experience by integrating web services including voice, video, SMS/MMS, smartphone and PC, as well as contact center, CRM, and workforce management.
“Today, a construction business phone system needs to enable working from anywhere, whether at the office, at home, or on the go, and offer the full breadth of communication technologies,” says Brackett.
He adds that some of the more advanced marketplace options are now easier than ever to incorporate and use. These allow business employees to use their own smartphones without purchasing new equipment since the service functions with almost every cellular provider. To streamline use, a web portal can enable users to take control and easily manage the entire system through a simple interface. Video conferencing also facilitates collaboration anywhere on any device, and some or all calls can be recorded and retrieved as needed.
OPTIMIZING BUSINESS TELECOM
Astral Energy of Montvale, New Jersey, buys energy wholesale and sells it retail to over 15,000 businesses in the B2B market. Ashton Fox, chief operating officer of Astral Energy, sought a more robust, stable solution than his existing telecom service provided.
“Many of our customers work off their smartphones on the road so texting and multimedia messaging is important to communicate with them. If our customers struggle to reach us or we are challenged to reach them because of our phone system, it doesn’t work,” says Fox.
As a solution, Fox and Astral Energy turned to a new option in the business market called GoodPhone by BTI that provides complete web, voice, video, SMS, MMS, CRM, contact center, and workforce management service and integration for customers and employees. The service functions on smartphones and office phones, as well as on PCs used as phones.
Complete phone service with all the needed options costs a flat monthly rate of less than $25/user. For the contracted period, each user can utilize an unlimited number of phones as part of the same flat rate. Phones can also be rented or purchased from BTI, or existing VoIP devices used.
When employees use their personal smartphone by downloading the GoodPhone App, they no longer need to give out their personal cell information to handle business calls. Instead, they can provide clients with one office number to reach them, and make or take calls from their web phone, mobile app, or desk phone while always displaying the office number.
The service also allows businesses to text promotions and contact customers via SMS and MMS messages, as well as track the responses. Employees can monitor messages and set auto-responses with customized text from one account. The service facilitates resolving customer issues by enabling the search of text archives with a 360-degree view of customer interactions. When video conferencing is required, the service currently allows up to 1,000 people to participate and up to 25 to share a screen.
Business telecom systems have long been complex and costly, leading to user frustration. However, with greater choice in the marketplace today, construction businesses that integrate essentially all required telecom services through VoIP phones at a low, fixed cost can streamline their operations and gain a competitive advantage.
About the Author:
Del Williams is a technical writer based in Torrance, California. For a free 14-day trial or a zero-commitment review of telco bills, call 1-800-HELPBTI (1.800.435.7284), email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.btigroup.com.
Modern Contractor Solutions, October 2022
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