Partners Selling Hosted Communications Should Be Asking Customers These 13 Important Questions

The world of hosted communications is changing radically as new communication solutions are moving into the business world.

In the past, many business phone systems looked pretty much the same across the board.

But as more businesses require higher levels of integration, BYOD options, and mobility features, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult for partners to figure out the best way to solve the customer’s communication “pain points.”

This list of essential questions has been developed by a team of dedicated channel managers that have been helping partners provide hosted solutions to businesses for nearly a decade.

Use the list to help you identify exactly what your customers’ business communication situations look like today and what solutions are available to assist them going forward.

1. What is the primary function of your business?

Make sure you’re asking the most important question: ­“What does your business actually do?”

You might think you know the answer, but often, customers will reveal more information

regarding business function and processes that could be critical to developing an effective

communication solution for them.

2. What does your phone system look like today?

  • Do they currently have a PBX?
  • Where are they in the lifespan of their system?
  • Are they paying too much to continue maintenance and upgrades?
  • What about call flow? ­Do they have extensions or DIDs?

Finding out exactly what the current system looks like will help you assess

where there might be opportunities to improve the system in terms of functionality, new

technology, or mobility features.

3. What are some of the communications challenges that you are having? What are your pain points?

This may seem like an obvious question, but here’s a word of advice: ­Ask this question a lot.

Your customer might identify a couple of problems in the initial discussion, but over time other challenges might become more obvious to them.

Keep this dialogue going and see if you can help identify areas that need improvement.

4. How many locations, users, and/or remote workers does your company have?

The number of offices, users, and remote workers will help you in determining additional features that might be beneficial for the customer.

With remote workers, there is a good chance that they are underutilizing some of the mobility features available, such as SMS, One Number, or mobile video conferencing.

5. What CRM software does your company use? Do you use Outlook?

If the customer is using CRM software, such as Salesforce or Sugar, you can assist them in

increasing productivity by integrating this software with their hosted solution.

Many integrations allow customers to manage key communication functions directly from the CRM.

Integrating with Outlook will also allow them to manage incoming and outgoing calls more efficiently.

6. Does your customer use Office 365 and Microsoft Teams?

MS Teams has grown from 40 million to over 170 million users in the last year, and it is

important to know if a customer might benefit from leveraging our MS Teams integration.

7. What does your internet usage and LAN look like for email and web traffic?

A thorough understanding of how your customer is using their internet bandwidth will help you identify how much bandwidth is truly needed to support both voice and data simultaneously.

Furthermore, this allows you to identify whether or not they will need more bandwidth to avoid sacrificing call quality. Are there dual drops, is there a POE with VLAN capabilities, etc.

8. Do you have groups of people that receive calls through a hunt or queue? If so, would you want to see statistics on the calls coming into those groups?

Customers often use ring-all or linear groups to answer calls, yet they rarely realize

that they can also gain incredibly valuable statistics that show average wait times, agent

efficiency, and abandoned calls.

These measures are very important for SMBs that need to maximize the efficiency of every employee.

9. Do you use video communications in a conference room? What about for remote workers?

Businesses are embracing the opportunities for visual communications in a variety of ways.

Visual communications is nothing new. (Think about how long Facetime has been around.)

But, it’s so important because it’s the way businesses are communicating with their remote work staff and customers today.

10. How do you communicate internally? DID or extension dialing? Calls to mobile phones?

These questions can reveal how efficient the client’s call flow truly is.

How helpful would it be to know better ways of tying the company together and not having to pay additional expenses in mobile and interoffice calling?

11. Do you or your employees use smartphones (Android or IOS) or tablets?

Just as you inquired about your customer’s computer operating system, it is also important to find out how they are using mobile devices.

There are a number of applications that will bring enterprise voice and video solutions directly to the mobile device. Additionally, these devices can also be integrated with existing desktop and teleconferencing equipment.

12. What does your call flow look like today?

Find out how incoming calls are being managed currently.

Is there a live receptionist? An auto attendant?

Have the customer walk you through their typical call. This will help you identify areas

in which you can provide a more streamlined system to manage incoming calls in a more

effective manner.

13. How is your business growing? What are your company’s growth plans?

Would it be through acquisitions or expansion internationally? ­

Every business has a plan to grow and understanding this will help identify ways to provide scalability for the customer along timelines suitable to their goals.

Additional questions

Here are a few more questions you may consider valuable to ask your customers:

  • Do you have a need to record calls?
  • Communicate with customers via other means than phones?
  • What kind of disaster recovery plan do you have in place today?

Let your nexogy team help you give your customers exactly what they need. Get in touch today.

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