As an insurance agent, communicating with your clients is essential for your business.
In 2020, there are countless ways of doing that: Email, text messages, WhatsApp, even Zoom.
However, there’s still one core channel for interacting with clients in the insurance business – phone calls. When they run into problems, 61% of US customers will still first grab their phones and call customer service. Having a human agent readily available on the phone boost clients’ trust in businesses – insurance agencies included.
What’s more, modern business phone providers have moved far beyond clunky desk phones and mysterious PBX systems hidden away in a supply closet. Business telephony has transitioned to the cloud and comes with invaluable tools to stay connected, and boost productivity.
Mastering Growth and Weathering Crises with the Right Business Phone Service
The most important aspect of modern business telephony is its flexibility.
Thanks to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology, business phone services are available not just on desk phones, but any internet-enabled device, from your smartphone to your office computer.
When the coronavirus pandemic struck and lockdowns forced businesses into telecommuting, desk phones were left unstaffed. A customer would, at best, encounter a supremely unsatisfactory voicemail message.
VoIP business telephony enables your team to work from anywhere. You can stay connected and take important client calls wherever you are – whether at the office or on your living room couch.
Another plus is that most business phone providers have gone beyond voice calls. Many offer unified communications: Voice and video calls, conferencing, live chats, messaging, and email all in one. This means you keep all your communications in one place and cancel unnecessary subscriptions. Plus: Save yourself the headache of coordinating calls on countless different platforms, from Zoom to Hangouts.
Finally, most business phone services offer an array of features to increase efficiency and productivity. One example is advanced call management – which gives you total control over routing, holding, and blocking calls. Other nifty features are voicemail-to-text and voicemail-to-email. They’ll transcribe messages left by callers, and send them straight to your inbox or chosen messaging platform.
Overall, having the right business phone service can boost your insurance business’ flexibility, increase your resilience, and set you up for future growth.
The offer on the business phone market is huge, and the features included in individual plans vary considerably. To get you started on the search for the right phone service for your business, here are five of the best.
1 – Nextiva
Crowned the best Business Phone Service of 2020, Nextiva offers an all-encompassing, comprehensive solution for any business’ needs.
The company’s core offer of VoIP business phone services – voice and video calling, conferencing, and messaging – is complemented by a wide array of additional features. Call transcription, voicemail-to-email, and advanced call management are all part of the package.
Advanced features include find-me-follow-me, which makes sure that you can take client calls no matter which device or number you’re on. Another is IVR, which stands for Interactive Voice Response. Powered by AI natural language processing, IVR lets your clients state the purpose of their call in their own words – and forwards them to the correct extension.
Another plus point are Nextiva’s proprietary NextOS and Cospace platforms. NextOS provides native customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities and advanced analytics. Cospace is Nextiva’s team collaboration solution – which might come in handy if your team is forced to work from home offices during another wave of the pandemic.
Finally, Nextiva can boast award-winning 24/7 customer service, and 99.999% (‘five nines’) reliability.
Pricing starts at $19.99 per user and month, offering outstanding value for money.
2 – Dialpad
Starting at $15 per user and month, Dialpad offers unified communications at a highly competitive price.
Voice and video calling, as well as text messaging are included in Dialpad’s package, along with internet faxing and call transcription. Furthermore, the platform offers integrations with G Suite and Office 365, besides others in its App Marketplace.
One downside is that large video conference calls are not included – you’ll need Dialpad’s separate UberConference for that.
For some additional features, such as local numbers in over 50 countries, and 24/7 customer support, you will also have to subscribe to Dialpad’s Pro plan, at $25 per user and month.
3 – Vonage
If you’re looking to centralize your business communications, Vonage is another good option. Its Business Cloud is an all-in-one communications platform, providing voice and video calls, messaging, and team collaboration features.
Vonage also offers a large number of integrations, from Office 365 and G Suite, over various CRM systems, to project management platforms.
At $19.99 per line and month, Vonage’s Mobile plan has all the basic features. Premium, for $29.99 per line and month, unlocks video conferencing, live chat, messaging, and file-sharing for up to 100 users. Finally, the Advanced plan, at $39.99 per line and month, covers call recording and visual voicemail.
4 – Aircall
If your team is large and deals with high volumes of customer calls, take a look at Aircall. This business phone service specializes in call center solutions for any business.
Aircall offers voice and video calls, as well as messaging channels on web, desktop, and mobile. The platform is easy and fast to set up – and its maintenance and admin are geared toward a large number of users.
The offer includes a variety of productivity features, native CRM capabilities, and helpdesk functionalities. Another big plus are inbuilt analytics tools, which give you actionable insights into client relationships – and the performance of your team members.
Aircall’s pricing starts at $30 per user and month for the Essential plan. The Professional plan, at $50 per user and month, comes with advanced analytics and reporting, a dedicated account manager, and a huge number of integrations.
5 – Avaya
Finally, Avaya offers its unified communications solution OneCloud, which includes calls, meetings, and collaboration on any internet-enabled device.
The platform’s strong suit is its well-designed combination of team collaboration and communication features. It includes voice, video, chat, messaging, as well as file and screen sharing. It also prides itself on scalability and deep customization options, meaning communications can be seamlessly integrated into a variety of business processes.
Avaya’s only downside is that setup and maintenance are somewhat more complicated than for other options on this list.
The company’s Essential plan starts at $19.99 per user and month, for teams of 2 to 20. Additional features such as call recording and a virtual receptionist become available at the Business plan for a monthly $24.95 per user. Finally, the Power plan ($34.95 per user and month) adds direct video calling and advanced analytics.
The right business phone service can be an invaluable asset to any insurance agent’s business. It provides flexibility, resilience, and a reliable channel of communication with clients.
When choosing the business phone service that is right for your business, there are a host of factors to consider – from the size of your team and its needs to the call volume you’re expecting.
At the end of the day, the search will take some time and effort. But with the massive variety of offers on the market and the right parameters to go with, you’re bound to find the right fit for you.