Once upon a time there really wasn’t much choice in how you wanted to communicate with people. There was a phone on your desk, maybe even a digital one if you were really lucky, and that was it. You picked it up, pushed the buttons on the front and it rang to someone with an equally boring option who picked up their handpiece and started talking.
Today, though, there is more choice than ever. In fact, it can be pretty daunting to try to work out which one fits best. Here’s a guide to help point you in the right direction.
Chances are you fit one of these categories:
- Stuck in my ways/it’s refreshing to slam down the receiver/I don’t leave my desk
- Bum on seat all day, but a desk phone is really inconvenient
- Office? What office?
- I like it face to face
- I’m glued to my mobile device and I’m always connected
If we’ve missed any, let us know, but for now let’s look at these in more depth and work out which solution fits each category.
1. Stuck in my ways
If you thought this personality trait was the sole domain of baby boomers, you would be mistaken. Still find yourself showing up to meetings with a pen and paper? Then there’s a chance that you fit this category. You’re afraid of technology. In fact, if it has a microchip you can probably break it and cause the world to reverse on its axis.
Or maybe, you’re okay with technology, but you just want something tactile. Or you have a high stress job and there’s nothing that makes you feel better than attempting to put the receiver through the cradle of the handset. We get that. It’s not the same level of satisfaction to furiously click a red icon on your screen!
Most likely then, you want to stick with a traditional looking handset taking up real estate on your desk. Avaya’s range of 96X1 handsets is where you want to be looking for your next phone. A powerful range of handsets that makes everything you do on them simple. It’s familiar, it has a button for everything and it’s sturdy enough to take plenty of abuse.
2. Bum on seat all day, but a desk phone is really inconvenient
“They can chain me to a desk, but they can’t take away my music.” You might have to work in an office all day but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it with some music. Or maybe you are easily distracted and need to block out everyone else’s chatter. Either way, your noise cancelling headphones are a lifesaver until you have to take them off time and time again to answer the phone. Or you miss the calls completely because you’re caught up in your new favourite song that’s been on repeat for two days.
The Avaya SoftPhone installed on your PC should ensure that everyone wins in this situation. Calls don’t get missed and you don’t even have to stop listening to your music if you don’t want to! You get a visual alert and you can hear the ringing. Click to answer and start talking. As a bonus, you can turn this into a video call to stare down the person who so rudely interrupted the Hottest 100.
3. Office? What office?
Maybe you’re pounding the footpath all day drumming up sales or you’re on the road fixing everyone else’s problems. Either way, you can’t even remember where your office is, never mind the last time you sat down at a desk to talk on the phone.
Your smartphone and your Bluetooth headset is your lifeline, but you can’t deny there are some drawbacks. Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to give your mobile number to everyone? Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone that had your number didn’t call you in the middle of dinner? And wouldn’t it be great to see if the person you needed to contact back at the office was available?
Twinning and Avaya One-X Mobile to the rescue. With Avaya IP Office you can twin your desk phone to your mobile. This means that every time a call rings at your desk, it starts ringing on your mobile too. The best part of this solution is that you are still just as contactable but now you only have to give out your office number. When the day is done you can turn twinning off from the Avaya One-X Mobile app and have all your calls go to voicemail. Not only that, you get advanced features like presence (the ability to see who is available and who is not), chat (instant messaging), and you can even screen your calls when someone goes to voicemail.
4. I like it face to face
A UCLA study found that up to 93% of communication effectiveness is non-verbal. 93%?! That’s a pretty staggering number so it’s no wonder that many people prefer to see who they are talking to. Are they paying attention? Are they actually taking in what is being said? Traditionally, it was pretty hard to know. The odd yawn down the phone might be a giveaway, but it’s not particularly reliable in determining the other party’s interest.
You could opt for the Avaya SoftPhone from above or you could opt for freedom and install Avaya Flare on your iPad. Now you’re able to walk around, put dinner on or show off your hotel room to the person you’re talking to. In fact, why not conference in some other people and show everyone at once. You even get full conference control to mute participants, lock the conference and put the conference in lecture mode to force everyone to listen you and not be able to talk back.
5. I’m glued to my mobile device and I’m always connected
You spend all day looking at your phone. Text messages, Twitter, Facebook, emails, there’s always something happening and no amount of stubbed toes is going to make you look where you’re walking. It’s the first thing you check in the morning and it’s the last thing you cradle as you fall asleep.
You could go down the twinning path, but it just doesn’t quite offer the functionality you need and since you already have a monstrous data plan, it doesn’t make sense to pay for phone calls. Why not implant your extension on to your mobile device using the Avaya One-X Mobile SIP client?
Much like twinning, all the calls that normally go to your desk phone now go to your mobile but appear within the Avaya One-X client. Now you have all the features you would have as if you were at your desk. Mute, hold, conference, transfer receive multiple calls, you can do it all.
All this, and if you happen to be working from your favourite coffee shop, take advantage of their Wi-Fi and your calls to the office are free. Just remember to pay it forward!
There is also one final option. You could, of course, take advantage of all the solutions above depending on how you want to be contacted at any given time or place. If your current system doesn’t empower you and the people you communicate with to choose how they interact then you need to take a closer look at the flexibility of Avaya IP Office.