Your customers might have read the recent news stating that millennials don’t like to spend time on the phone and seek to lower the number of phone lines. However, the amount of business that’s conducted over the phone is still pretty high. Business calls have moved to the use of systems that entail a trunk call model to ensure that businesses are agile and ready to store customer data.
If you’re wondering how many channels should be in your customers’ trunks, check out this guide.
Understanding Trunks and Channels
When you’re trying to determine how many channels your customers need, it’s important to avoid misnomers. SIP trunks and SIP channels are two different things.
You can think about an SIP trunk as a highway through which a phone system and the public network connection. Each SIP channel is like a lane on that highway. It can support one incoming or outgoing call at a time.
SIP trunks can hold an unlimited number of channels so for one location, you only need one SIP trunk. The number of channels you set up is going to depend on the type of call traffic a business gets.
Customers aren’t going to be worried about how many trunks they have as they will how many channels they can access. In some offices, you need a channel for every employee while in others, it’s less necessary because you don’t have everyone making calls at the same time.
Talk to your customer about current call value and find out if there’s any projected spike to come.
Lines Versus Channels
Lines and channels are often used interchangeably. It’s the difference between these two terms and the term “trunk” that you need to watch out for.
Concurrent lines will determine the number of channels you need. You need your clients to be able to handle call volume for their customers or they could lose out on business. A busy signal to a customer is like a “do not enter” sign.
Making sure you have the right channels depends on providers, so you need to get to know your clients better than they know themselves. If they say they only need a few channels, you need to carefully craft an argument for why they need more.
The more you’re able to predict their growth and needs, the better off they’ll be. If they start losing customers after switching to SIP, they might switch back, never realizing it was their own underestimation of channels that did them in.
Unlimited Calling Plans
Lots of customers are looking for “unlimited” calling plans. Since trunks can offer unlimited channels, calling is usually unlimited.
Customers don’t want to b charged based on usage or calling within the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. They want a monthly flat rate they can budget for dependably. Even though it’s not an issue for you as a service provider, assure that they’ll get unlimited calling.
Direct Inward Dialing or DID is a service that most companies need. This gives employees their own unique 10 digit number so that people can call them from outside of the company. This makes for better-looking business cards and ensures that each representative at your company can project professionalism to the people they interact with.
There is usually a small additional monthly fee for each one and each of these may require a channel. Charging $1 a month is fairly standard for creating more U.S. numbers.
Set-Up Fees Come Into Play
When it comes to SIP trunking, there’s usually a fee for each channel. This is what holds some customers back from choosing to add more channels. That’s why when it comes time to convince them of how many channels they need, you have to approach the issue from their perspective.
Asking them to set up more channels means asking them to pay more money every month. They’ll weight the costs and benefits and you need to make sure you do the same.
If they’re moving a current phone number to a SIP trunk, there’s often a porting fee they have to pay. Make all of these fees clear to them so they know the deal with every number and every line. While it might seem like a small fee to you, it’s important that you don’t minimize their concerns.
So How Many Channels Do They Need?
For every department, you need to ensure that there’s a number available. Then talk about how many people get calls through each department. Lastly, talk about growth that they plan on.
Make it clear that a busy signal or a line that’s unavailable to customers can be toxic. One of the industries that were first to tackle this problem might surprise you. The pizza delivery world grew tired of not being able to handle the call volume they needed, so they were particularly aggressive in this field.
Consider their model wherein they had slow times and extremely busy times. During their busiest times, during service outage, or following a troubling news item, how many calls could they be expected to address? Ask them how many lines they needed to protect their business and you could be assured that they’ll go for that number.
A Trunk Call System Should Improve Old Systems
While older systems might have worked for previous business models, having a system that’s appropriate for new technology is vital. A trunk call system ensures more data is collected and kept to make productivity easier. Show them how their lives will be easier and they’ll be happy to add more channels.
If your customers are still learning the difference between IP and SIP call, have them check out this guide.