Supporting Your Work-from-Home Staff: Technology is Key

Two and a half years after Covid closed offices around the world and required millions of workers to perform their jobs from their homes, the work-from-home “job feature” has gained a foothold across varying demographics, occupations, and locations, and remains a reality for more than half of the US workforce. According to a recent McKinsey & Company report*, more than 58% of the American workforce (approximately 92 million people) have the option of working from home at least one day a week and 35% have the option to work from home five days a week.

While this flexible staffing model is convenient for workers and typically more cost-effective for employers (less office space is required), issues can arise if you don’t have the right technology to support a work-from-home model. If your office staff fields customer calls, you need to ensure that the customer experience remains consistent whether your staff is in the office or at home.

One of the ways to ensure productivity and minimize issues is to upgrade your phone service to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). This technology, which allows office-based and remote employees to work on the same system, keeps your remote employees connected to your business no matter where they are. 

How it Works

VoIP uses the internet to digitize the user’s voice and send it to the receiver. Calls can be routed throughout offices and to remote locations without having the phone company run “lines.” This digital setup includes many features you can’t get with analog phones, including intelligent call routing, video conferencing, screen sharing, voice-to-text and call recording, analytics, and more.

Further, employees can be assigned a single number whether they are in the office or at a remote location and can integrate the technology—through an app—with their smartphones, allowing them to perform their work from anywhere.

Benefits of VoIP

Efficiency – VoIP uses an automated attendant to route customer calls, getting your customers to the right agents no matter where those agents are—all with one call to a single number.  In addition, changes such as adding more lines, scaling back, or reallocating lines, are quick and easy.

Cost – VoIP is a cost-effective option for most employers. No hardware is required to run the system; all you need is an internet connection and a subscription plan. There is no need to purchase additional hardware or pay setup fees every time you add a new employee.

Security – When used over a virtual private network (VPN), VoIP encrypts the data being sent over the company network, giving you a secure method of communicating and sharing data.

Tracking/Monitoring – VoIP records calls and reports data to you, so it is easy to track performance of in-office and remote workers. Metrics such as missed calls, call volume, and availability are easily monitored.

To get started with VoIP for your workforce, contact us.

*McKinsey & Company, Americans are embracing flexible work—and they want more of it

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CloudG’s Aaron Day and Wife, Lychelle, Receive 2023 Alumni Impact Awards from Utah Valley University

CloudG’s Aaron Day and Wife, Lychelle, Receive 2023 Alumni Impact Awards from Utah Valley University

A Look at a New AI Technology: ChatGPT

At CloudG, we go to great lengths to keep our fingers on the pulse of the IT and Cloud services industry. This includes watching and learning about the latest technologies and innovations that can transform our clients’ businesses. One potential new disruptor that’s making the news is a chatbox that was released in November 2022 called ChatGPT. 

A tool developed by OpenAI, a San Francisco-based artificial intelligence research lab, ChatGPT uses information from the internet to answer questions in a conversational manner and can build on previous questions in a given thread to create a dialogue.

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is a “cousin” of the popular GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) language prediction model—that’s the Natural Language Processing (NLP) tool that uses initial text as a prompt to produce text that continues the prompt. Its ability to generate human-like text in a variety of languages and domains allows ChatGPT to conduct natural, back-and-forth conversations with users for an extended period of time. This has the potential to revolutionize the customer service industry.

 

The tool can also generate high-quality content, such as that used in social media articles and posts. For businesses looking to create marketing materials and thought leadership content with limited staffs and budgets, this tool has the potential to be a game-changer.

 

Maybe the best part about it—and the most impactful—is that it can be customized for specific tasks and used to generate personal responses based on user input. This capability makes its potential unlimited.

 

A Note of Caution

While the possible benefits of ChatGPT are innumerable, there are some potential glitches, as noted by the creator. The tool, which recognizes patterns in massive amounts of text from the internet and delivers conversational dialog based on human training, is only as good as the information that feeds it. That means that the answer to the question you ask or the content you create may sound knowledgeable but be entirely wrong.

 

The Bottom Line

Despite its potential drawbacks, ChatGPT has the potential to revolutionize the chatbox space. We will continue to track its successes and gauge its potential for use at CloudG.