As I have discussed in previous posts such as VOIP/Customer Service Software, 20 Questions to Ask a VOIP/Customer Service Software Company, and Zendesk- Responses to my Questions, my company is upgrading our phone hardware and software before we move to a larger location. Of the many decisions we have to make in the process, we are finally getting closer to meeting our goals.
Although not yet finalized, our choices for phone hardware will be provided by Jive and Zendesk will provide our phone software. Today, we have a meeting regarding the next steps we wish to take in this project, so I wanted to both prepare my material as well as share with you all the notes I have collected through both my research and discussions with Zendesk.
In regards to having a landline, you can insert a landline phone’s 10-digit DID (Direct Inward Dialing) number into the user profile and within Talk. Users will then use the drop-down menu to either answer via the browser or on your landline; this is the most common workflow for that setup.
So basically, when a call comes in it will display in Talk on their browser, then it will give the option to talk using the browser via headset or with a physical landline phone.
Phone Hardware Options
One constantly changing decision we have is which company we will be going with or if we will want to purchase our own equipment from a vendor. A company such as Jive, can offer us phones for a much lower price and also help with installation/maintenance. In this method, a monthly fee is paid for both phones, support, and VOIP service. You also have access to their servers, which all have high uptime and low downtime.
Purchase Phones Through Vendor
The other option would be to purchase the phones outright. In this method, we would be in charge of all installation and maintenance but would have ownership of our equipment instead of ‘renting’ them (as many providers do). It is important to note that even if we have our own equipment, we will have to pay a VOIP service provider, whether that is Cox or Jive; this charge is separate from our ISP.
In a discussion I had with Zendesk, I provided them with one of the PBX phone systems we were looking at and asked them if there would be any changes to how their services would work if we didn’t go with a company such as Jive. Per Zendesk, there would be no changes in how Zendesk Talk will work with this particular PBX system. We would still have the option to have our agents answer phone calls via browser or hardware phones. If we chose to have our team use hardware phones, they would merely need the DID numbers associated with them.
Why Jive is Best Option
The reason I believe choosing Jive is our best bet is that by using their services and phones, we would actually be saving money (by eliminating our current trunk charges with Cox) and gaining numerous advantages over our current phone system. Additionally, Jive will help us set up their phones with Zendesk and provide their services for optimizing the system.
Best Practices- Implementation
Before switching to Zendesk, they recommended getting our Jive/phone hardware set up, including setting up the main telephone line and a separate line that will be dedicated to customer support; this will be the line our agents will utilize to manage phone support.
They note that if we are going to have a dedicated support phone number (no one calling in to reach a direct line or for non-support calls), we could go ahead and purchase that phone number directly in Zendesk Talk. They also wanted to make sure that we would follow the technical best practices for setting up Talk and then we could do a walk through with their team to get our IT and Customer Service agents comfortable with the program.
The implementation for support is pretty straightforward. Most teams can self-serve this and can get up and running very quickly. If there are additional requests, we can always reach out to Zendesk or create a ticket to meet with their advocacy team. Apart from that, they offer professional services packages if we feel we need further assistance.
There are no specific implementation stages as every team is different, but Zendesk is always there to help you however we need.
Zendesk’s Proposed Implementation Timeline
Zendesk Talk Set-Up Guide
Zendesk Talk is a VoIP solution, which makes it flexible and easy-to-use. But like any VoIP solution, there are specific requirements to ensure optimal performance. Before we get started with Talk, myself (or whoever manages your network and IT) will need to follow these five easy steps:
- Check your connection and bandwidth
First things first: you’ll need a strong and stable internet connection. Wireless internet connections can work, but a hardwired connection to your network will provide optimal results.
Concurrent network activity, like streaming media or large data file transfers, can impact Talk quality. A dedicated network for your Talk calls will provide the best results.
- Configure your router with open ports, and QoS enabled
Make sure your router has the following ports open:
TCP: port 80 and 443
UDP: all ports between 10,000 and 60,000
With your router’s QoS, prioritize these ports or the IP address of the computer(s) making and receiving calls.
- Open the correct ports in your computer’s firewall
Mac and Windows operating systems might have system firewalls enabled that block the same ports required for Zendesk Talk. Make sure to allow incoming connections for Chrome or Firefox.
- Use a recently updated Chrome or Firefox browser
For best results, use a recently updated version of Chrome or Firefox.
- Enable wired headsets in your browser
They recommend wired headsets that connect to the 3.5mm audio port on your computer or USB headsets. Bluetooth headsets may result in broken streams of audio.
Content and Image by Zendesk. 14 Dec 2018. Retrieved from https://www.zendesk.com/.