Do you get excited when thinking of upgrading to new technology like VoIP phone service? Making the switch to a new system – whether it is an entirely new technology or even just an application – can be an exciting adventure. Or it can be stressful while you juggle the transition and existing workflows.
Not every upgrade will be stressful. In fact, VoIP phone services are one of those things that give you immediate benefits. A VoIP phone service has the potential to improve your business processes and user satisfaction. Before you jump in with both feet, this guide will show you what to expect with VoIP phone service.
A VoIP phone service is essentially a replacement for your existing landline. VoIP technology powers most residential and business phone systems today. In fact, you’ve probably used VoIP even if you didn’t know it at the time. Have you ever used a service like Google Voice, FaceTime or Skype? These services are all powered by VoIP!
VoIP sends voice calls over your existing Internet connection. An enterprise-class VoIP phone service will benefit every department in your company – from sales and customer service to operations.
Imagine a phone system that allows your sales department to make twice as many calls. Imagine a phone service that allows your customer service agents to solve more issues in a day. Imagine the productivity gains if your project teams could collaborate with each other, regardless of location.
A VoIP phone service can do all this for your business. And so much more besides!
A VoIP phone service can help organizations of any size. It doesn’t matter if you’re an entrepreneur with a single employee or manage a global business. You could see your monthly bills drop by 30% or more by switching to VoIP.
One of the biggest advantages of VoIP phone services is the flexibility it provides. No longer are your employees tied to a single office or even desk. You can freely send your staff to client locations, allow them to work from home or move them between different office locations without worrying about assigning new numbers and transferring calls.
You also have the freedom of choice when it comes to implementing VoIP within the organization. Do you want to maintain control over the phone system? Then a custom deployed SIP trunking solution is just the ticket. Or maybe you would much rather buy the service from experts without the accompanying hassle of maintenance and repairs. Then a hosted VoIP service is the best option. Whatever be your business need, there is a VoIP implementation for you.
A VoIP phone service is more than just a phone line. With analog phone systems, you could add a couple of features (voicemail, conference calling) to the basic phone line. VoIP has no such limitations. In fact, VoIP brings together a multitude of features in one package.
A good VoIP vendor can offer everything from digital faxing to visual voicemail for business clients. If you want a new feature, you can add it to your existing plan in a few moments. No longer need digital faxing? Disable it and you don’t have to pay for it anymore.
Here’s a quick look at all the business features you can get with VoIP phone services.
Reception consoles provide an optimized interface for people who handle a large number of calls. It’s commonly meant for receptionists, administrative assistants, and other related roles. They have an integrated phone book that shows the status of each extension such as busy, available etc. The user is able to perform operations like transferring calls, putting calls on hold, blind/attended transfer, and so on.
Conference calling is not a new VoIP-specific feature, but audio and video conference calls with VoIP are much easier to set up and manage. You can set up a conference call in advance or start them from within an existing group conversation. You can invite participants to join with video or only audio. You can even record sessions for later playback or conduct an impromptu presentation.
VoIP-powered conference calling is perfect for teams that have members scattered across the globe. It’s also suitable for organizations who have to work with multiple partners to deliver their products and services.
Most people are familiar with the recorded voice that greets customers of a large company. Many small businesses don’t have access to this feature. Thanks to VoIP, you can use it for any sized company. Seamlessly transfer calls to the correct department and provide additional information to customers such as office hours, directions, sales opportunities etc. IVR systems can handle simple customer queries, freeing up human agents to solve more complex problems.
The call recording feature in a VoIP phone service allows organizations to selectively record calls. Businesses often use this feature to help train new agents, provide feedback or simply allow managers to intervene when a situation escalates. It’s often used in sales and customer service departments for training purposes. Sometimes you have to record calls for legal purposes as well. VoIP allows you to enable or disable this feature as per your need.
Ring groups are another useful feature. Most VoIP phone services offer this under different names. Its basic purpose is to allow multiple devices to ring for an incoming call. How might this be useful?
With ring groups, you can set up teams within the company. When a call comes in, all devices within the group will ring. Whoever is free or closest to the phones can answer the call. You can ensure that customer calls never go to voicemail. Ring groups work well with other VoIP features like multi-device ring also.
VoIP voicemail is at once similar and superior to regular voicemail. For one thing, it’s much more flexible. You can forward voicemails to your email inbox and handle all calls in one interface. You can manage your voicemail visually without having to call a specific number. You can even enable automatic transcription so that you get a text message of the voicemail along with the original recording!
Virtual numbers allow you to buy numbers with specific area codes. They are numbers without specific phone lines attached to them. Businesses use virtual numbers in many ways:
A VoIP phone service can integrate with your contacts directory. You can store many types of data for each contact (names, phone numbers, email address etc.). The directory can also show the busy/available status for each contact, so you don’t interrupt someone when they’re busy.
Think of ACD queues as a special line for incoming calls before you direct them to the right person or department. ACD queues are more sophisticated than ring groups. While ring groups are a simple collection of extensions, ACD queues are automated. You can assign values to different agents based on their experience, skill set etc. Then you can automatically direct callers to the right agent based on such criteria.
Have you ever called a company and been put on hold? No one likes it when it happens but it’s inevitable. But with VoIP phone service, you can improve this experience for your customers. Customize your on-hold music with a selection of tunes or even set up your own custom recording. Inform your customers of wait times or new products and services while they wait for a support agent.
Time-based routing allows you to handle calls that come in after hours or during unexpected shutdowns. This is most useful for businesses that have offices or teams in different time zones. You can direct callers to the office that’s still open, even though the current one is already closed for the day. Make sure that callers never go to voicemail unless necessary!
VoIP phone services find it difficult to offer emergency calling since there is no location associated with a user. But now most vendors offer E911 that perform the same function. Employees can contact emergency services even if they’re away from their desk. It’s an additional measure of safety that benefits your employees when they need it the most.
These aren’t the only business features that a VoIP phone service offers. If you don’t already have VoIP phone service (or even if you do!), check out all the things you can do with it. Call us today or head on over to VoIP features for more information!
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