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Business VoIP Phones – the Essential Functions your Business Needs
Posted on: 2017-02-17 | Categories: VoIP Services
The world of enterprise telephony is often in a state of change. Some of them are large, systemic changes that influence the way you do business while others are incremental improvements that can enhance the productivity of your employees. Examples of systemic changes are the shift from landlines to mobile phones or from traditional PBX systems to business VoIP phones.
The combination of growing demand for VoIP systems and declining sales of analog lines is pushing phone operators to compete aggressively for customers. This makes it a great time for enterprises to switch to VoIP and take advantage of falling prices. When you upgrade to VoIP, most of the infrastructural changes are hidden from end users. The biggest difference that they will see will be the new business phones on their desks. But before you rush out and buy brand new IP phones, take a moment to evaluate how you use your current system.
How Does Your Business Handle Calls?
Categorize inbound and outbound calls separately since you will want different features for them. For instance, hold music is something you need to think about for inbound calls but is not needed for outbound calls and so on. Now think about the different types of calls that occur every day:
- One-to-one calls between employees and potential/current customers
- Group calls for conferencing between internal teams as well as external partners
- Long-distance and international calling
- Incoming calls during off hours, holidays etc.
With business VoIP phones, you can also consolidate video chat and instant messaging within the same system.
Another question to consider is which areas in your office require phones. For example, you may want a different phone model for use in public areas such as the lobby or waiting room. If you have dedicated meeting rooms that are frequently used for conferencing, you will want to purchase models that come with extra speakers and microphones for better quality. Similarly, front-line users such as sales agents may require different functions than C level executives.
Essential Functions for Your Business VoIP Phones
Evaluating your current and future requirements might take some time but it is well worth the effort. Large and legible LCD screens, function buttons that can be mapped to useful features and ports for connectivity are some of the things to look for. Keep in mind that not every employee will need a desk phone. Some users may prefer using their mobile device, they may work from home etc. So you may actually need fewer phones than you realize.
Conferencing – Audio and Video
Audio and video conferencing have quickly become the preferred alternative to lengthy meetings and business travel. If your employees frequently have group calls with internal teams, external partners, business clients etc. you should invest in a few models that support conferencing. You can have group calls with most business VoIP phones but these versions are equipped with multiple speakers and multi-directional mics for enhanced voice clarity. They are specifically designed to be used with multiple users, wired and wireless headsets etc. If video calls are important to you, then you should check the quality of the built-in webcams as well.
Speed Dial, Redial and Call Forwarding
The ability to speed dial specific numbers is invaluable in saving time for your employees. It might only shave a few seconds off every phone call but multiply that by the thousands of calls you make every day and it is a significant improvement. The redial function is also extremely useful for calling users if the connection drops due to low bandwidth or any other reason.
Call forwarding is useful if you want the ability to redirect inbound calls during certain times to other employees, your assistant or another department within your business. It ensures that callers are mostly able to speak to a person instead of being redirected to voicemail. These features are generally supported by most business VoIP systems but your phones should also have dedicated one touch buttons for a better user experience.
Muting Microphone and Headset Support
An important feature that you should check on every business VoIP phone that you purchase is connectivity options. At the very least, your phones should be able to support standard Bluetooth headsets. Some models can handle multiple headsets at the same time while others support only one.
The ability to mute the microphone is also vital function. It is useful for privacy when you need to discuss something with a coworker before getting back to the customer or to minimize the amount of noise that the other person hears, especially during group calls.
These are just a few of the essential functions that most businesses need in VoIP phones. You may also need more specific features depending on the results of your evaluation.