VoIP isn’t exactly ground-breaking. It’s been around since the mid-90s. Even if your company doesn’t use the technology now, you’re probably familiar with the basics.
In essence, we’re talking about a sophisticated phone system. All the normal functionality you’d expect is included—standard calling, call transfer, call forwarding and voicemail. This is the part you almost certainly already know.
Here’s what you may not know.
VoIP systems can handle more. A lot more. In fact, the options are so robust that most companies only use about 40-50% of the functionality of their VoIP system. But every company uses a different 40-50%. In other words, your ideal VoIP setup will be unique to you.
Which brings us to the more advanced features available. This is the cutting-edge stuff these systems can deliver. The goal when setting up your system isn’t to implement everything, but to find the perfect blend that fits your company just right.
No one admits they do it on their cell phone . . . but we all do. Call screening is all about convenience. You may not have time for a conversation right this minute. Or you might not want to talk to Bob. Ever.
Whatever the case, think of this as advanced call screening. See who’s calling, and then decide how the call should be handled. Send it to voicemail, push it to your mobile phone, or simply disconnect the call without giving the caller a chance to leave a message. Absolute power.
Voicemail transcription (or visual voicemail) is every bit as useful as it sounds, and then some.
Imagine this. You’re in a meeting. You miss a call. Right then, you can scan the transcript on your phone, immediately knowing if there’s an urgent issue. All without interrupting or leaving the meeting.
Talk about convenient.
Call recording and coaching can change the way your business does sales and customer service.
Recording allows management to review calls after the fact, listening for strengths and weaknesses. Used as an advanced training tool, it’s a great way to make the most of customer contact.
Call coaching is more or less the same thing, but in real time. For example, a sales manager can listen in on a call and even speak directly to the employee without the customer hearing. If the sales rep gets into a rough spot, the manager can help out and the customer will never even know.
Most advanced systems include an auto attendant. If your human receptionist is busy, or if it’s after hours, customers will still hear a friendly voice when they call. The auto attendant can facilitate call transfers, voicemail and even basic support.
It doesn’t take the place of an actual person’s voice, but it’s a better solution than a basic outbound voicemail message.
How’s this for high tech? You can set up incoming calls to ring multiple phones. Or to ring your office phone a couple of times, and then ring your cell phone. And if there’s no answer, then go to voicemail.
It’s called follow me call routing. It gives you the ability to go where you need to go without fear of missing that important call.
The opposite of follow me call routing is the do not disturb feature. The name says it all. Turn on do not disturb, and you don’t have to worry about dealing with the phone. It simply won’t ring.
You can turn on do not disturb manually, or set it up on a schedule. Say, for example, evenings and weekends. It allows for greater work/life balance, and you know calls are still being handled.
If your office has a locked front door, you’ll be happy to learn about integrated entry control. Employees can respond to guests who push the buzzer, screen them as desired and, if they wish, unlock the front door right from their phones.
Tired of the same old hold music? With a smart phone system, you can pick your own. Rock out, get your country on, jazz it up, or opt for something more refined, like classical. The choice is yours.
Yes, this is a completely “aesthetic” feature, but it has the potential to fold in nicely with your company’s overall culture. Anything that makes you stand out from your competition is a good thing.
Bring on the custom tunes.
We close with a bit of practicality.
Modern VoIP systems track virtually everything. Usage, bandwidth, duration, call origin, call destination and cost. All that data can give you greater insight into how you use your data, and how you can use it more efficiently. It also creates a handy record of all inbound and outbound calls, should you ever need to know if or when a call took place.
You probably don’t need or want all these features. That’s okay. The great thing about VoIP is you can (and should) pick and choose. Put together a system that’s tailored to meet the exact needs of your organization.
If you’re new to VoIP or if you’re considering an overhaul of your current system, it’s a good idea to call in the pros. With so many options available, an expert opinion will go a long way to making sure you have all the features you need without any you don’t.
The team at Hill Country Tech Guys can walk you through every step of the process. Contact us today to learn more.