As mentioned in earlier posts, Voice over IP is rapidly becoming a required part of your office phone. Here are some features that VoIP is currently capable of providing:
Attendant – The attendant or sometimes referred to as the virtual assistant initially answers incoming calls with a custom greeting. From there callers can choose options for departments, extensions or even prerecorded messages depending on how you choose to customize it for your business. It eliminates the need for a receptionist and makes even the smallest business big.
Extensions – Having multiple extensions allows calls to be routed to people, message extensions, or even mailbox only extensions. Virtual extensions are extensions that may not have a physical endpoint or phone connected to them but do take calls, like a message extension where callers get to listen to specialized pre-recorded messages and no one actually answers the call. Calls between extensions, even remote locations are typically free saving call charges for many businesses.
Follow Me – Also sometimes called Find me – Follow me, a phone call uses a list of numbers to try so that you never miss a call. Some VoIP systems are becoming so sophisticated that when you’re at your office desk the calls will automatically go there and when you leave will go to your cell phone without you having to do anything.
Inbound Faxing – Faxes can be received by the hosted PBX system and then sent to the user via email, usually as a PDF attachment. The server detects the inbound fax and will automatically know it is a fax. Your phone number also becomes your fax number.
Call Recording – Recording a call can be accomplished by the click of a mouse, eliminating the need to have to set up something prior to the need. Once recorded these messages are stored with specific details for later retrieval.
Music or Message on Hold – MOH offers the professionalism that most businesses strive for. Using a professional service for recordings can make your messages stand out and deliver new business.
Conference – Built in conference features allow users to join in on a conference call any time without the hassle of having to make specific arrangements in advance. Whether you want 3, 4 or more callers all together, it’s easy with an included conference.
Call Scheduling – Sometimes referred to as time based routing, call scheduling allows you to set specific call routing rules for certain times, whether that is weekends, nights or holidays.
Call Queue – Allowing calls to wait for an available agent, a call queue is a like a phone waiting room. Announcements can usually be set to tell a caller their position or wait time.
Administration Control Panel – A web based interface where your system can be configured, user and account information administered, and call detail logs be viewed. A control panel that is intuitive and user friendly goes a long way in making a complete system usable and a good bargain.
Visual Voicemail – View, play and read your voicemail and fax messages directly in your inbox. Combines Voicemail to Email which allows you to receive voicemails and faxes as email attachments and Voicemail Transcription which sends your voicemails transcribed as emails to your inbox. Faxes are included as PDF attachments.
Call Screening – Require that anonymous callers provide a name before being forwarded to an extension. Call receiver can decide to answer or forward to voicemail.
Third-Party Integrations – Major cloud software tools like Microsoft, Google at Work, Skype, Dropbox, Box, Tenfold, Zendesk, WebEx and more have built and continue to build integrations with business VoIP services to enable them to work together smoothly. Some business VoIP services integrate with customer relationship management (CRM) tools like Salesforce, Act, Zoho, etc. This integration can cause inbound calls to pull up customer records automatically, or let you enter notes during calls. This makes it much easier to log calls with prospects and clients, which leads to better sales processes and higher close rates.
This is a short list. New VoIP features are always on the horizon. Since VoIP is software based, you are only limited by your internet bandwidth and what your VoIP provider offers.
Contact us to learn more about available VoIP features and which ones will benefit your business.