Getting to grips with VoIP and seven features that could benefit your small business
If you’re currently looking for the best telephone systems for your business, you may want to consider VoIP.
What is VoIP?
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, although people sometimes refer to Voice over Networks, Voice over Broadband or Internet Telephony to describe the same thing. More and more businesses are moving away from analogue phone lines and systems in favour of VoIP. This is because VoIP allows you to make free, or very low cost, calls over the internet to and from anywhere in the world.
VoIP essentially works by converting your voice into digital information that can be sent over the internet like any other data. The price of call is low, if not free, because you already pay for transmitting data as part of your business’s monthly broadband subscription.
One of VoIP’s many benefits is the flexibility this technology offers. You may want to start off with a single phone number making occasional phone calls and one day expand to using a large business switchboard with several numbers for different departments or enquiries. VoIP has the scope to cope with this and much more.
Many clients start off with basic VoIP services and then utilise different features as their understanding of what’s possible grows.
Below, we’ve put together some of the VoIP features that can benefit your small business that you may have heard about before:
1. Find me/follow me call routing
With VoIP, it’s possible to create a call routing path, which means that when someone calls you, their call is automatically directed through a list of numbers on which you may be available. For example, a call can come in via your office phone, then move to your mobile after several rings, then to your home phone, and finally to your voicemail if you don’t pick up. As you can set up any ‘follow me’ call route to suit your needs, you should never miss a call again – even if you’re on the move or you frequently work at different sites.
2. Email transcriptions of your voicemails
VoIP also has the capability to transcribe your voicemail messages into written emails and send them to your preferred email address. The system can transcribe the person’s name, number and any message without you having to listen to the message several times to catch what they’re saying. You can then read the emails at your own leisure and deal with them as you see fit.
3. Call screening
Using VoIP, it’s easier than ever to screen your calls and tell your telephone system how you want it to deal with future calls from the same number. If your other half is trying to call you, they can be redirected from your office phone to your mobile, while pesky sales calls can be disconnected and blocked from making future calls.
4. Barge, monitor & whisper
If you run a call centre, have reception staff or carry out staff training on how they handle client calls, then you may want to explore VoIP’s Barge, Monitor and Whisper services. With Barge, you can enter a phone call between a staff member and a client to talk to them both at the same time. As the name would suggest, Monitor allows you to silently monitor a call to hear what both sides are saying. Whisper is the ideal setting for training, enabling you to give directions to a member of staff about how to handle a certain type of call without the other party being able to hear.
5. Electronic receptionist
VoIP can be set up to offer auto attendant features that allow callers to interact with a menu in order to be put through to the right extension. This can be an effective way to manage calls coming into different departments by a central switchboard number, and can help your company to convey its professionalism.
One of the most well-known VoIP features is the fact that it enables conferencing with attendees having to sit down in the same room together. As well as letting you speak to many people at the same time or giving everyone at the conference the capability to speak to others on the call, there are also features that let you mute certain callers, count a show of hands and much more.
7. Do not disturb
We all know how it feels when a run of unexpected phone calls hijack your schedule for the day. If you need some time to get your head down and work, or you don’t want to receive any calls during a conference, meeting or client lunch, then the ‘Do not disturb’ feature on your VoIP system will ensure that your phone doesn’t ring and that the call is either diverted to a phone that will be answered or sent to your voicemail.
The right VoIP services for your business
Every company has different needs when it comes to choosing the right phone system, features and services. The appeal of VoIP is that there’s so much scope to support telecommunications within your business and with your clients/customers.
If you would like to know more about how VoIP could work for your business, give us a call at One Source Communications on 08442 570 111 and we can tell you more about our pricing, 24/7 maintenance, VoIP security features, and much more.