Business phone systems are nowhere close to what they used to be; phone features have only gotten better.
Just like all technology, business phone systems have exploded with enhancements in the last 20 years with one simple goal in mind: to streamline daily communication and make your job easier.
In order to achieve this goal, VoIP phone companies produced a number of business phone features tailored to the unique communication needs of your profession. Here’s a list of new features that have changed the game:
1. Instant Chat
It’s time consuming and distracting when you need to leave your desk to ask a coworker a simple question. Instant chat was developed inside softphones to save time, increase efficiency, and decrease the need for employees to have to leave their workstations. Many offices of all sizes, including call centers, corporate departments and even remote employees, all utilize this feature daily.
What is a softphone? A softphone is a computer app that allows you to send and receive calls directly through your computer without having to use a physical phone.
2. Viewable Employee Availability
Receptionists often have no idea if an employee is available to answer a transferred inbound call. To solve this problem, a visible dashboard of all employees’ phone statuses (available, on a call, and away) can be accessed before a call is transferred. No longer does a receptionist have to hope for the best when transferring calls.
3. Employee Coaching and Monitoring
Does your business have a high employee turnover rate or is your sales team’s performance lacking? Did you know that the replacement cost is $15,000 for an existing employee? If you lose three employees in a year, that’s $45,000 per year, which is a lot of money to be losing!
Often times expensive employee turnover can be solved with coaching sessions. Having access to call recordings and statistics from your phone system allows you to pinpoint where your staff is struggling. Then, you can use coaching to overcome these struggles!
Management can also be more hands-on during the employee onboarding process using their phone system. Whisper coaching allows the supervisor to chime in on conversations and communicate with their employee without the client or prospect hearing.
Simple phone features such as these can play a huge role in reducing employee turnover and driving more sales.
4. Virtual Fax
The days of paper fax and fax machines are numbered. However, you can still have a designated fax number with a VoIP system. Virtual fax allows you to send documents via your softphone and receive them via email.
In addition to its simplistic functionality, Virtual Fax is a much less expensive way to go. A traditional fax line with an analog phone system can cost an additional $25-$35 monthly and not to mention, it’s also using your printer’s ink and paper.
5. Mobile App
It can be frustrating to miss an important call from a client because you’re out of the office. Or perhaps you’ve handed out your personal cell phone number so you don’t miss calls.
This creates two problems:
- You’re spending long hours working, trying to reach clients back after you’ve returned to the office.
- If you’ve given out your personal cell phone, you’re getting calls/texts from clients when you leave the office.
- You purchased a business cell phone to avoid clients from calling your personal cell phone.
In order to combat this, VoIP companies like Aline offer a mobile business phone app that allows you to use your cell phone to send and receive calls through the app. The caller ID always shows your business number, so you can rest assured that clients won’t have your personal cell phone number. Business owners, sales professionals, lawyers, and consultants are just a few examples of those who benefit from this feature.
6. No More Extra ‘Lines’
Nothing is more frustrating than when a customer calls a business and the lines are busy or no one answers. Users of analog phone systems endure this issue daily. It’s a common problem for businesses that get flooded with calls like restaurants that deliver, car repair shops, apartment leasing offices, and insurance offices. Incessant phone calls can limit your business from sales opportunities and overall growth.
Traditional landline phone systems, also known as analog phone systems, solve this problem but not without an extra cost. They’ll require you to purchase ‘rollover lines’ in addition to an office’s main line to handle incoming call traffic. Today’s VoIP technology allows offices to have just one line and as many extensions as there are employees.
Extensions are a much more practical solution because they offer more flexibility. For example, let’s say you work in an insurance office. You can customize which employees handle certain calls by having an auto attendant. A client can call your office and an audible greeting can appear that says “press one for a new quote” and “press two to submit a claim.” If the client presses one, the phones will ring only those in charge of offering quotes. This separates phone traffic by department and allows for less transferring around the office.
7. On Hold Music/Commercials
When all the employees in the office are on calls and too busy to take another call, you can take steps to ensure a memorable customer experience for those on hold.
Many VoIPs have phone features where music can be played while the customer is on hold. This makes the waiting time seemingly go by faster for the customer.
If you want to take it a step further, many businesses use prerecorded commercials that can vocalize promotions your business is offering or general information about your business while the customer waits. Companies such as Ace Media Productions specialize in this type of service.
8. Software Integrations
If you use a sales software, CRM, or any other type of software that stores phone numbers, your VoIP phone system can be easily integrated. Software integrations can save you time in outbound call activities. Click on a number you wish to call in your CRM software and it will dial instantly through your VoIP phone system. This greatly increases overall call production.
Software integrations can also allow customer profiles to automatically populate when a customer calls you. This allows the customer to be serviced in a timely fashion and creates a more pleasurable customer experience because it appears that you know your customer by name.
If you have a specific integration need that you’re looking to accomplish, reach out to your VoIP and software provider to see what can be done. Most companies are happy to develop the integration and provide you with a quote.
Phone features are constantly being added and tailored to fit your business needs! Why remain complacent with your outdated phone system that limits your business’ potential? Streamline your daily communication with a premier phone system and take your business to the next level!