Business VoIP systems have more features than Justin Bieber has followers on Twitter. OK, maybe not that many, but you get the point. Some of these features are basic, like voicemail. Others, however, are unexpected – and surprisingly useful.
From making it easier for clients to reach you to using technology to track your location and route calls, it’s all here. Check out some of our favorites below.
Advanced Caller ID
You may be used to your caller ID displaying names and numbers, but VoIP is capable of much more. Some VoIP auto-attendants can prompt the caller to reveal the purpose of the call as well. Then, the system will relay this information to you before you pick up.
These who-is-calling-and-why messages are sometimes available in audio form. Even if you are in the middle of something, your phone can announce the caller and their intent, leaving you to decide whether the take the call or route it to voicemail. The result? You will never accidentally pick up the phone when Mr. “Uh, I just have a question,” calls right when you are working on an important project.
Forget extensions – clients lose them all the time anyway. VoIP allows callers to punch in the name of their contact using the keypad of their phone (e.g. 27696 for BROWN). Depending on the provider, this could be the first name, last name, or both.
VIP Caller Options
VoIP has a sophisticated web-based control board that allows you to be very nit-picky about who can reach you and when. One of the perks of this is that VIP callers, like family members and important clients, can be given special access.
For example, you can rig your system so that when your mom calls, the call will bypass the auto-attendant and go directly to your phone. VIP callers can even be given access after-hours, when other calls will be routed to a “Our office is now closed” message. On the flip side, non-VIP callers (like telemarketers) can be blocked entirely.
Find Me, Follow Me
Find Me and Follow Me are two different functions, but they achieve the same thing: they allow you to receive calls no matter where you are (during business hours, of course).
Find Me will route incoming calls to your office phone, cell phone, and any other phone you use in the order you select.
Follow Me, on the other hand, allows you to specify where you will be at certain times so calls can be routed to the appropriate phone.
Some VoIP providers have a more advanced feature. Sometimes called Presence, this feature uses your usage record (email, phone, etc.) to figure out where you are and route calls appropriately. Sounds a little creepy, but it does streamline the process even more. You can even set specific no-call locations (like the bathroom).
With advanced features that make business much easier, business VoIP systems are quickly becoming the norm in the corporate world. And it’s no wonder why – who wouldn’t want the opportunity to route their mother directly to voicemail? (Just kidding, Mom.)
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