One of the main perks of VoIP is the laundry list of fancy features. There are so many that, for the first-time buyer, it can be hard to figure out which ones you actually need. Don’t make the mistake of signing up for a service that lacks a to-die-for VoIP feature. Our guide should give you some ideas of the features that will change your business for the better.
Whether you are a one-worker graphic design show or a big established sales company, these basic VoIP features are must-haves.
Auto-Attendant: The auto-attendant is the robotic voice that guides customers through a bevy of menus and options before your representative actually talk to them. For larger companies, this filters the caller through to the appropriate department. For smaller companies, it provides the illusion of a big, established institution.
Music on Hold: Chances are you are going to have to put customers on hold at some point. Hold music lets people know that they have not been disconnected and keeps them from getting too stressed out. In fact, if there is no hold music, callers will probably think something is wrong.
Answering Rules: Answering rules are a form of advanced caller ID. You can send certain numbers straight to voicemail, forward others (such as family members or the pizza guy) right to your phone, and block unwanted callers (like solicitors) entirely. Answering rules are ultimately a big time-saver for businesses, and we all know that time is money.
Do Not Disturb: There will be instances when you will be in meetings or wrapped up in projects and won’t want to be disrupted. A “do not disturb” setting on a VoIP phone makes uninterrupted time surprisingly easy to come by.
For the Traveler
Some business owners often find themselves on the road, away from the office. These VoIP features were designed for just such situations.
Voicemail to Email: On the road, it is often easier to check your email than it is to check a bunch of voicemails. VoIP’s voicemail to email feature transcribes all of your voicemails and sends them to your inbox, so you only have one message box to check instead of two.
Find Me/Follow Me: Find Me and Follow Me are both meant to help callers reach you when you aren’t sitting at your desk. Find Me circulates calls to all of your designated phone numbers in a predetermined order (such as office phone, cell phone, home office phone). Follow Me lets you plug your schedule into your system so it knows where you will be at certain times during the day. An even more advanced feature called Presence uses technology to determine your location and send calls to the appropriate phone.
Conferencing: Conferencing keeps you in touch with your team back at the office. This feature is a must, not only for travelers, but also for bosses with remote employees. There are lots of different conferencing VoIP features available, from designated lines to web video conferencing. Be sure to choose one that is good for you. Ideally, it will be included in your basic plan so you don’t have to pay an extra fee every month.
For Larger Businesses
If you have more than a handful of employees or are big into sales and customer service, you are going to want to simplify things for your callers.
Dial-By-Name Directory: The dial-by-name directory allows customers to search for specific employees, even without an extension number. This can prevent a lot of time-consuming rerouting and time on hold for busy companies.
Click-To-Call: This feature is tailor-made for companies with extensive online presence that want to turn web visitors into callers. A click-to-call button on a website allows customers to place a call just by (you guessed it) clicking on the button. This can raise conversion rates and create new customers, which is exactly what businesses want.
Management: Management VoIP features give business owners full knowledge and control of their communications. These web-based features display call history, permissions, analytics, CRM, and more so you can get your money’s worth out of your system.
Want even more advice about VoIP features? Check out our other articles on the subject.