Your communication system is the beating heart of your business. It is the system that keeps your company operations flowing smoothly. If your phone system does not work properly, it can fault your entire operations.
Customers and your team expect good service and smooth operations, so you should have a reliable phone system that meets modern business standards. That is why larger companies have invested in high-quality communication infrastructure to maintain those smooth operation standards.
As a small business, you may not feel that you are able to keep up with the standards of larger firms due to their infrastructure and budget. But the great thing about VoIP is that it is accessible to you, too, due to its low monthly fee. VoIP has many advanced features that enable you to improve your phone system, making interaction methods more straightforward for internal and external communications.
You can find the right VoIP phone system provider for your business by making a list of all the features that you require. To help you get started with your research, we’ve made a list of all the top features that we see benefiting small businesses, explaining a bit about what they do and why they are a top choice to consider.
Firstly, if you are unfamiliar with the technology - VoIP (standing for Voice over Internet Protocol) is essentially a communication system where all voice, video and multimedia data is transferred over the internet rather than the traditional phone line method. This advanced technology is becoming the more preferred option over the traditional landline method due to its cost-effectiveness and the vast amount of features that aid efficiency and business growth.
If you require more information about VoIP, read this blog: What is VoIP?
VoIP has access to many features that will enable your small business to enhance its company communications. The following are some top features to consider when selecting a new phone system.
Advanced call management is a comprehensive suite of tools that optimises inbound and outbound call handling. This handy feature includes many advanced features for controlling call management, such as call routing, which intelligently directs calls to designated extensions or departments based on preset parameters or caller inputs. More about these features are explained in detail throughout this blog.
Most leading VoIP phone providers offer an extensive list of advanced call management features that will help your small business effectively manage incoming calls.
Auto attendant, also known as a virtual receptionist, is an excellent tool that handles incoming calls. An auto attendant will do the guesswork for you and determine the right place, person or department your caller requires. An auto attendant provides the caller with a list of options presented in multi-levels to assess their requirements. Once the caller has selected their choices, they will be transferred to the correct place - all this completed without having to chat with a member of your team to determine their needs.
Small businesses find this feature useful as it takes the hassle away of determining caller requirements, therefore giving back time to their employees to work on other essential tasks. Plus, it’s great for customer service as it reduces the amount of call transfers and gets the client to the right place quicker.
Most top VoIP systems provide extensive call analytics tools, which deliver valuable insights into important call metrics and service quality. These analytics help businesses monitor and optimise their call centre operations, helping to determine training where it’s needed or extra resources where required. This allows companies to track agent performance metrics so that businesses can make decisions to improve call-handling processes based on pattern and trend data.
Call monitoring allows supervisors to listen in on ongoing calls when teams manage calls. It comes in quite handy as a training tool for new employees, as it allows managers to provide live feedback and guidance during customer interactions.
As a small business, you want to ensure that your employees are meeting high-quality standards. So, with call monitoring, managers can ensure these standards are met and promptly correct any mistakes as and when required.
Call monitoring also helps compliance adherence and resolve disputes by providing accurate insights into customer-agent conversations. This can be very useful as a small business owner if you need to cover yourself if a conflict arises.
Your small business’s incoming calls may sometimes become busy, especially during peak operating hours. Managing calls may become much easier for your employees when implementing call queueing.
This feature becomes invaluable when all customer service representatives are engaged. It organises incoming calls systematically, ensuring they are answered in the order they were received.
This nifty tool ensures that customers are attended to fairly, which can help to reduce the chance of missed calls and improve customer satisfaction.
Have you ever called a company and heard the familiar message, "This call is being recorded for monitoring and training purposes"? - well that’s exactly what this tool is known to be highly useful for. Call recording works as a tool to record conversations when conducting phone calls. Recording calls can serve as a valuable tool as it can help with employee training and managing compliance among the company.
If your business deals with a large number of calls for your small team, then call routing could be a feature to consider to help with call management. Call routing directs incoming calls to the most appropriate person or department based on pre-established rules and criteria, such as language preference, caller location or the nature of the inquiry.
Call routing occurs before an operator picks up the call. This process significantly boosts efficiency by cutting down call times and preventing operators from getting tied up trying to direct calls to the right departments. It’s another great tool for improving customer service as it gets them to where they need to be straight away.
It’s common for call operators to have customer enquiries that need to involve other department’s or employee’s expertise. Call transfer allows a call to be directed to a different phone within the company without customers needing to hang up and re-dial to reach the other department. This can save both your employees' and callers' time, therefore improving customer service and staff efficiency.
If your small business wants to improve customer service, this feature may be useful as it provides a more personalised experience. Caller ID displays the incoming caller’s or business' name and number so you know who is calling before your employees pick up the phone. By simply addressing callers by name when answering the phone can help improve relationships and boost client retention.
With caller ID, businesses can also access data collected from that specific customer before answering the call. This can help tailor each call experience based on their preferences, which can improve client service.
This feature can become very useful in reducing expenses and employee time, and here’s why. Conference calling allows face-to-face team meetings to be conducted remotely via video call. Within conference calls, you will find a whole bunch of collaboration tools, including chat, interactions, call recording, screen sharing and more.
For small businesses, especially those with remote teams, this tool is a game-changer. It reduces the need to travel to meetings, which will save employees time and expenses related to travel.
Integrating a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system allows all customer data to be placed onto a single platform with your communication setup. This integration enables agents to access a customer’s data and call history during calls so that they can offer a more personalised client experience. It works as soon as there is an incoming call, and a screen pops up with all the customer’s data. If nothing pops up, it prompts you to create a profile.
CRM systems also help teams keep track of conversations to help with monitoring and follow-up for enhanced customer care. Types of data that can be stored on CRM systems include purchase history, previous interactions and important information noted during calls.
Instant messaging is, simply put, messaging in real-time. It allows teams to swiftly discuss work-related matters and obtain prompt responses. It is an excellent tool to help flow communication and connectivity within your small team as it fosters immediate collaboration, proving invaluable in situations demanding swift resolutions or rapid assistance.
The creation of group chats also facilitates efficient teamwork, which helps to contribute to heightened service and collaboration.
Instant messaging platforms come with many excellent features to help with team collaboration, including multimedia file transfer and document sharing. This, therefore, helps ensure productive coordination across various departments.
Some customers prefer not to speak over the phone. This is why your company should offer multiple ways for clients to get hold of you, so live chat is an excellent feature to consider. Live chat is a real-time chat platform that allows an operator to speak to multiple customers at one time over a chat platfrom.
As an operator can handle multiple conversations at once, this can help boost employee productivity while maintaining excellent client service.
A dedicated mobile app for business communications enables employees to stay connected while on the go or working remotely. A mobile app allows employees to access essential communication tools wherever they are, including calling and messaging from their smartphones or tablets.
This allows small businesses to benefit from increased flexibility, as employees can respond to inquiries anytime, anywhere, leading to improved productivity and responsiveness.
If your small business receives many phone calls, often requiring callers to wait to speak to your team, then music on hold is a must-consider feature. No one likes being kept waiting, especially in silence. Music on hold breaks the silence and provides light entertainment while the caller waits to speak to an operator.
Music on hold is a handy tool as it eases customer frustration and anticipation, meaning callers are less likely to feel angry or upset when they speak to your team. As a result, implementing this feature will help your small business improve its customer service and keep your callers happy and engaged.
Often, there may be times when your staff may be unavailable, or your office is closed, but you still want to make sure that customers receive the best possible service. So when you cannot answer the phone, it all starts with having a simple message at the end of a call - this would be your voicemail. This voicemail system should share a warm welcome greeting with alternative methods of contacting your business and encouraging callers to leave a message.
Whether you want your business to scale or become more efficient, you need to choose a phone system that allows you to achieve your company goals. Do not feel pressured into opting for a particular phone system with the features you feel you need but do not actually require. We recommend that you make a business plan and figure out all your requirements before chatting to a VoIP provider so you know exactly what you need.
Not all VoIP phone providers offer the same features. So, before investing in a new VoIP phone system, research the features they offer and determine if they align with your requirements. If you need assistance finding the right VoIP phone system that matches your needs in order to reach your business goals, then please reach out to us at T2k, as we offer a free comparison service. With this service, all you need to do is tell us a bit about what you are looking for in a VoIP phone system. Then, we will compare some of the top leading VoIP phone systems that will benefit you the most.
Is your small business ready to get started with using VoIP? Then our team of experts is here to help you find the most beneficial system for you. If you have any questions about VoIP or are still unsure about what you may require, then we are here to help guide you in the right direction for your best requirements. Contact us today to get started with a business VoIP phone system.
Yes, our team of experts is here to help you with any questions that you may have about VoIP. If you need a bit more in-depth information about any of these features listed in this blog or any of the functions that we have not mentioned, please get in touch through our Contact Us page.
Do you feel your current phone system has many challenges that do not adapt to your growing requirements as a small business? Then, it may be time to consider an upgrade to VoIP. If you are unsure whether it is time to switch to VoIP, read our blog: 8 signs that your business is ready for VoIP.