VoIP, or voice communications over internet protocol, is a popular enterprise communications solution, particularly for small- to medium-sized businesses. VoIP offers many benefits over traditional telephony for SMBs – it is generally less expensive, easier to manage, and scalable to meet the needs of a growing company.
Additionally, VoIP phone systems can function beyond the traditional phone communications application. The best VoIP providers offer several advanced features that can further streamline and improve business communications.
To help SMBs select the best system with the advanced features they need to improve customer satisfaction and efficiency, we put together a quick and dirty VoIP features list with advanced functionality that helps businesses improve operations.
Advanced VoIP Features that Improve Businesses
1. Advanced Auto Attendant
An auto attendant is an automated system that answers phone calls to your business. With advanced auto-attendant, every incoming call is answered using recorded greetings and a menu of options, presenting a polished, professional impression to customers and partners. Callers can use the options menu to dial by extension, name, or department; and calls can be forwarded to any business line, mailbox, or mobile phone in the system.
Auto-attendant phone systems improve communication by offering numerous methods for a call to reach a specific person – with preferences that can be set by the user. These include:
- Voicemail with email delivery to ensure that messages are received even when calls cannot be answered.
- Find me / follow me, which sets a series of numbers that can ring in sequence or simultaneously.
- Time of day routing, where call routing preferences vary depending on factors such as business hours.
Not only does an auto-attendant improve communication, it also increases efficiency. You no longer need a staff member to handle calls at all hours and route them accordingly, you can instead allocate that resource to other, more strategic business areas.
2. Store Locator Service
If your business has several stores, locations, or resellers, a store locator service connects customers to the correct store from a central number. Customers call the mainline, and the service determines the correct local store from the zip code and connects customers to the store automatically.
This helps businesses save money by enabling them to use a single number for branding and marketing materials. It also improves customer service, making it fast and easy for a customer to reach their local office.
Like an auto attendant, leveraging store locator service from your VoIP provider can greatly increase staff efficiency by cutting down on the number of calls your staff needs to manually transfer to another location.
3. Call Queue Management
Businesses that encounter high-volume call periods are faced with a difficult choice: sacrifice customer service by allowing callers to get a busy signal or leave a voicemail – or make an investment in additional lines and supplemental personnel that will only be used at peak times.
Call queue management resolves that issue by allowing businesses to optimize call settings and ensure that calls are never routed to busy signals or pushed to voice mail. Instead, all calls are queued, with appropriate metrics and visibility to ensure that customer service is maintained even during high-volume periods.
4. Call Recording
There are many reasons that a business would want to record phone interactions: customer service, regulatory compliance, training assessment, or marketing effectiveness. Call recording can also be applied to help a company get missing of forgotten details of a specific issue or complaint, or to improve product or service offerings. Unfortunately, many small and medium businesses don’t record calls simply due to budgetary or time constraints, which can result in greater consequences down the road, especially if compliance audits are involved.
VoIP-enabled call recording offers the opportunity to review communications through the telephone infrastructure – without the need to purchase additional, often expensive software that must then be supported and managed by in-house staff. Calls can be reviewed through an online dashboard, retrieved, and forwarded to the individual, team or department where they can be used most effectively.
Increase Efficiency and Communication – Not Cost
Improving communication without escalating costs can offer your business a significant competitive advantage. VoIP can help improve communications while controlling costs, streamlining infrastructure and processes, and ensuring that your systems are scalable to accommodate the needs of a growing business.
Want more details on cost? See why VoIP is cheaper than a landline.
Advanced features available with some VoIP systems can maximize these benefits, offering businesses an even greater opportunity to increase efficiency. A professional response to every call, a queue that optimizes communication during high-volume intervals, recordings, and automatically customers with their nearest location can all improve customer service and customer satisfaction.