When comparing one office phone system to another, you know you should ask about certain things: Call quality, reliability, and scalability are vital. But going into discussions armed with the full knowledge of what an office phone system can do will help you negotiate the right package for you.
Let’s look at some of the top office phone system features modern businesses benefit from:
1. Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
IVR can reduce the number of telephone attendants you need to handle a given call volume. With this kind of system, each caller can receive a greeting and get directed to the department or individual they need faster. That keeps callers on track, reducing their wait times and turnover.
2. Call Forwarding
Call forwarding is an ideal solution when you’re moving offices or working remotely. It lets you associate a new number with your old number so people trying to reach you at the previous number are seamlessly redirected. You can continue making calls from the old number so contacts will recognize you.
3. Call Parking
Call parking makes it much easier for co-workers in a call center to manage and direct calls effectively. In lieu of remembering every colleague’s extension, they can “park” calls in a virtual parking bay that allows their co-workers to pick calls up by number. Calls can also be picked up remotely.
4. Call Logs
Good call logs are the first step toward complete calls analytics. Call logs in an office phone system provide basic data you need to understand how calls are being handled. Every call is tagged with its time, date, duration, caller ID, and status. All this should be automated with no data entry whatsoever.
5. Call Queuing
If you must put someone on hold, a call queue is the most effective way to do it. Unlike a regular call hold experience, a call queue includes a periodic announcement letting the caller know how many people are ahead of them. Since they are always making progress, they are much less likely to hang up.
6. Call Recording
The rules on recording calls are different everywhere, but reviewing these calls may be the most effective way to train your team. With that in mind, your office phone system should automatically handle rules management and deliver your recording securely so you can make use of it later.
7. Conference Calls
In the fast-paced world of video telepresence, it’s essential not to lose sight of the many ways a traditional conference call can be helpful. Combined with VoIP, you can easily set up your virtual, audio-only meeting no matter where colleagues are around the world, and they don’t have to set up their webcams.
8. Direct Inward Dialing (DID)
DID helps your staff network stay connected by giving each employee a personal contact number that doesn’t require a physical phone line. This makes installation faster and keeps the cost of your office phone system low. It can be even easier than using traditional extensions.
9. Find Me
Since most personnel aren’t at the desk all day long, your office phone system should help callers find those who have temporarily stepped out. This is similar to call forwarding, but allows employees to punch in their personal “Find Me” code to have calls forwarded to any other phone in the system temporarily.
10. HD Voice
High definition voice calling allows you to further enhance the call quality on your VoIP network. This isn’t necessary in most cases, but it can be useful when you are connecting with customers around the world. HD voice delivers about twice as much sound data as cellular, enhancing the experience for everyone.
11. Hold Music
It only takes a few seconds of silence to make a caller think you’ve accidentally hung up! The transition from a live call to hold is where many calls get dropped. Hold music is a simple feature that shouldn’t be overlooked: It lets you avoid these hiccups along the way because your callers always hear something.
12. Instant Message
Since the leading office phone system options around are all VoIP-enabled, it’s no surprise many of them have supporting apps. Instant messaging augments your other collaboration tools by giving you an onboard service that’s similar to SMS, but doesn’t require a cellular connection to use.
13. Managed Caller ID
If you have a sales force that regularly makes cold (or even “lukewarm”) calls, your office phone system must have managed caller ID. This allows you to edit your caller ID to show your company name. Better recognition of who you are means people are more likely to pick up.
14. Group Announcements
A group announcement or paging feature allows you to alert your entire workforce directly from the phone. Announcements can also be made to specific groups, such as departments. An urgent message is a good way to let people know about unexpected events, such as fire drills, without using email.
15. Internal Phone Directory
If you needed to find out a phone number within your company, where would you look? Consulting your website or searching for an email is time-consuming. Plus, these resources can go out of date. If your office phone system has an internal directory, you can get the information in seconds.
16. Ring Groups
Ring groups are an interesting way to extend the concept of a department or workgroup. In a ring group, phone extensions are combined so several devices ring when an incoming call is detected. You no longer need multiple lines to push a call to several telephone handsets at once.
17. Softphone Support
The average office phone system provides options for traditional handsets that can be moved freely within the office. Softphone support extends your range even further by allowing you to access the system using your desktop, laptop, or even your own smartphone when you are working remotely.
18. Voice Bridging
A voice bridge is a secure conference line that team members can access at any time with an appropriate code. It strengthens your ability to authenticate callers without having to rely on a secondary conference call app that may introduce extra costs into your business.
Atlantic Communications Team helps you find the advanced office phone system features you want and get the most value from them. We’ll ensure you hit the ground running with the best system for you. Contact us today to learn more.