So, your company has finally made the move to a VoIP phone system. Congratulations - gone are the days of bulky, high-maintenance phone closets and waiting for IT or the phone provider to make a programming change. Welcome to the new age of flexibility, efficiency, and feature-rich call functionality.
VoIP phones are actually very easy to use and not too different from your former ones. What is actually a bit different is the software and new applications now available to you.
To minimize phone related disruptions to your work day, make sure you cover the following topics while the VoIP trainer is at your office.
- How to Make and Receive Calls
The primary function of a phone is to make and receive calls. This may seem very obvious, but with your new VoIP system what is the correct format to dial outbound phone numbers? Do you need to enter all 10 digits or are the phones preprogrammed with the local area code for you?
How do you make internal calls? You and your team need to know their extension and how to dial coworkers.
Is company is using softphones or web phones for remote and mobile workers? You need to know how to install or sign into them. Will each person’s account be set up with a username and password or will they need to create an account themselves? It is also important to know the features and limitations of the softphone and whether it can be a complete replacement for a desk phone.
- Call Handling Features
A common issue when getting a new phone systems is the knowledge needed to transfer calls. This is a function that is device specific, so ask about your particular phone. Also, learn how to do a “blind transfer” (a caller is sent to a 3rd party without introducing the caller) and an “attended transfer” (a call when you speak to a 3rd party before transferring the caller.
Many VoIP phones provide presence, also known as “Busy Lamp Field,” so that you can easily see if a coworker is occupied before dialing or transferring to their extension.
Explore all the features available to you including hold, mute, Do not Disturb (DND), caller ID, call forwarding, and speed dial – this will help you work smart.
- Voicemail Management
One of the most important tools for businesses that interact with customers and outside parties is voicemail. Employees must present a professional greeting and be able to respond to important messages promptly. Make sure that you can customize your greeting, save important messages and delete messages.
Ask for instruction on all the ways you can access your voicemail including calling in from a cell phone if you are out of the office or away from your desk.
In addition, many VoIP providers offer a voicemail-to-email feature. By setting this up, you will automatically receive notifications with transcribed messages left on your office phone.
- Conference Calls (if subscribed)
Conference calls are a weekly if not daily occurrence in most offices. With VoIP phone systems, you have many options to select from such as 3-way calling, a conference bridge and video conferencing. It is important know whether a PIN is necessary to join a call and any other important user limits or unique features of your conference bridge, such as admin controls or screen sharing capabilities.
VoIP phone systems are incredibly reliable and can offer numerous benefits to you and your business. Take the time to know the features provided and see how your work is positively impacted.
Author: Mike Martin
Comtel Communications, a telecom/technology consulting agency based in Richmond, Virginia since 1991, provides best-in-class solutions and unbiased counsel to a diverse group of small, medium, and enterprise-level businesses, totaling more than $18.2M in annual billings. Leveraging unique access to 350+ national and international providers, Comtel benefits its clients through competitive quotes from multiple sources, to ensure their business goals are met with current and dynamic telecom and technology services. Acting as a partner, long after contracts are signed and services are deployed, Comtel offers superb back-office support to manage upgrades, track orders, and provide training to clients.