You may be preparing to move your company to a larger building and are now tasked with determining what kind of VoIP system would be suitable to meet the particular needs of your growing organization. Or, the aging phone system in your facility is proving to be a drag on your work force and fellow stakeholders are breathing down your neck to find a VoIP solution as soon as possible.
Voice over IP has to do with converting voices into packets of data that can be routed within an organization to another person’s phone just like an email message and the voice sounds just as good as in a traditional call. When the voice call data leaves your company’s network to an outside number, the audio converts to a normal signal.
Small-to-medium sized businesses as well as large enterprise organizations can benefit from transitioning to VoIP and using new features associated with digital telephony. Owners and managers should know that modern VoIP services are part of a larger system known as Unified Communications. Read on to learn about UC features and how they can start saving your company money while helping employees work together more efficiently.
With Find Me/Follow Me routing for all calls, your workers will be able to communicate with one another even when constantly moving about in the field, and customers can reach them more easily too. It’s easy to customize, so a sales manager could let a call ring twice to the office line, and then switch to a mobile or a home number for the next rings instead of letting it go to voice mail. Consider a common feature of UC systems, transcribing voicemail messages into email. Your team no longer has to pay attention while someone drones on and on before getting to the most salient point of the message. Reading a transcript that pops up in your inbox is much faster and can help you prioritize the most important messages that much faster.
Foster Better Collaboration
Will a video call help members of your team collaborate better? If they can quickly show you something instead of trying to describe it, a video call is the obvious choice. It’s easy to make a video or audio call in UC systems. The fact that you provide employees UC tools can be a selling point when it comes time to recruit and hire new members for your team, since you will look more appealing than a rival company that fails to update its systems.
Do Not Disturb
Employees in between conference calls can turn on a “do not disturb” function so they can think and write undisturbed. Your UC system makes it easy to connect and set up conferences but it will also have a do not disturb feature, which lets employees temporarily keep calls from ringing through, routing them to a particular voicemail message or transferring them to a person who is standing by.
Don’t Leave Them Hanging
Being put on hold is a fact of life no matter how efficiently you are running your business. The last thing your customers want to hear is bland hold music. Instead, in a UC setup, you can program your own hold music or provide useful recorded information for people to listen to until one of your team members can speak with them.
When you route all calls through your own VoIP network instead of relying on a phone company, you will lower monthly costs. Just how much you can save will depend on the provider you go with, but competition in this space makes it easy to save money over a traditional phone system. Since your IT team now only needs to manage a single network instead of contending with two separate voice and data networks, you reduce overhead and the amount of time maintaining and reconfiguring the system.
Sophisticated Conference Calls
One of the chief selling points of many early VoIP systems was the ability to quickly set up rudimentary conference calls. A regular conference call saves you time and money by avoiding travel and accommodations, to be sure. But the latest VoIP setups typically include tools for better managing these conference calls, so a point person on your team can handle all the invitations and help select the next person to chime in during a discussion (while being able to mute individuals as needed).
Convenience and Safety of the Cloud
No discussion of advanced VoIP features would be complete without a mention of the cloud computing services that you can rely on to host your UC system, safe and secure against intruders and hackers. Your VoIP system can give you details on how you’re currently using bandwidth, from how many calls are pouring in and out of your centers and how long these calls are lasting or where they are originating from. This is valuable information when nurturing potential customers as they journey down the sales funnel.
It’s clear that transitioning to a new Unified Communication system and enabling your organization to take advantage of the timesaving VoIP features will streamline operations and improve collaboration. At the same time, the UC setup reduces costs and leaves you a clear path whenever needing to further scale up.
Your supply chain will strengthen when vendors can connect with you more readily via the upgraded UC system. What’s more, customers will appreciate the change too, because the easier you make it for them to access you, the less friction there will be between the desire to buy and the actual purchase of your goods or services.
If you require more information to help you compare UC options and determine which system would be the best fit for your organization, it’s a good idea to consult with VoIP professionals with years of experience helping companies replace their failing phone systems or upgrade the communications network to boost employee efficiency.
Author: Ben Humphreys