With the intense growth in popularity of VoIP hosted PBX systems, most small businesses have either made the switch or are about to. There are plenty of advantages to switching to a VoIP hosted PBX system and the number of features is constantly growing making it hard for users to keep up with new advances.
Beyond options like toll free numbers, music on hold, and voicemail there are dozens of other features that can help your small business that you may not even know about.
1. Local virtual numbers
With analog lines you are limited to area code and phone numbers in your business location. With VoIP you can buy virtual numbers in any area code. Virtual local numbers can give your business the appearance of a local presence in any market across the country.Having a local number in the region your customers are located is a great customer service tool (they don’t have to dial a toll-free number) and can help with sales in that region as well.
2. Hunt groups
Mobile workers will appreciate this feature. Hunt Groups allow you to create a list of numbers where you can be found before the call gets pushed to voicemail. So, for example, you might have your office phone ring first, then your cell phone, and then your home phone. Or you can have them all ring at the same time. If the call goes unanswered, the caller is sent to voicemail.
3. Voicemail to email transcription
Voicemail to email transcription transcribes your voicemail messages to text and sends them to your email inbox with the audio version attached. Employees who are waiting for that important voicemail can go ahead and read it instead of having to step outside of an important meeting to listen to it. Transcribed voicemails are also easier to file, organize, and search than audio files.
4. Call queues
Often called ‘intelligent hunt groups’ call queues are a very powerful way to make sure your callers are taken care of quickly and efficiently among a group of agents. While large call centers have been using call queues for years, it is now available to small businesses through VoIP. With a call queue, calls are routed to the agent with the least time on the phone, or based on specialty, and while the caller is on hold they hear music or a company message as well as information on how many callers are ahead of them. Call queues also have reporting statistics associated with the queue showing which agent took the most calls, how long a caller waited on hold, and how long the calls lasted.
5. Call metrics
You can’t evaluate the effectiveness of your phone system without data. With a VoIP hosted PBX system you get data on calls taken, inbound/outbound number, user or agent who made/took the call, date/time/length of call and more. This data can often be downloaded to Excel for further evaluation.
6. Marketing metrics
Call tracking is a great feature for your companies marketing efforts. Just purchase a different phone number for different advertising mediums. So, if you have a billboard you can give it one number, if you have a mail out you can give it another number, and if you have a Google Adwords ad you can have another. Forward all the numbers to your main number. Then look at your call reports showing how many calls came from each number. With call tracking you can see how many calls are coming through each advertising channel and determine which ad works best.
7. New employee training
Call recording is a great feature to use when training new employees. When a call is complete the system will email it to you so that you can listen to it immediately. You can write your feedback on the call and forward it to the employee with the recording attached. It’s a great way to give your employees instant feedback.
8. Auto attendant
An auto attendant greeting is the first thing a person hears when they call your company and if professionally recorded, can make a great first impression. With an auto attendant the caller is routed to the extension or hunt group depending on their input. You can setup auto attendants anywhere in your call tree to ask for input from the caller. Your business will suddenly seem more professional and impressive. It’s like having an electronic receptionist!
9. Conference bridge
This powerful feature is often overlooked by VoIP PBX customers. With a conference bridge you get a phone number that you can use to have a professional sounding conference call with unlimited callers, any time you want. Some of the features of a conference bridge include: listen/talk pins, caller introductions, announcements when attendees leave the call, music on hold, automatic email to attendees when the conference is about to start and much more.
10. Do not disturb
This feature allows you, with the push of a button, reroute your calls. It can be especially useful when you are out to lunch, in a meeting, or simply too busy to answer your phone. Your callers can be re-routed to your voicemail, to another extension, call queue agent, or hunt group depending on your preference.