At this point in time, most people in the business world have caught wind of VoIP. It’s not necessarily a new, groundbreaking technology anymore, as it has been around for many years. But it has not been widely implemented until recently. Unless someone directs you to a great web resource (like WhichVoIP) or you’ve stumbled across great information on a site like HowStuffWorks, browsing a search engine for VoIP information may not prove too useful.
If you were to search for VoIP, a few prominent types of sites would surface – depending on the search engine, of course. If you are a Microsoft person, or are merely indifferent to the default settings of most off-the-shelf computers, you likely use Bing as your preferred search provider. On the other hand, many prefer Google because it is the most widely used search engine and is further deeply integrated into Android devices. And Yahoo is still a widely used search engine, it has weathered ten years and still remains popular mostly because of its email client and well optimized question/answer section.
Finding Press Releases
Many times when you search for VoIP or telecom, a slew of press releases will surface. Usually these are generated by informational sites promoting a partner’s products or services. It is also quite common to see boilerplate promotional templates, such as “X Number of Top Providers for Y Product”. Generally speaking, VoIP press releases are generic and boast claims of low prices or high quality offered to customers.
Other press releases originate directly from a service provider to promote a new service, or to call attention to an organization that found value with the company. Such press releases brandish improved productivity, lowered communication costs, and a bright new attitude. Price is usually mentioned, insinuating some cost benefit. Attention is called as well to various other opportunities which were previously missed because of an archaic, traditional landline.
Previously, we have touched on many actionable items to help improve tasks such as effectively monitoring your call center and points to consider when engaging a teleconference. However, we have not mentioned some of the most beneficial features for VoIP service in a while. As many providers offer a variety of options at certain price points, it’s important to not only know what each feature does, but how they can actually benefit your business.
After reviewing a post Tony made several months back, I became interested in features businesses found most useful. I did a little digging by cruising the internet for testimonials like those found in our business review section and also casually picked the brains of business owners who use VoIP. I’ve put together a short list of feature combinations that many find extremely useful. While most of opinions collected are from a small business perspective however, they are generally applicable within large enterprises too.
Call logging with caller ID – These two features in conjunction are praised by businesses of every size. Not only is it useful to identify callers as they attempt to contact your business, call logging extends additional features. Sometimes it is not possible to answer every call that reaches a business. Moreover, the memorization of every single contact is simply not possible for anyone other than super elite savants. If an important client attempts to contact your business, it looks much better when you return a missed call rather than waiting until a frantic customer finally breaches your phone line.
Call forwarding with a mobile app – Does your service provider offer call forwarding? Do they also offer a mobile app for your smartphone? This is a great combination for associates and business executives who are on the move. You may not want to be bothered all the time, but it may very well be an essential cross to bear if you value your career. You’re better off dealing with such an annoyance than losing an account because the customer feels neglected or unimportant.
On hold message with remote access voicemail and caller ID – Though it was just implied that you wouldn’t want to purposely ignore a client, everyone knows the overly needy are just a part of the game. By giving them a pre-recorded message to listen to as you assess the caller ID, you can avoid the client who wants to chat away time while you consider taking the call. With voicemail you can access anywhere, giving you the opportunity to check these messages when you’re at lunch or traveling between destinations.
Virtual extensions and virtual office – You don’t need a receptionist to take every call your business receives. No one likes to deal with a web of automated responses, but it is becoming hard to avoid. Create a directory to effectively route callers to specific extensions. Provide detailed information on a website and diligently respond to actual emergencies. By doing this, everyone wins as customers can access relevant information while associates won’t be pestered by persistent calls.
Most every business can make use of at least one of the above feature combinations. Best of all, most are usually included in basic packaging for many providers. Check out the features offered by our partners if you’re planning on implementing VoIP or switching to a new provider.