As a small business owner, you know that it’s imperative that you stay on top of every technology that can help your business run smoother. When you’re trying to compete with the big boys, you’ll fall flat if you fall behind the technology curve.
You’ve probably already spent a lot of time and resources on updating the obvious points of technology within your business. But what about your phone system? Is it still running on 1950’s technology?
If so, it’s time to open up to what VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone systems can do for you and your business.
Thousands of today’s small businesses are making the switch to VoIP phone systems for their operations. While there are many obvious advantages like simple call waiting, cloud voicemail, call forwarding, toll-free numbers, and remote operation capabilities, many small business owners overlook some of the more valuable features in VoIP.
In this article, we’ll detail a host of additional features that will help in your day-to-day business operations. In the end, you can decide for yourself if a VoIP phone system is right for your small business.
Let’s dive into the Advantages of VOIP for Small Businesses
1. Find Me/Follow Me Call Routing
How many remote workers do you have in your organization? These people will really enjoy find me/follow me call routing. It’s one of the best VoIP benefits for small business owners with a remote workforce.
This feature allows an administrator to create a specific list of numbers where a remote user can be found before a phone call gets directed to voicemail. As an example, a user can have their office phone ring three times, but on the fourth ring, it’ll start pinging their cell phone. Then on the sixth and subsequent rings, it can start ringing a home phone.
When the list of options is exhausted, the caller will finally end up in the user’s voicemail box.
Not only is this feature handy for your remote workers, but it also increases the chances that both internal and external customers will get a live voice instead of a voicemail greeting.
2. V-mail to E-mail Transcription
Most workers find it highly inconvenient to pick up the phone and dial into voicemail to check their messages. In fact, a number of voicemails get missed completely because workers let voicemails stack up without being listened to.
The voicemail to email transcription feature automatically transcribes voicemails into text and ships them off to the user’s preferred email address. This way, they can’t be missed.
Additionally, users will no longer need to worry about scrambling for a pen and paper to jot down phone numbers, names, and addresses of callers. All that information will be transcribed into an email, which can easily be referenced later when needed.
Voicemail to email transcription allows users to organize, file, delete and search voicemails in a way that isn’t possible with traditional voicemail services.
3. Hold Music
This feature is an absolute necessity for small businesses that need to put callers on hold. No longer will you have to subject your customers to annoying elevator music or complete silence.
The hold music feature in a VoIP phone system allows you to choose almost any type of music for your callers to listen to while they wait for assistance. (Pro tip: you may want to avoid Nickleback.)
4. Call Screening Feature
Call screening is often forgotten about within the features of VoIP phone systems. But it definitely comes in handy.
Call screening allows you to check the number calling you on the caller ID and make a choice about how to treat the call. For example, if your significant other is calling you, you’ll easily be able to redirect the call to your cell.
If it’s an annoying salesperson who keeps trying to get you to convert your sales software to their solution, you can easily direct them to voicemail or disconnect them altogether.
5. Tools to Coach Employees
This is one of the top VoIP benefits for small business owners.
No longer do you have to wait to give your employees advice until after they’ve hung up from a call.
With a premium VoIP phone system, you’ll get two features that can help you, monitor and train employees, while they’re still on a call.
These features are called whisper and barge.
The whisper feature allows you to give tips, advice, and information to employees while they’re on a call without the client knowing you’re there.
The barge feature gives you the ability to listen in on a conversation between a client and employee without interrupting at all. You can alert the employee that you’re listening, or listen in without them knowing.
This will help you better understand how employees deal with tough customer situations.
6. Auto Attendant Feature
This is one of the hidden gems of VoIP phone system services. The auto attendant allows your callers to interact with a pre-set menu you create, then choose the appropriate department to speak with.
From the outside, your small business will automatically seem more impressive and professional to customers. The auto-attendant is almost like having a built-in receptionist that you don’t have to put on the payroll.
7. Do Not Disturb
Here’s another one of the key VoIP benefits for small businesses. Sometimes you’re just not in a position to answer the phone. Perhaps you’re involved in a very detailed and time-consuming project that needs your full attention. Or maybe you just need to wrap up several loose ends before you leave for the day and don’t want to be interrupted.
The “do not disturb” feature does exactly what you’d expect it to do: leaves you at peace. You can easily flip it on to stop incoming calls temporarily whenever you need to. However, don’t worry that you’re ignoring your calls completely. Do not disturb can be set up to re-direct calls directly to voicemail or to another destination like your cell phone.
Meanwhile, you’ll be getting your most pressing projects completed without interruption.
8. Smarter Conferencing
Most small business owners already know about the basic conference call capabilities that come with VoIP phone system services. But few take full advantage of the many features that are built into it.
For example, you can easily set up what’s known as a conference floor monitor. This will allow a user or administrator to manage “hand raises”, invitations, and the muting of certain individuals when necessary (that one employee that can’t seem to stop coughing).
As you’ve probably experienced, phone conferences can get confusing and messy when they’re not properly managed. Smart conferencing is a powerful tool to learn and use in your small business conference call settings.
9. Better Business Security
The door phone entry buzzer integration is the perfect way to improve the security of your business.
The feature allows you to integrate the phone system with an entry door phone. This allows you to have a two-way phone conversation with visitors and unlock the door from your desk if the visit is legitimate.
The Many VoIP Benefits for Small Business
VoIP phone systems aren’t just for the big boys anymore. Any small business owner can now afford this valuable service.
As you can see, there are many advantages to making the switch. Isn’t it time for your small business to do it?