10 Best features of VoIP phones and how they can help your business
Many businesses are changing over to VoIP based phone systems from traditional fixed line systems due to the features and reliability. However some services and features may be missed or over looked. In this article I look at what I think are the 10 best features a good VoIP based phone system should have and how it can help your business.
All the features below are also included or available in the OBN Business Phone system.
A good VoIP based system will now have apps (Apple iOS and Android) that you can download and mirror your desk phone whilst your travelling. This means no more setting up call forwarding to your mobile whilst you travel, and as an added benefit you can make calls using your office landline or company number from your mobile phone using the app.
As a director of a company, I find this service invaluable for never missing a call or seeing who is calling my landline number, and was one of the reasons I sourced a new phone system.
2. Built In Conference Call Facility
Most teams these days need to hold conference calls with customers and suppliers, and whilst there are a lot of options available on the internet for this service, its normally an add-on cost.
We use this type of feature a lot, having it built into the phone service means we do not have additional monthly costs or call costs associated with dedicated conference call facilities, plus its very easy to use and call (its just another extension number on our system).
3. Auto Attendant or IVR
This allows customers hear a welcome message, and if required can list menu options. The really good Auto Attendants will also respect the opening hours of your business and can change messages as appropriate.
This is great for your customer, they know who they have called, and you can route calls to the right team/person with just one main company number very easily.
4. Music on Hold & Queue Position
In my opinion there is nothing worse than terrible hold music or being on hold for a long time without knowing roughly how long I will be on hold for. A good VoIP system will feature nice music on hold and if you need it, announcement of the position in the queue.
Music on hold is fairly standard these days but the Queue Position is a feature normally only seen on high end telephone systems.
5. Group Pick Up
A fairly simple but nice feature is being able to pick up another extension in the office from your phone. When a colleagues phone is ringing or perhaps a group of phones are ringing but no one is available then a one button “pick up incoming call” is a great feature for your staff, and you wont miss that important customer call.
6. Remote Management
Being able to control the phone system remotely is another great feature. The OBN Business Phone service includes this as standard and allows a user to login via a simple web portal and change the settings of their phone from anywhere (including from their mobile browser).
7. TPS Checking
I did another post on this last week (see here for more), but the TPS service (or Telephone Preference Service) is a UK registry of individuals and companies that have opted out of marketing/sales calls. Legally you need to check this database before making unsolicited calls, but this can be time consuming unless you have a system in place.
The OBN Business Phone service has this feature built in (although a small charge applies), it checks the number as you dial it, and warns you if that number is on the database. You can choose to proceed or just hang up if you get a warning.
8. Do Not Disturb
Having a Do Not Disturb button on your phone is a great VoIP phone feature, it does exactly what it says and is great for when your in meetings, at lunch or need to concentrate without disruption.
9. VoIP & Lower Call Costs
VoIP based phone systems bring huge benefits in reducing call costs compared with traditional landlines. With the expansion of fibre broadband across the UK, small businesses can now benefit as well.
10. VoIP & Short Term Contracts
New technology tends to disrupt traditional services, so no more 2 year contracts (sorry BT), a lot of VoIP based systems are running on rolling 30 day contracts (including OBN’s Business Phone service).
About the author
Robin Noakes has been working in IT for over 20 years, and is the founder and CEO of OBN, OBN Comms and Black ICE CRM. Having worked previously for large national and international companies he has a wealth of IT experience across many sectors that he is now using to help enable businesses grow by using innovative, scalable and reliable technology.