One of the best things about making the switch from a traditional phone system to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is the list of features you’ll get to choose from. If you’re new to VoIP systems, you’ll be pleasantly surprised—maybe even astonished—at everything VoIP providers have to offer (especially since it’s typically lower priced than traditional phone services!).
Of course, while dozens upon dozens of available features is exciting, figuring out exactly which ones you really need and which will truly improve your business can be daunting. But don’t worry: we’re about to make it easy for you. After reviewing (and testing out) nearly every feature that VoIP has to offer, we’ve come up with a list of five absolute must-have features: mobile app integration, voice mail to email, conferencing, call forwarding, and auto attendant.
Mobile App Integration
Business is becoming an increasingly mobile enterprise, and this trend is going to continue for some time. Successful organizations have learned to embrace this fact, and part of doing that is finding ways to facilitate engagement and communication on the go. Mobile VoIP integration does just that.
Not only does it make it easy for clients and customers to contact the right people, whenever they need to, it also keeps your employees integrated into your business phone system while still making a productive Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy possible. Your employees will have mobile access to the same features that help streamline their workload in the office, which they’ll appreciate. And you’ll appreciate the fact that their productivity remains high, wherever they are.
Voice Mail to Email
It’s not only calls that VoIP has revolutionized. One of our absolute favorite VoIP features is voice mail to email. Voice mails are converted to MP3 files and emailed to an email address associated with the number called. Until you’ve experienced the convenience of this feature, it’s hard to imagine just how incredibly helpful it is.
- No more listening/skipping through unnecessary messages to find an important one: all of your voice mails are easily accessible and organized.
- No more listening to an entire message repeatedly to glean specific information: you have control over message playback and can easily listen to discrete portions of messages.
- Employees can save voice mails easily for access later and can even forward voice mails to other team members.
Many services even offer voice mail transcription to email!
While call conferencing has long been available as a feature for traditional business phone systems, implementation has generally been poor. With VoIP, call conferencing is much simpler and more intuitive. Not only that, but most VoIP services do not require an additional per-minute charge for conferencing, unlike traditional phone services, and many even offer internal conferencing completely free. Finally, many services have very generous limits on the number of participating callers, with some allowing up to 30 participants!
A generous, easy-to-use, and low-cost conference call option can smooth communication, improve collaboration, and cut through the type of hassle and red tape that wears on employee morale.
Don’t you hate when you have three, four, or five numbers for a single person, and you have to work your way down the list to actually get in touch with them? So do your employees and your clients! With VoIP call forwarding, however, those days are over.
And today’s VoIP call forwarding is a far cry from the inconvenient services offered in the past. Users have control over their calls via their own dashboards and can manage where and how their calls are being forwarded. Welcome to never missing a call! Some services even offer a staggered forwarding option: calls ring a select number of times in one location before being forwarded to another.
The auto attendant feature, also called a digital or virtual receptionist, streamlines call routing by allowing the caller to indicate their needs via dial pad presses. As with everything else VoIP related, ease of customization is the name of the game. It’s simple to log in to one’s own account and make adjustments to the auto attendant, even if you’re not at the office.
You can even schedule temporary changes that will automatically revert at the date and time of your choosing.
Choosing the Right VoIP Provider
Now that you know the most mission-critical features VoIP offers, you’ll know to examine the way different companies offer them when making your choice. Our Business Phone Systems Buyer’s Guide is a great place to get started!