Getting reliable office phones is necessary for any business that wants to meet the needs of its customers and employees. A cloud phone system will not only eliminate inconveniences within your business but will also save you a lot of money. Nevertheless, choosing the best cloud phone system is not easy because they all have different features. Here are the top features to look for when you are replacing or upgrading your phone system.
Your phone system can provide automated informational messages, such as call transfer, caller messaging, and call answering, by using the auto-attendant feature. These messages are the cloud phone equivalent of FAQs, and they are meant to provide information such as a business’s location and operating hours.
The typical auto-attendant feature can do many things, including:
- Operator, exit, repeat prompts
- An automated business search of all users
- General organisation information
- Call routing prompts
- Incoming call automated greeting message
When your cloud phone system adopts the auto-attendant feature, you will be able to streamline your communication process. A caller will move seamlessly from the initial greeting to being transferred to the department that they were looking for.
2. Busy Lamp Field Status
When you activate the Busy Lamp Field Status feature, anybody who uses the same phone system will see if you are active or unavailable. The Busy Lamp Field Status is a great addition to any business since it easily integrates with VoIP. For instance, transferring or picking calls becomes easier because call agents and receptionists will know who is available to talk to a customer. This reduces some communication challenges, such as customers told to wait after their call was transferred to an unavailable agent.
This feature is also very beneficial in a fast-paced corporate environment where employees have to get extra information from their colleagues during a phone call. For instance, the call agent can confirm whether a certain product is available by talking to a staff member at the inventory department. This wouldn’t be an easy process if this call agent has to call each staff at the inventory department to confirm who is available. As corporations move towards implementing remote working, the Busy Lamp Field Status feature will become even more important since employees can easily know who is at the ‘office’ and who has taken a break.
3. Hunt Group
Some phones come with a group feature that forwards a single phone call to several phones in the organisation. In essence, when the organisation receives a new phone call, this feature will route the call to a standby group. It is the duty of the domain administrator to create hunt groups and add people to those groups. This is typically done when a phone extension exists.
For example, the domain administrator can create a marketing hunt group and add members of the marketing team to that group. Each member of this group will be assigned a number that determines the order of call picking. The hunt group feature is a valuable thing because it ensures that incoming calls are picked by the right staff members. Furthermore, this is an automated process that does not require manual intervention.
Voicemail refers to any message that is digitally recorded. The voicemail feature becomes relevant when the receiver of a call isn’t available to pick the call. That is when the caller is prompted to leave a recorded message in the receiver’s inbox.
Although the basic voicemail idea has not changed, the latest advancements have made voicemail more valuable in a business environment. The pioneer voicemail systems were essentially voice recorders that could store a limited number of messages. Furthermore, you could only retrieve these messages in a sequential manner. This is a far cry from the current voicemail systems, which store any type of messages.
At the same time, the latest voicemail systems have introduced several customisation add-ons. For instance, you can create an out-of-office notification and alternative greetings. It is also possible to get a voicemail system with unique features such as the ability to access your voicemail messages from anywhere and to classify messages based on urgency.
The conference feature is another important component of corporate phone systems. For many years, businesses have used phone conferencing tools for international meetings, brainstorming sessions, and sales pitching. However, the mutating workplace has changed the conference feature’s value to businesses. Today’s conference phones not only support multiple callers at once, but they can also analyse calls and provide real-time insights to all participants. Similarly, the development of SDKs, APIs, and advanced codecs means that businesses can tap into new conferencing opportunities.
Team members can now discuss and share files amongst themselves without leaving the teleconference call. This becomes easier if the business is using a cloud-based server that can be deployed on any software platform. Cloud-based phone systems also make it easy for businesses to add microphones, soundbars, and cameras to the phone conferencing feature.
6. Caller ID
Your business would respond better to calls if the employees knew the identity of the caller beforehand. This is a capability that can be available to your staff when you add the caller ID feature to your cloud phone system. This feature uses the CNAM service to look up a caller’s phone number as well as the name associated with that number.
Generally, the caller identification process starts when the caller’s phone switch submits the phone number of the caller to the receiver’s phone switch. Once the caller’s phone number has been received, the CNAM service will identify the name in the subscriber register. The caller determines the number that is available for look-up, although calls from a landline will always display the registered phone number.
Identifying the name of a caller used to be easy in the days of the central office switch because all wires were connected to a central unit. However, identification accuracy has become more difficult due to the presence of hundreds of carriers and the rising popularity of VoIP phone systems.
7. Headset-Enabled Feature
A headset is one of the best business phone features that bring increased mobility and flexibility. You no longer have to suffer back and neck pains caused by cradling your phone to your neck for extended periods. Whether you are using a landline phone or a cellphone, you can enable your headset feature and connect to a headset type of your choice.
Wireless headsets are a popular choice, but you must set them to the same frequency as your phone system for them to work effectively. Alternatively, you can connect the headset to your cloud-based phone system, provided that they are both using the same Wi-Fi. If using a wireless connection is not possible, then your phone system should support Bluetooth pairing so you can connect Bluetooth headsets.
8. ‘Do Not Disturb’
Sometimes, you don’t want to receive any business calls because you want to focus on something else. In this case, you can set up the ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature, where you automatically redirect all incoming calls to your voicemail. It is also possible to redirect the calls to a predetermined destination if you have a sophisticated VoIP system.
The ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature is compatible with landline phone systems and phones that use cloud servers. Furthermore, setting up this feature is a straightforward process that can be achieved with the touch of a button. If your mobile phone system doesn’t have that feature, you can achieve the same objective by activating the ‘Airplane Mode’ tool.
9. Call Transcription
Some business phones have call transcription features that can automatically convert speech into text. The text can then be stored for future analysis or reading. Initially, call transcription software used to transcribe call recordings, but the introduction of cloud server hosting means that phone systems can transcribe live calls as well.
Either way, the quality of the transcript will depend on several factors, such as the strength of your internet connection, the capability of the transcribing software, accent, number of speakers, and length of the call.
Your phone system can do the transcription in either single-channel recordings or dual-channel recordings. The single-channel recording tries to create a more accurate recording by filtering any differences caused by poor internet connection, new accents, and different volumes of speakers. Once the single-channel recording has finished transcribing the audio, it will only store one pre-transcription track.
10. Call Forwarding
Call forwarding is a feature that allows employees to receive phone calls even when they are not in the office or near their phones. If you introduce a call forwarding feature, you will be able to manage your business remotely by redirecting all business calls to your mobile phone. At the same time, corporations can take advantage of this feature by creating remote call agents and receptionists.
Cloud phone systems have become a key component of effective business communication. Nevertheless, it is essential that your business gets a phone system with the best features. Business Telecom offers advanced cell phone features with cloud support capabilities to our clients. Our phone systems are affordable and useful in any business environment. Contact us for more information.