Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology represents a great way to improve the efficiency of communications across your business.
However, before you migrate from an analogue phone system to an online VoIP arrangement, you must ensure that you select a package that suits your requirements. To help you get started, we’ve put together a quick guide to selecting a VoIP phone system.
How many employees will be using VoIP?
Businesses with lots of employees are more likely to require a high-end VoIP package, while more basic packages may suffice for small and medium-sized businesses. If you own a business with several international offices and many remote, for example, look for a VoIP system that can handle high levels of traffic and offers affordable rates for overseas calls.
What will you use your VoIP system for?
VoIP packages come with all kinds of great features, some of which are likely to be more applicable to your business than others. In this way, it is a good idea to compare packages before settling on a provider. Features to look out for include:
1. Automated attendants
Automated attendants answer all incoming calls and direct them to the relevant extension line, without the need for a human. This is great news if your business regularly handles a significant amount of traffic.
2. Hold and transfer
Most VoIP systems come with sophisticated transfer and hold options, allowing users to place callers on hold and redirect them to colleagues’ extensions if necessary.
3. Call recording
Call recording can be useful for customer service or sales departments as voice recordings can be used in training sessions. Some VoIP solutions even provide cloud storage dedicated to storing such recordings.
4. Call monitoring
Call monitoring technology allows you to listen in on the conversations taking place over your phone lines. This function may be useful for data gathering, employee assessments, or training purposes.
5. Video conferencing
Video chat technology allows employees and stakeholders to join virtual meetings, share screens, and share important documents on a single platform. This feature is particularly important if any of your employees work remotely or across different offices.
Many leading VoIP providers offer integrative technology that allows you to connect your communications system to other vital business tools such as email platforms, support ticket systems, collaborative applications such as Microsoft Teams, and customer relationship management (CRM) software. This functionality may be useful if, for example, you want to track calls automatically using a centralised platform rather than via an external call log.
7. Caller ID
Caller ID offers essential information about callers such as their phone number, name, and location before the call is answered. This may be useful for blocking nuisance calls. Some VoIP systems also allow extension users to select their ID before placing a call.
8. Predictive dialling
Predictive dialling automatically dials phone numbers from a predetermined list, helping connect agents to prospects more easily. This technology may be useful if your business conducts lots of sales calls.
What hardware will you need?
Different VoIP systems require different kinds of equipment. Generally speaking, however, you’ll need:
- A computer with a microphone and headset for every user
- SIP compatible phones
- A regular landline
- High-speed internet connectivity
- Smartphones with VoIP apps (for remote employees)
Remember to check your current broadband capabilities
All VoIP systems require a robust business broadband connection. Fibre optic broadband is often more reliable, and unlimited packages will ensure your employees remain connected at all times. For the best experience possible, we recommend investing in full FTTP or ethernet connectivity.
How VoIP could make your business more efficient
VoIP systems allow users to make calls over the internet and improve their ability to share information with employees and stakeholders. In fact, VoIP could benefit your business in the following ways:
- Facilitating more flexible working
- Saving money by eliminating the need for a costly traditional phone system
- Helping teams stay connected through an array of convenient communications features
- Improving customer service through features such as call forwarding, call monitoring, voicemail via email, automated call attendants, and much more!