Technology is constantly evolving to offer consumers better products and services with additional features to enhance their lives and increase productivity. One type of technology that received a significant boost in 2022 was VOIP services.
What is VOIP?
VOIP stands for voice-over IP, a phone service that uses the internet rather than a landline. All voice, video, and data are transmitted using your existing internet service, saving you a lot of money on phone services and equipment.
The Most Important VOIP Features That Customers Want
Modern VOIP systems are packed with popular features critical to business operations. Some of the most essential VOIP features for users are:
- Hosted PBX – PBX stands for private branch exchange, and it’s a cloud-based telephony network offering advanced business services like paperless faxing, call queuing, unlimited extensions, conference calling, and automated functionality. A hosted PBX system also offers unmatched flexibility and reliability.
- Desk-to-Desk Calling works the same as if you had a traditional phone system and needed to ring an extension to speak with a co-worker.
- Automated Attendant – An automated attendant answer calls and allows the caller to select from a menu of recipients. It works like a virtual receptionist playing recorded messages to callers. Using this service, you can customize your greetings and route people to the correct department.
- Call Routing – Routes calls to the correct person automatically.
- On-Hold Music – A selection of music to play for your callers while they are on hold.
- Virtual Extensions – If you leave the office, your phone follows you, and if you get an important call, it will ring on your home, cell, or office line so your most important contacts can always reach you.
- Voicemail with Transcription – Most phone services have built-in voicemail service. Another handy feature is message transcription, where your message is converted to text, and you receive the message as a text message instead of having to dial in to get the news.
- Unlimited Phone Numbers – VOIP systems offer unlimited phone numbers.
- Vanity Numbers – Often, companies use vanity numbers to make it easy for customers to remember their names and reach them.
- Business SMS – Text messages have become an integral part of business operations, and companies need the functionality to text associates, employees, and clients.
- Scalability – Growing businesses value scalability in their technology, and most want a VOIP system that can grow with them.
Some other expected features in a VOIP system include:
- Caller ID – Allows you to see who is calling so you can decide whether to pick up the phone.
- Call Holding – Putting customers on hold is an essential feature of any reputable VOIP system.
- Call Queuing – This feature puts callers into a queue based on when they called and serves up each one as the next representative becomes available.
- Music on Hold – Provides music while the caller is waiting to speak to a live person or gets routed to another department.
- Custom Ringback – This is the messages or music you serve to your inbound callers.
- Hot Desking – Although each employee might not have their own designated desk or phone, they can use hot desking to dial in and connect a device to their phone number and messages.
- Call Flipping – This allows you to move an in-progress call to another device. For example, if you are in the middle of a call but need to leave the office, you could flip it to your cell phone and continue the conversation.
- Call Monitoring – Often, call centers monitor their customer service representatives by listening in on their phone calls. The practice is meant to improve customer service.
- Call Whispering – Along with listening in, call whispering allows managers to speak to the rep in real time, prompting them on how to handle a specific caller or situation.
- Call Recording – Another way managers improve customer service is by recording and reviewing calls later.
- Speed Dial – Speed dial makes it easy to reach your most frequently called numbers fast.
- Call Forwarding – If you need to forward your desk number to your cell phone while you are out of the office, call forwarding can do that for you.
- Digital Faxing – Gone are the days of bulky old fax machines. Using VOIP technology, you can fax easily from your computer, tablet, or mobile phone.
- Powerful Analytics – Analytics features show you specific phone usage metrics so you can improve efficiency.
New VOIP Features in 2022
With more people working at home than ever before, VOIP features have expanded to include much more functionality. Some of the highlights from 2022 include the following:
CRM Integration – VOIP systems are being integrated with some of the top CRM systems like Salesforce to keep track of customer interactions, use that data for sales and marketing, and improve customer service.
Live Chat – Live chat features are becoming more popular everywhere. Customers frequently interact with brands using a chatbot or live chat feature instead of phone calls.
AI Integration – Artificial intelligence is showing up everywhere as well as in VOIP services, to handle busy times, resolve customer issues, and guide customer conversations. AI can also offer instant language translation to ease conversations between people of different languages.
Omnichannel Services – To stay competitive, companies need to offer different ways for customers to reach them. Many VOIP providers offer multichannel support to provide this functionality for their customers. The channels may include email, live chat, SMS, social media connections, and phone.
Self-Service Tools – Often, customers would rather use self-service tools to help themselves rather than call in. This saves time and money for the company. Some options for customers might be FAQs, infographics, videos, and virtual agents.
Team Collaboration – Tools for video conferences, chat channels, and other resources for teams to fully collaborate on projects are also a business essential.
Mobile Apps – Many VOIP systems offer a mobile app (some as their primary system), so global business associates can take their VOIP system with them wherever they go. Since the future is mobile, it makes sense to combine every feature into a mobile app that you can install and take with you in your pocket.
Contact VOIP First Media today to learn more about the VOIP options available!