Let’s face it: Running a successful business is challenging at the best of times. The modern business world is packed with cut-throat competition, ever-changing technology and new innovations that are always popping up somewhere unexpected. Keeping abreast of every challenge your company faces is no easy feat.
A good example is how businesses are integrating modern communications systems into their virtual office strategy with the use of virtual phone systems.
With a virtual phone system, you can manage calls from anywhere, have an operator or receptionist answer your calls, and keep track of your company’s call history.
If you’re interested in learning more about what a virtual phone system can do for your company, keep reading to discover everything you need to know about them and their essential features to look out for when choosing the right virtual phone system for your company.
What Is a Virtual Phone System?
A virtual phone system is a software solution that emulates key features of an on-premise phone system, such as an integrated computer network, voicemail, auto-attendant, call forwarding, call transfer, and conferencing.
Virtual phone systems are often hosted in the cloud and accessed over the internet, which means they can be used anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. They are a great solution for businesses and individuals who want to save money by not buying traditional hardware phone systems that can be incredibly expensive.
Now, there are many different options for a virtual phone system and finding the right one for your business can be tricky. That’s why we’ve put together this list of essential features you should look out for in a virtual phone system.
1. Video Conferencing
Video conferencing is a feature that’s often overlooked as a standard feature of a virtual phone system. It allows you to communicate with your colleagues through audio and video, which means that you don’t have to travel to meet up with people.
If you’ve ever had to travel to another city for a business meeting, you know how exhausting and time-consuming those trips can be. But video conferencing is a great way for businesses of any size to connect with colleagues and clients remotely, saving time and money.
Virtual phone systems that come with video conferencing also allow you to record your video calls so you can review them later. This feature is a great way to ensure you’re following best practices during your video calls, and it’s a feature that’s included with many virtual phone systems.
2. IVR and Auto-Attendant
If you own a business, you’ve likely come across a call-tree system—an automated voice message system that connects you to an operator by pressing a number on your phone. IVR, or interactive voice response, is a feature of virtual phone systems that gives you the ability to greet your callers with a pre-recorded message.
An IVR system is great for businesses that want to keep their call times short and consistent, or for companies that don’t have a receptionist or operator to answer calls.
As you connect with new customers and clients, you’re likely to get many calls. An auto-attendant allows you to greet your callers with a pre-recorded message and route them to the correct department or employee they’re trying to reach. You can also use it to let them know how long they’ll be on hold before they’re connected to a real person.
3. Unified Communications
If your business requires a lot of collaboration with other companies and teams, you’ll want to make sure your virtual phone system offers unified communications. Unified communications is a great feature for businesses that want to integrate their communications for a more streamlined workflow.
Your virtual phone system should be flexible enough to allow you to integrate with other apps and software.This means you will have the ability to integrate your voice communications with other apps you use for work, such as a CRM or marketing software.
For example, if you’re having a meeting with your sales reps and want to dial into their conference call, your virtual phone system should allow you to dial into the meeting from your dial pad.
4. Recording and Tracking Calls
If you want to ensure that your employees are following proper customer service protocols, you can use your virtual phone system’s recording feature to track and review customer calls, especially if you own a SaaS or B2B business and regularly make calls to customers.
A virtual phone system can be a great way to ensure your agents are following protocol and providing stellar customer service by listening in live or listening to recorded calls using the recording feature. You can then use the information you collect to make changes if necessary.
For example, let’s say you have a customer who is interested in a subscription to your product and is asking a lot of questions. You can use your virtual phone system to record the call and save the information in a CRM system or on a spreadsheet. This way, you don’t have to spend time typing everything down and it saves you from missing important information.
5. Caller ID and Voice Mail Integration
Caller ID and voice mail integration is a great feature for B2B businesses that want to track the people who are calling them and want to avoid missing sales leads. This feature allows for information about your callers to appear on your virtual phone system’s screen as soon as they call you.
This feature can be very useful so it’s important to use it to its fullest potential. This means ensuring your phone system’s voicemail is set up to receive voice mails and that your system is set up to receive missed call notifications.
The Bottom Line
Today, businesses need to operate in an always-on world where customers expect lightning-fast responses at all hours of the day. Virtual phone systems are no longer just a luxury — they’re a necessity for businesses that want to stay competitive.
In order to keep up with the constantly changing landscape, businesses must implement virtual phone systems that not only streamline their customer service processes but also give them the tools they need to grow and succeed.