How SMEs Can Have The Same Phone Features As The Big End Of Town
For small to medium Australian businesses, VoIP and a Cloud PBX system provide access to useful phone features that were previously restricted by cost to the ‘big end of town’.
With VoIP, the cost of a full-featured business phone system is dramatically reduced, so your business can have the same features without the high price tag.
Because VoIP services connect to an established internet connection, there’s no extra equipment needed for these professional phone features – and therefore, no extra charges on your business phone bill.
When your customers call, the ringing sound they hear isn’t the most interesting way to introduce them to your business.
A phone message or announcement as a greeting provides your business the opportunity to professionally welcome customers before staff answer, and enhance their experience. This is also the time that potential customers are most responsive to key messaging about your business.
These messages can be as simple as a welcome message and hold music, or can advertise special promotions and seasonal offers. They also allow your business to present a ‘big business’ image after hours, with a professionally recorded message advising when your office will reopen.
Like them or loathe them, an IVR (interactive voice response) or auto-attendant system, is what callers have come to expect when phoning a large organisation. They’re also a great way for smaller businesses to divert calls to the right area, without needing a human receptionist.
Callers are greeted with an interactive welcome menu, which allows them to select the department they wish to speak to. This message may be as simple as ‘press one for Sales, press two for Support, or three for Accounts’, or direct callers to more specialised divisions in different locations.
These automated attendants have become a key feature of business phone systems. Customer satisfaction is increased because they’re able to avoid the delay of being answered by one person, put on hold, and wait for them to transfer the call.
A softphone using a VoIP app lets you take the power of your desk phone with you wherever you go. This is invaluable for staff who travel outside the office or work from home.
The app can be used on a mobile phone (Android or iPhone), or even a desktop PC. It allows you to make and receive calls via your office number, access the contact list of your Cloud PBX phone directory, and see other staff members’ presence – as if you were sitting at your desk.
Softphone apps make business communication seamless and removes confusion for customer, because they always think they’re calling the office. Staff can use the office phone system even if they’re in remote locations, as long as there’s an internet connection.
Hunt Group (Team Number)
A hunt group prevents long wait times for your customers, as it allows a pool of people to answer the phone. This is ideal for Sales or Support teams, as customers can be given one number to call, and they’ll be answered quickly by a member of the right team.
Simply assign your staff to the group, and set up a number that rings the group. When a customer calls, every desk phone in the group will ring. The first person to pick up will be connected with the caller to handle the enquiry.
Voicemail to Email
Voicemail is an important tool to ensure callers can leave a message for individual staff members. However, it’s not always convenient to retrieve each message as they’re left, especially for staff who frequently work away from their desk phone.
Voicemail to Email sends voicemail messages to your inbox so you can respond to customers faster – particularly if you’re out of the office.
This feature automatically emails your voicemails as .WAV format audio files. They can then be conveniently opened and listened to on your mobile phone or any other device. You can then return the call, or even forward the voicemail to another member of your team so they can call them back.
Another way to improve customer experience without giving them the busy tone is to set up call forwarding. When a staff member’s line is busy, call forwarding can divert the incoming call to a different number instead of voicemail.
Call forwarding can also be a useful tool in your business to direct calls from one staff member to another when they’re out of the office – all set up in seconds in the Cloud.
With a Cloud phone systems using VoIP, this all happens so quickly that callers won’t even know their call is being diverted.
Call Park and Pickup
For larger offices or noisy work environments, call park and pickup allows you to ‘park’ a call to move to a quiet space to continue the conversation.
It’s also a useful phone system feature for workplaces where different tasks are performed in different areas, e.g. a vet surgery where consulting rooms and electronic records are separate to the patient bays and surgical areas.
Online Fax (Fax 2 Email)
A Cloud Fax turns any computer into a fax receiver – without the need for a fax machine.
Faxes are received as PDF files via your email, and there’s nothing to download or install. The handy PDF format then allows faxes to be stored or forwarded to colleagues.
Designed for Cloud PBX customers, Fax 2 Email even allows your current fax numbers to be retained, or transferred (‘ported’) from another provider. This transfer is free when you move your numbers to Comsource.
Free expert advice
All of these VoIP Cloud phone features are included as standard with a Comsource Cloud PBX phone system. They give your business the same professional phone features that were previously only available to the big end of town for thousands of dollars.
If your business phone system doesn’t currently have these features, contact our friendly team today to find out how simple it is to upgrade your system, AND save money.
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