Every business VoIP customer enjoys numerous benefits from the features delivered by a Hosted Digital Phone Service. But, which ones mean the most? Because the features are vast, what appeals most to your company may be different from others. Perhaps the greatest appeal is the ability to customize the feature set and call flow/routing to conform to how you do business. Let the debate begin.
Normally, when I write about the features and benefits of a digital phone service, I inevitably receive comments that it’s really all about saving money. This harkens back memories of an infamous line from a political debate, “it’s the economy, stupid”. Well, certainly, businesses can save money with VoIP while enhancing their business communication patterns.
- Business Productivity Features – Businesses have benefitted from the suite of productivity related features in a digital phone service platform. Many VoIP phones have easy to use call transferring, conferencing, and forwarding options. The phones also have speed dialing, company directories, and call history detail that work similar to the cell phone features we all love. Additionally, the ability to unify communications with voicemails and faxes also being delivered electronically to email has enhanced customer service.
- Call Flow Automation – Good digital phone service providers can harness the power of these flexible and programmable systems to customize call flows to conform to or enhance your business processes. Automated attendants can be used as an entry point or as a back up to a receptionist model. Direct inward dial numbers for users can ease the burden on the receptionist. The ability to create ring groups ensure that your main incoming calls are answered or calls can be routed to teams of like employees easily and transparent to your customers. Call parking and pick-up schemes can provide intra office flexibility in call handling. Finally, time of day routing can be programmed so after hours calls can be automatically directed to an after hours auto attendant, answering service, or any other choice your business dictates.
- Freedom of Location – One of the slickest features of a hosted digital phone service is that your phone system is no longer confined within the four walls of your business location. You can support a work at home base of employees even if they are located in other states! Remote employees or branches can still have the appearance to your customers that they are on the same phone system, and you can extension dial and transfer calls as if they were all right down the hall.
There are many more features and benefits of a digital phone service, but we’ve found that these categories have been what our customers site as being the most beneficial. The greatest part of a hosted model is that you are not investing in a phone system to receive all of these benefits. You just need to secure the VoIP phones from your provider. Therefore, the entry cost is fairly low, you can save on the monthly service, and you can take advantage of features that will help your business.
As to what feature will mean the most to your business, that is up to you!
About the author: Mark Greim is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at sipVine, a provider of a variety of digital phone solutions and services. Mark has extensive experience working for start-up or entrepreneurial organizations and a passion for affordable, reliable, and purposeful technology solutions in those environments.