Businesses with multiple branch locations, whether locally-based or nationwide, can benefit from a common VoIP phone service platform. Cloud telephony has made it possible for all business locations to appear as if they are on the same phone system. There are several advantages that the business will gain through the common platform:
Centralized Reception – Businesses can implement a central phone number for all branches and consolidate the reception or auto attendant function at one location. Or, they can route branch numbers to be answered at the central reception location. Depending upon your selection of a VoIP phone service provider, you should be able to point as many local numbers as you have branches to a single receptionist for handling, regardless of the locality of the phone number. If there are multiple time zones involved, the right phone service provider should be able to create time of day routing routines to make this configuration work to your advantage. Centralizing reception will help reduce the number of employees required as well as create consistency in communication with your customers.
Another approach is to utilize multiple receptionists to handle incoming calls to all branches regardless of where that employee is located. A ring group can be created that includes these employees. Programmable line keys on the phones or an indicator before the caller ID field on the phone can allow this team to identify which location is being called.
The flexibility in ring group programming can also allow for each branch number to have unique routing. For example, calls to a specific branch can ring a local group first, then a back up ring group from the other branches. The bottom line here is that you can identify how calls flow to each branch and calls can be handled across the enterprise.
User Advantages – Employees in all branches will be able to call, transfer, and conference other employees through extension dialing regardless of the location. Additionally, a common company directory for employees and routinely called numbers can be programmed for all to use.
Standardized Practices - A common phone system and service across all locations can streamline employee training and allow for easy movement of personnel from location to location. Also, with similar call flow practices and auto attendant greetings, you create brand consistency across your organization. Customers experience the same process and messaging regardless which location is called.
No Long Distance Charges – With most VoIP phone service providers, long distance calls are included in the monthly service fee. Therefore, if your business operates branch locations in different parts of the country, you would no longer experience long distance charges for calls between branches or the corporate office.
Centralized Service Provider – By working with a single business VoIP phone service provider that can provide both the phones and the service coast to coast, your business will benefit economically. Some providers can deliver quantity discounts through the consolidation of your service. Additionally, look for a provider who can perform your phone system administration for you. They have the expertise to handle all of the programming and changes so you can focus on your business.
There are many advantages to make the shift to a VoIP phone service provider, but for companies with multiple branch locations, the above benefits really highlight what this technology can do for their productivity and financial efficiency.
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