Around 2.4 million small and medium businesses in the UK are still operating on legacy PSTN or ISDN phone networks. That’s all about to change, though, given the impending ISDN switch off that BT Openreach confirmed will happen by 2025.
If you’re one of these companies busy preparing for their network migration, you want to take this opportunity to leverage all the advantages that VoIP has to offer. The technology itself includes plenty of advanced call features, but the best VoIP service is one that gives you functions beyond call management.
You can cherry-pick the add-ons you’re getting, depending on what your business needs. This way, you’ll only spend on functions you’ll use and not waste money on features that won’t benefit you.
Below are four features worth adding to your business VoIP system.
1. CRM integration
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms keep track of your interactions with customers and prospects, which helps you nurture your relationships with them. Connecting your VoIP phone system with your CRM platform makes it easier for you to monitor and evaluate your calls with your leads and customers.
VoIP CRM integrations record the information of every call, such as the time and duration of the conversation and the phone number, so your agent won’t have to jot down the details manually. You can also see other valuable aspects of the call – whether it was a video or audio call or if it came from a landline phone or a mobile phone.
You can use these details the next time you’re interacting with that customer to make the call as convenient for them as possible.
If your IP telephony offers call recording, you can even attach the audio files to your customers’ contact profiles. You’ll be able to review past conversations with each customer, which is a massive advantage if you have a contact centre.
2. Unified communications
VoIP capabilities are often a feature of unified communications services. Therefore, migrating from ISDN to VoIP presents you with the opportunity to implement a unified communications system.
A cloud-based unified communications (UC) system combines all your communication platforms into one easy-to-use interface. This allows you to seamlessly carry a conversation over to a different channel without disrupting its flow. Conversation history is also shared across platforms, so you can easily recall information about your clients.
Your UC dashboard shows your social media profiles, SMS, email and live chat, so you won’t have to switch between windows to check if you have any new enquiries. Customers and prospects can contact you anytime on any channel and get a quick response.
3. Hot desking
Hot desking in a VoIP phone system makes it possible for employees to share the same IP phone devices using their extension number. Your staff can log into any device and immediately use their agent profile settings, access their voice mails and more.
VoIP hot-desking is especially beneficial for businesses with small offices or those who need to save on hardware costs. Sharing VoIP phones also helps agility within the workplace. Your staff don’t have to rush to their stations just to make or take a call; they can freely use whatever device is nearest them.
To manage the usage of hot-desking VoIP phones, admins can force users out of a device, monitor the availability of a phone and automatically log out extensions based on the staff’s schedules.
4. VoIP analytics and monitoring
Lastly, every VoIP phone system should have analytics and monitoring software so you can evaluate the performance and quality of your voice and video calls. Some VoIP analytics products also include tools for assessing agent performance and efficiency, customer satisfaction or customer journey, which can help you optimise the handling and processing of your sales calls.
You can also use your analytics software to troubleshoot your VoIP system if, for example, your calls frequently drop for no reason or has delayed audio. You can do this by checking your Quality of Service metrics, which include latency, jitter and packet loss. These are the metrics you want to look at to evaluate your call quality.
VoIP monitoring programs use a customisable dashboard to display performance reports and data visualisation. Check the design and layout of the dashboard before purchasing monitoring software to make sure it’s easy to use and understand.
VoIP has additional features other than the four mentioned above, including advanced voicemail functions, cheap international calls and mobile integration. The technology offers a wealth of benefits that you can take advantage of to make your current processes more efficient.
The bottom line is that migrating your network to VoIP presents multiple opportunities to improve your communication strategy as an organisation. As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to take advantage of these opportunities to fuel the growth and success of your company.