With more businesses than ever taking their operations remote, it has been imperative that their employees find ways to adjust to the demands of virtual work. One tool for this adjustment that’s often overlooked is the VoIP phone plan.
A hosted phone system – one that uses the internet to transmit phone calls – can become an extremely useful part of daily operations for any size business. It makes a perfect compliment to other electronic means of communication (including email and popular online chat platforms like Slack).
Before deciding on which VoIP phone plan best fits your business, though, it can be helpful to think about the benefits such a system can bring to your workplace. Let’s take a look at 4 ways a VoIP plan can assist the remote operations of your business.
1. Ease of Setup
Before all else, you should know that ease of setup is one of the most attractive features of any VoIP phone plan.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that your entire business can be using a new phone plan within hours of its call to order the service. A quick chat with a knowledgeable VoIP sales team can help you pick an appropriate plan and help process payment to make the plan live for access.
From that point, a few quick initialization tasks like adding users and setting up greetings is necessary before completing your first calls, which can be done through desk phones, softphones, and web-based phones that run in browsers like Firefox and Chrome.
All these types of devices will typically connect to your VoIP phone plan in the same way. They will give users access to features like voicemail, ring groups, and audio conferencing that come included with most plans.
Phone numbers are also easily transferable from one phone service provider to another. When signing up for a new VoIP plan, your business’s existing phone number can be ported to your new plan within a few days. New phone numbers and additional port requests can be made through an online account to keep the process visible and straightforward.
2. Keep Your Employees Connected
VoIP phone plans come with extensions for users on the system.
Each user can use their extension to complete internal calls – within the phone system to other employees. For instance, Angela in finance could dial “3456” to reach Alex in marketing who is saved in the phone plan with that extension.
This call can include only those two participants or may extend to other individuals in a group call. As pointed out earlier, audio conferencing is a popular included feature in VoIP plans. Users can be assigned their own conference rooms to which they can invite other employees (by inputting their extensions) or to which other employees or external guests can call directly.
3. Cater to Customers With Intelligent Call Routing
Customers who dial the number to your VoIP phone plan can be sent through an interactive system called an automated attendant. This is the feature that handles familiar messages like “Dial 1 for Sales; Dial 2 for Support.”
Your automated attendant can be customized to match your needs as a business. If you have four distinct departments, you can create a custom message and layout that gives customers instructions about how to reach you.
Furthermore, your routing scheme can connect customers’ choices with individuals (through individual extensions) or groups (through ring groups).
A one-to-one connection is logical; the customer will be transferred to an employee’s extension. That employees’ phone will ring, or the call could ultimately reach that user’s voicemail box.
A one-to-many connection (using ring groups) lets the inbound caller reach a group by allowing you to determine who in the group should be reached first. You can have the inbound call ring the department head’s extension first for 20 seconds and then ring all other members of the group simultaneously for an additional 20 seconds. This sequence and choice of ringing patterns can be molded to meet your needs.
4. More About Multiple Devices
It’s worth noting again the types of devices that are compatible with a VoIP phone plan.
Desk phones are a familiar sight at many businesses in a front desk reception or in open office plans where each desk has its own phone. These types of hardware phones plug directly into the internet with an ethernet cable, and an automatic connection to your phone plan (called auto-provisioning) is possible with models ordered from the VoIP phone plan provider.
Softphones work as applications on your computer and smartphone. Desktop softphones are built to run on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. Mobile softphones often have apps built for Android and iOS phones. The fact that these apps are built to work on a specific operating system gives them native performance, so they’re often fast and able to work with native capabilities like push notifications.
Web-based phones, also called web phones, gain near-universal device compatibility by using web browsers like Firefox and Chrome as their method of use. Your business can visit the login page for the web phone from any compatible browser and begin completing phone calls through that browser tab. This option helps VoIP customers begin making calls within minutes of ordering the phone plan since no extra setup or download is necessary.
5. Bolster Your Business With a VoIP Phone Plan
Overall, what your business gains with a VoIP phone plan is options. Service providers like VirtualPBX are able to cater to the needs of any business, regardless of size or scope, because of the wealth of features their phone plans offer.
Small businesses may only need enough calling minutes for a few dozen customer calls each week. Some enterprises may need to support an entire virtual call center and complete dozens of employee group calls each week.
VoIP plans are able to meet the needs of the whole spectrum of business calling situations, offering compatibility with a wide range of devices and a large cast of supporting features that make those devices powerful and easy to use.
We hope this article has provided a look into the ease of use and various options available in a VoIP phone plan. If you’re still on the fence, don’t hesitate to call the sales teams of the providers you’re considering. It’s our job to give you all the information you need to make an informed decision and get your remote operations on the right path.