Voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) continues to grow in business spaces as more companies turn to cloud-based phone services to stay connected. According to research by Global Marketing Insights, the market size hit $30 billion by the end of 2020, with an anticipated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15% from 2021 to 2027. Still, it’s not just VoIP’s low driving demand; top service providers often provide companies with vital business tools.
While the debate continues as to which items could be classed as indispensable, for our part, we believe these ten items are the most useful to any business hoping to get the best results out of their VoIP business phone service.
Automated attendants are perhaps one of the most recognizable and essential of all VoIP business phone features. It allows incoming calls to be transferred to the correct extension without the need for a receptionist.
Auto attendants are important to many companies as they help customers quickly reach the correct department, removing unnecessary middle persons. The less time a customer has to wait before connecting to the desired employee, the better their overall experience.
Companies big and small often cannot do without a call holding feature. This tool “parks” a caller temporarily, eliminating their ability to hear or communicate until the call recipient is prepared to answer. While the ability to hold calls is helpful, past research suggests as much as 60% of customers will hang up after as little as a minute.
Still, call hold offers positive benefits to businesses. For instance, employees can finish up important work or conversations with other customers before addressing the person on hold. The key to making the most of call holding is pairing it with additional features, such as on-hold messaging or music on hold—a tool we reference later on in this list.
VoIP business phones now include features that allow businesses to conduct audio or video web conferencing. These tools are increasingly vital to companies that find themselves operating remotely. Even as some workers return to the office, many businesses are experimenting with a hybrid function.
Conferencing tools that allow you to communicate with team members near and far are no longer merely a vanity feature. With a growing number of people in the workforce seeking opportunities that let them work remotely, you’ll want sophisticated VoIP phone tools that let you create conferences with in-person and remote employees alike.
Music on Hold
You might not think much of holding music, but it can make an incredible amount of difference for callers. USA Business Telephone Today conducted a study where a group of 10,000 callers listened to dead air for just a minute. They found 52% of callers hung up before the minute was up. Then, the second group of callers heard music. Only 13% dropped the call.
As Cisco can tell you, some customers genuinely enjoy listening to holding music, so invest in good quality tunes. It could make the difference between a happy and unhappy customer.
VoIP is far from being only about online phone service. Some VoIP integrations help businesses make vital use of sales data, collaborate across departments and better serve their customers. Many VoIP service providers also provide CRM (customer relationship management) integrations that let you analyze customer interactions and feedback to increase revenue and improve customer satisfaction.
By providing these sorts of integrations, VoIP services allow companies, including smaller organizations, to enjoy more centralized business operations. This is true even if the brand is not operating from a single physical location.
Call barging might sound aggressive but, ultimately, it’s a helpful training tool. With this feature, management can monitor employees to see how interactions are going, react quickly to customer feedback or concerns and provide team members with real-time guidance. Some situations might arise where it is necessary for a supervisor to not only listen in on calls but also take over if things are headed south. In such cases, it’s better to have call barging available than to do without it.
The ability to create call transcriptions is practically priceless. Instead of straining to remember what someone said on a call, you have the complete conversation in print. Transcripts are great for taking follow-up notes for meetings or providing evidence of words exchanged between customers and service representatives. The ability to create transcripts as needed is a big help and often indispensable. No professional should have to get by with guesswork.
Call forwarding redirects incoming calls to a different number of your choice. This VoIP feature typically allows you to be reached not just via smartphone but through various internet-ready devices. Many international businesses even forward their calls to local numbers, which help customers to feel closer to their brand.
Additionally, the nature of the VoIP call forwarding feature makes it easier to contact a department or service no matter where the caller or business happens to be located. That’s because service providers often use apps that let calls get forward not just to a single device but to multiple internet-ready devices.
It’s hard to argue against Caller ID as one of the most vital calling tools in existence. Knowing who is contacting you ahead of time can help you prepare mentally and quickly adopt the correct tone before engaging the caller. You may also have a few vital seconds to prepare relevant documents or screen tabs for the conversation ahead.
In addition, as robocalls are an annoying part of everyday life for individuals and business owners alike, Caller ID avoids having you waste time taking spam calls.
Live chat is a service that a growing number of businesses are finding to be crucial. Although many companies rely on voice mail, many callers who encounter this feature don’t bother to leave a message. Meanwhile, live chat options help customers feel listened to and gratified.
Also, most customers prefer to be helped by an actual human rather than sent to an AI chatbot. Additionally, callers want to communicate in real-time; reliance on a service like voice mail could be costing your business revenue.
How To Choose the Most Helpful VoIP Business Phone Features for Your Brand
These are the ten VoIP features we recommend, however, as many top service providers will share, there are many tools they make available to small and large companies alike. As such, it’s essential to do your research in deciding what service plan to sign up for and what features will work best for your organization.
When selecting which VoIP business phone features to purchase through service plans or add-ons, you should probably consider the following:
- How many people will have access to this service tool?
- Does it make collaboration and communication easier?
- Is it good value for the money?
- Does it improve productivity and efficiency?
- Will going without the feature harm your business?
- Suggestions from clients or staff about using the feature?
Once you can answer a similar list regarding which VoIP features to invest in, you should move forward with choosing the best options for your business.