Voice-over-IP (VoIP) telephony services don’t just stand to benefit your IT department and your company’s budget. Mercury Magazines reports that organizations typically net 20 to 30 percent cost savings when implementing VoIP. Despite initial investment costs in equipment, these savings are typically realized within 18 months.
While there will almost certainly be cost savings associated with the switch, your entire organization can stand to benefit from significant productivity gains. VoIP offers features that can facilitate better efficiency for all connected employees within the enterprise. Here are five lesser-known features of VoIP that can make your workers far more connected and better at what they do.
1. Data Integration
With VoIP, voice and data communications are transmitted over a single network. In a business climate where companies are increasingly opting to offer multiple channels for internal and external communications, this potential for integration can be massively helpful.
With VoIP, it’s easy to integrate your phone system with your employee’s email, allowing their inbox to act as a centralized repository for customer and coworker communications. Voicemail-to-text transcription services allow employees to easily catch up on missed calls from a single point. When your voice and text communications are integrated with your customer relationship management (CRM) tools, it can significantly improve your ability to provide accurate and high-quality customer service.
2. Automated Call Distribution
Call center management can be complex, particularly for organization that have what Nextiva refers to as a “wide spread of seniority” among customer service representatives. However, many VoIP providers offer several options for automated call distribution in a contact center setting, allowing their clients to pick the option that best fits their business requirements.
If your contact center or reception desk function prefers a “uniform” distribution to the longest idle user or for all phones to ring simultaneously, these options are easy to program into your VoIP management platform.
3. Interactive Voice Recognition
Interactive voice recognition (IVR) can eliminate your customer’s frustration with complex phone menu systems. Effective IVR features within a VoIP implementation can seamlessly integrate with your plan for automated call distribution, virtually eliminating the need for a human switchboard operator and significantly reducing inaccurately routed customer calls. No client wants to feel as if they’ve been fighting against a confusing phone menu or “passed around” needlessly by your customer service representatives. Effective voice recognition tools can improve your chances that calls go to the right person immediately.
4. Remote Management
Many VoIP solutions allow internal administrators to seamlessly manage VoIP through a single, Web-based portal. Depending on your internal talent and your agreement with your VoIP vendor, this can include scaling phone lines up or down, and performing other adjustments to your VoIP network. Since a Web portal can be accessed from anywhere in the world, this eliminates much of the need to have on-site talent with the ability to manage the phone system.
5. Call Diversion
For employees who may work remotely or need to remain accessible 24/7, VoIP’s ability to automate call diversion can eliminate the chances of missed customer communications. By forwarding calls directly to an employee’s mobile device or another selected number, your employees can communicate seamlessly with clients and coworkers, even if they’re working out of the office or traveling. Perhaps best of all, as IT Donut highlights, automated call diversion with VoIP is not noticeable to client callers.
Your business phone system should never inhibit productivity. If your employees are struggling to manage multiple communication channels without integration or keep up with several phone numbers, it’s likely time to make the switch to a centralized means of phone communication. With an effective VoIP implementation, both IT and other departments can become more efficient at communicating internally and externally, which can lead to important gains in customer satisfaction.