Cost-minded small business owners are interested in top quality business phone systems that bring both value and connectivity to the company.
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Although price is an important consideration, a phone system that fails to adequately connect your staff to the world doesn't offer much bottom-line value in a competitive business environment.
More often than not, the determining factor in the effectiveness of a system boils down to the phone system features it offers. The available menu of features lets you fine-tune your package based on price, functionality and other factors. Some features are designed to improve call center or employee extension capabilities, while others are useful for business owners or company managers. Here's a small taste of the phone system features that are available to you in a top-tier business phone solution.
- Auto attendant. Auto attendant features are almost mandatory for companies that receive a high volume of inbound calls. Callers select departments/extensions through a series of keypad or voice prompts, reducing the load on call center personnel.
- Caller ID. Caller ID is a useful convenience for busy management and staff resources. With this feature, you'll be able to see who is calling before you answer the phone. When integrated with CRM, you can have the person's entire database entry in front of you from the outset of the conversation.
- Voicemail. There is no substitute for a quality voicemail application. As small businesses become increasingly mobile, the need to stay on top of voice messaging is greater than ever. VoIP system integration even makes it possible to receive voice messages as e-mails.
- Auto call forwarding. Another feature that is gaining popularity in widely distributed or mobile companies is auto call forwarding. Instead of going to voicemail, calls can be automatically forwarded to home, cell or other phone numbers.
- Silent monitoring. Companies that rely on heavy call center usage need features that let supervisors monitor conversations. Silent monitoring features give management an easy way to eavesdrop on conversations in real-time.
- Headset capability. Headset and hands-free devices are more than a convenience. Staff and management often need the ability to perform keyboard functions during conversations. Speakerphone is nice, but headset capability minimizes workplace noise and ensures call privacy.
- Do not disturb. As an owner or manager, sometimes you have to lock yourself in the office just to get some work done. Instead of making your assistant run interference for you, do not disturb features eliminate phone interruptions and manage messaging when you're off-line.