Features Available With VoIP Phones

Access to an abundance of meaningful business features has long been a major draw to Voice over IP (VoIP) phone service. With the right service provider, you can leverage features that save your business money, improve the efficiency of your operation and enhance the productivity of your staff.

In addition to providing basic communication service, VoIP phone service offers advanced features including:

  • Call Routing – Regardless of where your staff may be, many plans allow you to connect at the office, at home, on the road and across various devices.
  • Follow-Me Service – Especially useful for mobile staff, follow-me service allows you to create a list of phone numbers where you can be found. Incoming calls will be routed to these numbers in the order you requested – your office phone, cell phone, home phone, etc. — before sending a call to voicemail.
  • Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) – Especially important for call centers, ACD systems route calls to agents using a variety of parameters, including the first available agent, the best qualified agent, and more.
  • Auto Attendant – Like a digital receptionist, the auto attendant can play a standard greeting then route calls to the desired destination, such as employee extension, company directory or voicemail. Callers interact with a customized menu to choose an appropriate extension. Auto attendants improve professionalism and make even the smallest company appear big.
  • Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) – Some solutions can link data to a phone call. For example, if a customer calls a company representative, the CTI application uses the customer’s caller ID information to gather the customer’s data and display it on the screen – even before the call is answered.
  • Conferencing – Instant conferencing is a much sought-after feature for businesses. An audio or video conference can be initiated from any properly enabled IP phone. Most solutions come with many advanced capabilities, including invitations, monitoring, hand raises, muting and more. Conferencing eliminates costly meeting and travel expenses.
  • Voicemail to Email Transcription – Using this feature is a significant time and energy saver. You no longer have to listen to lengthy voicemails and scribble down notes. Instead, your voicemail messages are transcribed to text and sent to your email inbox. You have a clear written record of the call instead of hard-to-read notes you had to quickly jot down while listening to a message. You can also file, organize, delete, forward, search and perform all the other tasks with your transcribed voicemails that you normally do with your email messages.
  • Music on Hold – If you ever expect just one caller will be placed on hold, this feature is a must-have. You can customize the music or message you want your on-hold callers to hear (content must be licensed by the customer).
  • Call Reporting – VoIP solutions typically come with some level of reporting. You can evaluate bandwidth utilization and view your data usage over various time periods. With call detail reports, you can see details about inbound and outbound call history.
  • Call Screening – Using caller ID, the system can route calls based on parameters you establish. For example, you may want to send your VIP customers to a special servicing department.
  • Coaching Tools – Especially helpful for call center agents, you can listen in on their calls and give them advice while the call is in progress. The “barge” feature allows you to listen to a conversation without interrupting and the “whisper” feature lets you provide tips and other information to agents while they’re on the phone with a customer. These features help monitor agent performance and help supervisors develop effective training programs.
  • Standard Features – VoIP phone service comes with a wide range of advanced and standard phone features. Features included in Hosted VoIP solutions include voicemail, call waiting, call forwarding, call transfer, caller ID, do-not-disturb, and more.

These are just some of the most popular features VoIP offers businesses. And when you can access useful features such as these, your business could be well positioned for success. Whether big or small, your organization can run more efficiently with VoIP.

To learn more about VoIP solutions, download FairPoint Communications’ latest white paper, “The Complete Guide to Hosted VoIP.”

By providing more streamlined, intelligent and cost-efficient solutions, FairPoint Communications helps businesses of any size get the most from their voice applications. FairPoint offers two voice options: Hosted PBX and SIP Trunking. A cloud-based voice service, FairPoint’s Hosted PBX eliminates capital investments in telecommunications equipment. SIP Trunking leverages an organization’s existing on-premises equipment by connecting it to FairPoint’s advanced softswitch network. Both options simplify network requirements, provide access to enhanced features and lower operational costs.

For more information on FairPoint Hosted PBX or SIP Trunking solutions, visit http://business.fairpoint.com/advanced-business-services/voice-services/.

Chris is the former Vice President of Product Management at FairPoint Communications, a leading provider of advanced communications technology in northern New England and 14 other states across the U.S.