Effective communication is crucial to business success, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems are enabling small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to improve how they connect with their customers.

VoIP is a phone service provided over the internet instead of a traditional landline. It offers a lot of useful features that make your calling experience much richer. Below is a list of basic and advanced VoIP features to consider.

Basic features

These are standard features that are usually included in the monthly service at no extra cost:

#1. Caller ID

This feature gives the caller’s key information, such as name and phone number, so you can decide whether to take, reject, block, or forward the call.

#2. Voicemail

When you cannot take a call, voicemail prompts the caller to leave a message that you can listen to later.

#3. Call forwarding

A call will never go unanswered again since this feature transfers a call to another phone, number, or service like voicemail. For example, if you will be out of the office, you can program the call to be automatically redirected to your mobile device from your desk phone.

#4. Call queuing

When a company is overwhelmed by incoming calls, this feature allows you to answer them in the order you receive them. It also lets you set up announcements while callers are on hold to inform them of the estimated waiting time or that some answers to their questions might be available online.

#5. Music on hold

Many callers tend to hang up after being put on hold for extended periods. To keep them entertained while waiting, VoIP systems offer a variety of music options.

#6. Three-way calling

VoIP systems allow you to talk to three people at once with this feature. It works by calling the first person, then placing them on hold while you call the second person. The first person then joins the conversation.

#7. Address book

This stores names and phone numbers of contacts on your phone, in the control panel, or within a company directory. Some VoIP systems even allow storage of email addresses via a Microsoft Outlook integration, but usually at an additional cost.

Advanced VoIP features

While some of the following features may already be included in a business VoIP package, some may come at an additional cost:

#1. Voicemail to email

This feature goes beyond the basic voicemail feature by emailing the digital recording directly to your inbox, instead of having to listen to conventionally taped recordings. Voice messages could even be converted into text then sent via email.

#2. Find me/follow me

Building on the call forwarding feature, find me/follow me lets you define the path of incoming calls. For example, you can have the call first ring your desk phone. If unanswered after a few seconds, the call is transferred to your mobile phone, then to another device if still unanswered. If the call completes the predefined path without being answered, it can then failover to your voicemail. Instead of following a personalized sequence, the call can also ring all of your devices at once so you can answer whichever device is nearest to you.

#3. Auto attendant

Acting like a virtual receptionist, an auto attendant answers calls and provides voice menu options to route calls to the right extension or department without the use of a live operator. It also offers music on hold that can be customized for extensions and groups.

#4. Real-time call reports and analytics

This feature allows you to gain insight into how many calls you receive at a given time, how long each customer is put on hold, how long each call lasts, and other valuable information that can help streamline your business and boost productivity.

#5. Audio and video conferencing

Great for remote teams, audio and video conferences give the impression of being in the same room, which is a great alternative to face-to-face meetings. It typically includes tools for screen sharing, screen drawing, and more, enabling easier collaboration.

#6. Call recording

One of the most sought-after business VoIP features, call recording allows business owners to record calls and listen to them later on. This is particularly relevant for training and quality assurance purposes, especially for companies that deal a lot with customer service.

#7. Database integration

For a smoother workflow, some VoIP systems enable integration with other business tools such as support ticket systems, customer relationship management (CRM) applications, chat, email, and many other tools.

The right set of VoIP features can empower your calls

With an abundant array of VoIP features to choose from, SMBs can provide their customers with the kind of calling experience that was once associated only with larger companies. This allows you to stay competitive even against companies with larger budgets.

Let Red Key Solutions customize a VoIP solution for your business’s specific needs. We’ll equip you with the right communication and IT tools so you can grow fearlessly and outpace your competition. Schedule a consultation with us today!

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