VoIP Business Phone Systems - [full guide for 2023]
Posted by: Ann Jones
VoIP Phone System – Everything you need to knowIf you have spent more time than you should have on finding out what exactly a VoIP Phone System is, what are the benefits, and how to install it, you can finally stop looking and start reading. We have compiled an up to date guide to put an end to your everlasting quest to enrich yourself with the knowledge of a VoIP Phone System.
Table of contents:
- What is VoIP and how does it work?
- The benefits of VoIP technology
- Requirements you need to meet to set up a business VoIP solution
- Top 18 VoIP phone system features [Bonus: The most 7 Advanced Ones]
- VoIP plans and prices
- Mediums: Desktop app, mobile app, or IP phone
- Choosing the best VoIP provider for your business
- Other FAQ
- How to switch over to VoIP
What is VoIP and how does it work?Basically put, VoIP uses the internet to connect calls, rather than the traditional old copper lines laid down to connect landline calls. VoIP means voice over internet protocols. The VoIP uses digital channels rather than the analogue channels did, through a public switched telephone network. Of course, there is more to it than just that. How the magic happens is a different story. Your analogue voice signal is the input into whatever VoIP service provider you may be using to conduct these calls. The service provider then converts the analogue signal into a digital signal, uploads it to the cloud, so the receiver can download it on their side and convert it into understandable human analogue form. All conversations can be stored in the cloud as well, just in case you need to look back at past conversations. If you are worried about how VoIP may affect your internet speed, you shouldn’t. Aside from the technology using very little bandwidth to operate, NUACOM can set up a dedicated lane on the information highway just for your calls.
The benefits of VoIP technologyNow that you have familiarized yourself with what exactly a VoIP phone system is, and how to use it, you can get started on what’s so great about it. We have compiled a list, stating all the benefits of using a VoIP phone system.
VoIP Call QualityThere are many advantages to changing over to VoIP, for once the extremely enhanced and better call quality. This is because your call quality is related to how good your internet connection is, and not related to how good the copper lines are, that are used for the traditional phones.
Eradicating Engaged ToneIt comes with the ability to have limitless calls being handled at any one time. Existing or potential clients can get rather frustrated with that ?call engaged? tone they get when trying to contact you. This may lead to loss of leads, or even worse loss of existing customers. Luckily with a VoIP phone system, this type of issue is a thing of the past. Customers are added to a virtual queue, rather than being cut off.
MobilityVoIP also comes with the added advantage of being able to receive calls from wherever you may be. If someone from your sales team is out of the office and a customer calls looking specifically for him/her, you no longer need to let them down with that famous phrase ?They’re not here right now, can I take a message?. Whoever is handling the call at the front desk can just go ahead and transfer the call to their mobile device. This advantage also proves useful for other reasons. For example, when certain individuals may be working remotely from home or even abroad. All this internet traffic can be monitored by the account holder by using the portal.
FlexibilityFlexibility is always an added advantage in any kind of line of work. VoIP extends that flexibility to many more businesses. Account-holders and managers can make changes to their VoIP profile and settings without the hassle of having to call a technician in. Things like call flow, ring strategy, and a whole lot of other features.
ScalabilityBusinesses can go through great growth spurts and have those rough times where they may need to cut back a little. When a business grows, it may have to hire new employees and retrench in times of a dip. Managing user profiles with the company can end up being rather costly. However, VoIP definitely helps with at least one aspect in that regard. Users can be added and deleted on the business system easily by again, the account holder and managers. Offering a massive advantage in the form of scalability.
ResilienceEven though you may not think it, VoIP offers a lot in the way of resilience. In a VoIP network, you run the risk of having all communications down when there is no network.? This may be due to a power outage or even just issues with the ISP. Luckily, you have the option to jump back quickly.? When a landline phone connection shuts down, you may end up spending hours or even days without telecommunications. VoIP only requires a strong internet connection. Backups like VoLTE can be introduced in such scenarios. Everything still runs the same, yet you will only be operating over a mobile connection as opposed to a fixed-line connection.
IntegrationsIntegration is so much smoother with VoIP products. VoIP allows you to integrate your phone system with many other IT systems. Things like your CRM, live chat with customers, and help desk.
Data ManagementData management is a lot more seamless and won’t take up nearly as much time or energy as before. Statistical data, analytical tools, and call logs will allow you to configure the structure in which your business operates to achieve the best possible outcome and the greenest bottom line.
Requirements you need to meet to set up a business VoIP solutionThis will possibly be the shortest segment of the article, which is very good news to you. Whereas some VoIP providers offer self-hosted onsite VoIP systems, others such as NUACOM offer a cloud-based VoIP system.? With an onsite system, you will need to install a VoIP-friendly Private Branch Exchange phone system. In the case of a cloud-based VoIP system, all you will need is
- A stable internet connection
- A reliable VoIP provider
- The medium in which to use the VoIP service (Laptops, cellphones, and/or deskphones).
Top 18 VoIP phone system features [Bonus: The most 7 Advanced Ones]
Working HoursInstead of having your customers listen to the phone ring out when your business may be closed, you can set up a time-based call routing system that alerts your callers of the company’s working hours if nobody is in the office. This feature also is able to redirect call flows based on the time of day. For example, calls can be directed to the weekend crew for calls made on the weekend. Calls then made during the week will then be redirected to those who work the normal Mon-Fri. My recommendation: set an automated message informing your working hours. For emergency enquiries, you can also give an option for callers to dial 1 to be connected to a duty manager.
Auto-attendantThe auto-attendant is the autopilot that can direct callers to the right department. The auto-attendant greets the caller with a pre-recorded greeting message. Different messages can be pre-recorded for different scenarios or departments within the call centre.
Voice menuThe voice menu is what is followed straight after the caller has been greeted by the auto-attendant This menu recites a list of possible options that the caller can choose from. For example, asking the caller to select 1 for sales or 2 for customer service. The call will then be directed to the relevant department, based on whatever option was picked. You can use the voice menu to route calls per person, department, location, product/speciality, or even type of contact (new clients, existing clients, resellers, partners, etc).
Call queuesWe all complain about having to be placed on hold. Yet what is significantly more annoying is not being able to get through, because of an engaged dial tone. Having to call over and over again can cause customers to become fed up and give up completely. Call queues allow the caller to stay connected, even if all lines in the company are busy. You can also use this time to offer information to frequently asked questions, reassuring the caller of how important their call is and even update them on how far they are in the queue. My recommendation: use an announcement per each queue. For the sales queue, you can mention any special offer you may be running. For the customer service queue, re-inform your callers about the quality of your service and some curious FAQ.
Queue callbackAdding on to the previous feature we mentioned, call queues? this feature can greatly help not losing out on those customers on busy days. After telling the caller what number they may be in the queue, you can offer to call them back when they are next in the queue. Almost like a ticket system at a bank for example. If your position in the queue is number 8, you can request a callback and step out to do something more constructive with your time.
Ring group and strategyAnother feature designed to boost the performance and efficiency of your company (and call queues). The ring group allows inbound calls to ring more than one agent, either linear, random or simultaneously. Using this feature along with the auto attendant and voice menu, callers get to talk to the person they need to with minimal hassle. For example, you can configure the ring strategy for the sales team to fairly distribute the incoming sales calls, and equally. My recommendation: there are 6 types of ring strategy you can choose from. The most used is the Ring All option, in which all extension from a group will ring simultaneously. Who picks up the call first will serve the caller. This option reduces the ASA (Average Speed of Answer) of your team drastically and helps improve your connection rate
Call recordingA feature very popular for training purposes and possible legal matters. ?Get it in writing?, something you hear when you’re worried someone may go back on their word. We often tend to get customers to email us instead of instructing over the phone for the exact same reason. Luckily VoIP systems are able to record any and all conversations, saving them safely in a cloud server.
Call transferOne of the biggest reasons why VoIP is so popular is because of the flexible call transfer function. Incoming calls to the system, whether it is being answered at the actual office premises, or from a remote location, it can be transferred to the relevant people. [Bonus] With our smart call transfer, you can transfer calls in 6 ways:
- Attended transfer: when you first speak to your colleagues, ask permission and then transfer the call.
- Blind transfer: when you do not speak to the person you wish to transfer the call to.
- Group Transfer: easily transfer calls to a department, not to a colleague. This way, anyone in that department can serve the client.
- Back to the voice menu: let your caller choose again their own call path.
- To your mobile: flip the call from your deskphone to your mobile for better mobility.
- To an external number: you can also transfer calls to a person outside your organization.
Call Conference RoomsEven though traditional landlines did have the conference call feature, it often ended up being messy and it was done away with anyway. The conference calls with VoIP are a lot more efficient and are not such a hassle. Conference calls can be done globally, at very little to no cost. You also don’t need to dial anyone in, anyone can join the call at any time as long as they have a unique room ID and password to join. Even though you can have a lot of people on a call, doesn’t really mean you want just anyone. Attention: in case you just need to add another person to your call, you can use our 3-way call conference feature, with no need for room IDs, nor passwords. Simple, straightforward and effective.
Call notesPen and paper methods of jotting down messages are probably not the most effective way of storing valuable, important customer data. Post-it notes get lost, it gets used to writing something else on or it somehow manages to end up being the official ball in the weekly office paper ball tournament. Even if you do manage to hang on to that little piece of paper, guarding it with your life for the whole day, what will you do with it tomorrow or the next day? Call notes make jotting down important information that relates to each and every incoming call, a lot easier when done on a digital platform. You can retrieve them by simply going to the history tab on your app and click on the related call. If you can’t easily find it, you can also use the search function in the User Portal, Call Logs. Anyone with the relative rights can access this information from anywhere, without having to communicate with the person taking the notes at all. This is a great way to keep track of any possible sales leads or projects you may be working on. It also gives you the ability to trace back to notes made, in case you need more information about the caller or just somehow forgot a very important detail about them.
DNDThe DND feature will stop any possible calls coming through to you on your device. This is a great tool to use in place of an out of office email, for when you are unable to attend to the callers. You can also customize what you wish the call flow to be when you activate the DND: should the call be forwarded to your voice mail, back to a ring group so your colleagues can handle it or divert to another number or extension (eg. reception).
Call waitingOn top of all these amazing features that come with transitioning to VoIP, this technology has ensured to bring all the good stuff over from analogue too. One of these features is Call Waiting. Call waiting is a function that really helps in making sure that someone can attend to every possible call that he/she receives. If one of your employees is on a call, and another possible customer is trying to get hold of them on the same line, that employee will be notified that another call is coming through. The receiver of the two calls can then either place the person they are talking to on hold and attend to the other caller, or call the other caller back at a more convenient time.
Speed dialIn an office environment the phrase time is money could not be more true. This applies to calling frequent numbers too. Not only by shaving those valuable seconds by entering a few digits instead of the whole contact number but also by not having to search through your address book of possible thousands of contacts. It is also well used to connect staff to suppliers, departments or even a different office within the same organisation.
Call pickupAnother time-saving feature along with VoIP phones. Call pickup is usually grouped by department or section of a company, perhaps individuals that work in close proximity to each other. Call pickup allows employees to pick up a colleague’s phone call from their own workstation. Perhaps the colleague in question is not available at the current moment, and one of their team members needs to take the call. Even though this proves useful in an office environment, people who have been working remotely benefit a lot more from this feature. Giving employees the power to take their colleague’s calls, even if they are in a completely different country.
Call forwardCall forwarding is more than just rerouting the call to another device, it has the many automatic features attached to it. Calls can be rerouted from the office to employee’s mobile devices if circumstances require they cannot be in the office at that time. Calls can also be directed to a different device or employee if the call isn’t answered within a certain time frame. You may also have to be away from the office and find yourself in an area with little to no reception. You can then organise calls to be redirected back to reception, or one of your colleagues that may be able to assist with the call.
Wrap-up timeA feature that lets you collect yourself, organize everything you have discussed on the previous call and let you prepare for the next caller. The wrap-up time is used in many different ways by employees. You as an admin can choose to give 60 seconds of break between calls for agents to work on the previous caller requests. For example, a new client may have just signed up with your company over the phone and you need a few seconds prior to taking the next call, to enter customise their order on your company’s database.
Call logs, reporting, and analyticsGood business practice is keeping all kinds of information, activity, sales, and client information stored away for possible future use. These uses can be training, quality, or even legal. You can achieve this and a lot more with call logs, reporting and analytics. This feature can be used to optimize data management, as it assists you in being able to analyse call volumes of the day or the week. It can show you things like who your most active agent may be, how many calls were missed, average call duration for every staff member, as well as a lot more. It can help you with planning around the busiest times of the day, for example, scheduling meetings at a time of the day when there is a minimal amount of incoming calls.
Music on holdNobody likes to be kept on hold, however, we cannot escape it all the time. You can have a company operating at 100% efficiency all the time, and those times will still come. Whether the call centre is having an extremely busy day, or maybe the employee handling the call needs to step away to attend to the caller’s request. Whatever the case may be, there will come a time where the caller will need to be placed on hold. Fortunately with VoIP technology, you are able to play pleasant music while putting the caller on hold. This will inevitably stop them from getting too frustrated and hang up.
Voicemail to emailAfter being away on vacation or a business trip, your employees will more than likely need to undergo that ghastly ritual of catching up on emails, messages, and all the other kinds of messages left for them while they were away. Luckily for VoIP phones, some of that burden can be lifted off your employee’s shoulders. The voicemail to email feature sends all voicemail messages received to their corresponding email. This can be done automatically if their DND status is lighting up too, giving you a happier, more efficient, and more organized employee.
Missed call email notificationsJust like with the voicemail to email, employees can also have missed calls sent directly to their email addresses. Taking the pressure off of them from having to keep making sure they haven’t missed any calls. Of course, you won’t get too much information on the email sent, as it is only a notification, but it will help employees keep track better.
Advanced featuresNow that we have covered the basics of VoIP technology, we’re going to delve deeper into some of the more advanced attributes VoIP can do for you. NUACOM covers both basic and advanced features. The advanced features are where things get real and you can truly see the amazing things VoIP can do for your business.
IntegrationsOne of possibly the best uses of NUACOM VoIP software is its integration. Creating a platform for users to jump between various software very easily. For example, users can integrate their NUACOM account with their HubSpot CRM account. Allowing them to properly view, track and follow up with their customers’ interactions, for calls, emails, meetings, in one place. Integrating with other software can really help in the efficiency and growth of your business.
Widget callbackThe callback widget allows your website visitors to connect via voice to one of your team members, in a few seconds. This is the best way to convert website traffic into hot sales calls.
Call tagsThe main attraction to call tagging is being able to classify calls in a way the business can benefit from. Not only can you create tags for ?missed calls?, ?answered calls?, or if they were outgoing or incoming, but also more detailed examples. For example, call tags can be made for things like First Call Resolution, New Sales Call, Follow up Call, Customized Order, and Case solved. Call tagging also helps you judge the efficiency of how your business is running. Just by looking at the tags, the duration of each call, and how many sales closed tags there are to follow up calls for example, you can judge where your company’s weaknesses may lie and how to strengthen those weaknesses.
Click to callAdding to efficiency, click to call is a feature offered by NUACOM to immediately call any number found on a browser. All you need is to have the application running in the background.
Automated caller IDAutomated caller ID lets you operate on a global scale, without having to lift a finger. Caller ID lets you dictate what the other person on the line may be seeing. For example, using one of your Irish numbers to connect with someone in Ireland. This is done because people are more likely to answer a call that is coming from their own country. Automated caller ID takes it one step further and implements this feature automatically. You choose what phone number from your list you wish to use as a caller ID when making calls to a particular country. Example: You can set your US number when ringing clients in the +1 region (US/CA). You can also set your UK number when calling clients in Europe. Then next time you make a call, the system will automatically pick the caller ID for you based on your settings. The result is a better connection ratio. Important: you can only choose numbers from your list of phone numbers. You can also purchase international numbers with us.
Real-time Call wallboardKeeping track of all telecommunication activity of the entire company from the comfort of your own desk. The Live Call Wallboard not only shows the status of all incoming and outgoing calls live on your phone system, but includes the metrics and statuses of the agents too. These metrics include things like the number of calls answered, missed and made. Giving you a better indication of how efficiently calls are answered and how you can improve your system. Other metrics include things like average talk time, average time someone is placed on hold giving the tools and resources to properly optimise call times and find innovative ways to reduce time keeping people on hold. Checking on the status of the agent lets you see who of your employees are on a call, available, offline and even whose phone is currently ringing.
Real-time call monitoringReal-time call monitoring is a great way for senior staff to mentor and train new employees while working on the job. Basically put, this feature allows the trainer to listen in on a trainee while conducting a call.
VoIP plans and pricesNUACOM offers a range of different pricing structures for different business sizes. You can opt to just receive the essentials, go for the unlimited, or even go for the premium services. We’re going to take a closer look at these options now, so you can properly decide where your business needs may lie.
For SMB and Scaling BusinessesSmall businesses don’t need all the bells and whistles that bigger companies have, some small businesses don’t need any at all. The unlimited plan, which was designed for smaller companies, has anything and everything they will ever need.? Unlimited calls to both landlines and mobiles, call recording, and auto-attendant are just some of the things an unlimited plan will give you, for $24,99 monthly. Some businesses might just want the absolute basics, and for the Essential plan at $9,99, it is a possibility.
EnterprisesThere will come a time in your business when you notice that switching between unlimited and premium does not become viable anymore. This is when your business has fully manifested into the enterprise you dreamed about. When this happens, your business will have a very unique set of needs and requires special care in optimizing a custom package for it. NUACOM offers you the option to assemble your own list of features and perks. They will help you with a custom build package, which will suit your business down to the ground.
StartupsNUACOM has designed the enterprise package to aid startups to achieve their full potential. We offer massive discounts for startups that opt for the Premium package and get up to 43% off for 6 months. Dropping the price from $34,99 to $19,99. It means all calls, all features, all benefits for less than our SMB solution.
Mediums: Desktop app, mobile app, or IP phoneNUACOM offers a range of products in the hardware sector for VoIP use. However, it is up to you to decide on how to utilize it. They have options from deskphones, headsets, conference speaker systems, and IP Phones. You can also decide to stick with old reliable, and just use your laptop or smartphone.
Desktop AppThe desktop application is ideal for those stay-at-desk employees. The employees in customer service, for example, those who deal with customer enquires, complaints and anything else that the employee in question can access on the system. The desktop app comes with a few extra features. Such as call tags, call notes and SMS functionality.
Mobile AppOur app for Android and iOS is a great tool for employees that are always on the go. You can access the platform from anywhere, using the same credentials you for the desktop app. The app can be used to handle calls from your own extension, access the business phone book, view their colleagues status? and communicate with them.
VoIP phones Types and ModelsThe purpose of this section is not to compare the models, nor to show you the best VoIP phones, but rather to inform you of the types of phones and models available in each category.
VoIP DeskphonesVoIP Deskphones look like normal landlines, however offer a lot more in terms of functionality. These devices transmit voice signals over the internet rather than the traditional copper phone lines. They offer many features that standard landlines phones don’t. For example, being able to log on, log out from a queue. You can also change the time-based call flow, set multiple extensions or callers ID, and more. NUACOM offers a range of VoIP deskphones, which you can pick from according to your budget and/or the structure of your company. For example, the Fanvil X3U can cost anything from nothing up to $55/$65 (Please contact us for prices in Pounds). These VoIP handsets were designed for general use, so they are normally used by most of the company’s workforce. The Fanvil X210 is best suited for the reception area of a medium to a large company. It comes with a side panel for over 100 extensions to different areas of the company. These extension buttons can be used for other actions too, not only for transferring calls. These desk phones start from $210/$260. The Fanvil X6U was made for the top executives at the company. Managers want reassurance that all telecommunications are being handled properly. These desk phones come with Bluetooth connectivity, perfect for cordless headsets. It also comes with an electronic hook switch to perform functions from a headset away from their desk. The most productive advantage of the X6U model is the side panel for viewing extensions status and performing actions. Prices for these phones start from $175/$210.
VoIP Cordless handsetsThe cordless phones were designed more for mobility than function. While still transferring voice over your internet, a call on the cordless phone can be taken anywhere within range of its docking station. Making it the perfect tool for making calls from the floor and not from the desk, phones like the Yealink W53p, starting from $114/$144.
VoIP Conference phonesConference phones were designed to be absolutely stationary. Calls made and received on this phone are done with the help of a great quality loudspeaker. Everyone from these said meetings can be a part of the call. The Yealink CP960 is a prime example of such a phone. Prices starting from $360/$430.
What kind of internet connection is needed for VoIP?A: We highly recommend fibre broadband connection, but any kind of internet connection will do for VoIP. Whether it’s an LTE or fixed line connection like fibre. It is however advisable to make sure that whatever option you choose, it offers sufficient speeds for a clear and good quality phone call and stability. We can also provide you with a device for managing traffic in your network and prioritising VoIP traffic if needed. It ensures high-quality calls.
Can I change my auto-attendant and call flow at any time?A: Yes. You can change these settings from the NUACOM user portal.
Can I record my own auto-attendant?A: Yes, you will have an option to upload an audio file with the greeting of your choice
Can I set my extension to ring on my smartphone and IP Phone at the same time for every incoming call?A: Yes, multi-device connectivity is one of our features.
Can I restrict some users’ views on some of the call events and logging?A: Yes, admin users can set and change the permissions for all of the accounts on the system
Is there a way to pause the recording of the phone calls?A: Yes, this is a common feature that is used when sensitive information like credit card details are given over the phone.
Can I use an international number for global calls?A: Yes, you can develop a local presence and offer local, national, and toll-free numbers from many countries all over the globe.
Can I see the details of my customers, concerning company name, address, and category?A: Yes, you can import your contacts with all of this information to NUACOM. You can also use the integration NUACOM has to offer and sync your Google contacts as well as pull all your CRM data through, for example from HubSpot.
Can I download call recordings and send them to specific clients?A: Yes, you can download, playback, and delete recordings.
What will happen if the power or the internet goes out?A: We’ve taken contingencies in that regard, as we don’t live in a perfect world and hiccups are bound to happen. We have implemented resilience tools that you can use to lessen the impact of these disasters. For example, calls can be diverted, staff can use the application off their smartphones. Companies mostly divert the calls to a different branch in cases like these.
Can I bring in any VoIP phone?A: Yes, just as long as they are unlocked and compatible with the system.
Does any home VoIP phones work with NUACOM?A: A VoIP phone is a SIP-enabled device and works perfectly with our system, no matter if you work from home or in the office.
What VoIP phones does NUACOM offer?A: We are an authorized reseller for Fanvil, Cisco and Yealink.
Does NUACOM offer VoIP phone home services?A: No, we are specialised in business VoIP solutions
If a VoIP services provider gives me a VoIP number, can I port it over to another service provider?A: Yes, you can. The portability is your right.
What does VoIP stand for?A: Voice over Internet Protocol.
How to switch over to VoIPChanging over to VoIP operated system has never been easier, if you just follow the following guidelines, you’ll be up and running in no time. Step 1: Choose a plan from our range of products or customize and build your own by clicking here. Step 2: Decide whether your company would run better with deskphones or softphones. Ideally, you can start with a softphone, which won?t require any additional startup and switch over to desk phones when you’re ready. Step 3: Take the exciting journey with a highly skilled professional from our team(if you have taken the self-configuration option), to migrate or build a new workflow. Step 4: About number portability, you can either migrate your original number, or opt for a new one from NUACOM. Even though this step is quite lengthy and can take a few days, calls can be rerouted to your new system immediately. Step 5: Sit back, and enjoy the world of new and exciting features of using VoIP. Now that you have all the knowledge on what exactly a VoIP system is, the pricing and flexibility. Consider getting in touch with us for the current special offers.
Posted in: VoIP Phone System on 20th January 2023