Best Phone Features
What top features should you look for in a cloud Business Phone System?
From an IT perspective, among the most important cloud-based business phone features are those that make it easy to manage. Within many systems, a new generation of intuitive browser interfaces enable IT to quickly add new lines, rearrange phone extensions, reorganize call-flow processes, and more…without wading through confusing menus.
And while traditional business phone systems now provide some of these easy management features, they still have one big disadvantage over cloud voice systems – IT has to perform the bulk of the system management. By moving your phone system to the cloud, you shift this entire area of responsibility to a cloud voice vendor who specializes in phone system management. By choosing a reputable vendor with an enterprise-grade cloud, you can be assured that your phone service will be reliable, high-quality, and secure.
Phone features for a mobile age
Many features of modern phone systems reflect the fact that more and more business is done on-the-go. One popular feature, called “Find Me, Follow Me” (“FMFM”), makes sure individual employees can be reached by phone no matter where they are. Companies can set rules to have a call forwarded in a specific order such as first desk phone, then mobile phone, then home phone—or to ring all lines at the same time. (Again, having an intuitive browser interface makes these configurations quick and easy.)
A related “Hunt Group” feature is designed for companies that receive a great deal of inbound sales or customer service calls. Hunt Group can be configured to ring all the phones (including cell phones) in a sales or service group simultaneously. It can also be set up to follow a protocol where the first available extension rings before rolling over to the next available extension in the group, repeating the process until someone picks up. Both FMFM and Hunt Group lessens the chances of a potentially important call being left unanswered or passing through to voicemail.
In an age of SMS and chat, do we still need to support voicemail?
There are so many ways for business people to communicate with each other that something as old as voicemail may seem out of date. But voicemail too has evolved. Good voicemail services enable users to access messages remotely and easily record and select multiple greetings to match the specific situation (out of office, in a meeting, on vacation, etc.). And when paired with Caller ID, voicemail provides a way for employees to ignore calls from unrecognized numbers while still capturing the caller’s intent.
Given the maturity of the phone market, the challenge is often to choose from among a myriad of providers—with the goal being to find a solution that makes it easy for you to add or remove features at reasonable price point.