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What is VoIP and What Are Its Features?

You have probably heard of the term ‘VoIP’ many times.  Voice over Internet Protocol, more commonly known as VoIP, has commercially been around since 1995.

VoIP is an advanced business communication technology that allows anyone to place phone calls over an internet connection instead of using traditional or analog phone systems.  It enables you to use the same business phone number across multiple devices such as your mobile phone, laptop, tablet, or computer, allowing you to communicate with clients anytime, anywhere.

With distributes workforces everywhere, VoIP has become the go-to communications solution for businesses worldwide.

Below is a list of features that will help guide you when choosing a VoIP provider.

API Integration

API is the acronym for Application Programming Interface.  This advanced feature allows enterprises to automate business processes by connecting two or more applications and allowing those systems to exchange data between each other, enhancing productivity through a more streamlined sharing process.

Auto Attendant

The auto attendant is a pre-recorded response that allows enterprises to answer, escalate, and direct all incoming calls to the designated department, removing the need for a 24-hour on call receptionist.

With an auto attendant, you can:

  • Maximize your budget.
  • Return calls promptly.
  • Make customers happy.

Barge, Whisper, and Spy

This collective feature allows users to silently join and listen to conversations between an agent and a customer.

This feature particularly proves beneficial for teams undergoing training, allowing leaders to coach their agents and observe how they interact with their customers.

Bulk Provisioning

The ability to add or modify a large number of phones, user ID’s, or device profile at the same time.  This feature is beneficial for large enterprises that are looking to make big changes to their overall system, eliminating the need to make adjustments one by one.

Business SMS

Through Smart Choice’s business SMS feature, users can leverage the power of their VoIP system to send messages to their colleagues and customers.

Send unlimited messages, contact engineering teams on site, and update your customers.

Call Analytics

Understanding your customers through data-powered analytics is one of the many ways to keep your customers happy.

VoIP runs on many different devices, including desk phones and softphones.  Through sentiment analysis, call session metrics, behavioral trends, agent performance, and queue statistics, you will be able to record and process data in no time.

Call Block

Call blocking removes the need to answer unnecessary calls and prevents specific numbers from calling your phone number or company hotline.

Call Forwarding

The beauty of VoIP is the ability to take your work number on the go.  When you are out of the office, you can route calls received by office phones to your mobile phone or other devices.

This feature gives you the advantage to take calls anywhere and seamlessly interact with customers regardless of your location.

Call Park

Call parking allows anyone in your team to enable call waiting until the right person can take the call.   It also allows a user to put a call on hold from one phone and continue the conversation on another phone from anywhere in the world.

Call Presence

Call presence is the ability to view other device user’s ‘status’ on their phone display.  Get the ability to see which users or extensions are available,

Call Recording

VoIP makes it easy to record calls.  Call recording is a secure way to record audio files of a conversation in the cloud.  With full visibility of agent and customer conversations, you can improve customer service and business performance.

  • Enhance staff coaching and training
  • Boost customer retention
  • Set quality standards
  • Improve revenue generation

Call Reports

The ability to review call activity in real-time and place reports in a CSV file.

Call Screening

A feature that pre-screens a caller by asking for their name/message before connecting both parties with one another.  The receiver can then choose whether to be connected with the caller or send them to voicemail.

Call Waiting/Transferring

Allows a call receiver to control whether an incoming caller should wait and transferred to another person when on another line.

Conference Bridge

A conference bridge is a feature that allows you to add more than three individuals to a call.  With Smart Choice’s conference bridge, you can create customized greetings and guide your callers to successfully join the bridge.

CRM Integration

Seamlessly integrate your VoIP system with your customer relationship management software of choice.  Through the integration, all information is automatically synced between the two tools, so you do not have to swap between the two.

Custom Music or Message on Hold

Entertain your callers while they wait to speak with you through your preferred music or message of choice.  This can range from your company’s official voice over recording to a series of classical music.

Directory Dialing

Eliminate the need to bring a manual directory with you or search through your full list of contacts to dial a number.  With VoIP, you can have personal and corporate contacts directly programmed to your VoIP powered phone.  With the Smart Phone, you’re one log in away from having all your contacts in one place.

Distinctive Ring

This feature allows users to configure different ring tones for other callers and departments.

Do Not Disturb

This feature enables users to set their phone status to ‘unavailable,’ directing calls to their voicemail, another individual, or department without ringing their extension.

Drag and Drop

This feature gives its user the ability to answer calls through their desk phone. Quickly pick up, hang up, and transfer calls within a company’s network.

Google Chrome Integration – Click to Call

This click-to-call feature via Google Chrome is a browser-based plugin that allows users to click a phone number in a browser and have the number dialed directly from the user’s phone.

Inbound and Outbound Custom Caller ID

This feature gives you the ability to customize inbound and outbound callers IDs with a specific phone number and area code.

Individual Direct in Dial Numbers

Individual direct in dial numbers enables you to bypass and auto attendant or receptionist to reach a user directly. This feature is excellent for individuals who contact each other regularly.

Find Me/Follow Me

Both Find Me and Follow Me allow users to ring phones in a predetermined sequence until a user or voicemail picks up.

IVR with Voice Recognition

This robust feature enables an automated computer system to interact with your customers over the phone, prompting the system to interpret and understand verbal communication from callers.

Callers can choose options by pressing digits on their phone or speaking verbally to address their concerns.

LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol)

LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) is a software protocol that enables users to locate organizations, individuals, and other resources such as files and devices in a network, whether on the public Internet or a corporate intranet.

Missed Call Notification

Users can receive email notifications every time a call is missed.

Number Porting (Keep Your Existing Contact Numbers)

If you already have a business phone number, there is no need to reinvent the wheel.

Many VoIP providers let you keep your existing phone numbers from any carrier and port it to your new VoIP system. Remove the need to alert your contacts that you have a new number and make communication hassle-free.

Online Fax (eFax)

With VoIP, there are multiple ways to fax online.

Send and receive faxes directly from an email address or a traditional fax machine.

Simultaneous Ring

Get the flexibility of answering a call from any device. This ring feature provides its user with the peace of mind that they’ll never miss a call, even when away from their desk.

Single Sign-On

Stop using different login credentials every time you need to access your collaboration apps. You can use one username and password for all communications-related apps and devices with the single sign-on feature.

SIP Trunking 

SIP trunking is the acronym for Session Initiation Protocol. It provisions voice over IP connectivity between an existing on-premise phone system, and the public switched telephone network (PSTN).

Softphone (Mobile App)

VoIP enables users to take their business phone numbers with them. Traditional telephones are great to have at a desk, but it’s more beneficial when you can make and receive calls on any device. A VoIP-powered softphone makes this possible.

With Smart Choice, the softphone is a mobile app that you can download to your mobile phone, tablet, laptop, or computer.

It takes two minutes to download, and once logged in; you’ll be making calls everywhere you go.

Speed Dial

Get the ability to create a pattern of digits that users can dial to make calls swiftly, whether inside or outside of your organization. This feature works on both the mobile softphone app and physical desk phone.

Toll-free Number

Customer-oriented enterprises tend to have toll-free numbers.

Provide easier access for customers to reach you from anywhere.

Upgrade Options

Upgrade your VoIP system and take it to the next level through Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS). UCaaS incorporates internet-based phone and messaging into a full-featured communications platform – including live chat, analytics, and CRM platforms.

Virtual Extensions

A VoIP system that forwards inbound calls so that users can receive them on various devices.

Voicemail 

When you can’t take a call, provide your callers with the option to leave a voicemail.

This allows callers to feel that they can expect to hear back from you. It also prompts you to respond, address any tickets, and take action. The voicemail feature allows callers to leave an audio message, and the system informs you when there’s a new message.

Voicemail Greetings

Voicemail greetings are a great way to let your callers know that you are unavailable to take their call.

Voicemail to Email

This feature provides the ability to receive voicemails to the user’s email address. Get text transcriptions of a voicemail in the body of an email, as well as an audio file as an attachment.

Voicemail Transcription

It’s easy to overlook specific details. Transcribe your voicemails to text and send them to your inbox, whether via SMS or email.

Web Receptionist

This feature gives you the ability to view current phone users, voicemails, and transfer calls through one portal.

Web Portal

View all call operations and flows through a web portal.  This portal authorizes you to oversee usage,

Looking to get started but unsure whether VoIP is right for your business?  Check out how it is essential for today’s distributed workforces here.

Smart Choice Communications is a technology company based out of New York City with a unique portfolio of solutions including UCAAS, collaboration, software and analytics, dedicated contact centers, security, infrastructure, and managed connectivity. Through its unsurpassed white-glove service and 24x7x365 U.S. based support, it has grown to become one of the largest award-winning PBX/SIP providers in North America.

 

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