Basic business telephony solutions are great, and continue to do their job, but there are circumstances in which your business will outgrow that solution, and it might just be time to upgrade.
Here are some signs that it’s time for something more advanced. Since the telephone is something we take for granted, this probably won’t be on your radar until the shortcomings are truly glaring and impossible to ignore.
An example might be the number of messages your receptionist is taking, if you have one. If written messages keep piling up, or voice calls are being managed by sending email or chat alerts to employees, then VoIP can save much unnecessary effort.
VoIP can offer a “straight to voicemail” function, so that if you know somebody is out of their office, the voicemail is doing the effort of the message-taking, not anybody who’s being paid by the hour.
Of course, this manual task is a standard feature of most systems – namely auto attendant – but most don’t have a switched system and make do with a live receptionist.
Straight to voicemail is also advantageous if the person being asked for is on another call. The reflex response for many phone operators when they see the red light beside someone’s extension to show they’re on another call is to take a message for them. This costs money. By deferring the call over to the person’s voicemail, they’ll see the alert for the call on their desk phone as soon as they get off of the call they were just on.
Another example is for employees who frequently receive telemarketing calls. Despite your reasonable efforts to block these intrusions, some manage to keep getting through. Sometimes the receptionist can tell from the call display it’s a telemarketer, or even from the first spoken words once answering the call. Either way, those calls can go straight to that person’s voicemail. You benefit on both ends, as the call does not waste the employee’s time as well as making the receptionist’s job easier to manage.
Speaking as a former telemarketer, I can tell you the easiest way to get rid of someone like me is to send my call straight to voicemail. Telemarketers don’t leave voicemails. If I was a caller with a more productive purpose, I would be more likely to leave a voicemail.
To assess just how useful this specific function might be, try sitting down at your reception desk for an hour, and take a minute-by-minute report of how the receptionist’s time is being managed. Then, take note of the circumstances in which you think some time could have been saved by using the straight-to-voicemail feature.