Know-how  | Topic: [Hosted Voice]
   

Top 5 exceptional features of a cloud based phone system

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Cloud based phone systems come with a vast set of features and functionality. However, as an IT Manager, you have better things to be doing rather than sifting through product sheets to find the difference between each vendor.

We know first-hand that there are hundreds of standard features that you come to expect from cloud based phone systems. We also recognise that there are some really stand out features of a cloud based phone system.

We’ve highlighted five exceptional features that we think you ought to know about.

1.  Acoustic Fence Technology

Crystal clear HD voice is now fully expected with any enterprise grade cloud based phone system. Just because it’s common doesn’t make it any less exceptional. Going one step further, the exceptional feature provided in the best cloud based phone systems is the acoustic fence.

Acoustic fence keeps business conversations uninterrupted by vastly improving the voice experience.  With a Polycom device, the rustling of paper and colleague background noise is faded out using echo cancellation technology. With multiple microphones embedded in the phone, a virtual audio fence is created so you can focus on the current call, rather than the distractions around you.

HD voice and acoustic fence is extended to video for compatible desk phones and conferences phones. This is great for board room style meetings with lots of participants.

2.  Never Miss a Call

Never missing a call is now a reality rather than a desire. There are several options to employ at each level of the phone system.

For users, you always have the option to have your business phone number with you. In the office, you have your desk phone. Outside the office, you can utilise softphone apps for a user’s mobile, tablet or laptop.

If you are working in the office, you’re likely at your desk phone. If this is engaged, or unavailable due to service impacting events like a power outage, pre-programmable diverts can be setup to route to different users or groups.

The same applies to group phone numbers like call queues or hunt groups. Hunt groups can have the same incoming call treatment applied. Call queues can also offer more advanced functionality like transferring to voicemail, informing the position in the queue or offering a call back at a more convenient time.

3.  Self Service

For businesses that receive a high volume of incoming calls, teams often feel the stress of trying to answer each call within a set time. Rather than increasing the burden on your incoming team, cloud based phone systems provide a more productive alternative.

Introducing options on your auto attendant that provide answers to the most frequently asked questions remove the need to a caller to speak to a physical person. The first step to this is investigation.

Finding out your most frequently asked questions could be derived from reporting on your current calling options. If 50% of callers hit the option for parking enquiries at your hotel, you could change this option to read instructions or direct the caller to a website with all the information.

If you do not have this information available, you could conduct a manual audit. Here, your team takes a sample of what each call is for. The most common queries can then be promoted to the first few options on your auto attendant. The number of calls needing to route through to a human should dramatically drop. The information stored in the auto attendant removes the need for humans to conduct low value tasks.

4.  Team Collaboration

Once you’ve cracked your external communications, cloud based phone systems can also improve internal communications. Communications are no longer restricted to the telephone. Adoption of real-time communication mediums like instant messaging, video and screen sharing improve productivity within internal teams.

No longer  restricted to voice communications, your teams can get together as and when they need to, from any location. Waiting for meeting rooms to become free and late starting meetings due to missing attendees disappear.

According to BroadSoft, $37bn is wasted annually in the US due to inefficient meetings. Furthermore, the addition of technology to replace these inefficient meetings also boots overall team workflow by 40%. By simply adopting the full technology available through a hosted platform, you are taking the first step to transforming your business.

5.  Enhanced Analytics

Bill Gates famously said, “You can’t change what you can’t measure”. This is completely relatable when talking about cloud based phone systems. With traditional on-premises deployments, your reporting is restricted to the call information you receive on your bill at the end of the month.

Modern cloud phone systems provide a robust suite of web-based tools that provide enterprise-level analytics. Cloud-based analytics completely change the game when it comes to business planning and customer service. Rather than using your reporting capabilities to check your bill is correct, you can start to utilise analytics to identify patterns and trends as people contact your business. This suite of services delivers completely customisable historical and real-time insights related to all extensions, devices and groups within a business or department.

Delving further into cloud analytics, we see the introduction of customer journey mapping. Here, you can see the entire experience that the caller has received. As soon as the call is connected, the journey is tracked. Customer journey analytics show key presses, hold time and any point where the call is transferred. You can use to drive continuous improvement across your customer facing teams.

When evaluating cloud phone systems, there are a lot of features that can easily consume your time. Instead of going through each feature with a fine-tooth comb, lean on your service provider. Once you’ve captured your telephony requirements, deciding the most crucial features should become clear. View the next blog post in the series here.

 

If you would like to find out more, then you may like to read one of our other blogs or downloads, or request a conversation with one of our consultants. We are always happy to discuss, without obligation.

Useful Resources

Complete guide to hosted voice  <https://www.sas.co.uk/learning/complete-guide-to-hosted-voice>

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 Editor's notes: Published on January 7 2019

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