New Business Phone System Makes the Difference

New Business Phone System Makes the Difference

My small business was growing in almost every way imaginable. Every way except the bottom line, that is. My company primarily does business over the phone, with over ninety percent of our sales coming across our telephone lines. When our call volume started to increase late last year, I hired several new employees to man our existing phone system. We updated our computer software, desktops and server to make order processing substantially smoother. We redesigned our website for easy navigation and ordering for internet customers. We even integrated our shipping department to handle an increase in orders. The phones were ringing off the hook several times throughout the day as our business increased, and we started to see a slight shift in the right direction for our profits. Still, I wondered if we were losing calls because of a lack of response time.

Our phone system simply routed incoming calls to any available phone. If no one was available, the customer would hear the phone ring until someone eventually picked up or until they got tired of waiting. I decided to have a trunk study performed, which is a method of finding out how many calls we were losing for not having enough lines. Sure enough, we were missing out on several hundred calls per day. During the busy times, people were calling and hanging up after being made to wait. There was no telling if they ever decided to call back. With office space already maximized to the point that I couldn’t hire additional employees for lack of a place to put them, I decided to update our phone system. We had several new lines installed and would now have the capability to route incoming calls that were not picked up within three rings to go to an automated message telling the customer to please hold for the next available representative. This helped quite a bit as now our busiest hours seemed to stretch out even longer. We then added desk phones with LCD displays so that our representatives could field up to five calls each. This meant that four less customers per desk would receive the same request to hold, but from a human being.

What was formerly a two hour stretch of nonstop business in the morning and afternoon turned into an all day affair. We then customized our message to inform customers that received the automated message of when the best times to call were, so that they would have the option of calling back at a less busy time. After all this, my business increased tenfold. All I can say is that if you do business over the phone and have times where your lines are ringing nonstop, you need to have a good business phone system in place or you might be losing money.

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Raising The Bar: Continuing Advances In Voip Technology

Raising The Bar: Continuing Advances In Voip Technology

VOIP technology has advanced to a stage where VOIP is no longer an interesting start up, but a strong and valid technological force that offers so many benefits, not the least of which is huge savings in long distance phone calls. Many businesses have gone from expensive and complicated intra-office phone systems to switching to a VOIP system because of the increase in efficiency and strong decrease in cost. The continuing advancement of VOIP technology is what makes this possible.

Residential VOIP refers to the software that allows you to download the technology onto your computer and then communicate with family, friends, and acquaintances in the same way you would on the telephone, but your computer is used as a telephone instead. Because the technology is based on phone communication through the Internet, anyone you want to contact will also need to download the same technological software on their computers, but don’t worry, this is actually very easy!

What if you still want to call people who don’t have VOIP? One of the smartest technological advances by the companies encouraging the development of VOIP technology was creating an adaptor. An adaptor hooks up to a regular phone, and hooks it up to your VOIP so you can still use the residential VOIP to call any phone, whether it is a VOIP phone, a landline, or even a cell phone! This little piece of equipment allows you all the benefits of VOIP without any of the potential restrictions that could make people hesitant to invest in this service.

With the advancement of portable VOIP phones (Vonage is perhaps the best known company that provides this service), the question has been brought up of whether or not VOIP phones will be able to ever replace cell phones, and what would the difference be? While the technology is there for this to happen, the infrastructure isn’t there yet; though it is getting closer with each passing day.

The advantage of this would be that VOIP would be far cheaper, since long distance wouldn’t cost nearly anything and there would be no restriction on minutes. A wireless VOIP phone is also referred to as a “Wi-Fi VOIP phone,” and needs networks in the same way wireless internet needs networks, to work, but more are popping up every day, and many cities plan to increase the number of hot spots, which would make this a more and more viable option.

Many cell phone companies, sensing ahead of time what this could mean for them if they refuse to adapt, now design phones that not only work as regular cell phones, but also have features that allow the user to switch to their VOIP account if they are close enough to a hot spot. While complete VOIP is a long ways off, the beginning structures are there, and as the VOIP technology improves, it would not be surprising to head towards the day where VOIP isn’t a side game, but the main choice available to all phone users.

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Features Of The Modern Business Phone Systems

Features Of The Modern Business Phone Systems

The most unique feature of today’s phone systems is that they link phone, computer and fax into one integrated package. Many businesses do this by installing their own wiring, called CAT5e, instead of using the old phone company cables.

All systems begin with the basic ability to send and receive local and long-distance calls world wide. Common features include call waiting, call forwarding, remote access, and caller ID. For business applications, phones must offer more. Perhaps one of the most useful features is the auto-attendant. When customers call in, they hear an automated menu of options. This may include instructions to press particular numbers to reach divisions within the business (press 1 to reach sales, press 2…etc.). Menus can be set up to automatically change after regular hours and on the weekends.

To avoid customers feeling as if they have been dropped into space while on hold, most systems have music on hold features. More sophisticated systems can allow different types of music to be programmed for different types of customers.

When the call is moved from the switch board to an employee, other features are important. The system should provide unlimited extensions. Each extension should have a message created by the employee that comes on when there is no one available to answer the phone. As well, there should be a means of identifying callers (caller ID), saving messages (voice mail), forwarding calls when the employee is at another desk, and sending calls when the employee is out of the office. Of particular value is the “hot desk” feature. This allows employees to move from desk to desk, taking their calls and voice mail with them.

To handle both voice and data transmissions, phone systems must have dedicated lines for each. A voice T1 system allows for 24 channels per phone line with 24 separate numbers. T1s are also used for Internet access. Internet download and upload speeds vary depending on the equipment used. Integrated T1 systems carry both voice and data on one line. VoiP (Voice over Internet Protocols) is a system for using the Internet to carry phone calls. There are a number of advantages to VoiP, including the ability to plug into the internet and make free calls from anywhere in the world.

It is essential that the phone system be able to handle conference calls. The proper phone bridge permits an unlimited number of internal participants and as many external callers as there are phone lines. Some systems even have the capability for handling unlimited external callers. With video conferencing more popular, phone lines can be used to carry both voice and video images.

There are many different systems available, and each one of them offer its own array of features especially suited for today’s companies. Most can be easily upgraded with new components.

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How Your Business Can Save 40% Every Month By Using VoIP

How Your Business Can Save 40% Every Month By Using VoIP

The way that small and medium sized businesses can save significant amounts of money on their monthly communications costs is switching to Voice Over IP also known as VOIP. VOIP is a technology that has had a lot of attention over the last few years, but due to the uncertainty and how unreliable it was, the adoption of the technology has been slower than expected. Small and mid-sized businesses have been the slowest of all segments to adapt to VOIP, mainly due the concerns about the type of support that is required to implement and maintain the solution. Over the last couple of years the technology has matured, as well as the quality of internet connections, to the point that VOIP should be considered by all businesses.

VOIP offers several benefits over traditional phone systems:

VOIP Saves Businesses Money and is Cost Efficient – VOIP offers free local calling on most standard plans which traditional phone systems still charge $.08 per call. VOIP typically includes either unlimited Long Distance or large blocks of time that essentially make the calls free. For most small businesses, either their local calls or long distance usage volumes will cause a significant reduction in monthly spend when switching to a VOIP solution. VOIP is also used over an internet connection which is used for both voice and data, which eliminates the need for multiple connections. In the future, all that will be needed is increased bandwidth as applications for your business continue to grow, but a change to your phone system will not be necessary.

VOIP Does Not Require Equipment Upgrades – When VOIP was first introduced, large equipment upgrades were needed which was a deterrent to businesses adopting the technology. Today, there are adapters that are available that convert digital signals to analog and make all existing phones systems, even simple pots lines, adequate for VOIP technology.

VOIP Makes Video, Audio and Data Integration Easier – The biggest benefit of VOIP technology will not be realized today, but in years to come. Internet Protocol or IP is quickly becoming the future of all communications including phones, TV, computers, etc. The use of IP gives businesses the ability to integrate their phones with their faxes and their computers with the video systems.

VOIP Offers Flexibility – With VOIP, businesses can more easily relocate their workforce, move calls so that they can match their load with their force, and use Virtual Telephone numbers to give their business a presence in a city that it does not physically exist. It is very common with VOIP for a local Chicago number to be answered by a rep in another state or even another country.Voice over IP (VoIP) is the future of telecommunications.

Experts agree that VoIP will eventually replace the PSTN, and the technology is already rapidly gaining ground. Traditional voice carriers, cable MSOs, and alternative providers with various business models are all aggressively trying to capture a piece of the VoIP market. If you haven’t done so yet, you owe it to yourself and your business to inquire about the options available with VOIP for your business. It is a switch that will save money and time in the short and long run. Most businesses have seen a 40% reduction in monthly communications costs with the switch to VOIP.

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