Cloud-based phone systems are rapidly changing the world of business and communications. If you are an entrepreneur or SME, these cloud or internet-based virtual phone systems can help your company achieve a level of sophisticated communication that you might not previously have thought possible or at least accessible. They offer great value for money (the cloud-based system means you can cut down on company hardware and will no longer need multiple phone lines). The only problem is choosing which of the many service providers you should go with. Look for one that at least offers these four things a cloud-based phone system must do:
1. Project Professionalism in handling Calls
Customers are the root of a company’s growth and profit. You want potential customers to be able to reach you at any time and still be able to receive professional service. Your phone service is another way of branding the quality and reach of your business, and the auto-attendant is one feature that a cloud-based phone system cannot do without.
Essentially, this feature is the recorded voice that gets your callers to the person or department they need. It is the one that prompts them with your predetermined choices, like press 1 for sales, 2 for customer service or 3 for billing, or allows them to access a company directory.
With the auto-attendant feature, your phone calls will sound professional whether you’re on the road, at home or in the office. And if you’re an entrepreneur or smaller company, you’ll love the fact that it makes you sound like a bigger, highly sophisticated company.
2. Allow optimum connectivity and accessibility
Never miss that all-important call. Your cloud-based phone system should make it easier to stay in touch with colleagues and to ensure potential clients can make contact with you whether you are at the office, on the road or at home. This means choosing a system that allows your staff to access your office phone system on the go, using their smartphones and laptops. Many cloud-based system providers offer smart phone apps so staff members can answer business calls on their mobile phones wherever they are.
For optimum connectivity you should also look for systems that enable calls to be forwarded or routed to the best device—desk phone, home phone or your mobile—to reach you at specified times of day. If you are in a meeting and miss calls, you don’t have to worry: a voicemail-to-email feature will allow you to see those missed calls in your inbox, hear your messages and respond more quickly.
3. Provide useful analytics
Long-term analytical tools are essential to growing your business. You should take advantage of features like “call log” to turn your phone system into a marketing and operations insight tool that helps you boost profits. The call log can provide you with valuable insight into the sales side of your business, allowing you to determine how long payment processing takes by phone or when successful sales calls are conducted.
The call log feature also enables you to see how your business is interacting with customers, gathering metrics such as the average time to resolve complaints by phone, or the geographic distribution of callers (areas customers are calling from). You can search and review all the calls your team makes and receives. All these metrics provide you with great insight to adapt marketing strategies or enhance reporting to investors.
4. Provide peace of Mind
Running a business is stressful enough; you don’t want to have to worry about missing calls in the event of a power outage or internet failure. For peace of mind, look for a cloud-based system that features emergency forwarding, enabling calls to be captured on your employees’ cell phones and other portable devices in such an event.
If you do run into problems, you also need to know that help is on hand. Look for 24/7 live tech support as a feature (but check customer reviews for consumer confidence, too).
While these are four main things a cloud-based phone system must do, so much more is on offer with these systems. Compared to the traditional business phone systems, a cloud-based one offers many exciting and affordable ways to manage and enhance your communications with clients, wherever, whenever.
This article was written by Thomas King, who upgraded his office phone system to cloud and found that it does make communication much easier.