VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a technology that has been around for some time, as mass market VoIP services were first launched in 2004. Basically, VoIP allows users to make and receive free voice calls over the Internet. More recently, providers have found increasingly innovative uses for VoIP technology that are helping businesses large and small to be more efficient, streamlining workflows and saving money simultaneously. Here are five innovative uses for VoIP that your business might be interested in:
1. Interactive voice recognition
Ever called a company and been greeted by a pre-recorded voice asking you to select the reason for your calling? “Please press 1 for…” and so on. This is an interactive menu based on a VoIP system. What’s more, as voice recognition software has developed, interactive VoIP menus have integrated this software to provide a more intuitive means for users to choose options. In the near future, software will develop to the extent that a customer will be able to explain their query as if they were talking to a human, and the VoIP-based interactive voice recognition system will work out who is the most appropriate employee to take the customer’s call.
2. Office integration
Most usefully, VoIP allows an office manager to create a linked-up network of phones that can communicate with each other and send each other information. For instance, VoIP would allow a system that shows via an online portal when any particular employee is currently on the phone. This helps their colleagues know whether a particular employee is preoccupied. More broadly, VoIP facilitates the integration of the phone system into other physical areas of the office. Need to be able to answer the door buzzer and unlock the door from your desk? A VoIP system makes it possible to talk to your visitor and let them in, all through your desktop phone handset.
3. In-call employee coaching
The fact that a VoIP phone system is entirely integrated gives rise to some especially useful features. One feature, known as ‘barge,’ allows one employee to listen in on the phone call of another employee with or without their knowledge. This is invaluable for managers looking to monitor their team and give valuable feedback based on their call performance. An equally useful feature is ‘whisper,’ which gives one employee the ability to talk to another employee during a call without the user at the other end of the line being aware. Again, this could come in handy for managers hoping to coach their team members during calls as well as before and after.
4. Call routing and forwarding
The routing and forwarding capabilities of VoIP are almost endless. A customer who calls can be directed to an interactive menu (as mentioned above), a group of phones or even a certain employee’s phone in a different office in a different state. VoIP routing and forwarding systems today are incredibly advanced, offering any degree of complexity that you require. For employees on the go, one particularly useful feature is the ability to forward a call from their desktop phone to their mobile or even their laptop.
5. Conference calls
A traditional phone line will typically only allow calls to be made between two users using two phones. VoIP technology opens up many possibilities when it comes to conference calling. At the more innovative end of the spectrum, VoIP allows video conference calling between many different users. There are even a number of VoIP services that will host these conference calls for free.
Above are only five of the many things that VoIP can do. Make use of VoIP in your business now to find out how you can benefit.