Four Essential Virtual Phone System Features
Features are a selling point for many virtual phone system providers, as they should be. After all, it’s not simply the service you’re looking for, it’s what that service provides and how (or if) that service benefits you and your business needs.
Virtual Phone System providers offer a broad range of features—from basic to advanced and everything in-between. But what are the must-haves?
Here are four essential virtual phone system features you should mark as top priority. These are the essentials.
- Call Routing/Call Forwarding
- Data Integration
- Auto Attendant
Traditional telecommunications services charge for call forwarding, making this core feature one of the core advantages of a virtual phone system. That’s why this feature should come standard. If a virtual phone service provider charges for this feature, it’s best to keep looking.
Data integration allows you to connect with software like Outlook and CRM programs. While some virtual phone service providers offer their own unique integration tools, at least some level of data integration is key when choosing a virtual phone service provider.
While live receptionists are available on some service plans through some virtual phone service providers, auto attendant does not rely on someone being present to take and route calls at all times. Auto-attendant ensures that callers are greeted professionally and is an important feature that shouldn’t be overlooked. Auto Attendant servers as a cost effective alternative to a live receptionist for many small businesses.
Using a conference bridge, you connect across multiple platforms, including your phone or computer. Some virtual phone system providers also offer video conferencing as an add-on or as part of a pricing plan, allowing users to not only speak to one another, but also “meet” face-to-face as well.
Other Useful Features
Obviously, the features listed above aren’t the only features to look for in a virtual phone service provider. And, of course, many of your “must have” features will be dependent on the nature and volume of your business. Here are a few other useful features that shouldn’t be overlooked.
- Inbound Caller ID
- Call Log Reports
- Call Recording
Call routing, data integration, auto attendant, and conferencing are at the heart of virtual phone system communications. If call routing and auto attendant services are part of plan, you can generally count on voicemail and caller ID to be included as well. Reports, and recording, however, are sometimes only available at an additional charge.
Each of these features is a building block toward more advanced features. Instead of auto attendant, for example, you may choose a professional voice talent greeting at an additional fee. However, it is important to look at these basic key features when evaluating potential virtual phone service providers.