Tag Archives: Advanced Business Phone Systems

Benefits of an Auto Attendant

auto attendantAlmost every business owner has a business phone system. However, many of them, in spite of the benefits, haven’t set up an auto attendant. An auto attendant is essentially a digital receptionist. Without the need of a human, it can automatically route calls to different lines.

Odds are you’ve encountered one in your personal life. Messages like, “Thank you for calling XYZ. If you know your party’s extension, you may dial it at any time. For sales, press one…” are auto attendants. However, if it’s not set up correctly it can drive a client or customer crazy. If it’s set up correctly though, it can have numerous benefits.

Benefits of Having an Auto Attendant

There are several benefits besides efficient call routing as well. They can provide a vital cost savings to benefit as opposed to a live receptionist. Furthermore, customers now have better access to businesses after hours. If you’re concerned about losing the ‘human touch’, it is still beneficial to have an auto attendant as a backup. If your receptionist is busy, you can use the auto attendant rather than a messaging service.

The first thing to remember about an auto attendant is that you should tailor it to your customer base. They can play different welcome greetings and can route incoming calls differently based on specific days/times of the week. For example, during non-business hours, it can inform your customers of your hours and automatically route them to a voicemail box rather than putting them into a call queue.  

An auto attendant is an efficient way for all businesses to deal with its incoming calls. It leaves your customers with a professional first impression. If you have any questions regarding business phone systems, please contact Advanced Communication Systems today at 800-750-3624. You can also follow us on Facebook.

Is SIP Trunking or PRI better for your Business?

PRIToday’s telecom market allows companies access to a numerous types of business phone systems, two of which are SIP Trunking and PRI. While some may consider the two indistinguishable, they have differences in terms of versatility, equipment, and cost.

What is PRI?

PRI is more of a traditional form of business phone system communications. It relies on the Public Switched Telephone Network and requires a circuit switch and physical phone line. Each line has 23 voice channels in order to handle simultaneous calls. You purchase additional connections per circuit of 23 channels at an additional cost. In other words, if you want to up your call capacity, you will have to install more lines.

What is SIP Trunking?

The biggest difference between PRI and SIP Trunking is that the former connects virtually to the aforementioned Public Switched Telephone Network. It routes all your VoIP calls through the Internet as opposed to through a physical line. Arguably the best thing about SIP Trunking is that you can combine data, voice, and video in one line and does not limit the amount of voice channels you can use.

SIP Trunking is also more cost efficient than PRI; SIP connections are sold as per call path. If you need to increase call volume you purchase more SIP Trunks (each one allows for 2-3 users).

Major Differences Between PRI and SIP Trunking
Cost

PRI requires you to pay per-minute fees if you want to make long distance phone calls. SIP Trunking, on the other hand, permits you unlimited local and long distance calls.

Hardware

As mentioned, PRI requires a physical phone line with 23 voice channels. If you want to expand your business you have to install additional lines. SIP Trunking doesn’t require new hardware if you want to grow your business.

Features

If you want additional features with PRI, you have to pay extra. SIP Trunking, however, has customizable features at no additional cost.

Our Conclusion

In terms of equipment, versatility, and cost, SIP Trunking is almost certainly the better choice for your business’s telecommunications. If you have any business phone system questions, please contact us. You can also follow us on LinkedIn.

How Advanced Call Forwarding Can Help your Business

Advanced Call ForwardingIn the modern business world, customers expect to reach businesses immediately. However, it isn’t feasible to take each and every call personally. If you have a hosted Private Branch Exchange (PBX) system though, there are some powerful features that can help. The most important for assisting you in this area is Advanced Call Forwarding.

Advanced Call Forwarding allows you to forward an incoming call to either a mobile number or an alternate person if you are unavailable. With this feature you and your staff won’t miss out on any calls. Here are some of the ways in which Advanced Call Forwarding can help your business.

Set up find me/follow me calling for remote workers

Many businesses use remote workers. Remote workers allow businesses to expand their employee and client pool. However, keeping track of remote workers can present a challenge. If you enact find me/follow me however, it makes the task much easier. Find me/follow me is a staggered Advanced Call Forwarding option that allows employees to receive calls at numerous numbers. For example, if a call goes unanswered at the default number, it will ring to a secondary number (such as a mobile number).

Route calls based on time or day

Another frequently used Advanced Call Forwarding option is to route calls to a number or location based on a specific time of day or day of week. This is most commonly used to ensure that all after hour calls don’t go to your business line but to a mobile phone. The best part about this feature is that the caller doesn’t even realize that they are actually reaching a different number.

Prioritize top customers

The majority of hosted PBX solutions also allow businesses to prioritize top customers. Based on your configuration answering rules, a specific inbound number can be directed to a specific number or extension. You can also permit specific contacts to reach your number during off-hours or holidays.

Advanced Call Forwarding permits businesses a large competitive edge and helps them manage calls without breaking a sweat. If you have any questions regarding business phone systems, please contact Advanced Communication Systems today at 800-750-3624. You can also follow us on Facebook.

3 Ways to Improve Employee Productivity with a Hosted PBX

Hosted PBXOne of the most important factors in a company’s success is their employee’s productivity levels. There tend to be two schools of thought on the matter; either develop incentive programs or use restrictive policies to ensure that they remain working. However, there is potentially a simple answer. When you provide your employees with the best possible tools, they’ll be able to do their job efficiently. There are many different tools to help people work and communicate more effectively, but Hosted PBX has features that not only provide something new but also allows companies to get more out of the resources they already have in place.  

Less Downtime for Technical Problems

An outage can be extremely problematic for any employee who is on the phone for long durations throughout the day. Hosted PBX solutions alleviate this problem because troubleshooting them is far easier. Furthermore, if a user’s individual phone they can use the softphone on their computer or in an app on their mobile phone.

Increased Mobility

Many industries have seen a rise in remote employees in recent years. Without a tool like Hosted PBX, it would be difficult for these employees to stay in constant communication with the office. Hosted PBX allows these employees to access the company’s communications system. Additionally, their calls can even be routed from their desk phone to whatever app or computer they are working from.

Unified Inbox

Many employees have stopped listening to their voicemail due to time constraints. Who wants to listen to ten voicemails just to get to the one that is relevant? Hosted PBX has a helpful feature that converts voicemail to mp3 files in your e-mail inbox. This permits you to sort through them and find the relevant ones that much quicker.

A Hosted PBX solution has benefits to any company. Not only can help reduce costs, but it can increase employee productivity by giving them a tool that permits them the ability to perform their jobs efficiently. If you have any Business Phone System questions, please contact us. You can also follow us on Twitter.

The 5 Most Important Aspects of VoIP Business Phone System Preparation

VoIP Business Phone System preparationVoice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has innumerable benefits, but there are a few accompanying challenges. The good news is that these challenges aren’t difficult to overcome if you prepare accordingly. We’ve listed the six most important aspects of VoIP Business Phone System preparation below.

Calls

The first thing you should determine is what kind of calls you need to make. There are a couple of different ways to make a VoIP call; from a desk phone, from a computer, or from your smartphone. Prior to making any networking decisions, you need to figure out how you are going to make calls.

Cables

Another important VoIP Business Phone System preparation is to get the correct Ethernet cables. Cat 6 cables are one of the better choices, but they may prove too costly for smaller businesses. Cat 5e cables are a more budget friendly option, and should work fine for most businesses. However, potential VoIP users should avoid older Cat 3 cables, as their capacity and compatibility is not a good fit for VoIP.

Power Supply

Next, you need to ensure that you have the appropriate power supply. Power over Ethernet (PoE) cables are the best option; they allow devices not plugged into an AC source the ability to draw power from your internet.

Router

Like many things on this list, you need to determine if your router is able to handle the new traffic from VoIP. If your router doesn’t have Packet Per Second (PPS) capability, you should upgrade it. PPS capability provides traffic shaping and allows you to prioritize voice and video data on your network.

Firewalls

Software-defined firewalls are vital to VoIP Business Phone System preparation. Software-defined firewalls are designed to filter internal data traffic and packets as opposed to only data traffic.

These tips should aide you in making the proper decisions regarding your new VoIP system. If you have any questions regarding VoIP or business phone systems in general, please contact Advanced Communication Systems today at 800-750-3624. You can also follow us on Facebook.

The Four Most Essential Business Phone System Integrations

Business Phone System IntegrationsHosted phone systems are popular for a plethora of reasons, but one of the best things about them is the business phone system integrations that you can use to link to other software/solutions. If you adopt a VoIP system that permits you to manage numerous business functions through a single, unified system, you can have better customer service and reduced operating costs. I have listed the four most essential business phone system integrations your business phone system should have.

Cloud Backup Features

Cloud business phone systems are great, but some businesses worry about what will happen if their VoIP provider doesn’t take the proper steps to ensure that customer contact information and calls records are kept safe. Having cloud backup features can minimize the risk of losing important data and automatically copy your VoIP information. Regardless of what happens to the provider, your information will remain intact.

CRM Software

Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, software compiles customer data, organizes it, and uses it to manage sales and find new opportunities for growth. When you combine your business phone system and your CRM software into one integrated interface, customer service reps can have relevant data at their fingertips during calls. By keeping records and details about all customer service calls, you can serve your clients more efficiently. This will strengthen your relationship with them and increase the likelihood of them becoming repeat customers.

Accounting/Bookkeeping Software

Reliable accounting software is a must for any business. When you integrate your account software with VoIP, your accountants can monitor transactions from their phone or laptop. This allows them to quickly identify errors or irregularities . Marrying accounting software with VoIP also allows you to send reminder calls to clients who are late in their bills.

Microsoft Outlook & Email Clients

The best thing about integrating Microsoft Outlook and VoIP is that that you can simultaneously make calls and manage emails. Companies that opt to use Outlook usually store the bulk of their contacts there—including phone information. When you integrate them, you don’t have to look up numbers in Outlook before you want to make a call. Instead, your Outlook information is automatically available in your phone network. The other nice feature is that you can receive messages as audio files in Outlook, which means that you can check your phone messages without having to leave your computer.

If you are interested in Business Phone System integrations or have any other business phone system questions, please contact us. You can also follow us on Facebook.

How to Boost Concentration During Business Phone Calls and Conferences

Business Phone Calls and ConferencesThere have been many transformations to the business phone system in the past ten years, and we’ve greatly altered the way we communicate with clients and customers. With that said, one of the most effective communication tools is still the phone call or conference call. Unfortunately, some of today’s technology prevents calls from being as effective as they could be and reduces concentration during Business Phone calls and conferences. 

For example, employees frequently bypass their desk phone in favor of their mobile phone. Despite employees comfortable relationship with mobile phones, they aren’t exactly the best way to handle large call volumes. For one thing, mobiles have limited battery life and it is not atypical for an employee to miss a call due to a dead battery.

However, the biggest problem with an over reliance on mobile phones is erratic signal strength. This particular problem multiplies in a busy office setting when numerous devices are attempting to connect to a limited capacity cell.

This is where the desk phone comes in; after all, there’s nothing worse than dropping off  due to poor coverage or a dying battery during an important call. With a desk phone, this problem is nonexistent. Desk phones also tend to have much better call quality.

Which brings me to my point: is there a variation in concentration levels when comparing desk phones to mobile phones? If employees are using a mobile phone that has poor call quality, inconsistent cell coverage, and poor battery life, are they going to become disengaged and frustrated?

The best way to solve the aforementioned issues is to invest in an advanced business telephone system. With a great business telephone system, you can marry the ease of a mobile phone with the sophistication of a business telephone system. A great phone system will likely increase your concentration during Business Phone calls and conferences. Here are the things to look for when getting a business telephone system:

Latest Bluetooth technologies 

By opting for a business telephone system with an upgraded version of Bluetooth integrated, employees not only get crystal clear calls when using a Bluetooth handset or headset, but they get a similar freedom that they might achieve from their mobile device.

Mobile integration 

Allows mobile calls to be received on an employ’s desk phone, in effect increasing the audio quality.

HD audio 

HD audio is among the best quality audio available. A sealed acoustic chamber is recommended for the speaker phone. Sealed acoustic chambers avoid feedback loops and stopping tiny vibrations from interfering with the audio.

Avatars integrated into the desk phone 

Viewing an actual image of the person makes the call personal and can improve the back and forth on calls.

By choosing a business telephone system with these features, employees will be a lot more attracted to their desk phones. Odds are, they will accomplish more throughout the day.

If you have any questions about Business Phone calls and conferences please contact us. You can also follow us on Facebook.

Debunking Business Phone System Myths

9600_category_474x270Is your company considering an updated business phone system? Are there lingering concerns keeping you from making the leap? That’s normal, but a lot of your worries are nothing more than myths.

The first myth is that purchasing an advanced business phone system will break the bank. Fortunately, the opposite is the case; think of buying a new business phone system as an investment. When you buy a business phone system appropriate to your company’s needs–as opposed to an outdated model–the end result tends to be a vast savings on expensive hardware and frequent updates. The old model may seem cheaper in the short term, but in the long run your company is only being held down by an inefficient model.  Leasing options also make this an extremely affordable way to go.  Often times, a trade in, trade up with leasing is cheaper than your outdated phone system!

Are you also worried about disrupting your daily flow with a hard-to-manage business phone system? Don’t be–more often than not, an updated model only enhances your company. Advanced business phone system models are much more user-friendly than old systems. Business phone systems that are navigable create an environment that is cohesive and more productive.

So what are you waiting for? Contact Jay Faulconer at Advanced Communication Systems today at 540-351-0444.