It’s dismaying. Most small businesses consider VOIP the cheaper option rather than the better one.
No doubt, VOIP IS the cheaper option. It’s taken the costs and hassles of PBX setup and maintenance right off many entrepreneurs’ shoulders. And that’s great, because businesses have enough and more to manage. The point people miss is: once you move to the cloud, there are umpteen more tools available to you. And bundled correctly, you can get much more than a just a cheaper PBX system.
But it’s no wonder small businesses aren’t feeling the love. Providers sell SME’s their most basic package. These “basic” packages are nothing more than chopped up versions of the real product they’ve built for their real customers —the much wooed enterprises and corporations.
And small businesses stay in the dark about really easy add-ons that could transform their VOIP into a truly complete interaction system. Read our list of 5 must-have (and really affordable) features your communications solution is incomplete without:
- ALL Great PBX and Phone Features:This one goes without saying. All PBX features are a MUST. We’re talking Auto Attendant, IVR, Welcome messages, After-hour messages, Holiday Messages, Voice mail- the whole kit & caboodle. Plus SMART queuing to ensure no call goes unanswered and workload is optimally distributed.
- CRM: Don’t lose track of why you’re making those calls in the first place: happier customers. Customer relationship management can’t be an extra—it is the whole deal. Ensure that your VOIP package allows CRM integrations. But unlike enterprises, you may not have invested in a CRM package yet. That’s when in-built CRM is a real boon. Surely, a basic package to maintain your customer database and have mood tracking is not too much to ask from your VOIP provider?
- Live Website Support:Your PBX is not the only thing to have gone online. Most small business owners have an online presence or are planning one. It may be a website, a web page, a Facebook page or even a smartphone application. With VOIP your calls are anyway online. How about the same staff uses the same browser to offer your online visitors some live chat support too? Human interactions with online visitors go a long way in converting those eyeballs to loyal customers.
- Insights: With the PBX on the cloud, we expect it to go smart. So expect your PBX to manage it’s own human resource issues. Let your Cloud PBX tell you whether you’re understaffed or overstaffed. Give you timings when you should increase your staff. And let you know your top performers.
Call recordings are also an important insight. With the unlimited space of the internet, you should be free to go back and listen in to any call made through your system.
- Flexibility to manage heavy call volumes: Everyday is not Wednesday afternoon. Sure, your staff can manage the incoming calls on most days. But there are these other days: weekly, fortnightly or seasonal high call volume days. Anyone should be free to log on and pitch in during those days. Without being charged extra. Most enterprise solutions’ per agent charging completely prevents this flexibility.
Without these features, no small business owner can truly get the full benefits of cloud telephony. Leaving VOIP just a cheaper —and poorer option for the US Small Business owner.
What dream feature do you think is most useful for your communication system? Send in your comments