If you're already using a cloud phone system, or are in the process of researching them, you certainly know about the long list of features, abilities, and integrations that they offer.
But besides utilizing auto attendants, conference bridges, and call queues, how else can you use a cloud phone system to meet your business needs?
Consider the below examples to learn about some innovative ways of setting up VoIP features:
Answer Extension Calls with a Personal Auto Attendant
An auto attendant is a pre-recorded greeting that presents a touchtone menu of options to callers. These options let callers reach specific employees or departments and access basic business information such as location and hours of operation.
Auto attendants are typically used to answer inbound calls to a business's main or toll free number. But, you can also set an auto attendant to answer extension calls. After your extension is dialed, the attendant menu will provide callers with a few choices. For example, pressing "1" can send callers to your smartphone, pressing "2" can send them to your desk phone, and pressing "3" can send them to your voicemail. You decide where to send callers— simply configure the auto attendant so that each destination is assigned to a different number in the menu.
A personal auto attendant presents callers with options on how to reach you. This setup can help to cut down on missed calls or voicemails if you travel for work often or spend much of your day away from your desk.
Link Offices in Different Time Zones with Business Hour Rules and Call Groups
Does your business have offices in different time zones? Try using business hour rules (BHR) and call groups to unify sales or support staff members who are scattered between them.
Let's consider a hypothetical example of two offices in New York and LA. First, create a call group for each office that contains all of the sales or support staff who work there (a New York Group and an LA Group), as well as an All Group that holds all of those staff members.
Then, create multiple business hour rules whose open and closed times reflect the locations of the offices. The New York BHR opens at 9AM ET and closes at 12PM ET, the All BHR opens at 12PM ET and closes at 5PM ET, and the LA BHR opens at 5PM ET and closes at 8PM ET. Depending on what time it is, the BHR will send calls to the appropriate group. (For further details about this intricate setup, see our blog post on the subject.)
This smart configuration efficiently pools your sales or support reps together and ensures that callers will reach an available rep no matter when they call your business.
Let Site Visitors Call Your Business Using Only Their Web Browsers
You may already know about click-to-call, a feature that turns phone numbers on webpages into clickable links. By clicking on a link, your phone will ring and automatically connect you to that number without having to dial it.
OnSIP has a version of click-to-call that is exclusive to our platform: InstaCall. InstaCall is a call button that can be placed anywhere on your website. When site visitors click on this button, they will be able to call your business for free right from their web browsers, no dialing or phones required!
You can customize InstaCall buttons to meet your specific needs. Set options such as:
- Destination of the call (a user, auto attendant, call queue, etc.)
- Allowing site visitors to voice or video call your business
- The overall design of the InstaCall button
An InstaCall button on your website enables your leads and customers to instantly call your business using only the browsers on their computers. By setting up buttons to reach specific staff members, you can also cut down on call queue lines and wait times. Finally, you can even connect your Google Analytics account to your InstaCall button and gain access to comprehensive call tracking data.
Screen Sales and Support Calls with SIP Aliases
Cloud phone providers that are SIP-based will assign each of your employees with a SIP address: a unique identifier, composed of a username and domain, that acts to direct calls to a specific user. You can even create sub-users of a SIP address, known as SIP aliases. These aliases can be very useful to staff members who are in multiple departments.
Employees who answer sales and support calls can use SIP aliases to screen incoming calls and get an idea of what the call topic is. Just create a 'sales SIP alias' and a 'support SIP alias' for the staff member and then assign each alias to a phone line on his/her desk phone. When a sales call comes in, the line connected to the sales alias will ring, informing the staff member that the incoming call is a sales call.
SIP aliases are a great way to organize and identify calls from coworkers, sales leads, or customers who are requesting support.
Use Cloud Phone System Features in Unexpected Ways
Cloud phone systems provide important features that businesses need to successfully communicate with customers, leads, and other stakeholders. By using these features in unique ways, or combining two or more of them to work together, your business will be able to address complex situations or requirements.
If your company is using cloud communication features in notable ways, let us know by tweeting us @OnSIP!