If you own a business that has offices or locations in different cities, you need technology that will unite your dispersed staff and foster team cohesion. The good news is that there are already many software apps that support multi-site businesses: Slack, Zendesk, and Google Workspace, just to name a few.
A cloud phone system is another excellent option that will help your business and employees collaborate.
6 Ways a Hosted Phone Service Binds Together Offices and Staff
1. Bridge Gaps Between Offices with a Variety of Communication Channels
Businesses with multi-sites or a remote office face a unique challenge—seamlessly connecting staff members who are separated by distance. By setting up a cloud phone system at your organization, your employees will be able to connect, collaborate, and communicate effortlessly in these ways:
- View the presence statuses of coworkers by using softphones, which is software available on the web, as well as through desktop and mobile apps. Employees using these softphones can see which of their colleagues are available for a phone call, currently on a call, offline, or just away from their desks.
- One-click call coworkers. Rather than having to dial phone numbers or extensions, an employee can start a voice or video call to a colleague with one click right from the softphone itself—no phone hardware is needed.
- Chat with coworkers. In addition to phone calls, employees can also use the app to send instant messages (IM) to other coworkers. This can be especially helpful for a customer service agent who is on the phone with a customer but doesn’t know the answer to a question; the agent can quickly IM a manager for assistance.
2. Encourage Audio or Video Conference Calls to Develop Community
Video calling goes a long way to help build team camaraderie and friendship among coworkers who are separated by great distances. Encourage your staff members to make video calls to their colleagues to discuss work issues and host video conferences for team or department meetings. Using their phone service’s softphone app, employees can video call colleagues right from their preferred devices, whether it’s a desktop computer, laptop, or smartphone. It’s a great option that helps keep distributed workers connected to, and engaged with, one another.
And don’t forget about audio conference calls. They have been a staple of the business world for decades and come in handy for standing weekly department meetings or daily scrum check-ins.
3. Manage Your Company’s Phone System from One Web Admin Portal
Web admin portals for cloud phone systems empower you to administer phones, users, and features across all your business’s locations. Got a new employee starting in the Los Angeles office? Just log into your admin portal and set them up as a new user and add any features they need (like a voicemail box). You can even contact your provider’s representatives and have them do it for you.
You can also set up a company directory, complete with all the phone numbers, extensions, and SIP addresses of each employee. Any employee, or caller for that matter, can type in a few letters of the name of the person they want to speak to. When a match is found, the system will automatically connect you to that person.
Or go one step further and use OnSIP’s Team Page to create a unique webpage with a visual directory of your staff. Employees can see who is available for a video call and by tapping the Let’s Talk button, connect with each other. You can also share this page with your customers—it makes a great customer support tool.
4. Direct a Sales or Support Line to Ring Phones in Different Locations
If you have sales or customer service representatives scattered across your offices, you can unify those reps under one phone number. By doing so, you’ll ensure that callers always reach an available rep when they call your business.
In your VoIP service’s admin portal, create a ring group and add your sales or support reps to the group. Then, set this group as the destination for your sales or support team’s phone number. When someone calls the number, all your reps will have their phones ring, no matter where they are located.
5. Configure Business Hour Rules to Send Calls to Open Offices
Another option to avoid sending callers to a voicemail box is to route incoming calls to your open offices. For example, let’s say that your business has a New York City office and a San Francisco office. You can configure business hour rules so that incoming calls during morning hours (when the San Francisco office is closed) are only sent to employees in the NYC office, and incoming calls during evening hours (when the NYC office is closed) are routed to the California office.
It’s a creative way to unify your staff and take advantage of having people in different parts of the country. Your business will be able to provide customers with phone support throughout the day and late into the evening.
6. Answer Calls Even When You’re Away from the Office
A great feature for business travelers or employees who work in multiple locations is Find Me, Follow Me. If you aren’t at your desk when a business call comes in, Find Me, Follow Me will forward the call to a series of numbers you can easily customize, like your mobile number or home number.
The Many Benefits of Using a Hosted Phone Service for Your Remote Office
If you run a business that has multiple offices or remote/traveling workers, you’ll find that deploying a cloud phone system is one of the best decisions you can make. You’ll gain access to many features that encourage staff communication, streamline business operations, and improve customer service outreach. To learn more about OnSIP’s cloud phone system, visit www.onsip.com.