Despite the growth of online shopping, email and text messaging applications, the telephone is still a crucial business tool for businesses in and around Hampshire.
Modern business telephone systems can now do much more than just make and receive calls. Take a glance at the apparently never-ending list of features in any telephone system brochure and you’ll probably be left wondering what on earth it all means.
To help you make sense of all the jargon, our team at Southampton-based Meridian Telecoms have put together this handy jargon buster. It will help you decide which features are essential to your business and which you can happily live without.
The idea of having more than one person on a call isn’t new, but it used to be expensive and required that companies subscribe to third-party conference call service. Today, most modern business telephone systems have got this feature built-in, making it easier and cheaper.
Automated Call Forwarding
Nowadays most business spend time away from their desks (if they have one!) They need to be contactable wherever they are. Also, clients expect to be able to speak to someone quickly. If they can’t, they’ll probably take their business somewhere else. The auto-forwarding feature of a modern business phone system dramatically reduces the chances of a missed call. Incoming calls can be seamlessly redirected to another member of staff, office or mobile, quickly and easily.
Automated Call Distribution (ACD)
If your office has to handle a large number of incoming calls, then you’ll almost certainly benefit from automated call distribution. Unlike automatic call forwarding, which redirects incoming calls to specific people, ACD automatically distributes incoming calls to groups of terminals such as sales agents, for maximum efficiency.
Auto-Attendant (also known as Interactive Voice Response)
Manually directing callers to the right department or person can be a hit and miss affair that wastes up valuable staff time. Auto attendant, as its names suggests, answers the call automatically and then presents the caller with a selection of pre-programmed options. The system then automatically directs the caller to the correct person based on the option selected by the caller.
In its most basic form, Caller id allows the call recipient to see the phone number of the incoming caller before they decide whether to take the call or not. Modern systems have built on this facility and can now do some pretty smart things like adding unknown numbers to your caller list automatically or blacklisting unwanted calls.
As its name suggests, this feature allows you to play appropriate music or pre-recorded information to a caller while the are waiting to get through. Research has shown that choosing the right hold music can cut hang-up rates by more than 66%.
Call Monitoring / Recording
We’ve all probably heard the message “This call will be recorded for quality and training purposes” when phoning a corporate such as an insurance company or a bank. Modern phone systems allow businesses of all sizes to use this powerful training tool. Managers, supervisors and trainers can playback recorded calls, listen in on ongoing calls and even “jump in” to live calls if required. You can find out more about the benefits of call recording here
Do you need to check to see if a member is making the calls they say they are? Automatic call logging makes this quick and easy. These systems allow you to see which numbers were called and how long each call lasted.
If you don’t already have access to any or all of these useful features, and you’d like to know more, talk to one of our friendly business telecoms experts today – Call Meridian IP Communications on 02380 712210