With a cloud-based phone system, you have access to numerous advanced features your teams need to work more effectively and boost sales.
Functions like Interactive Voice Response, Fixed Mobile Convergence, and CRM Integration enable transformation of business communications and improve employee productivity and performance.
Let’s look at some of the most important advanced features of cloud-based phone systems and best practices for implementing them.
IVR: Interactive Voice Response
We’ve all called a company’s customer service line and heard a friendly voice telling us to “press 1 for technical assistance”. That’s IVR or interactive voice response—an advanced cloud phone system feature that can bring great value to your organisation. It saves time and connects callers to the right person.
IVRs are used to pre-qualify or profile callers. It’s often the first point of contact customers have when they’re calling larger businesses.
It is one of the tools for improving so called Call Completion, and can contribute to better reachability of the company and the overall customer experience of callers trying to get in touch.
IVRs can play announcements or request certain input from callers. With an IVR, the caller can either enter his or her request by speaking (free speech) or by pressing a certain key on their phone. After the caller makes their choice, the call can be routed to an extension, a call queue, or playing another voice message. Alternatively, they can be presented with another submenu that offers additional options.
The reason for the call could be a complaint for example. You could configure the IVR so that all calls regarding complaints are only routed to the customer service department that handles complaints.
Especially with increased phone traffic, IVRs are important for routing callers quickly to the right contact person or function within the company for their request.
The Taksi Helsinki dispatch centre boosted its efficiency by redirecting calls in the queue to the next available operator. The company has boosted profits by over 20% as a result.
Read the full success story here: How Taksi Helsinki boosted its efficiency with Benemen
“This call may be recorded for quality assurance purposes” is another phrase you often hear when calling a company’s customer service line. Many companies record calls to gain valuable insights and improve the overall performance of their business.
You can easily add this advanced feature and enable automatic recordings for inbound and outbound phone calls. Call recording allows you to capture, record, encrypt, and store all interactions between your sales or service team and potential prospects or current customers.
Recording sales calls can give you a better understanding of conversations with prospects and how your sales team is performing. More and more sales team leaders understand the value of unlocking these interactions with customers and assessing call performance on the quality of conversations.
Call recordings do not only help to increase accountability, they also minimize legal risks because verbal commitments are captured and saved.
How to use Call Recording to achieve compliance
While Call Recording can be a powerful tool for both customer service agents and sales managers, it’s crucial to be aware of the legality of recording phone calls in your region.
So-called compliance-recording is aimed at helping businesses meet specific regulatory compliance requirements. That applies to insurance companies or businesses in the financial sector, for example.
Since the GDPR came into effect, businesses recording conversations will be required to actively justify the lawfulness of recording by following at least one of six conditions for processing personal data under GDPR.
Companies are now required to delete their customers’ data upon their request. All data, including call recordings, must be easily accessible but many call recording solutions typically encrypt all information in a call, making deleting calls difficult. An automated compliance recording solution is designed to make call recordings easily accessible and helps companies meet strict regulatory requirements.
Voicemail-to-email and visual voicemail
Voicemail-to-email is another advanced feature that gives you and your team uninterrupted time to focus on your most important work. This feature allows incoming calls to go to voicemail, be recorded, and saved as audio files that are sent to your email address.
You can click the link in the email and listen to the voicemails when you have time and reply via any device. By sending voice messages over to your email you make them accessible in multiple locations.
Because you can access your voicemails from anywhere, you can respond to missed calls much faster. Your customers will be happy to quickly hear back from you and they’ll feel comfortable doing business with you because they know that their issues matter to you and will get resolved quickly.
See all voice messages at a glance with visual voicemail
Many cloud phone system providers and modern mobile operators offer a feature called visual voicemail either as a standard or add-on feature. Visual voicemail lets you easily check voicemail by showing you a list of your voice messages instead of the sequential listening required by using traditional voicemail.
You can easily scan your messages visually to find and listen to a specific one. Voicemail-to-text even goes a step further and transcribes the audio of your voicemails into text so you can read your messages. This means you don't have to listen to the messages to get what you need from them.
Audio and Video Conferencing
Technology that allows us to connect and collaborate is now more important than ever. A global survey by Gartner HR revealed that 88% of organisations worldwide made it mandatory or encouraged their employees to work from home after Covid-19 was declared a global pandemic.
Tools like Audio- and Video Conferencing are incredibly valuable for teams to stay connected and continue to work on global projects as well as enabling businesses to continue to work when the workforce is to a large extent working from the home office.
With Audio Conferencing via VoIP, participants use their device of choice to connect to a meeting. It works similarly to traditional conference calls using analog telephones where callers connect to a conference bridge using their phones or computers.
Video Conferencing is an advanced feature of cloud phone systems (or unified communication system) that provides you and your team a suitable solution for high-quality video meetings. Video conferencing creates a more personal face-to-face experience, improves communication, and allows even distributed teams to work together efficiently.
Launching and hosting video-based calls or meetings between multiple parties as part of a cloud solution has lots of advantages that general video conference apps simply don’t deliver. And that at much more acceptable cost levels compared to the past where on premise video bridge equipment was expensive and complex to maintain.
Fixed Mobile Convergence
An employee is in the warehouse and urgently needs to get information from a colleague sitting at his desk. Normally he would reach for his mobile phone and cause unnecessary mobile phone charges. The solution: Fixed Mobile Convergence which merges mobile and fixed networks into one.
It enables the participant to use one phone, moving between the office or warehouse or everywhere else. Fixed Mobile Convergence allows them to use both the fixed network which refers to existing wired systems like telephone lines and WiFi as well as the mobile network used by cellular phones.
From the user’s perspective, Fixed Mobile Convergence eliminates the differences between a fixed and mobile device. It optimises the transmission of all voice and video calls, no matter where the user is or what device they’re using.
Call Reporting and Monitoring
How long does it take for a customer to get connected to an agent or a person? What’s the number of calls your agents receive and how long do they spend on a phone call? How friendly or competent is the employee in solving the customer’s problem? Call Reporting and Call Monitoring give answers to these important questions regarding business communications.
Call Reporting provides you with valuable data to give you a better understanding of conversations with prospects and how your sales team is performing. In Call Monitoring, trained experts listen in on real customer calls and systematically assess them. This gives you a precise overview of what is happening in your call center.
Are you looking to improve sales volume and strategies? Monitoring phone calls can be one of your most valuable resources and can be useful to give you a better understanding of conversations with prospects and how your sales team is performing. A full call report shows you where improvements can be made and you can easily measure improvements since previous reports.
CRM integration allows you to connect your cloud phone system with your CRM tool to exchange data between the two platforms. A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool is crucial for businesses to collect and organise actionable customer data.
Many cloud phone systems offer integrations with popular CRMs such as HubSpot or Salesforce. The data that these CRM integrations provide, give you valuable insights into interactions with customers you can leverage. It combines telephony data with customer data making the collected data more relevant and providing more business relevant insights in what is going on in the communication between you and your customers.
CRM integration lets you tap into your most revealing data combination. You can track data from sales calls and support requests and combine them with your CRM data to build up a rich, AI-driven view of your customers in real-time.
Integrating cloud telephony and call center with a CRM like Salesforce removes complex boundaries between otherwise isolated environments. It improves workflow efficiency and customer experience by having all customer service tools in one place.
Best practices: Cloud phone system advanced features
Maybe your company is growing and it’s time to upgrade and add some advanced features to your cloud-based phone system. With lots of features available, choosing the right ones can be overwhelming if you don’t know exactly what you need. Here’s a short guide to choosing the right features so you can confidently pick the ones that are suitable for you.
Consider your business goals
Make a concrete list of your goals to choose the right plan and features that your business needs. Consider what you might need in the near future if your business grows. Will you hire more employees? Open more locations? Will more employees work from home?
Figure out which advanced features you need
Start by drafting a list of the most critical features you need your cloud phone system to have. Do you need Call Queue Management? Do you need to collect and analyse call data? Or maybe you need to record all calls? All of these advanced features are things to consider when you want to upgrade. The great thing about a cloud-based phone system is that you can add on new features with ease, and this is an excellent way to customise and get all the functionalities you need.
Configure your cloud phone system for maximum efficiency
With a cloud-based phone system you’re introducing a range of advanced features that will make employees’ lives easier and more efficient. Make sure to configure your cloud phone system so you can add advanced features and scale according to your needs.
Upgrade your network infrastructure if needed to make sure that you have sufficient bandwidth in your network to support all apps and integrations. Configure your routers to prioritize voice traffic. And provide your staff with comprehensive training so they can use all advanced features for optimal results.
Need help finding the best cloud phone system for your needs?
We hope you found our Definitive Guide to Cloud Phone Systems helpful.
With numerous advanced features, a cloud phone system can improve customer experience and boost sales. Every business is unique – with Benemen we will customise your phone solution for your unique business needs.
Our customer support team is committed to understanding your needs and helping you build better business communications by taking them to the cloud.
Request a free custom quote to see for yourself.