Business Phone Systems: A Love Letter

Do you like your small-business phone systems? Love them? It seems like a silly question, but with Valentine's Day upon us, it's worth taking a look at five phone features that transcend average attractiveness and interest to really capture the hearts of small-business owners.

A woman writes a love letter.
These features will make you fall in love with business phone systems.

Here is a list of five stand-up pieces of tech you'd be willing to bring home to meet your mom:

1. Virtual Receptionist

What do customers want when they call your company? They want the ability to speak with a real person. As a result, many organizations still spend on in-house or third-party receptionists to answer incoming calls, direct requests, and handle basic inquiries.

While this makes sense on the surface, there's actually a better way to increase the value of business phone systems — the virtual receptionist. It works like this: You set up as many pathways and answer trees as you want, making it easy for callers to quickly find the person, department, or automated answer they need, and you can customize call rules by time of day or to accommodate employee out-of-office days. What's more, admins can log in to the virtual receptionist portal anywhere, anytime, to make changes on the fly.

The result? Callers get straightforward and specific options that eliminate the need for generic (and costly) routing from traditional receptionists. In addition, they reach the "end of the line" — their intended department or staff member — faster. All in all, it's a match made in heaven.

2. Visual Voicemail

According to Hello Operator, SMB owners and managers spend a significant amount of time listening to voicemails. Wouldn't it be great if you could take your relationship with voicemail to the next level?

That's the idea behind visual voicemail, which converts all incoming voicemails into text. This text — along with the caller's number and attached audio file of the original voicemail — is then packaged into an email and sent to your assigned email account. Instead of putting a hold on other business while you call in and check your voicemail, you get an email that lets you quickly scan for relevant details and decide whether an immediate callback is warranted or you can address the issue later.

3. Paperless Faxing

It's 2017, but companies are still using fax machines. Some prefer the classic "bzzzzz-weee-o-weeee-o-vzzzzzzzzzht" of paper-based faxes, but most wish they could break it off with their long-term fax machine and find a communications companion that better meets their needs.

Meet paperless faxing — it's suave, smart, and is much more pleasant to listen to. It's also simple. If you're sending a fax, you just scan or select your document, attach it to an email, and send it to the paperless fax email address. If you're receiving a message, the fax comes in via phone number but gets routed to your email and sent as an attachment. Think of it this way: Original fax has a lot of things you like, but new fax is just a better fit.

4. On-Demand Call Recording

Many SMBs have a love-hate relationship with data. They know how important data is in a digital-first world, but collecting data — especially from communication channels — can be time-consuming and difficult. The solution? On-demand call recording.

Employees or managers can decide when and where to record calls, and recordings can be turned on for all calls or implemented on a call-by-call basis. Data is stored online and is easily accessible through a secure web portal. As required, staff can send recording attachments through email. It's like getting something in a new relationship you never knew you needed — suddenly, data is easy to capture, reference, and utilize.

5. Admin Access

Sometimes love isn't flashy or loud, and it's the simple things that make all the difference. That's the idea behind easy admin access, which lets you fully manage and customize business phone systems. You're able to easily configure the virtual receptionist, set up individual extensions for employees, configure user access, and customize individual features. Put simply? The heart of your Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system is in your hands — cue the slow music and dimmed lights.

Communication is absolutely vital for small business, so why settle for a phone system you only tolerate when you could have one that you fall more in love with every day?

Are you ready to take your business phone system relationship to the next level? Contact Vonage Business today — representatives are always happy to play matchmaker.

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