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Advanced Features of Business Phone Systems

Business Telephone Systems Buyers' Guide

Some companies rely extensively on their phone systems for the smooth running of their businesses and greater profitability. Manufacturers and suppliers have identified these requirements and now offer sophisticated and customisable corporate phone systems.

Automatic Call Distribution

Automatic call distribution is a useful tool for large corporate phone systems, particularly call centres. It provides a variety of statistics based on details such as the time each employee spends with each caller and the number of calls each employee takes during a given time frame. You can use these statistics to improve efficiency and increase call throughput.

Automatic Call Forwarding

An automatic call forwarding feature transmits incoming calls to wherever staff happen to be. Callers can reach people if they're working at home, for instance, or if they're out and about with a mobile phone. The advantage for your customers is that they speak to whoever they need to without calling back. The benefit to your staff is that they don't come back to their desks to face a host of voicemail messages.

Call Convergence

If you opt for call convergence, your corporate phone system will deal with a number of different communication methods.

Apart from phone calls, these include:

  • emails
  • faxes
  • instant messages
  • video conferencing
  • voicemail
CTI (Computer Telephony Integration)

CTI connects your corporate phone system to your computers. As a result, you can:

  • use contact management software to save time and errors by introducing one click dialling on computer screens
  • use caller ID to send a call to the correct member of staff without the need for a phone operator or auto attendant
  • display a caller's details on a computer screen the moment the employee answers the phone

Suppliers usually offer CTI as a distinct package. That said, a good quality corporate phone system is CTI enabled so all you have to do is ensure compatibility.

IVR (Interactive Voice Response)

Companies are increasingly employing IVR as part of their phone and business strategies. By using a combination of recorded messages and data stored on computer servers, a caller can use the buttons of a phone to access a wide range of automated messages and information twenty four hours a day. An IVR system can therefore act as a virtual receptionist or customer service officer. Some IVRs even respond to simple voice commands from the caller.

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