Besides its low costs, lack of upfront investment, and global reach, hosted business phone systems are popular because they can so easily be integrated with other software/solutions you may be using in your organization. Adopting a VoIP system allows a company to manage multiple business functions through a single communication system, reducing further operating costs and leading to quicker customer service. To get the most out of your new phone system, make sure to integrate it with:
Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, software compiles customer data, organizes it, and uses it to manage sales and find new opportunities for growth. Integrating phone system and CRM solution into the same interface allows customer service representatives to quickly find customer information during calls. The CRM will keep a record of the length of customers' calls, what they bought or asked about, and other information about the customer. You can use this data to serve customers more effectively, building a stronger relationship and encouraging them to buy from your company again.
Cloud Backup Features
Though there are many benefits of using hosted VoIP telephony, many businesses are uncomfortable with buying their phone services from a central provider. In particular, many worry about what will happen if the provider fails to take adequate care of customer contact information, call records, and other communications data. To minimize the risk of losing data, purchase cloud backup services to automatically copy your VoIP information, keeping it secure regardless of what happens to the central provider. You can back up customer contact records, recorded calls, messages, and a wide range of other important information.
A good recruitment software will let you keep track of applicants, identify and post on job boards, and search for information about prospective hires. Integrating your VoIP system into your recruitment software will further streamline the recruitment process. This integration will let you use your phone to pull up candidates' contact information, applications, letters of recommendation, and any research you've done on the candidate. This gives you the tools to ask good questions, assess candidates, and follow new developments in the application process.
Project/Task Management Software
Quick communication is essential to effective project management. Project management software develops schedules and plans to streamline your office and improve efficiency, but even the best schedules can be thrown off by unpredictable changes. If management decides to add a new member to a project team, for example, you have to be able to explain what you've done so far to that new member, which can delay further work for days. This is why new project management products like CommuniClique are designed to integrate with VoIP systems. When integrated, the two systems can record audio data throughout the length of the project and transmit it to new participants, allowing them to catch up quickly without distracting the original members.
Quality accounting software will keep track of all accounting transactions relevant to your firm, making it easier for you to ensure that you've received and made all necessary payments. When integrated with VoIP, they allow your accounting specialists to keep an eye of all financial transactions from their phone or laptop, identify irregularities as soon as they occur, and contact the company officials and clients involved immediately. VoIP systems also allow you to send reminder calls to customers who haven't paid their bills or company officials who haven't paid for supplies.
Microsoft Outlook & Email Clients
By integrating Microsoft Outlook with your VoIP system, you can make calls and manage emails in tandem. Most businesses that use Outlook keep much of their contact information there, including phone information, which they must painstakingly look up before they can make calls. When you integrate Outlook with VoIP, all of your Outlook information immediately becomes available in your phone network. You will also be able to receive messages as audio files in Outlook, meaning you can check your phone messages without ever leaving your computer. Your email and telephone services will thus be closely connected.
Virtual Private Network
As efficient and cost effective as VoIP networks are, they create a myriad of security problems. Sending audio files over the internet makes it easy for hackers to steal sensitive company information, putting you and your clients at risk. To minimize these risks, consider integrating your VoIP system with a virtual private network, or VPN. Your router will encrypt all of your audio files and then send them through a secure channel. With this integration, you can access your phone network from anywhere without having to worry about leaking valuable information.
Property Management Software
If you own or manage a residential or commercial buildings, combining your VoIP system with property management applications is a great way to keep track of your properties and make sure tenants are happy. The right software will allow you to connect to all of your sites, contact employees, and pull up tenant and employee information through your phone. If you receive any calls related to specific properties, the software will save a copy of those calls to those properties' records. This allows you to immediately respond to complaints, natural disasters, and other threats to your assets.
Image via Shutterstock.