Business phone systems now have so many options. Sixty years ago, all you could do was receive calls and transfer them to another department, and you needed a receptionist to do that. Now, you have a multitude of options to communicate with consumers and clients.
Phone Relay System Sans Voicemail
This is a phone system that picks up by the third ring and sends the call where the customer/client wants it to go. A digital answering service gives the customer/client a series of numbered choices. Then he/she selects and presses the number of the department he/she wants. The system sends the call through to this department or to another relay with a few more choices. If your business only operates during the day, this system will not send a customer/client to voicemail because you opted not to have voicemail service.
Phone Relay System With Voicemail
If you are the type that never wants to miss a single call and an opportunity to conduct business, then a phone relay system with voicemail is the right choice. After hours, the call is sent directly to voicemail after three rings. You can check the messages the next morning and call people back. This is also an excellent option if you want to (or already are) conduct overseas business, since the time differences make it difficult to take these calls during the day here.
Person-to-Person Phone Relay System
The return of human-to-human communication is making a comeback in the business world. This relay system makes first contact with the initial receptionist, who then directs the call to the person or department that the caller wishes to speak to. If the call is directed to the department, then another receptionist picks up the call and directs it to an office where a specific person works. In this way, hold times are kept to a minimum, and the caller feels validated for waiting to connect to the requested party.
Conference calls connect two or more phone locations to a central meeting point. As businesses expand and set up offices elsewhere, or you communicate with other companies, conference calls are a must. Special triangular keypad conference phones allow you to answer, silence, converge, and diverge calls so that you can have private conversations among your staff or with just one other company.
Face-to-Face Real-Time Video Chats
Using VoIP services, you can have face-to-face, real-time video conversations. The benefit to having this type of phone system is that calls are A) more reliable and less likely to be dropped, and B) you can see the visual expressions and reactions of the people you are speaking to. Many people enjoy seeing faces while talking; it is hardwired into the human social interaction structures of the brain. It also helps you see if someone does not like an idea or is preoccupied with something else and is not responding to you.
Even adults with autism spectrum disorders seem to respond well to video chats. The reason for this is because they feel like they are talking to a video screen and not an actual person, despite what they know about this technology. This might become quite useful in the next ten years, considering the number of children and young adults who currently have an ASD diagnosis.
Digital Data Centers for Call Recording and Storage
All businesses should have a data center/tower for storing proprietary information, customer calls, and orders. If you take customer complaint and resolution calls as well as telephone orders, then you definitely need a digital data center. Be sure your phone provider installs this at the same time as your chosen phone systems so that everything can be stored properly right from the start.