How Do Virtual Office Phone Systems Work?
Virtual phone systems work with a combination of technologies such as VoIP for telephony, cloud PBX for call routing/management, and other more virtual communication tools to create a phone system designed to provide an enterprise-level communications solution that is also accessible from any location via the internet.
This gives virtual phone services or systems a unique advantage over on-premise systems: more mobility.
Businesses that use virtual systems benefit from a certain degree of flexibility in a variety of areas as a benefit of this mobility. It enables organizations to explore previously inaccessible possibilities when the best choices were on-premise PBX for large corporations and single multi-line telephones for small enterprises.
Certain elements of running a successful company aren’t spoken about nearly as often as other ones. In comparison to the most up-to-date laptops, tablets, and smartphones, business phone systems may not seem to be as glamorous—but that does not detract from their significance in today’s business world.
The majority of individuals will not give a second thought to their company’s phone system until it ceases to work correctly.
Anyone who has had to deal with this issue in the past understands how stressful the situation can become. A company can incur significant productivity losses if its primary means of communication between employees and coworkers, as well as with customers, is abruptly lost.
In this article, we’ll go over all there is to know about virtual telephone systems, including their most important features, the advantages they bring, and the companies that provide them.
What Comes to Mind When You Think of Virtual Phone Systems?
For a long time, on-premise systems were the dominant technology in the corporate communications sector. Furthermore, due to the significant financial expenditure required for installation and configuration, they were only available to big corporations. Sophisticated call routing and call management capabilities were out of reach for small and medium-sized enterprises.
That is not the only complication. These technologies, as the name suggests, may only be used within the confines of the company’s office building or facility. Upon leaving their place of employment, users are no longer linked to the system and must communicate using personal cell phone minutes to stay in touch.
Virtual phone systems (VPS) are cloud-based corporate phone services that allow users to make and receive calls via an Internet connection as well as a cloud-based PBX system, as opposed to conventional landlines that use copper wire to make and receive calls.
Businesses may choose from a wide range of existing toll-free and local numbers, as well as many of their own toll-free, local, or vanity virtual numbers located across several different area codes. Business phone lines that use VPS are also accessible on an international level for a low cost.
This is How Virtual Phone Systems Work
As technology advances alter the way people interact, the capabilities of an office phone system continue to develop. Trends continue to anticipate a rise in the number of VoIP users, and office phone systems are working overtime to keep up with the ever-changing needs of communication.
Feature Sets for Basic Call Management
Virtual phone systems work to provide many more call management capabilities than traditional landlines. The most essential of these are call routing and call forwarding, both of which are discussed below.
This feature transmits calls consecutively among preferred devices, saving the caller the trouble of having to dial another number to reach the intended recipient.
A call forwarding feature, for example, can be used if an agent fails to answer an incoming desk phone call. Instead, the call is sent to a mobile phone.
If the recipient does not answer their mobile phone, the call can be routed to their home phone or Google Voice number, whichever they choose. If none of the designated alternative phones is answered, the call may be transferred to voicemail or another agent.
Remote call forwarding allows more for more employee freedom while still meeting company requirements. It also guarantees that callers will talk with a live agent, which helps to improve first call resolution rates.
The following are additional call management features:
- Call blocking and Do Not Disturb settings
- Customer Service on Hold with Customizable Hold Music Custom Greetings
- Transfer of a Phone Call
- Call screening and caller ID hot desking.
- Toss a coin (Switch to another device during a phone call without disconnecting)
- Monitoring of Phone Calls (Call Barge, Call Whisper, etc.)
IVR, which stands for Interactive Voice Response, is intended not only to enhance the call routing process, as previously mentioned, but also to provide a greater degree of client self-service, freeing up agents’ time to deal with more urgent matters.
IVR call menus are pre-recorded prompts that ask the consumer questions about the purpose of their call. They can be added to any virtual business phone number.
The system may “understand” a client’s spoken remarks using Natural Language Processing (NLP), or it can follow instructions about what to do when a consumer types an answer through a phone keypad. (For example, “Press 1 to reach customer service, 2 to reach billing, 3 to reach a receptionist…”)
The IVR system will then lead the client through a series of pre-recorded prompts or replies from a virtual receptionist – all without ever connecting them to a live representative.
Another common example is IVR payments, which allow customers to pay or manage their bills over the phone by responding to prompts using the phone keypad or by voicing a response into the IVR system.
Automated Callbacks and Queuing for Phone Calls
An important element of any company phone system is the ability to filter and handle incoming calls by putting each caller into a queue and waiting for them to be answered by a person.
With Customer/VIP client significance, the exact sequence in which the customers phoned in (the most frequent), and the kind of problem they need help with are all variables that are considered when creating call queues.
The callers will then be placed on hold until a representative is available to talk with them directly.
In comparison to traditional voicemail, VoIP visual voicemail automatically transcribes and stores missed voice messages, saving the user time and effort. Representatives may elect to receive voicemails by text message, in which case they may also send an automated response to the missed call/message, such as “Let me call you in five minutes,” or “I’m in a meeting.”
Voicemail-to-email is another useful feature that automatically delivers both audio recordings and voicemail transcriptions to the agent’s chosen email account, saving both time and effort.
The majority of corporate phone systems will incorporate native video calling capabilities in their plans, especially as video conferencing platforms such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams become more popular for business interactions.
Web conferencing facilitates remote team collaboration by enabling face-to-face real-time communication and cooperation between team members who are geographically separated.
While on a video conference call, users can share their screens with other participants, make use of virtual backdrops, change camera perspectives, present slideshows, vote on virtual polls, raise their virtual hands to talk, and interact with one another through team chat messaging.
Tools for Collaboration in a Team
Although team collaboration tools (particularly team chat messaging) are often used in combination with video conferences, they may also be used on their own throughout the workday.
Users can upload files and co-annotate them in real-time, tag other users, assign tasks, and reply to chat messages. Users can even draw on a virtual whiteboard or take remote control of another user’s screen.
Aside from basic team collaboration features provided by today’s phone system providers, the majority of users will sometimes need to connect their chosen collaboration tools to make use of more sophisticated collaboration capabilities.
SMS for business purposes
Using their business phone number, agents may send text messages to colleagues or customers from their VoIP desktop software or their mobile device, depending on the situation.
Agents can save time by typing lengthier messages on their desktop computers, while still having access to their full-text chat history, just as they would on a mobile device.
The sending of automated SMS replies or marketing text messages to customers or individuals who have opted in to receive messages from a business may also be accomplished in certain instances.
Within a VoIP phone system, call recording is available for both audio and video conversations (including screen sharing, whiteboards, and other features).
Unlimited call recording is often only offered on more costly subscription plans, although many carriers will provide at least 3-5 GB of recording capacity in less expensive plans as a standard feature.
Administrators have the option of establishing company-wide recording policies or allowing individual users to control their recordings. To allow users to easily search for certain subjects, all recordings are transcribed and may be shared through email or in the team chat room.
Analytics for Business Phones
Employee and customer data and analytics are available from business phones in real-time and archived form. In most instances, these analytics are accessible via pre-made report templates or fully customized reports that enable users to choose their key performance indicators (KPIs).
Individual agents, departments, call directions, and other characteristics may be selected, as well as a certain date period, and other parameters. User-defined reports may be sent out regularly to keep everyone informed of any changes in market conditions.
How to Turn Any Phone into a Business Phone
Having more than one phone number makes sense in many cases. It is similar to having one email account for work and another for personal interactions.
Work-life balance may be achieved by having distinct work and business phone lines (each with its own voicemail). This directs work-related calls to be sent to voicemail after 6 p.m. Likewise, personal calls can be deferred until after working hours. Additionally, this practice may aid in the simplification of accounting and billing.
One frequent issue of concern is whether mobile users can get an extra phone number to simulate two phone lines on a single device.
The answer is, without a doubt, that you can.
A variety of pricing options range from free to $25 or more a month. What you want and, possibly, how many calls you make will determine the fee.
In terms of features and capabilities, a broad range of services are available that can provide you with an extra phone number.
Others, such as Google Voice and Skype, see it as just one of many features available via their services. Many providers, in addition to providing a second phone number, also provide associated services, which may include anything from texting to faxing to video calling.
Moreover, for any small business, especially one that is “distributed” and has remote workers, you may want a primary phone number for your company that serves as a “PBX (private branch exchange) in the cloud,” enabling calls to choose and be routed to the appropriate party.
How do virtual phone systems work: Virtual Numbers
Both traditional and virtual phone numbers have the same basic structure. A typical telephone landline number in the United States is made up of ten digits. The first three digits of the phone number are the area code given to a specific region of the nation.
Traditional landlines adhere to this rule to the letter; virtual phone providers do not. Purchasing a virtual phone number with the local area code of a certain location, even if you do not have a real address in the region, allows you to establish a virtual presence in that location without having a physical presence there.
Obtaining virtual phone numbers is a very simple process. Unlike conventional phone numbers, which need the installation of new telephone lines (which may take many days or weeks), virtual phone numbers can be bought from virtual phone system providers immediately after they are created.
The online administration account allows companies to buy new phone lines and give them to their employees as corporate phone numbers or assign them to specific individuals.
To allow businesses to retain their previous phone numbers, particularly if they have been associated with the company for an extended period, most virtual telephone service providers allow new subscribers to carry their old business phone numbers from their traditional telephone service providers to their virtual telephone service providers.
How can you turn a virtual call into a video call?
Making video chats with your smartphone is a handy and cost-effective alternative to using a computer. The fact that mobile phones are tiny and lightweight makes it easy to move them from one location to another.
They also often feature both front-facing and rear-facing cameras that can be switched back and forth. A built-in camera can be found on the majority of contemporary tablets.
To use your computer’s built-in camera, you must first activate it or buy a separate plug-in webcam, if that is not an option for you. These connect to your computer through a USB connection and may come with extra third-party software to assist you in fine-tuning the image settings.
All four services are compatible with smartphones (FaceTime only works on Apple devices, though). It is recommended that you use Skype or Facebook Messenger if you wish to make a video call from your computer.
Each one of them is free to download and use while you are connected to the internet through Wi-Fi. However, keep in mind that if you’re using them over a 3G, 4G, or 5G connection, you’ll be using data from your mobile data plan.
Important point: If you are making a video call via an app, the person you’re attempting to reach will also need to have the same app loaded onto the device being used.
How can you turn voicemails into emails?
One feature of a business phone system that records a voicemail as an audio file (often in the.mpg or.wav format) and sends it to the recipient’s email address is known as an email voicemail function.
This lets the recipient download the file straight from email and play it using a media player on their smartphone or personal computer soon after receiving the email. Hosted VoIP and cloud phone system providers often provide a voicemail to email services.
How Do Virtual Phone Systems Work?: Virtual Landlines
A dependable telephone communication system is one of the most important tools every company should have. A decent business phone system has traditionally been prohibitively costly and difficult to install in small companies.
In today’s world, a virtual phone number is a simple and cheap option that may assist you in expanding your company beyond the limitations of a conventional phone line. This page has a wealth of information about virtual phone lines, and it is well worth reading.
A virtual phone number, also known as direct inward dialing (DID), is a telephone number that is not tied to a specific phone device or line. It allows the user to redirect and route calls from one number to another number, IP address, or device. A virtual phone number is also known as direct inward dialing (DID).
A virtual phone number, also known as direct inward dialing (DID), is a telephone number that does not have a fixed location. Virtual phone lines are sometimes referred to as “internet numbers” in certain circles.
Previous generations of phone numbers were designed to function over a single phone line that connected from the telephone company to your home or business. Any calls sent to that number could only be forwarded to that specific physical location.
Even though cell phones are more mobile than landlines, they are still dependent on cell towers to ensure that they have enough coverage.
Even with that restriction, the removal of most physical restrictions, as made possible through the use of a virtual number, allows a company to have more control and flexibility over how it receives calls.
How have offices/startups used this?
Virtual phone systems are the ideal option for start-ups and rapidly expanding businesses. These systems are designed with startups and small companies in mind. They are simple to use and are priced inexpensively- primary considerations for young companies.
Starting a company is still expensive, though, especially when you need to communicate with customers all around the globe. An estimated 90 % decrease in starting expenses may be realized by a small company that adopts VoIP for its communication requirements.
Because communication expenses have decreased, the process of getting the company off the ground is considerably more feasible.
To get started with a virtual phone system setup, startups first need to get the country code for their chosen nation. Local, toll-free, and mobile phone numbers are all available to them.
If customers choose several numbers, they can allocate them to their sales representatives. Even if only a single number is chosen, they have the option of dividing calls among the representatives, even if one of the representatives is operating from a distance.
In addition to their other benefits, these technologies enable startup owners to monitor how many calls a representative has made, how much total talk time was spent, and the results of the conversations.
How Virtual Phone Systems Work to Take Full Advantage of Today’s Technology
VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is the digital backbone of today’s contemporary communication services. There is much more to these VoIP systems than simply being a phone.
Digital communication systems that can be fully integrated with and enhanced by bespoke software solutions are what we’re talking about here. They may become immensely more powerful than any prior phone technology because of their integrated software solutions.
More significantly, this new smartphone technology enables firms to offer company-specific solutions at a low enough cost that no small business can afford to do business without them any longer.
What can virtual phones do those outdated landlines can’t?
When it comes to making and receiving phone calls, VoIP is a viable alternative to traditional telephone service agreements. With a VoIP home or office phone, your calls are no longer reliant on the traditional telephone network infrastructure.
To make and receive calls, a VoIP landline makes use of the internet connection used by your provider. Audio signals, such as the voices of people participating in a conference call, are first converted into digital data. The audio signals are then sent through your internet connection in the same way as any other data. At the other end of the connection, the information is merged with the other packets of information and converted to audio format.
From the perspective of a person who is making or receiving phone calls, nothing will seem to have changed. A VoIP landline phone may be configured to appear and function almost identically to a conventional handset.
Call quality will remain the same as long as the internet connection is fast and stable.
Why should a business upgrade to a new virtual phone system?
The benefit of updating small company phone lines is the added value of bringing systems together under one roof. What matters is that speech and data be integrated, rather than being seen as distinct systems. A software-based unified communication solution is the answer to an out-of-date telephone issue.
New systems may be deployed in the cloud, an internet infrastructure that many businesses currently use. These systems are so advanced they do not even need a desk phone, but businesses may choose to continue using those if they so choose.
Even if your existing phone system is capable of making and receiving phone calls, it may not be ideal or give you the flexibility and features that will make your business more profitable, cost-effective, and efficient. The ability to incorporate new features as they are developed will continuously improve workflow efficiency.
By upgrading your company phone system, you will get access to advanced communication capabilities such as call routing, auto-attendant, call recording, voicemail-to-text, and voicemail-to-voicemail transcription, among others.
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a developing technology that is being progressively embraced by everyone from small companies seeking to reduce costs to multinational corporations looking to future-proof their communication systems. VoIP technology is gaining in popularity as more companies realize the benefits to be gained from this technology.
A broad variety of applications may be integrated with VoIP, which can then be customized to meet the particular requirements of your company for not much expense.
As a result, mobile employees and workers who have their time eaten up by needless phone calls will be able to improve their effectiveness – a major, much-appreciated benefit.
The newest VoIP market research presents variables that will both enhance and hinder industry development between 2020 and 2026 in detail.
It offers in-depth information on opportunities and how they may be employed in order to increase income flow throughout the projected period of time.
Additionally, the report collects information on the breadth and size of regional markets, this is followed by a comprehensive examination of the competitive environment. For anyone interested in business or communications trends, this is well worth reading. Your competitiveness and profitability depend on it.