Automated Phone System Can Improve Service To Your Customers

If you are in the market to buy an automated phone system, this powerful business tool would be effective for your business and can help you to reduce your employee staffing costs.

These telephone systems have extremely advanced functions and features that allows this type of phone technology to able to answer a large volume of incoming telephone calls. Some of these systems can even make outbound calls for your company. Generally speaking, these feature rich systems can easily be integrated with your existing phone, voice mail, or fax systems.

In order to maximize the power and efficiency of an automated phone application, it is important that you match the system you buy with the appropriate and specific needs of your business and industry. The typical automated telephone program will have a plethora of features like automated call answering, call forwarding and call waiting functions to help your business run more efficiently.

One of the most popular features that many automated phone systems can provide is when you or one of your staff are unavailable or not in the office, the system can re-route your call to your home phone number, your cell phone number or to any telephone number you designate.

When you accurately select a good quality phone software, all of your customers and prospective customers can be quickly routed to the appropriate company staff member who can best serve them.

As any business owner will attest to, in a small business there is always much to do and much to follow up on. If you have to pay someone to answer your company phone, you may find that doing so is not the best utilization of your personnel, especially if you’re a new business or a home business working on a tight budget.

If you have to designate a dedicated person to answer the phone, it may require that person to take time, energy and money away from other more important tasks that could better serve the company. And of course, you will have the additional expense and cost of training, hiring and replacing people to maintain the job.

So when you properly use one of these telephone application, you can actually reduce your staffing costs while improving efficiency.

Make Your Automated Phone System User Friendly

When setting up your software, it is important to always keep your customer in mind.

We all have been an unhappy customer after calling a big company. Although the company’s goal was to improve its efficiency, frequently the end result is an experience for the customer that is outrageously frustrating and time wasting.

To increase customer satisfaction, you should always make all messages as short as possible. Try to always give the customer five options or less at a time. If it is in any way possible, you should always provide your customer with an option to speak to a live person for immediate assistance.

By setting up your automated phone system properly with the customer’s needs in mind, your new software will actually help you improve service to your customers.

Business Phone System Maintenance Is Essential for Optimum Performance

A business phone system not only improves the customer experience, but also provides the business with a cost-effective and efficient way to route calls. However, this is only true if the system is running properly and is maintained by knowledgeable personnel. As with any type of technology, over time parts and components can cease to function and will need to be replaced. Depending on the system purchased, these replacement parts can either be nonexistent or very expensive to procure.

This is why it is essential that support and maintenance of the business phone be considered prior to purchase. Although replacement hardware is a key component of keeping a business phone system up and running, there are other maintenance tasks that should be completed on a regular basis to keep the phone system running at its optimum performance.

As technology advances, the operating system and firmware versions need to be consistently updated to keep pace with new technology. Many performance issues can appear when additional features are added without upgrading the core components of the system. In many cases, advancements in network technology can have a direct effect on the performance of a voice over IP enabled phone system. In most cases, the system vendor will have recommendations to upgrade firmware on key hardware components or they might even suggest that you upgrade to the latest version of software available.

In the case of upgrading software, the upgrade will come at an additional cost with the expense of labor for the upgrade being included in the total cost. When upgrading firmware, if the business system is covered under a maintenance agreement, the labor is covered under this agreement with no additional cost to the business owner. Firmware upgrades should be completed periodically to ensure that the system is always running with the latest version of firmware. Most manufacturers make changes to the firmware to address particular performance issues and they release this firmware for specific reasons. If the firmware is not periodically upgraded, the business might not be taking advantage of advancements in technology.

Backing up the business phone system is another area of importance that should be completed on a daily basis or at least whenever there’s a change made to the system. As with any computerized technology, should the system have a major failure you’ll need a backup to restore service as soon as possible. Without a backup of all extensions, call routing, and announcements, the phone system information would have to be re-entered manually. This essentially causes the system to have to be set up all over again which would cost the business valuable time and money. The preferable way to maintain backups would be to create a directory on a server where backups could be written to this directory on a nightly basis. The backups for the system would then be backed up as part of the backup for the file server. Having these backups immediately available is added assurance that should a catastrophic failure occur that communications could be restored in minimal time.

System monitoring is another way to ensure optimal performance and to stay ahead of potential issues before they arise. In most cases, when hardware begins to fail it will often trigger alarms on the phone system. Using software to monitor these alarms, a system administrator can become aware of a potential problem and arrange to have the hardware replaced before it fails completely. This is also true in the case of circuits or phone lines that are performing poorly. When the circuits are not performing properly, this can contribute to poor call quality or audio issues. Even though the issue resides outside of the phone system, monitoring tools can help the system administrator determine which circuit is having the issue so that the problem can be reported to the communications provider. Monitoring the system allows for a proactive approach for troubleshooting and system maintenance.

Since most business systems today are voice over IP enabled, network performance is a key element in how well the phone system performs when making or receiving calls. Monitoring on the network side should also be completed with VoIP technology in mind. The business phone system also has tools that will help the system administrator pinpoint causes of poor audio quality that are related to network performance issues. These tools are dependent on the model of phone system purchased however; most manufacturers recognize the need to have a way to monitor VoIP traffic on a converged network.

The purchase of a business phone system is not the last major decision that needs to be made for communications for your business. Ongoing maintenance and repair is required to keep the phone system running at the highest levels of reliability. Being proactive through monitoring and maintenance will ensure that the phone system for your business will always provide a professional and efficient way of communication.

Asterisk Phone Systems Will Save Your Company Money

Asterisk phone systems is in a software program. The benefit of the software is that it replaces large expensive phone systems. These expensive phone systems have many extensions. The asterisk would replace those extensions. For the residential user it would save money on the long distance calls. Because of this, it is in software the system is versatile, customizable, and can be extended.

So why would you need this system? The main reason is to do away with all the extensions on your current system. Especially if you’re using a PBX. A PBX is expensive, even a moderate size can cost around $100,000. A PBX is also limited on its flexibility. A PBX will offer voice mail but is difficult to integrate into existing systems. However, with the Asterisk there are benefits to changing to the system.

There are multiple reasons to use this system. The most important for a business is the all software approach, which means it manipulates and routes voice over Internet Protocol packets, instead of switching analog lines. The business using this software would receive voice mail, support for multiple lines, and call routing. In addition, there is an interface to the OS and extreme power form the programming language.

Your company can add web-based admin interface, SQL databases, a detailed call log to the database and additional features. Some features are optional some come with the system. So what can you expect with this package? It comes with the ability to service digital and analog phones, call routing logic, route incoming and outgoing calls, voice mail, and teleconferencing.

The call routing logic is amazing as the program will route the calls in the most least expensive way, this save the company money. The incoming and outgoing routing does this by detecting standard voice lines, or the Internet. A company can use the detailed logging of information to analyze and billing methods. There are complex and simple menus that are interactive. Allows prerecorded messages to be played on peoples cell phones.

If your personal are traveling on the road they can call in to check their voice mail from a web browser. When a customer is placed on hold, the system will announce hold time to the caller. There are many components to the system. With a Linux PC, the entire package is functioning free.

The package even has a server to assist the company. You can use hard phones with the asterisk by using a Wi-Fi network. It uses the SIP protocol over an Ethernet system. Even a soft phone can be used by implementing a microphone or earpiece. The microphone would be attached to a PC. This is generally the method used for all soft phones.

Asterisk is a digital phone system, so older phones would use the ATA to hook them together. With this software package in place at a business, it will enhance the calling procedures. It can save money and time and do away with large expensive phone packages. With a little research, a company can find a way to switch their current large expensive telephone structure to an Asterisk.