It’s a very exciting and rewarding process to move to a new Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system for your business. However, it is also a project full of important details that should not be overlooked. You should make sure that your company’s phone system is operational all the time. No matter what phone system you come from; whether from a landline, PBX, or other VoIP phone systems, it helps to have a plan. You can harness the power of a virtual phone system by controlling your VoIP system set up in just a few steps.
Transferring existing phone numbers
The phone number means the identity of almost every company. Your phone number is likely to appear in your marketing materials. Or your customers may know your phone number. Therefore it is very important to transfer your existing phone numbers to your new system. Porting or “port-in” both describe the process of moving phone numbers. You can transfer any phone number you use, such as PSTN/analog, wireless and virtual numbers. Of course, you always have the option to choose new digits if you want.
Managing and adding users
The number of users of your business telephone may differ from the number of telephone subscribers and employees. Not every employee may need to use a phone. Maybe you might not want some staffers to have a direct-dial number (DID). Either way, add them to your phone system to make and receive calls. Plan out the users, call extensions, permissions, and any call flows you want so you can be ready from day one.
Probably the most exciting part of any VoIP solution is setting up the devices you want to use for your new phone system. You can fast-track your VoIP setup. You can use a softphone to make business calls from your smartphone or desktop. For those with desk phones, plug them in. Through the magic of IP telephony, they will connect to your VoIP provider. From there, associate the physical phone with the user in your admin portal. If you have a Power over Ethernet (PoE) switch, you won’t need to use the AC adapter. Phones only power up through your Ethernet cable.
Auto operators greet callers with a short menu of options. Businesses need to be aware of the customer experience when setting up their call flow. Record a brief greeting that welcomes callers. Name the destination, then specify the number you want them to press. For example, “Press 1 to sell.” Keep it simple and straightforward when getting started. With VoIP, you can always change it without needing any technical assistance.
Voicemail is vital to any business phone system. Your voice helps your customers and colleagues know if they’re reaching the correct number. Let’s say you prefer a text message instead. A voicemail greeting will guide people.
For peace of mind, double-check your connection during VoIP setup. Confirm that your Voice over IP connections are working properly. To easily test your new phone system, call your number on your mobile, call your mobile phone from your work phone and make a test call for about 20 minutes to listen to any audio problems.
As a best practice, disable SIP ALG inside your network’s router. Go one step further and configure the Quality of Service (QoS) settings for VoIP. Doing so will maintain superior call quality and performance. If you have any voice communication problems, now is the time to adjust your firewall.
In addition to direct internal dialing numbers, you can also use ring groups (also known as dial groups). These can forward incoming calls to a specific group of users from a phone extension. This functionality varies between VoIP service providers. Likewise, confirm that you have configured the outbound caller ID as you desire. A user’s caller ID might default to the location’s phone number. It may take several weeks for telecom providers to update their caller ID databases.
Extra VoIP features
The final step in setting up your VoIP phone system is to set up the extra communication features. These are not necessary for the first day, but they will help your company improve its workflow and productivity.
- Call forwarding: You can set up automatic call forwarding to direct calls to your mobile phone or a colleague when you are away or unavailable.
- Online faxing: You can send and receive faxes over your VoIP network just like email.
- Call recording: You can listen to the recorded calls from the cloud at any time. This provides actionable training opportunities for your sales or customer support teams.
- Text messaging: You can exchange SMS text messages using the same application to talk to customers over the phone.
- Call screening: Avoid wasting your time by spam callers (robocalls). With this feature, you can block unwanted voice calls so customers can reach you.