What to Consider When Choosing a Remote Work Phone System

If you’re wondering what a remote work phone system is and how it will revolutionize your work life, then you’ve come to the right place.

The pandemic upended, amongst other things, the ritual of the office space. All of a sudden, remote working became commonplace. But although life has started to return to normal (whatever that is), don’t expect everyone to rush back to the office just yet.

Working from home—or wherever you happen to be that day—has proven to be a boon to companies everywhere. Lower overheads, higher productivity, and increased flexibility are among the myriad benefits that working virtually can offer.

But to get the most out of remote working, it’s crucial for the individual’s working space to be optimized. Don’t worry—we’re not talking about installing adjustable desks and ergonomic chairs all over the place. But without a shadow of a doubt, you need to invest in a remote work phone system.

This virtual, cloud-based phone system works using the internet, rather than a traditional phone line. It has numerous benefits and can create a seamless experience for your team and clients, boosting productivity and efficiency.

However, not all remote work phone systems were created equally. Depending on your company’s needs, certain features will be more appealing or necessary. Here are seven of the most important ones for you to keep in mind.

Unified communication

The clue is in the name—this feature collects information from all conversations and keeps it in a single place. 

This means that all dialogue between you and your team becomes an instant knowledge bank, and you only need to hit Ctrl+F to find what you need. 

Gone are the days of misplaced Post-It notes littering desks and bins. Unless that aesthetic suits you, of course!

Call analytics

Are you forever scrolling through your phone call history, trying to locate the exact time a particular client called? Maybe you want to have a better grip on calling patterns in order to allocate resources.

Enter, call analytics. This feature not only keeps a record of all phone calls (the bare minimum, after all), it also offers valuable data such as when your peak hours are and where calls are coming from. It usually also provides reports for your team to scrutinize.

This feature is invaluable for keeping a close eye on team communications. You’ll soon be wondering what you did without it!

Power dialer

This feature is excellent for those of you with an extensive roster of calls to make. A power dialer immediately connects you to your next call as soon as the current one finishes. 

Think of how much time you’ll save if you don’t have to key in every number or search for every contact. This feature creates a seamless, back-to-back experience that gives you enough time for that extra cup of coffee. What’s not to love?

Interactive voice response (IVR)

IVR is critical if many calls need to go to different departments.

A virtual assistant will greet the caller before guiding them to the correct department or phone number. This cuts down on staff hours and provides a more consistent, interactive experience for the caller. Definitely a win-win.

Call forwarding

With this feature, calls can be forwarded to your personal or business number. 

In today’s working world, we’re experiencing something of a paradox. Instant accessibility is often required, even demanded, at the same time as flexibility has become a more integral part of many jobs. Considering that 6 in 10 folks prefer not to work from home full time or to even work in the same place all the time (see chart below), this is a trend that we need to adjust to.

Call forwarding squares this circle. You can be wherever you like—in that trendy café down the road, taking your dog for a quick walk—and still be within contact. 

Offering this level of flexibility and understanding is a great way of instilling confidence in your employees as part of a wider strategy for successful remote management.

Image sourced from commercialcafe.com

Voicemail to email

Perhaps an automatic voicemail-to-email function doesn’t sound like much to you, the casual reader. But trust us, it’s a winner.

People tend to read much quicker than they listen, so you’ll save endless time by having a written account of customer queries and reports to referring to. Considering we all too often jot down notes from voicemails too, this really is cutting out the middleman.

As with regular emails, these transcripts can also be forwarded. In fact, why not get two steps ahead and schedule emails so that you instantly direct them to a specific inbox? That way, you have a quick, cohesive system that requires minimal effort from yourself.

Call barging

Sure, it’s not the snazziest of names, but call barging is absolutely essential for any new employees. Let’s face it, it might even come in handy for some of the old-timers, too.

With call barging, any senior member of staff can jump on a call with you. That might sound intimidating or undesired. But for those working from home, who can’t run into the manager’s office clutching the phone in dismay, it’s undeniably useful.

Whether you need a quick answer for a time-pressed customer or simply someone to back you up in a squeeze, this feature allows for enhanced flexibility and a more integrated experience for all involved.

Remote Work Phone System – One last thing

So now you’re pretty much an expert on what to consider before choosing a remote work phone system.

But don’t forget, you and your team need to have a high-speed internet connection in order to enjoy this system at its fullest potential. A handy tip is to take a VoIP speed test to see if your connection is suitable.

After you’ve done that, it’s time to shop around. And the final step? Enjoying all the time you’ve saved thanks to all those fancy features!

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