Having a virtual phone system is one thing, but knowing how to make the most out of it is a completely different story. We recently wrote about knowing what kind of business phone system was right for you – if you decided virtual was the answer, knowing how to use all its features is key to getting the most out of it.
Make sure your account is properly set up
Before you even begin setting up your business phone system you need to ensure that you’ve gone through the initial setup process. These are the steps that get sometimes get overlooked as customers want to start adding features instantly.
Verify your email address – This step is easy to overlook (especially if your inbox isn’t the most organised place in the world), but you will not be able to get full access to your account until it’s been done. Not received your verification email? Check your spam or contact support for help.
Add a payment method – Make sure you add a card to your account to stop your phone service from being disrupted at the end of your free trial period.
Share access with other admins – You can add other users to your account, so your colleagues can change rules and add or edit features if you want to share the responsibility.
Time intervals – Set your office hours to ensure you don’t receive calls at 3am when your office closes at 5pm. You can also set routing rules based on your office hours so calls can go to a different destination in the evenings and at weekends.
Set up your features
Once you’ve set your account up, you can get stuck in and add the features you need to really make the most out of your new business phone system.
Add a number – Look the business and let your customers get in touch with you by adding a phone number to the account. You can choose a local or national number, so think about what would be more appropriate for your business.
Add extensions – Once you’ve got yourself a number, you’ll need to decide where you want the calls to go: that’s where extensions come in. These can be virtual or regular – it’s entirely up to you!
Add ring groups/IVR/call queue – To make sure your callers are dealt with as efficiently as possible, you might want to add some of our call organising features. For example, if you have several different departments who all receive calls, you may consider adding a IVR (auto-attendant) to ensure customers get directed to the right team as soon as they ring.
Forwarding rules – You can create different rules to manage your calls based on when people ring you. If your office isn’t open 24/7, you can use the time intervals you set up previously to dictate whether calls at certain times should go to a ring group, extension, or voicemail. You can also set up your system to ring certain extensions first before forwarding calls to other extensions.
Make your business phone system truly your own by choosing your own hold music and setting a branded voicemail message for when callers can’t reach you.
Add hold music – Show off your company culture with hold music that represents you, but be aware that you don’t have the right to pick any song you feel like! Make sure you keep it legal by using royalty-free music or having the right licenses in place.
Voicemail settings – Voicemail is there to catch calls you can’t make, either because you’re busy or it’s out of hours. Record your own message to let callers know they’ve reached the right company and you’ll get back to them ASAP.
Cloud phones are easy to use, and much more straightforward to manage than landline systems, but they really show their strength when take a bit of time to make sure they’re properly set up.