Getting the Most from Your Existing Phone System

By Jelani Harper
Updated: September 09, 2011

No matter what phone system an enterprise presently employs—whether a key system, private branch exchange (PBX), or a PBX with Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) capability—there are a number of features and techniques that should be employed to maximize the usage and efficiency of such telephony devices. Standard practices related to policies for phone usage, integration with information technology systems, and proper techniques for handling high call volumes may all be used to increase productivity and generate more business.

Telephone Usage Policy

The rendering of a uniform, standard means for employees to communicate with customers and other businesses while on the phone is fairly integral to the integrity and image of a particular enterprise. Therefore, it is essential to mandate a formal greeting that should be used by all telephone representatives, as well as to adequately train employees in the responsibilities and names of employees in the various departments of an organization for the sake of accurate, expedient transfer of calls. It may be of value for companies to monitor calls for the purpose of training and quality control, to ensure that representatives are sufficiently fulfilling these responsibilities.

IT Systems And Telephony Integration

Oftentimes, it is of immense benefit to an organization to integrate its phone systems with existing IT technology—whether it’s merely a typical computer database or a Customer Resource Management (CRM) solution—to enable computer telephony integration (CTI), which provides for a plethora of uses. Some of the most valued of these include the means for dialing numbers directly through a computer or presenting customer history to representatives while accepting calls.

Other prudent applications of CTI include the consolidation of fax, phone, voicemail and email messages into one inbox and the ability to make outward calls over the internet. Depending on which phone system is used, additional hardware and software may be required for networking components.

Heavy Call Volumes

The expedience and efficiency of production levels may actually increase during a period of heavy call volume if organizations choose to utilize a couple of features specifically designed for such situations. One is an automatic attendant feature (which may require key phone system users to upgrade to a PBX) that answers calls before routing them to the proper department, and reduces time and the number of employees required to answer initial calls. The other is known as automatic call distribution, which positions calls in a queue before directing them to available employees, often times allowing organization to inform callers of the length of their wait period.
 

Featured Research
  • Is Your Phone System Stealing Profits?

    Having the wrong phone system can dramatically cut into your profits. Despite this, many businesses just sign up for a plan or platform that seems ‘good enough’. If you haven’t carefully considered your options and the included features, there’s a very good chance that you are leaving money on the table in some way. more

  • Phone System Technology Showdown

    VoIP and IP telephony are often misconstrued as being the same type of phone system, but the truth is they operate on different technology and deployment methods. This guide will explain the differences between VoIP and IP, go into the pros and cons of both VoIP and IP-PBX, and give insight into which type of phone system will benefit your business the most. more

  • Why Enterprises are Making the Switch to VoIP

    Your phone system is your most important business communication system. It allows you to connect with your employees, prospects, and clients. And wouldn't it be great if there was a solution that helped drive down costs while providing a competitive advantage? more

  • Business Phone System Buyer's Guide

    Communication has been a focal point in business since inception, but the industry is changing drastically in how people connect to one another and what tools and systems they use to do so. Less than 15 years ago, 90% of people relied on landline phone systems for communication. Today, less than 60% of Americans even have a landline and 40% rely solely on their mobile phone. more

  • Ditch Your Fax Servers

    An in-house fax server gives an IT department centralized management and monitoring over the entire enterprise's faxing. This can help your company track usage and better maintain records for auditing and record keeping. However, there are serious drawbacks that come with utilizing an in-house fax server solution and these range from security to cost-prohibitive pricing. more