Structured Communications offers VoIP solutions with flexible options across Sussex, Surrey and the UK.
VoIP — which stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol — is a technology that improves the way we communicate by improving flexibility and providing high-quality calls over the internet. In simple terms, VoIP means that voice calls are transmitted over the Internet instead of being over the traditional telephone exchange network.
VoIP is often referred to as IP telephony (IPT) because it uses Internet Protocols to make enhanced voice communications.
How will VoIP benefit my business?
Beyond options like voicemail, call waiting, call forwarding, and remote operation, you’ll find a host of other features that can help your business.
- Free calls between your company locations
- Keep your phone numbers when moving office
- Provides Disaster Recovery on your telecoms
- Remote workers from anywhere in the world
- Increase capacity with ease
- Higher quality call sound
Get in touch
Give us a call on 0203 301 4000 to speak to us about our VoIP solutions.
So, why choose Structured Communications for VoIP Phone Systems?
VoIP, when configured and managed correctly, will provide HD quality calls all of the time. To ensure this happens, VoIP needs to be installed using a quality internet connection.
Many providers sell 'off-the-shelf' VoIP products which are designed to look attractive to your budget, however are cheap and often not very reliable, giving VoIP a bad name. These providers are simply re-selling another company's product and often don’t have the experience or expertise to install and manage a quality VoIP solution.
Our VoIP platform has been built from the ground up by our in-house team of technical engineers meaning we have full control of what the system can and can’t do. It also means that we can monitor the network 24/7 to ensure all of our clients stay connected and receive a high-grade service.
We have built multi-level resiliency into the network by having direct data links in multiple carrier networks. This means that if one carrier has a fault the system will automatically switch to another within minutes. Most other providers only use a single carrier meaning that faults last hours or even days in extreme cases.
VoIP Phone System Features
Interactive Voice Response (IVR)/Auto Attendant
An Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is an advanced type of auto attendant and a hugely practical feature for business communications.
With an IVR, you benefit from having an automated message played to incoming callers that specifies the options available for them on the call, prompting them to make the correct selection to be routed to the right extension or department. As a fully automated system, it improves call routing efficiency and reduces unnecessary time on the phone.
Caller ID allows the caller’s name or number to be displayed on the user’s phone screen for a personalised experience. This is a common feature to identify the source of incoming calls.
This feature enables calls to be forwarded or redirected to a different number, for example, when a member of staff is out of office and needs to receive calls on their mobile rather than desk phone.
Once activated, the call forwarding feature is automatic and causes no disruption for the caller.
Call parking assigns each caller with a number and will play on-hold music whilst they wait for their call to be picked-up by the intended person. Each parking lot number is important to note and should be the responsibility of the person transferring the call.
The parking lot number should be read to the transferring user, who can answer the call by inputting that number into their handset. A common scenario is a receptionist placing a call in the parking lot, contacting the recipient with the parking lot number, and the recipient dialling the number to connect.
Call recording is an option that allows you to record a conversation for the purposes of training and quality assurance. It can always record, record on-demand, or never record.
It’s important to check the laws in your jurisdiction or country as it may be unlawful to record a call without prior consent. Businesses can add an automated message for callers about call recording.
A call report is a visual interface of your call performance and key statistics that helps you analyse your data. Call reporting can be filtered by date, extension, user, duration, and more, and you can create custom reports to meet your business needs.
They can be particularly useful to review individuals and extensions that can’t otherwise be consistently monitored.
This feature allows you to block specific numbers from calling into your phone system, such as unwanted calls or solicitation, and as a measure to prevent harassment or abuse. It can be used to blacklist persistent telemarketing companies, for example.
This discreet feature means executives or supervisors can listen in to any phone call, without the members of the call being aware. During a call spy, the user cannot interact with members of the call.
Call spy can be an extremely useful feature, especially in training situations where impartial observations need to be made.
Call transfer is an essential feature that allows calls to be transferred to other users, to a voicemail, to an external number, or other available options. This feature has a flexible application, with two separate transfer options.
Blind transfer will connect two calls directly and immediately, whereas attended transfer connects the person making the transfer with the recipient of the call. This allows the recipient to be informed of the details of the call before the transfer is made, with the option to accept or reject.
Call queuing allows you to place callers in to a waiting list. Calls are delivered to an agent as they become available. Calls are queued in the order they are received. Automated messages can be played advising of queue position and or average hold times.
This feature is particularly useful when a large number of incoming calls are expected at the same time, allowing the callers in the queue to be picked up by the next available representative, or placed in a queue for a specific agent in a specific department.
Whilst in the queue, on hold music or on hold messages can be played. As part of this feature, users can log in and out of specific queues, for example when they take lunch, or when additional agents can be useful at peak times, or when certain queues are longer than others.
A few of the configurations available include:
- Call recording
- Agent ring options
- Ring all agents
- Ring available agents only
- Ring certain agents only
- Alert agent how long a caller has been holding prior to answering a call
- Calls queue 'weight' to apply priority to calls from different queues which would be answered by one group of agents (i.e. support calls are a higher priority than sales)
- Fully customisable timing and messaging options (how long a caller waits on hold, how often to play a message, automated message which estimates on-hold time, and more...)
This feature creates a meeting room for both internal and external users, where users can call in and talk to one another. Such conference rooms can be moderated by an admin, and there is an option to password protect them so only approved users can have access.
Once configured, a conference room can be entered by dialling the conference room access number (internally), or by entering a numerical code after dialling the number (externally).
Conferences are extremely useful and easy to setup by calling one or more users via an extension. For outside users, there will be restricted functionality and it may not work with all external users.
Do Not Disturb
The do not disturb features allows users to automatically reject a call by terminating it and sending the incoming call to the users ‘busy’ voicemail. This is different to call forwarding with terminates to the ‘unavailable’ voicemail.
This feature is ideal when a user is too busy to take a call, for example, if they are in a meeting or in the middle of an important task.
Instant Call Control
With call flow control, you can use feature codes to route incoming calls at your convenience, such as when an incoming number or route needs to be changed while it’s in progress. This feature is extremely useful when a business is closed for the day; a user simply dials the appropriate code to enable or disable the feature.
- When call flow control is enabled, (green button) incoming calls will be directed to the IVR extension, or extension 200 is no IVR is available.
- When the feature is disabled, (red button) an incoming call will be directed to an IVR to tell the caller the office is closed.
- The IVR message should contain an explanation that the user may press 1 to leave a message or to call back during normal business hours.
Music on Hold
Music on hold is a familiar and expected feature from callers, whereby you can customise wait music for the caller in a call queue, or on hold. Music can be played to suit different demographics and you can also present callers with recorded messages relating to the nature of their call, as well as reassuring them someone will be available shortly.
A common example would be to set a recorded message to play every X seconds highlighting that the call is important and will be answered promptly. You can also record a message to be played that informs callers of an issue that you’re already aware of, such as “We are currently aware of the issue and are working to rectify it as soon as possible. If your call doesn’t concern this issue, please continue holding”.
This feature allows you to route calls based on time, day of the week or month. It’s useful for routing calls differently depending on business hours, weekends and holidays.
It ensures you can play messages to callers to inform them the business is currently closed and the specifics of regular business hours, with a prompt to leave a message or call back within business hours.
In a phone system, a remote user is one who is not located in the office but is still able to connect to the system and have the same functionality as if they were in the office. To allow this, they must have a remote phone configured to the office system.
Via a VPN, a remote user can work anywhere in the world making and receiving incoming and outgoing calls just as if they were at their office desk. It can be used in many situations, such as working from home, and for employees based in other cities and countries.
It is possible to group assigned extensions tor a ring group so that all associated phones are called simultaneously. For example, there can be a ‘sales’ ring for all the sales agents which will call all the phones in that group.
Additional options include:
- The ring strategy (ring all, ring sequentially, ring first available, and more)
- Max ring time
- Music or voice announcement (to be played to the caller prior to calling the group)
This feature is useful for IVR’s (Interactive voice responses) and call queues as incoming calls can be directed to an entire department. It’s also useful if you want to contact a group of phones internally, such as support agents. It is as easy as assigning those phones to a ring group (such as 201), and dialling it from any phone on the system.
Voicemail allows callers to leave a voice message on the phone system to be played by the recipient at a later time or date. Voicemails can be used either when calls are unanswered (unavailable calls) or when a user has their phone set to Do Not Disturb (busy calls).
When a call reaches a users voicemail, the caller is prompted to leave a message after a pre-recorded (or automated) message. Additional options can be set to route calls should they reach a users voicemail.
Voicemail to Email
This useful feature, when enabled, sends a copy of a user’s voicemail to the recipient’s email address, allowing the message to be listened to via email or a smartphone device, without them having to physically be at the location of the phone system.
Please contact us on 0203 301 4000 to discuss how these options can improve your business communications.