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October 3, 2021

What Features Should You Look For in Free VoIP Services?

One of the main advantages of the VoIP phone system is that it can be used from anywhere with an Internet connection, which is why you should check if your target provider offers service through computers, mobile devices, personal networks, and the physical VoIP phone.

The features below are not the end all be all of a VoIP system, but they are among the core business phone system capabilities that will help your team create a top-tier satisfactory customer experience and develop with each day.

1. Adding numbers and calling from different locations

One thing you shouldn’t forget practicality-wise is to check how easy it is to add, delete, or reassign phone numbers and extensions.

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You can set up multiple numbers for different teams or use cases and port your existing number for free in OpenPhone.

Also, you can set extensions for departments and ring multiple forwarding numbers in order through call blasting.

Bitrix24 allows you to generate phone numbers from 50+ different countries, allowing you to rent local phone numbers and call at local rates all over the world.

It is important that the same business phone system can be used across multiple locations and a modern scalable VoIP solution will allow you this, allowing you to stay connected through portable handsets, home phone lines, desktop phones in different locations, enabling you to take calls out of office.

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2. Call queues, call transferring, and call hunting

The call queue feature offers a great solution for managing incoming calls during peak periods of high call volume, providing a more pleasurable customer experience by announcing the customer’s place in line or estimated wait time, while playing on-hold music or announcements until the first agent is available.

With extensions set by a competent VoIP provider, call transferring will be the perfect tool for distributing calls and connecting your customer with the specialist they need, with the software using algorithms more frequently to route the call to the right person.

Live call transfer is a feature that will allow you to transfer a call to another number entirely (such as a cell phone or a home line), and it can be done in the middle of a call without notifying the other caller.

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Three-way calling (separate from the conference bridge) enables you to place your current caller on hold and dial a second number, and have all three of you on the phone after the second caller answers the call.

3. Conversation notes

Besides call forwarding, you can add more context to your staff members with briefs and comments in Aircall.

OpenPhone is another VoIP solution that will keep all your conversations organized and serve you as a guide for each conversation with custom properties and notes for your address book.

4. Call routing and custom business hours

CloudTalk simplifies call routing through automated call distribution while RingCentral’s sophisticated routing rules enable you to solve complex call handling.

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Considering that 24/7 business accessibility is more and more becoming the industry norm, you can avail of the time-based routing functionality for rerouting calls (to an emergency phone line at home, for example) during closing hours.

Grasshopper lets you define extensions for each staff member individually, routing the calls to the employees’ desk and then the cell phone.

CloudTalk, on the other side, will take the burden off of you during business hours while keeping all of the functionality with special personalized announcement planning and call rerouting.

5. Scalability and contract commitments

Are there any long-term commitments or contracts you will have to follow in your current plan, and how will the conditions of the contract plan once you upscale or downgrade to a lower plan?

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Are you allowed to upgrade or downgrade your plan during a contract period and are there any additional fees for doing so?

Sometimes, you will encounter additional fees or deposit requests for certain features, like with Grasshopper’s international calling functionality.

6. International calling and the auto-attendant

Businesses that have multiple offices and depend on international phone number calling will benefit from the flexibility and cost-effectiveness of the VolP systems that will unify your communications and grow your core business through versatile features such as the auto-attendant.

Aircall is one tool that offers unlimited worldwide calling, while a service like a Grasshopper allows you to activate the international calling capability but only after you have laid down a deposit of $500 (except for Alaska and Hawaii accounts), which is why you must find out all the contracting terms for each feature.

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The auto-attendant is there to intelligently route inbound calls to your team, presenting callers with intuitive menu options to reach sales, service, or support when connecting.

The auto-attendant feature works like an Interactive Voice Response system, but it primarily operates as a keypad input.

RingCentral‘s auto-attendant comes with a multi-level capacity for directing calls across your PBX with submenus, as well as dial-by-name directories, and automatic or triggered call recordings.

7. Ring groups

Working with the same number of staff members while the company grows can be challenging and lead to customer complaints, which is why a feature like ring groups can be so valuable.

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When a ring group is activated, multiple phone lines ring when a customer calls so that someone else can take the call if the primary extension isn’t available.

Role-based ring groups allow certain employee’s phones to ring based on their role in the company, while ring groups can represent skills, departments, languages, and so on.

CloudTalk, for example, enables you to create as many ring groups as you need, and you can assign an unlimited number of ring groups to each agent separately.

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