Here we attempt to cover what are optional extras with regards to phone systems.
Of course this is not an exhaustive list but will give you a good idea on what is available.
Most phone systems can cater for additional add-on options. The most popular optsion are Music-on-Hold, Voicemail and Call logging and recording.
Telephone System Add-On's and options
As we have stated on our other pages, telephone systems vary enormously in terms of features and functionality.
They also vary in terms of what features come as standard and which are additional options (at additional costs). Covering this on one web page is impossible so we have briefly listed some of the more common options with a very brief description and explanation. These are listed in order of their commonality.
Functionality and flexibility varies so be sure to cover this with our experts (or whoever you are dealing with).
Common Phone System Options
Voicemail - normally included but sometimes extra and sometimes charged per mailbox! Voicemail systems can also offer group as well as private mailboxes, queuing, call recording, Automated Attendant (dial 1 dial 2) and voicemail to email.
Call logging and reporting – rarely included apart from basic information. Most systems require a 3rd party solution such as Oak Report which provides comprehensive reporting on all types of telephony activity – this normally provides historic information only. Some systems have their own more feature-rich software (eg Mitel).
Contact Centre or Call Centre functionality– provides real time information and allows you to manage by exception and route callers to the most appropriate contact centre personnel quickly. Contact/Call centre also provide supervisor features so that teams can be managed effectively as well as media blending for dealing with voice calls, web chats, email, faxes and even social media customer interactions.
Music or marketing on hold – allows you to play messages to callers on hold – this can be simple music (can be subject to copyright so you may need licenses) or you can have bespoke messages played to certain callers based on which number they have called and so on – a great marketing tool to inform customers and maximise sales opportunities. Try our own service here which allows you to make your own! Music on Hold
Call recording - comes in different 'flavours'. It can be recording on demand or done across all users so that recordings can be archived, stored, backed up, retrieved and re-distributed – often used for training or for legal reasons – please ask our advice!
Remote working – there are various ways of allowing users to work regardless of their location including remote IP phones, mobile twinning/diverting, one-number-type features, integration with smart phones and iPads/tablets, soft phones on lap-tops and so on.
Site mobility – some users may want cordless phone communications so there are often options to provide this on systems using DECT, Wifi or mobile integration.
Video conferencing and web collaboration – this is very popular with large businesses but is becoming much more affordable for smaller organisations. Allows users to create planned or ad-hoc video conferences and share files and information in one session with anyone with a web cam and a reasonable internet connection – video can be using a PC, laptop or smartphone!
Tannoys and bells – if you have larger premises, you may want to connect a phone system to a paging system or warehouse bells to help with communications
Door entry – Having a door entry system that connects to a phone system can be a real benefit as callers can be answered and allowed access by any extension user.
Note we have not covered all add-on options here. That would be impossible! So please talk to us so we can help you!
What our customers say..."We've been customers of First Office for many years and have always been happy with their helpfulness, speed, knowledge and price. Last night they excelled themselves however: at 7.10pm our very old phone system's main unit died meaning we were faced with the prospect of 35 phone sales guys unable to do any work today. Unsurprisingly at that time no one was still in the office at First Office and so I emailed technical support giving a full rundown of the symptoms and my amateur diagnosis; a director of the firm called me at 8pm to say he'd been passed the message and an engineer had already been booked to attend site at 8.15am today. This morning I was stuck in traffic and didn't arrive until 8.35am by which time the engineer had turned up, fitted a whole new unit, reprogrammed and tested it and had already left ! Frankly, phenomenal !"
Mark Husey - Sentinel IT