What Is a VoIP Receptionist Console?
Business and enterprise VoIP software come with many useful features. One of the features that’s been growing in popularity is the Voice over IP receptionist console. It’s something that’s now built into many business VoIP plans because of how much it can do for a company.
Defining a VoIP Receptionist Console
What exactly is a VoIP receptionist console, and why is it important to your business?
In the most basic terms, a VoIP receptionist console is a piece of software that assists in identifying and routing callers within a call center or business.
Every VoIP provider offering a business VoIP service should have the option for a receptionist console because of its role in simplifying customer service interactions. The level of features and the specific functionality of each console will vary depending on the service. Most are either automatic or manual.
Automatic Vs Manual
Receptionist consoles can be set up in different ways for different organizations. You can either replace the receptionist altogether or use the console as a tool for the receptionist to work more efficiently. Both are great solutions in different situations.
Automatic VoIP receptionist consoles make physical receptionist obsolete. This is ideal if your company gets an enormous volume of calls that need to be quickly redirected to the right service agent. Calls can either be forwarded directly to any available agent, or they can be routed to agents based on information that the caller provides.
Manual receptionist consoles are software tools that make a receptionist’s job much easier. Your company can still have that personal touch of a real human voice answering the phone for customers without bogging that person down. The console displays each customer service agent’s status and current availability, so the receptionist can choose whom to route the call to right away.
What Does a VoIP Receptionist Console Do?
Regardless of how much personal involvement is needed for the receptionist console, there are certain basic functions it should be able to do. You can search for VoIP receptionist consoles with specific features when you’re narrowing down your VoIP provider on GetVoIP.
The main features are broken down into 3 categories:
Incoming Call Functions
These are the functions that take place when someone calls the company VoIP number. They’re features like answering calls, hanging up, placing a call on hold, adding them to the call queue, and transferring the call.
Many receptionist consoles have complex features that combine some of these functions together. Maybe a call needs to be put on hold while the receptionist figures out where to transfer them, so they put the call on hold then transfer the call directly to a different line without having to pick up the call again first. There may also be functions that allow you to either transfer to specific places or transfer blindly to an automatic call distribution queue.
Incoming call functions increase the speed at which calls can be directed to their proper places. Receptionists, both human and automated, may be able to solve the problems themselves, or they can retrieve some information that helps them to quickly direct the caller to the appropriate place.
Internal Call Functions
Receptionist consoles can act as a sort of “mothership” for the VoIP system at large. Agents can ring up the receptionist to connect them to specific other people in the company. Some VoIP systems make this process seamless by allowing the agent to connect through their software interface directly without having to go through a receptionist at all.
The other bit of useful information these functions provide is the current status of all the other devices connected to the receptionist. A human receptionist would be able to see which agents are available, which are busy, which are away from their stations, which are offline, etc. This makes it a lot easier for a receptionist to choose where to transfer someone to give that customer the shortest waiting time.
Customer Identification Functions
When a call comes in, there may be some information already known about the person calling. The receptionist may be able to find out information immediately if the person’s number has previously called the company and was recorded in the system. Or, the receptionist may be able to gather information to then send on when the person is transferred to a customer service agent.
Typical information to collect and store would be a person’s name, phone number, their status with the company, and potentially specific information like a service account number of a bit of personal identifying information.
These functions can also apply to internal people in a company as well. The person’s name, position in the company, contact information, department, direct dial code, and other information could be stored easily by the receptionist console for access when necessary.
How It Increases Productivity
VoIP receptionist consoles go above and beyond what a normal business phone service would be able to provide. All the features give receptionists the ability to work more efficiently and keep customers flowing in the right directions.
Automated receptionists reduce the amount of labor needed to sort calls and distribute them appropriately. As long as you put in the time while installing the software to set up the correct automatic call distribution commands, you won’t have to do much to make sure people are getting the answers they need or getting put through to people who can help them.
Most businesses with multiple phones can benefit from VoIP services like receptionist consoles. They may not be useful for small businesses, but they’re a true time-saver for companies that receive a larger volume of calls.