If you run a business, VoIP is your friend. As its name suggests, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) refers to the wide range of technologies that use the internet to make and receive phone calls.
With VoIP, you get a powerful business tool that costs just a fraction of what it takes to install and maintain a traditional call center. It’s also fully packed with useful features such as auto attendants, IVR, voicemail, and conference calls.
Not all VoIP service providers offer the same features. It's essential to choose the calling features in your virtual phone system that your team actually needs today and tomorrow.
40+ VoIP features to look for from your business phone provider:
- Advanced Call Management
- Call Routing
- Anonymous Call Rejection
- Auto Attendant
- Business Text Messaging
- Call Analytics
- Call Forwarding
- Call Notify
- Call Park
- Call Presence
- Call Pulling
- Call Queues
- Call Recording and Rating
- Call Screening
- Call Transfer
- Conference Bridge
- Custom Music on Hold
- Custom Ringback
- Extension Dialing (number change)
- Find Me/Follow Me
- Free Local Phone Number
- Hot Desking
- Instant Messaging
- Mobile App
- Number Porting (keep existing phone numbers)
- Online Fax
- Priority Alerts
- Push to Talk
- SIP Trunking
- Speed Dial
- Three-way Calling
- Toll-Free Number
- Upgrade Options
- Voice Calls
- Voicemail Forwarding
- Voicemail Greetings
- Voicemail to Email
- Voicemail to Text
- VoIP Caller ID
- Video Conferencing
- VoIP Switchboard
1) Advanced Call Management
Advanced call management helps you prioritize, hold, route, or block incoming calls. This feature supports your front desk operations and reduces customer frustration. It also improves VoIP call quality and impact.
2) Call Routing
With advanced call routing, your company systematizes how they direct incoming phone calls. You can route an inbound call by customer type, purpose, issue ownership, agent performance, and staff availability.
You’ll never connect a customer call to the wrong agent ever again.
3) Anonymous Call Rejection
Not all calls are worth taking. You don’t want crank calls to keep your team from helping real customers with real needs. This feature prevents calls from anonymous or blocked caller IDs from reaching your business.
4) Auto Attendant
It takes a lot to remain warm, upbeat, and effective at handling calls all day. That’s why your customer-facing staff needs all the help they can get.
An auto-attendant helps answer, escalate, and route all incoming calls with courtesy. You don’t need a human switchboard operator. It’s a win-win. A virtual receptionist helps you:
- Save on hiring costs
- Keep agents sharp
- Make customers happy
5) Business Text Messaging
Some customers prefer texting over making a call. VoIP has them covered. Most VoIP solutions provide business SMS texting capabilities.
A few even offer unlimited messaging service. Send notifications to customers or update your field teams. SMS texting is an indispensable tool to add to your business communication system.
6) Call Analytics
The right customer insight can help transform your business. But first, you need to collect and analyze heaps of real-world data.
VoIP runs on many different devices, including desk phones and softphones. That means they can record and process all sorts of call data. These include call session metrics, behavioral trends, individual agent performance, and others.
7) Call Forwarding
Never let an important call remain unanswered. Address customer concerns regardless of where your teams are.
Route calls received by office phones to mobile phones or other designated devices. This feature gives you the flexibility to receive calls anywhere and keep in touch with customers.
8) Call Notify
Be prompt to act on important calls. This feature sends an email notification to designated employees as soon as a specific call gets in.
Define a set of call criteria to optimize the call-notify feature. For example, use it to alert the relevant account manager for a high-value customer.
9) Call Parking
Call parking allows anyone in your team to enable call waiting until the right person can take the call.
You can continue a conversation uninterrupted even if you switch phone lines. Enable a hyper-busy team to receive or make priority calls before addressing a “parked” call.
10) Call Presence
Many things can annoy customers. One is having to call a business phone number only to be transferred to a busy line. This won’t happen if your phone service has a VoIP call presence feature.
Call presence gives you visibility over the phone status of everyone in your organization. With just a glance, you’ll know who is busy handling calls or is free to take the next urgent phone call.
11) Call Pulling
Call pulling is the ability to move a phone conversation seamlessly from one device to another. You can swap devices and bring conversations wherever you are going.
For example, you can pull an ongoing call from a desk phone over to your smartphone without the other party even noticing it.
12) Call Queueing
This feature is crucial for businesses that receive large call volumes. It lets you automate the distribution of inbound calls. Organize staff, teams, and departments into strategic tiers to handle these calls. Call queueing reduces wait times and enables your front-facing teams to service more calls.
13) Call Recording and Rating
- Set quality standards
- Enhance staff coaching and training
- Bump up customer retention
- Improve revenue generation
14) Call Screening
Call screening helps you make a smart decision on whether to take or reject an incoming call. This feature uses caller IDs to filter which calls to decline, accept, escalate, or send to the voicemail.
Call screening reduces crank calls, spam, and other unwanted calls. Agents can also use it to prioritize and accept only high-value calls on their phones/devices.
15) Call Transfer
This capability is among the most useful VoIP features. Send a quick cold transfer or make the crisp introductions required for a warm transfer. Either way, you establish a seamless connection between the caller and the recipient.
16) Conference Bridge
A conference bridge is a feature that enables you to add more than three people to a single call.
Among other things, this feature allows multi-party conversations, promotes teamwork, and enhances collaboration. Use it to hold remote meetings with dozens of participants in different locations.
17) Custom Music on Hold
Customers rarely enjoy long wait times. It either means you don’t know your game or you don‘t care about their predicament.
Either way, your business loses. Instead, establish harmony by tuning in to their rhythm. Upload and play audio files while your customers wait for a response. Remember, it always takes two to tango.
18) Custom Ringback
Establish brand differentiation and identity. Custom ringback allows your team to set the audio callers hear when they contact your business.
You can use any audio file such as a corporate jingle or a popular sound byte associated with your brand.
19) DND (Do Not Disturb)
Do Not Disturb turns your phone ringer off and redirects customers to voicemail or a busy line. You can set it up any way you like.
20) Extension Dialing (number change)
Customize and manage the extension numbering system of your organization. Depending on your service, you can define VoIP phone number extensions with 2 to 5 digits.
Extension dialing lets the relevant team respond to a call much faster. As a result, wait times get shorter for customers, and you solve issues more quickly!
21) Find Me/Follow Me
Both Find Me and Follow Me are call forwarding VoIP features. If Find Me lets you receive calls anywhere, Follow Me lets a customer reach you across multiple phone numbers.
22) Free Local Phone Number
Instead of a landline number, some VoIP service vendors provide a free local phone number. This will help you maintain corporate visibility in your local market.
See why businesses love these top VoIP features.
23) Hot Desking
Hot desking lets you log into any device and still have all your agent profile settings show up automatically. With this VoIP feature, you use the extension of the phone you're currently using.
This is a useful feature for those business owners running low on office space or has field agents on cell phones.
24) Instant Messaging
Modern customers prefer using messaging apps than making phone calls. In fact, millennials and GenZers love apps like Slack, Snapchat, and Messenger. Don’t let your business fall behind.
Most hosted PBX phone systems come with instant messaging capabilities. That's great for customers who want other options besides email and phone calls.
With Interactive Voice Response (IVR), callers interact with a company’s real-time voice menu. Callers choose options by pressing digits on their phone or speaking verbally to solve their concerns.
26) Mobile App
VoIP has the advantage of being more driven by software than hardware. This means you can run a virtual office on your smartphone by installing a VoIP app. You can have conversations with teams, partners, and customers anywhere you go.
27) Number Porting (keep existing contact numbers)
Already have a business phone number you and your customers have grown really fond of?
No worries. Many VoIP providers let you keep your existing number from any carrier and port it to your new business VoIP system. Avoid the hassle of alerting your contacts that you have a new number. Just keep the conversation flowing.
28) Online Fax (eFax)
With VoIP, there are several ways to fax online. You can send and receive one via an email address or a traditional fax machine. Either way, you get the task done.
Related: Did you know you can send a fax without a fax machine? See how!
29) Priority Alerts
Stay on top of every conversation. Priority alerts give you an advanced intel on every call.
Configure phone rings depending on a specific customer or call information. Use unique phone rings for the C-suite and valued customers.
Get collaboration, teamwork, and cross-departmental synergy on steroids. Push-to-talk works like a traditional intercom. Just push a button to connect with people, get answers, and take action.
31) SIP Trunking
SIP is the acronym for Session Initiation Protocol. SIP trunking provisions voice over IP connectivity between an on-premise phone system and the public switched telephone network, also known as PSTN.
It’s great to have traditional telephones on your office desks. But it’s even better if you can make and receive calls on any device. VoIP softphones makes this all possible.
Enhance your workflow and enjoy greater flexibility in managing your calls. Just install the software on your desktop computer, notebook, and tablet. And bingo — these devices are now connected to a virtual phone system!
33) Speed Dial
Speed dial lets you dial a shorter sequence of numbers to make phone calls to lines you frequently ring. No need to memorize hard-to-remember numbers anymore!
34) Three-way Calling
Sometimes, three’s a company. You might need more than two heads to solve a problem or achieve the next milestone.
For these situations, three-way calling is the feature you need. With VoIP, three-way calling comes as a standard feature. Three parties on a single phone call mean faster and more efficient conversations.
35) Toll-free Number
Customer-centric businesses tend to have toll-free numbers. Non-local customers can call without getting extra charges on their phone bills.
A VoIP service lets you keep this benefit. Make it convenient and free for customers to reach you wherever they may be.
36) Unlimited Voice Calls
Most phone plans that have per-minute charges and call limits aren't good for business. They erode your operational efficiency, customer relationships, and revenue potential.
It’s time to kick out such plans and ditch worrying about call limits. Look for VoIP services with unlimited voice calls (like Nextiva!) in your business location.
37) Upgrade Options
You can upgrade a VoIP service into a full-featured, unified communications platform. Besides standard VoIP capabilities, UCaaS provides many advanced VoIP features. These include AI-enabled live chat, ticketing, comprehensive analytics, and sales and service CRM.
For situations when you can’t take a call, always provide callers with the option to leave a voicemail.
This makes callers feel that they have not wasted their time calling you. It also allows you to respond, address tickets, and take action. Basic voicemail allows callers to leave a short audio message. The system then notifies agents when there’s a new message.
39) Voicemail Forwarding
Sometimes, you need to be notified of new voicemail messages on a different device. And sometimes, a voicemail message needs to be sent to a group of people. Whichever the case, voicemail forwarding is the appropriate solution.
40) Voicemail Greetings
A little warmth and courtesy can go a long way. Customize how you greet callers when they opt to use the voicemail feature. Make them feel valued and appreciated. Add a personalized and pleasant greeting before they even record the message.
41) Voicemail to Email
Never leave voicemail messages unattended for long. Use the voicemail-to-email feature, and you’re all set to take action as soon as you can. This feature automatically sends voicemail messages to your inbox so you can respond to customers faster.
42) Voicemail to Text
It's easy to miss important details. You can overlook names, numbers, and addresses when listening to voicemail messages. So, it’s a good thing some VoIP services provide voicemail-to-text transcription.
That way, you can read the message from your inbox for greater clarity. Which, in turn, makes it easier for you to take the right action faster and with more impact.
43) VoIP Caller ID
Caller IDs are among the most useful features any telephony system can offer. VoIP caller IDs enable your teams to see who exactly is calling your business. Knowing who is calling helps you plan, prioritize, and take the most effective action.
44) Video Conferencing
Video can make a huge difference when people from many locations meet online. Besides meetings, you can also set up web conferencing as an effective selling and marketing tool.
This feature becomes crucial, especially during product demos, contract negotiations, and deal closing.
45) VoIP Switchboard
A VoIP switchboard is a control panel by which you can receive, send, and transfer calls via the internet. With this feature, you can keep conversations going even when participants are on the go.
transform the way a business communicates.
Gaetano DiNardi is the Director of Demand Generation at Nextiva and has a track record of success working with brands like Major League Baseball, Pipedrive, Sales Hacker and Outreach.io. Outside of marketing, Gaetano is an accomplished music producer and songwriter - he’s worked with major artists like Fat Joe, Shaggy and loves making music to stay turbocharged. To get in touch, follow him on LinkedIn.