A home office phone system is your link to the outside world, and it’s value to your business cannot be understated. Clients will reach out to you, customers will complain to you, and partners will collaborate with you via this business necessity. Now, all you have to do is make sure it has all the features you need to keep your home office running smoothly.
From basics like voicemail and speed dial to advanced features like transcription and call recording, the right home office phone system will be equipped with a few helpful quirks designed to make running your company from home easier than ever. However, not every phone system is packing every feature you might need, which is where we come in.
We’ve collected some of the most important home office phone system features in hopes of giving you the information you need to pick the right one. Take a look below at the top ten features for a home office phone system.
Perhaps one of the most important features of a home office phone system, conferencing refers to the process of talking to more than one person at a time. It may seem basic, but the ability to conduct meetings on the phone without having to call into a third party conferencing app or put the receiver up to your computer speaker is important, and we aren’t the only ones that think so.
With 94% of business owners insisting that the use of conferencing technology improves productivity, it’s safe to say the everyday company is on board with the use of conferencing to conduct business. Subsequently, if you want your home office to be taken seriously as a functioning business entity, the conferencing features is an absolute must.
You can’t always be in your home office (or at least you shouldn’t) and having a way to receive calls when your out and about is very important. After all, you could have a prospective client on the other line, and you don’t want their first experience with you to be a negative one. That’s where voicemail can come in handy.
This well-known feature, found on pretty much everyone smartphone in the world at this point, will allow you to always be at least somewhat reachable, even when you aren’t in your home office. It allows clients to leave you a message, or at least understand that you aren’t available, without having to endure countless rings. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to record an outgoing message, which further cements your professionalism.
A lot of important information is often relayed over the phone. Unfortunately, unlike email, there typically isn’t a written record of a given conversation for you to go back and review. With Call Recording, you can easily check out who said what and in what context. Plus, you’ll be able to focus on the call, rather than frantically taking notes. And the benefits of call recording go far beyond the convenient.
In a recent study, 64% of companies were found to use some form of archiving solution, like call recording, to more efficiently comply with legal requests and audits. Not only does call recording help you run your business more effectively, but it also helps you cover your butt when you need to.
Call recording isn’t the only archiving solution available via home office phone systems. Call transcription can be incredibly helpful in recalling what callers have said. It takes everything said on the call and — to the best of its ability — transcribes the entire conversation into a readable, searchable document.
Granted, this technology isn’t perfect, as anyone with a virtual assistant can attest to. However, a transcription feature on a home office phone system can get you close enough to the real conversation so you don’t have to listen to hours of old calls just to find that one specific exchange you’re looking for.
We’ve all been there: sitting on hold while some smooth jazz plays on the other end. Sure, it can be frustrating, but you have to admit that soothing music not only makes you a bit more calm, but also shows that the business you’re dealing with cares about customers. It’s a professional look, and that’s what you’re going for with a home office.
It doesn’t have to be music either. Plenty of reputable companies utilize on hold messages, so that customers don’t feel forgotten or ignored. Many even feature both, with some calming music occasionally interrupted by a message that either tells you how long it will be or simply assures callers that someone is definitely on the way to field their call.
You can’t always be in your home office to take every call, and listening through every single voicemail you receive can be pretty tedious. While on-hold music and messages can help, no one wants to sit on the phone waiting for someone to respond, and 48% of callers don’t even want to talk to a person in most cases. With an automated attendant system, you can make sure your callers are getting the attention they need before you even pick up the phone.
Yes, this feature is more effective for larger companies that may have different departments that need calls directed to. However, many automated attendant systems allow you to customize information, so you don’t have to answer calls from potential customers asking what time your business hours are, or what your mailing address is. Suffice it to say, any feature with the word “automated” in it is going to save you a boatload of time.
With ten digits in every phone number, you’d be surprised how much time actually dialing can take up, and speed dial features can fix that. A classic feature of a phone system, speed dial is the time-saving, memory-freeing functionality of hitting a single button to call some of your more common contacts.
Whether it’s your best client, your lawyer, or your business partner, having speed dials options can be a time saver, as well as an organizational tactic. It’s all how you use it, so make sure your home office phone system has this important feature.
The days of the Rolodex are long behind us, and keeping track of your contacts is easier than ever. Sure, the contacts on your smartphone can house it all, but wouldn’t it be nice to have a business specific directory built right into your phone system? Well you can, and it’s another feature you need when it comes to a home office phone system.
Depending on which phone system you end up buying, contact directories can take many forms. From detailed lists found on systems with hearty displays or a simple click-through directory on more basic devices, you’ll be able to easily keep track of everyone in your business that you might need to call down the road.
Work-life balance isn’t just a pipe dream anymore. Companies around the world are actively preventing their employees from overworking themselves, and you should take the same approach to your home office, particularly when studies have found that workers are almost always more productive when they have a little work-life balance.
With a Do-Not-Disturb feature, you can make sure work-life balance is a priority. You’ll be able to essentially turn off the phone to outside callers, giving you the peace and quiet you need to really enjoy your down time. Plus, with other features like voicemail and automated attendants, you won’t miss out on anything while you’re relaxing after a long day of work.