Optimizing IP PBX Systems

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Technology has come a long way since the telephone switchboards of the days of old. Many companies today are using internal switchboards. These are known as IP PBX systems. Prior to the 1980s, PBX switchboards required operators to manually direct calls. Today, PBX has entered the Internet world.

IP PBX

Modern PBX solutions use Internet protocol to exchange information. The functionality of PBX systems has been greatly expanded with the implementation of IP interfaces. No longer are employees restricted to the office. PBX features are able to be enjoyed from just about anywhere on the globe.

Hosted Versus Trunking

A PBX is responsible for connecting phones and voice applications. It can either run on a server in your office or be hosted by a third party. Most of these systems use SIP protocol. It is simply a communications protocol for signaling and controlling communication sessions involving multimedia.

SIP trunking is required to connect your IP PBX to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). If you have a hosted PBX service, both PBX and SIP trunking services are kept and maintained offsite by your provider. On the other hand, you can install and manage the PBX on-site by purchasing and maintaining your own sip trunking service.

Tips and Tricks

Maximize your company’s productivity with PBX. Many PBX system owners aren’t even aware of some of the features and capabilities available to them. Here are some tips and tricks to get you started.

  • Automated attendant. This is a virtual receptionist capable of directing calls. You can program the automated attendant to manage a high volume of calls. This lowers your need for personnel strictly dedicated to answering phones. When setting up this feature, don’t frustrate your customers with too many call directing menus. Avoid redundancy and direct the caller as quickly and efficiently as possible.
  • Conference calling. This feature gives you the ability to communicate with a large group of people in real time. It can be frustrating to try to discuss over email a topic that requires many exchanges. Teach your employees how to use this powerful feature of your PBX phones.
  • Call accounting. This is a great way to keep tabs on your business’s phone usage. It records call information like date, time, duration, calling party, destination party, and account code. This helps you bill customers for support calls. You can gauge which employees may be wasting too much time on the phone.
  • Call forwarding. This feature is often underutilized. Most companies forward calls to a voicemail. Employee and consumer satisfaction could be improved by forwarding missed calls to co-workers or supervisors. This way customers get answers more quickly and employees don’t waste time on callbacks.
  • Customizing. PBX allows you to configure call attendant menus, on-hold messaging, and scheduled events among other things. This means customers hear a unique welcome message when they contact your business. This adds a level of personability lost pre-programmed generic messages. Take the time to create relative priorities callers and determine the needs of each group. This extra layer of customization helps your customers feel significant.
  • Call holding. Being stuck on hold for extended periods of time can be frustrating. This is especially true since callers are likely to be using a mobile phone that may drop the call before they are able to talk to a representative. Most PBX systems provide features that allow you to notify callers of potential wait times. You can also play music and advertisements. Callers are also placed in a priority queue. This helps eliminate dropped calls due to excessive wait times.
  • Virtual PBX. For small businesses especially, opting for a virtual PBX service instead of hosting their own server could save costs. You gain access to many of the wonderful capabilities of IP PBX and allow a third-party keep and maintain PBX and SIP trunking services on their network. This does sacrifice some privacy and some advanced features, but you can cut thousands of dollars in expenses.

IP PBX phone systems make doing business much easier. They provide many features that allow you to provide a better experience for your customers and your employees. Call accounting helps you make sure everyone is staying on task. Conference calling allows for more efficient group conversations, so everyone remains on the same page. Make sure to capitalize on these features when using this system.

Call accounting helps you make sure everyone is staying on task. Conference calling allows for more efficient group conversations, so everyone remains on the same page. Make sure to capitalize on these features when using this system.

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Vishal Gaikar

Article by Vishal

I am Vishal Gaikar, Software Engineer, Web Addicted, Living in Maharashtra, India. If you like This post, you can follow Tricks Machine on Twitter, also you can add me on Google+.

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