How To Use Business VoIP Phones

So, your company added a brand new shiny VoIP business phone system, and you got handed your new phone and told “good luck!” You’re sitting there wondering how to use this new phone without wasting yours or everyone else’s time.

Fortunately, in the last twenty years a lot of programmers worked to make VoIP business phones as user friendly as possible for everyone. They’re quick to learn and easy to use these days.

How To Call Another Physical Location of Your Business

If you have multiple locations on the same business phone system, you can just dial extensions.  No, it doesn’t matter how far away the locations are from each other.  Our headquarters are in the greater Los Angeles area.  We have offices across the country on the same business phone network with regular three number extensions.  They just work like an extension down the hall.

These days, the whole organizational system for a business’s phones lives on a cloud server that’s probably nowhere near anyone in the business.  This organizational system is called a Private Branch Exchange (PBX in industry lingo).  Once upon a time, it was a physical chunk of complicated copper that had to be in the same building.  With VoIP, however, now it’s a piece of software.  It’s just a program that can run from a cloud server.

In our systems here at NoContractVoIP, it can easily run from any of our six different big servers.  If one server goes down for some reason, the whole program will switch to another and you’ll never notice. Using our servers instead of having your own is called Hosted PBX, because we’re hosting the program for you on our computers.

Either way, extensions just work regardless of physical location.

What Is This Softphone. . .Thing?

If you were told you’re getting a softphone on your cell phone, you have to download an app of some kind.  Then you have to sign into it with a username and password your friendly IT person (hopefully) gave you.  If you don’t have that information, you need to bug your computer people.

Once you signed into the app, you’ll see a whole separate keypad and call history tab in there.  If you want to call someone from your cell phone but using your business number, you must call from within that app.  Then, the recipient of the call sees your business Caller ID show up on their phones instead of your personal cell phone number.

The phone contained in that app works just like your desk phone.  The two are linked. People in the company can call you on the softphone with the same extension they use to call your desk. You can call them using their extension.  You can call transfer, call forward, call conference, everything you’re used to doing from your desk phone.  It is dependent on you either being on good cell phone signal or on WiFi, though, so do be careful.

You can also download and use the softphone app on a desktop, laptop, or tablet so long as you have speakers and a microphone.

Getting Business Calls On A Private Cell Without App

Some people find that they’re getting business calls on their cell phone directly, like any other call.  It’s not going through a softphone app, their phone is just ringing like it always has.  Only instead of a personal call, it’s someone who called the business. What is up with that? Should you take those calls?

This situation means that whoever configured the phones set the system to forward calls to your personal cell phone.  We often do this on request in power outages or other sorts of emergencies so a business doesn’t lose their ability to answer calls entirely.

So what’s the difference between this and a softphone app? Well, people who call in on the business line just know someone picked up.  However, if you try to call them back, they’ll see your personal cell phone number, not your business Caller ID.

If you’re not someone who ought to be getting forwarded business calls on your personal cell, again, it’s time to talk to the computer people.

Get Voicemail Messages On A VoIP Business System

When someone leaves you a voicemail on your business phone, you should see that voicemail appear in your email inbox.  You can listen to it there.

If you’re not getting those emails, but you know someone left you a voicemail, it’s time to bug the computer people again.

That’s also usually how it works when you leave someone else a voicemail, but you as the caller shouldn’t notice that it’s going to email.  It should work just like it always has, “Press 1 to leave a message. . . ”

Use Business Texting On A VoIP Business System

You get into an email account that’s set up for business texting.  The phone number you’re texting goes in the “To” bar like it was someone’s email address.  Just type the whole ten digit number.  Then type in your text message in the body of the email and hit send.

Do remember that this is going as a text to someone’s cell phone. Write it like it’s a text message, not like it’s an email.  Graphic signatures are right out.

Text messages coming in will go to that same email inbox.  It’s possible to get them relayed to either your cell phone or to your personal email inbox, but again, that’s a configuration thing to talk to your friendly computer people about.

Send And Recieve Faxes On A Business VoIP System

Virtual faxing works pretty much the same way business texting does.  There’s a particular email inbox the faxes can be sent from and will come back to. Scan the document in question, paste it into the body of the “email”, put in the fax number it needs to go to, and hit send.

Faxes can have a subject line, where business texting usually doesn’t.  And, again, faxes can be configured to go to particular email inboxes.  Whoever works on the phone system can set that up.

Using All Of A Business VoIP System

So, that covers the big points of using your company’s new business VoIP phones. You should be able to use the regular phone, business texting, business faxing, voicemail to email, and so on. If your company went for a system that’s got Customer Management Software integrated with the phones, that’s a whole extra article’s worth of information.  The short version is that when someone calls in, their account and interaction history will just automatically pull up on your computer.

We hope that helps! Please, add any other questions you might have in the comments!

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