Your browser does not support JavaScript!
Are you working remotely and need options to stay connected? We are here to help. [ Learn More ]

Understanding Voice Over IP Jitter, Latency, and Packet Loss

The key to good VoIP call quality depends on a few factors such as jitter, latency, and packet loss. We discuss these elements below so you can ensure your business has strong and reliable VoIP quality for customer calls.

Understanding VoIP Call Quality: The Basics

Voice over IP or VoIP calls occur over the internet by transmitting voice or data packets from one user to their destination. On VoIP calls, your voice is transformed from analog to digital signals in data packets and is sent to your destination. Upon arrival, these packets are converted back to analog and the audio is heard. Data packets generally contain about 20 milliseconds of audio and this whole process occurs at lightning speed.

And while this process seems simple and straightforward, there are a few factors that can affect the quality of the call, interrupting it. Voice over IP call quality depends on keeping the following elements to a minimum:

  • Jitter
  • Latency
  • Packet loss

Let’s look at these issues more closely and ways to troubleshoot them.

Voice Over IP Jitter

For a VoIP or SIP call to take place successfully, data packets must be transmitted from one user to their destination. And these data packets travel through different paths before they reach the destination. As such, all data packets may not take the same path or time to arrive.

VoIP jitter refers to the data packets being delivered to the destination at irregular intervals instead of being delivered at the same time. In other words, one packet is delivered after the rest of the packet. This can lead to low VoIP call quality with missing or jumbled audio.

How to fix this issue?

Generally speaking, 30 milliseconds (or less) jitter is acceptable. However, more than that can lead to serious call quality issues, affecting your calls and customer care efforts. And so, to fix jitter issues, you must first check your network and ensure you have a good internet connection.

Another way to fix jitter issues is by using a jitter buffer. This is a space where packets are collected and stored. Then, they are sent out at regular intervals ensuring they move in the right order.

VoIP Latency

Voice over IP latency refers to lag or delay within the call. More specifically, it’s the delayed time between a caller speaking and the receiver hearing the audio. This lag or delay can lead to speakers talking over each other or echoes in the middle of the call.

It is also important to note that international calls may experience more latency than domestic or local calls. And while it is not desirable, users generally tend to accept latency in long-distance calls more than local ones.

How to fix this issue?

Latency does not necessarily affect VoIP call quality. However, it does make the caller experience less desirable, giving way to frustration and miscommunication.

Most of the time, latency is a result of network congestion, which also contributes to jitter. To combat this, you should prioritize voice over IP data ahead of other data transmitted across your network. And a high-quality VoIP router can help with this as well as other issues that may crop up within a VoIP phone system.

Voice Over IP Packet Loss

Understanding packet loss is pretty straightforward. It refers to data packets lost during transmission from one user to their destination. Packet loss occurs when:

  • Data packets are lost and never arrive at the destination
  • Packets arrive late and are discarded as a result
  • Packets contain errors and are discarded
  • High data packet loss which results in low VoIP call quality or missing pieces of audio.

When data packets go missing, communication between two parties is incomplete or unclear. Troubleshooting this issue is similar to fixing jitter and latency: check your network. Congested networks where multiple and large files are downloaded or uploaded or transferred can lead to packet loss. Therefore, to ensure low to no packet loss:

  1. Make sure you have enough bandwidth.
  2. Minimize network congestion (don’t stream videos or download music or send large email attachments).

Get a Reliable VoIP Provider

To ensure you do not suffer through these issues, it is important to find a VoIP number provider that can handle your voice over IP traffic. Learn more about our VoIP service by speaking with one of our experts today. Call us at 1 (877) 898 8646 or chat with us online for more information!

What are the Different Types of Contact Centers?

Source: DepositPhotos.com - Lic#199689480 ID#27446420

Can’t decide which of the different types of contact centers is right for your business communication needs? Here we highlight 7 types of call centers to help you understand which is ideal for your purposes.

Understanding the 7 Types of Contact Centers

There are a few different types of contact centers that exist with different focuses and purposes. This ranges from centers that have it all or centers that focus on incoming or outgoing calls, those that use specific virtual call center software to centers offering multichannel communication options, and so on. You can also outsource your communication needs to some centers. On the other hand, other types of call center software can give your business access to contact center tools to use in-house.

However, which type of call center or call center software that will work for you depends on your specific needs. So, let’s look at the 7 types of contact centers:

  • Call centers
  • Contact centers
  • Inbound centers
  • Outbound centers
  • On-premise centers
  • Cloud-based or virtual centers
  • Multichannel or omnichannel centers

Let’s look at each of these types of contact centers individually.

1. Call Centers

The terms call center and contact center are often used interchangeably; however, there are a few differences between them. A call center, for instance, is a centralized center where reps answer incoming calls from potential and current customers of various businesses. Some call centers handle only incoming or outgoing calls while others handle both, also called ‘blended’ centers. Additionally, a business can have an in-house or on-premise call center or they can outsource their needs to a company specializing in call center services.

2. Contact Centers

Contact centers are similar to call centers except that they are more multichannel or omnichannel. This means that along with receiving calls, these centers also offer email, SMS, live chat, and social media communication channels. Call centers usually stick to phone conversations only while contact centers offer more channels and modes of contact.

3. Inbound Centers

Inbound contact centers focus primarily on incoming calls. This means that they have trained agents and reps to answer calls and provide sales or customer support services. Most inbound contact centers are generally customer service-oriented. Customers generally call a business for a few reasons:

  1. To inquire about a product or service
  2. To ask for technical support
  3. To receive assistance with a purchased product or service

Usually, an IVR system answers the call and interacts with the caller by offering menu options. Then, it proceeds to help the caller via pre-recorded messages or by transferring the caller to the right department.

The goal of inbound centers is to handle customer calls and concerns quickly and efficiently. This means answering and resolving calls professionally. This helps retain more customers by increasing customer satisfaction.

4. Outbound Centers

Outbound contact centers do the opposite of inbound centers. That is, they focus primarily on outgoing calls and lead generation. These contact centers call lists of potential clients or leads in an attempt to make new sales. Outbound centers use customer relationship management (CRM) systems to keep track of contacts, leads, and calls. Some outbound centers offer additional outbound calling services such as fundraising, collecting customer feedback and surveys, outreach efforts, and more.

5. On-premise Centers

Many types of contact centers work on-premise or in-house. This means that the call center works within your office and all the hardware and software are operated and managed by your in-house IT team.

On-premise centers are known for their high level of data security and therefore tend to be more reliable and have better call quality. Additionally, you will have total control over your communication system and you can use it according to your needs. However, running your contact center on-premise means that your business will be in charge of purchasing and maintaining hardware, hiring a highly-skilled IT team, and paying other upgrade costs. All of this can lead to higher costs for your business.

And so when deciding whether you need an on-premise center, consider this: do you have the budget, infrastructure, and IT team to handle the system in-house?

6. Cloud-Based or Virtual Call Centers

Virtual call centers are an alternative to on-premise centers. They work virtually and are hosted by your provider. In other words, your provider runs and manages your call center software while you simply use the service.

A cloud-based contact center gives you less control. However, your business is not responsible for any hardware or maintenance costs, which can save substantially on expenses. Your teams can access the software from any location or device as long as they have a good internet connection. Most businesses that manage remote teams use virtual call center software to provide their teams with the right tools needed for excellent customer service.

7. Multichannel or Omnichannel Centers

Multichannel and omnichannel centers are one of the most effective types of contact centers that offer not just voice but other communication channels as well. This includes video, email, SMS, live chat, and social media engagement. One thing to note is that multichannel centers may not offer all communication channels while omnichannel centers do.

Having multichannel support can help your business reach more customers across different channels. Interested customers who do not prefer phone conversations can use other means to connect with your business, which helps you increase your customer base.

Choosing the Right Call Center Software for Your Business

Businesses of every type can use call center or contact center software to improve the way they interact with their customers. You can enhance caller experience, increase customer satisfaction, and in turn, improve your business’ overall sales. Reach out to us today to learn more!

What Does a Systems Administrator Do?

Source: DepositPhotos.com - Lic#418050720 ID#27446420

Think being a systems administrator is the job for you? Learn what systems administrators do and what is expected of them. This way, you can prepare appropriately for the job and your interview.

Systems Administrator: Job Description

A systems administrator takes care of a business’ network and computer systems. From installing new equipment to maintaining the network and software used. These professionals work for businesses of all types and sizes; from small businesses to large enterprises and they work for public, private, and governmental organizations.

The salary range for a systems administrator in the US ranges from $23,000 to $182,000 per year, with the average salary sitting at $83,620 per year.

What do Systems Administrators Do?

So, what is the day-to-day like for a systems administrator? As the backbone of a company’s IT team, the systems administrators are responsible for:

  • The installation, configuration, and maintenance of all computer systems
  • Identifying and correcting issues
  • Making the necessary updates to software and equipment
  • Providing technical support
  • The daily monitoring of all systems, processes, and equipment
  • Resolving and handling help desk requests
  • Reviewing application logs and keeping track of backups, and more

Additionally, a systems administrator is skilled in understanding what types of technologies can be implemented and utilized for a particular business’s benefit. For example, in regards to communications, they may consider using VoIP to develop a customized business phone system, which can be tailored to the company’s specific needs. They will also be knowledgeable of different automated systems, such as interactive voice response, as well as other tools like simultaneous ring to streamline that calls that come into the business.

How to Become a Systems Administrator

To apply for a systems administrator position, you will need to have the necessary prerequisites and experience. Here we will look at what education, licenses, and certificates are needed for this position.

Education
Some employers only ask for a postsecondary certificate or associate’s degree. However, some employers will also require a bachelor’s degree in a computer or information science-related field. A degree in computer or electrical engineering may work as well since the job requires you to work closely with computer systems.

Additionally, you can obtain a degree from programs that focus specifically on computer network and systems administration. Furthermore, many administrators go on to take additional IT courses and attend computer network conferences to stay up to date on the latest technology. Keep in mind, some companies may require a master’s degree as well, so it may be a good idea to be prepared.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registration
Licenses and certifications indicate that a potential hire has the required knowledge and skills needed to do the job efficiently.

As a standard, businesses require their systems administrators to be certified in the products used by the company. You can get certifications through product vendors or vendor-neutral certification providers. You may even look at getting your certifications from Microsoft or Cisco.

You can also get certifications from the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), a worldwide provider of IT certifications. Popular certifications they offer include CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, and CompTIA Security+.

Field Experience
Obtaining experience is an important part of landing your dream systems administrator job. Typically, employers expect or prefer to see at least 2 or more years of experience. Start by seeking internships or part-time opportunities right after you complete your bachelor’s degree. You can start out as a help desk rep or an IT specialist and gradually advance into the systems administrator role.

Desirable Qualities
Along with network and computer skills, you will also need personality skills and traits to be a good systems administrator. Here are some desirable qualities employers look for in systems administrators:

  • Technical and Analytical skills — the ability to evaluate and analyze networks and processes and identify issues.
  • Multitasking skills — the ability to work on multiple tasks, issues, and concerns at the same time.
  • Problem-solving skills — the ability to quickly and efficiently resolve issues.
  • Communication skills — the ability to describe goals, standards, issues, and solutions to IT and non-IT employees.

Is Being a Systems Administrator Right for You?

If networks and computer systems dominate your life, then you should find a job that lets you apply your skills and love for technology. And being a systems administrator can help you achieve this. So what are you waiting for? Get the right education, the right certifications, and build your professional experience to position yourself as the ideal candidate for these types of positions.

6 Ways to Analyze Your Call Center Data

Source: DepositPhotos.com - Lic#74605379 ID#27446420

Want to analyze your call center data to improve agent performance and customer service? There are a few different ways to analyze call center data. In this post, we will outline 6 ways to gather valuable data about the functioning of your contact center so that you can determine ways to improve performance.

Analyze Your Call Center Data: 6 Methods

Tracking and call center analytics continues to be important as contact centers can use these insights to offer better service, find valuable leads, and increase sales. And once your company has this information, you can identify areas of strength and weakness and then improve your service and increase customer satisfaction. Here are some useful and practical ways to track and collect call center data:

1. Watch Your Call Detail Records

Call detail records list down all incoming and outgoing business calls. This means that you can get insights into how many calls your business makes and receives per day. You can identify patterns such as what days in the week or times of the day your business receives the most calls. This information can help your call center prepare for high call traffic periods by having more agents on call during those times.

Additionally, you can use call tracking to identify where your calls are coming from. For example, you can assign different local numbers for different geographical regions or advertising channels. And as calls come into specific numbers, you will be able to determine which location or marketing channel this customer came through. This information will help improve marketing efforts in areas responding well to your services.

2. Track Call Center KPIs

The best way to see how your call center is doing is by tracking significant call center KPIs or key performance indicators. Tracking and studying these KPIs should be the focus of your business as they can help you maintain good and desirable performance. Six of the most popular contact center KPIs include:

1. First Call Resolution: Measures how often a caller’s query is resolved on the first call itself. This means, no follow-up calls or emails were required.

2. Average Time in Queue: Measures the time callers wait in the queue before being helped by an agent. This KPIs gives you a good idea of how quickly and efficiently your agents are responding to customer calls. If your business offers live chat, email, or social media engagement, then you can even track the response time for these channels.

3. Average Handle Time: Measures the average time spent on handling a call (including talk and hold time). A delicate balance must be struck between keeping low handle times and effective customer service. If you try to cut down on the average handle time, you may negatively affect the quality of customer service.

4. Average Abandonment Rate: Measures how often customers leave or abandon a call. Customers may abandon calls if they have been waiting for too long or are frustrated with your IVR system. Short wait time and easy-to-navigate IVR systems can help reduce the average abandonment rate.

5. Customer Satisfaction or CSAT scores: Tracks how satisfied your customers are with your company and service. Use surveys, feedback portals, and forums to gather CSAT scores.

6. Response Time: Measures the percentage of calls answered during a certain period. This helps your call center team understand the goals and standards set so they can work towards them.

7. Agent Absenteeism: Measures the amount of time agents are not at their desks answering calls. Productivity can be impacted by missing agents and therefore, it is important to identify this issue and take positive actions towards resolving it.

8. Agent Turnover Rate: Measures call center attrition and turnover rates so that you can identify reasons why agents leave and how to make them stay.

3. Study Customer Preferences

It’s no secret: good customer service leads to good sales. In order to offer better customer service, you need to understand your customers and their preferences. This is where it is important to listen to what your customers need, pay attention to and understand their emotions, study their preferences, and so on.

Likewise, adopt and empathetic active listening, ask for their opinion, and offer service that complements their preferences and expectations. For instance, some customers may prefer email or live chat over phone conversations. Having email and live chat as alternative communication methods can help satisfy these customers.

4. Make Quality Assurance a Priority

Quality assurance (QA) is the process of offering good, effective, and high-quality customer service. Call center QA is often achieved by:

  • Training agents to offer high-quality service
  • Listening in on calls — also called call monitoring — to offer agents feedback and help as needed
  • Reviewing recorded calls to train agents on appropriate and inappropriate behaviors
  • Studying customer preferences

By conducting call center QA, you are not only monitoring agent performance and employee-customer interactions but also improving your overall client relations.

5. Key into EX Metrics

EX refers to employee experience and this is one of the call center analytics that does not get talked about enough. While businesses focus on improving the experience for customers, not many focus efforts on creating a good and healthy work environment for employees. EX metrics are important to measure since low EX rates can lead to more attrition and agent turnover, which in turn will cost your company more.

Some ways to improve EX and reduce turnover rates include:

  • Training new agents and offering refresher training for current agents on a regular basis
  • Equipping employees and agents with the right call center tools to do their jobs effectively
  • Making sure management is approachable
  • Offering incentives for good and successful results
  • Helping employees maintain a good work-life balance
  • Keeping remote working as an option
  • Asking for feedback from employees

6. Collect Customer Feedback through Surveys

Lastly, another piece of call center data is collecting customer feedback. Feedback can help you identify how customers view your service and what they need from you. And you can use this information to make your service better and improve customer satisfaction.

Use Call Analytics to Reach More Customers

Call analytics and virtual call center software can help your business attract new customers across the world as well as increase the retention of current customers. Set high standards and track metrics to ensure your teams maintain those standards, and watch your business grow locally and internationally.

What is WebRTC and What is it Used for?

Source: DepositPhotos.com - Lic#182873428 ID#27446420

WebRTC is a communication program that enables real-time and effective communication on different devices. And by doing so, it gives users — individuals and businesses — the tools they need for high-quality voice and video calling.

WebRTC Explained

WebRTC or Web Real-Time Communication is a free, open-source project for web browsers and web phone apps. More specifically, it is an HTML5 specification that adds real-time communication to browsers by working inside web pages.

In other words, this program provides browsers and apps with RTC through APIs making audio and video communication possible without the need for plugins. And since 2011, this project has grown popular with video calling as an excellent and desirable addition.

You can get Web Real-Time Communication for most modern browsers including Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge.

How Does WebRTC Work?

Before the age of Web Real-Time Communication, creators needed C/C++ to build programs for voice and video calling. This meant long development cycles and higher costs. However, WebRTC replaces C/C++ with an API which can be used from inside a browser. This resulted in the easy development and integration of unified communications in real-time.

The purpose of Web Real-Time Communication is to make live, real-time interactions possible. With WebRTC, users gain access to various devices or parts of your device. For example, you can access and use your laptop, phone, or computer’s microphone, camera, etc. Furthermore, you can even capture or record the screen and share your screen remotely.

4 Benefits of WebRTC

Web Real-Time Communication is used widely because of the many benefits of such a feature. Here is a list of the top reasons to use WebRTC for unified communications:

  • It is an open-source program that is free for personal and business use.
  • It is available for all modern and commonly used browsers so you can access it no matter what operating system you use.
  • WebRTC is not only available for browsers but also mobile and smartphone apps.
  • Along with voice and video calling, you can use Web Real-Time Communications to create calling groups, record VoIP calls, and more.

Improve Business Communications

Web Real-Time Communication enables users to access voice and video calling from any device, thereby, making business communication easy and accessible. To learn more, speak with one of our experts today!

What Is ISDN? The Integrated Services Digital Network Explained

Source: DepositPhotos.com - Lic#27766347 ID#27446420

Want to establish an effective and easy-to-use business phone system? Here is an in-depth post about Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN), how it works, major benefits for business uses, and viable alternatives.

Integrated Services Digital Network Explained

Integrated services digital network or ISDN is a telephone network system. ISDN uses circuit switches to send and receive voice and data through a digital copper line. This phone system was created to replace old landline technology and make it more digital. By doing so, ISDN provides better speed and transmission quality.

How Does ISDN Work?

When users do not have access to a Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) or cable modem connections, then ISDN is the best solution for high-speed internet. To set up ISDN, you will have to work with your ISP and have a working POTS line and phone number.

ISDN vs PSTN vs DSL

When discussing phone-internet services, you will come across a variety of terms such as ISDN, PSTN, POTS, DSL, etc. So, let’s discuss and define some related terms and how they work.

A public switched telephone network is a phone network that uses fixed lines with copper wires to connect users. While the phone network service is almost entirely digital now, the signal transmitted from one user to the next is still analog. Common PSTN features include:

  • Line hunting
  • Voicemail storage
  • Fax line
  • Custom messages
  • Caller ID

ISDN works as an integrated service. In other words, it is used to transmit voice, video, data, and other unified communications between users. By adopting ISDN, users (businesses) do not have to purchase, install, and manage multiple PSTNs. Common ISDN features include:

  • Multiple numbers in a block
  • Extensions and DID numbers assigned to individuals or departments
  • Line hunting

DSL takes ISDN to the next level by digitizing the system. And by doing so, it transmits data quickly and with better quality. But how does it do so? ISDN is a dial-up service that works through one line whereas DSL is always connected and does not need to be dialed to work. This results in DSL sending packets at a speed of up to 100Mbps, while ISDN slows down after 128Kbps.

4 Major Benefits of ISDN

So, why should businesses opt for ISDN and what benefits can they expect from this service? Here are four major advantages of an ISDN connection:

  • ISDN offers better quality and faster data transmission. By doing so, it provides a higher data transfer rate.
  • Allows for multiple data transmissions simultaneously.
  • Users can access multiple digital services through the same copper wire.
  • Users can operate multiple devices (phones, computers, fax machines, credit card readers, etc.) through the same line.

ISDN Alternative: VoIP

While ISDN seems like an effective business communication service, it is not the most cost-effective option out there. A popular alternative to ISDN is voice over IP. A VoIP phone system converts audio signals into digital signals and transmits them from one user to the next through an internet connection.

By doing so, VoIP lets users make and receive calls without the need of a physical telephone line. Additionally, users can operate this service from any location and through any device of their choosing, making business communications more reliable and accessible. Benefits of using a VoIP phone system include:

1. Cost-effectiveness: A landline phone system costs about $50 for a line that can only call local and domestic numbers. VoIP, on the other hand, gives users access to local numbers and international toll free numbers, and more for low, bundled prices.

2. Features: Gain access to a variety of advanced virtual communication tools such as:

    1. International call forwarding
    2. Extensions for different departments
    3. Creative and effective call management tools
    4. Outbound calling with a dynamic caller ID
    5. Call recording
    6. Call analytics

3. Accessibility and Flexibility: Be available and accessible from any location and device. Make remote working possible and accountable by using a reliable phone system.

4. Scalability: Grow and expand your business phone system as and when needed. Installing new VoIP lines does not mean installing a new connection but acts more like getting a new username which can quickly be connected to a device.

Want to Learn More?

Our telecom experts can help you understand the different types of phone communication services and features available. Furthermore, you can identify which services and tools can boost your specific business’ image and customer relations. Call us today or chat with us online to learn more about the options ahead!

5 Unified Communications Trends You Need to Know in 2020

Source: DepositPhotos.com - Lic#12035840 ID#27446420

Every year, businesses need to check themselves and see how they stack up against not just competition, but market trends. This is where unified communications trends of 2020 come in. How can businesses continue to improve their communication system and, by extension, maintain productivity and manage remote teams?

Unified Communications Trends: 2020

The unified communications trends for 2020 seem to focus not only on increased productivity, advanced technology, and better customer service but also on ways to improve employees’ experience and team collaboration. Read on for the top UC trends for 2020 that businesses should keep in mind.

1. Adoption of UCaaS

One of the top UC trends is the growing adoption of UCaaS. Large companies and enterprises are investing in unified communications as a service as a business communication system. This is because UCaaS consolidates major communications channels and platforms such as voice, video, SMS, and email in the cloud. And by combining all of these applications and channels in one place, UCaaS boasts a cost-effective and organized business phone system.

2. Rising Presence of AI

As can be seen with most industries, artificial intelligence (AI) is slowly expanding and making its way in major processes. Telecom and business communication is no stranger to AI. However, a growing unified communications trend sees AI becoming a more common tool. Think: virtual chatbots, virtual assistants, integrated services, and more. The implementation of AI resonates with the goal of using technology to improve productivity and collaboration and achieve faster and more accurate results.

3. More Cloud Solutions

Cloud communication solutions continue to be on the list of UC trends. And this is simply because cloud computing and storage have been in great demand and used by almost every business. According to a 2019 study conducted by Nemertes, about 67% of companies are currently using some part of their UC cloud solution while a third of those companies are using their UC cloud solution to the fullest extent. Because of this, UC providers are looking at partnerships, affiliations, and integrations that enable users to take advantage of more comprehensive cloud solutions.

4. Rise of Global SIP

As businesses across the world are renewing and improving their global communication systems, it is important for your company to stay ahead of the game. Global SIP gives multinational businesses the ability to expand with ease and reduce communication-related costs. With SIP trunking from VoIP providers, your business can place focus on voice network infrastructure, offer multichannel and multimedia support, and have access to centralized cloud communications.

5. Focus on EX as well as CX

While most UC trends are focused on improving customer experience (CX), in 2020, focus has shifted to employee experience (EX). Improved EX directly leads to enhanced CX, which at the end of the day should be every business’ goal. Unified communications can help employees become more efficient; efficient employees reduce costs and increase customer satisfaction.

Switching to UC for Business

Unified communications can vastly improve your business’ productivity while ensuring it stays in the game with advanced telecom technology. Find out how United World Telecom can help your business; speak with one of our experts today!

5 Benefits of Unified Communications for Remote Teams

Source: DepositPhotos.com - Lic#86591198 ID#27446420

Struggling to manage your remote teams? Unified communications for remote teams or UCaaS can be the solution you need to increase visibility of remote teams while maintaining productivity.

Unified Communications for Remote Teams: 5 Benefits

Unified communications compiles all business communication and phone system tools together in one place. And so, you and your remote teams can access voice, video, email, and text messaging in one location, one platform.

UCaaS focuses on internal communication. As such, it benefits remote team collaboration and connectivity. This is why unified communication is growing more and more popular as a communication solution for remote teams. So, how exactly can your remote and distributed teams benefit from this service?

1. Mobility: Make Remote Working a Possibility with UCaaS & VoIP

Voice over IP (VoIP) is a communication service that enables business communication such as audio, video, and SMS transmission via the internet. With VoIP technology, users can make and receive calls from any location and any device as long as they are connected to a stable internet connection.

This means you can improve connectivity with your remote workers by giving them the ability to stay connected no matter where they are. And so, they remain accessible not only to the rest of your team but also to customers and business contacts. With call forwarding, customers won’t even realize that the business number they dialed is being forwarded to another location. They can still receive timely and efficient customer service even when your teams are distributed.

2. Easy-to-Use Softphone Solutions

Most VoIP providers will offer you easy-to-use softphone solutions that help users transform their devices into business communication tools. Softphones or webphones come in a variety of forms. You can get a software application, web dialer, or web/Chrome extension. A web phone has many advantages such as:

  • Making outbound calls to anywhere in the world using a dynamic caller ID feature to match the location being called
  • Access to contacts and customer history
  • Call logs and records
  • Quick and easy call transfer within your network
  • Free in-network calls to other team members
  • Access to voicemail

Having this tool can help your users stay up-to-date on calls and contact history which paves the way to better internal and external communication.

3. Flexibility: Use Any Device

Whether or not your business implements a BYOD policy, unified communications for remote teams will let users use devices they are comfortable and familiar with. This gives them the opportunity to use tools and apps that can improve their efficiency while not having to panic when a device fails. They simply log in through another device.

4. Plenty of Communications Tools to Use

The best part of UCaaS and VoIP working together is that your team gains access to advanced communications features such as:

  • Call monitoring
  • Call recording
  • Outbound calling
  • Call transfer and extensions
  • SIP trunking
  • Creative routing strategies
  • SMS, voicemail, and fax forwarding
  • IVR

These tools and features are designed to boost your workforce for optimum results. By equipping them with the right tools and software, they can do their job effectively, even when working remotely.

5. Maintain Productivity & Efficiency

The biggest issue businesses face when switching to a remote working system is accountability and lower productivity rates. But unified communications for remote teams can help fix this issue by making your remote teams more visible and transparent. You can continue to maintain productivity and the desired results by reducing the space between you and your teams through virtual communication.

Remote Working Made Easy with UCaaS & VoIP

Because of COVID-19, remote working as a trend has grown popular and will continue to be a desired workplace policy. And so, businesses should prepare for remote teams to ensure there is no drop in efficiency and business growth. Speak with one of our experts today to see how unified communications and VoIP can support your company!

Why VoIP is a Good Fit for Distributed Teams

Source: DepositPhotos.com - Lic#44591887 ID#27446420

Need a business communication solution for distributed teams and remote working? Voice over IP or a VoIP phone system can be a great fit for your distributed teams. It can help to ensure your teams stay connected and productive even when they work remotely.

4 Ways VoIP Can Benefit Your Distributed Teams

A VoIP phone system ensures business connectivity over the internet, enabling users to connect from any location and any device. This makes it a good fit for distributed teams and remote workers. Read on for the top 4 benefits of using VoIP to manage remote groups.

1. Employees Can Work from Any Location

Whether your area is hit by a pandemic or you plan on hiring employees from different states and countries, the best part about having VoIP for business is that your employees can stay connected and continue working from wherever they are. All they need is to connect to your VoIP system through a reliable internet connection. Then, they can place and answer important business calls, make sales calls, and offer customer support uninterrupted.

2. Remain Accessible through Multiple Devices

Secondly, employees are not limited to the phones within an office. Employees in distributed teams can work through any device — VoIP phones, computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc. This ensures that they remain accessible even when they are not in the office or if a device fails.

3. Implement a BYOD Policy

Bring your own device or BYOD work policies are growing more and more popular. These policies make it possible for employees to use their own devices instead of devices issued by the company. This means that employees can use devices that are suitable, familiar, and comfortable to use. Additionally, they do not need to learn how to use a new device and can use their own apps that help with productivity. It also helps businesses reduce equipment costs as they do not need to provide employees with phones, computers, laptops, etc., to get their work done. All in all, a BYOD policy can be a win-win situation for both employees and employers.

4. Reduce Communication-Related Costs

With all of the above taken into account, you’ll notice that VoIP can help your business reduce communication costs. For one, you will have a predictable bill each month. Two, you don’t have to worry about equipment or maintenance costs. And that also means you do not have to bother with IT costs. When businesses employ remote workers, having the ability to maintain communication without needing to purchase additional equipment or services can really help keep expenses to a minimum.

How to Set Up VoIP for Remote Teams

Setting up VoIP for distributed teams is quick and easy. Once you have the service, you will need to map out how you want your teams to use the service and its benefits. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

1. Map Out Your Phone System

The first step to setting up a VoIP phone system for your remote workers is to determine how you’ll want calls to be handled. For instance, how many numbers will you be using, and for which departments? Map out how calls will move through the system and how calls will be forwarded or routed. Determine your forwarding needs and settings. For example, you can forward calls to different people at different times of the day or simultaneously to every worker, and so on.

2. Decide What Features to Use

Next, you need to decide how you want to use the features that come with your VoIP service. For instance, you should set up a custom greeting and voicemail message. You will also want to design an IVR with menu options for callers to navigate through. You can play around with other features to see which ones work best for you and your teams.

3. Equip Your Agents

Next, prepare your remote team and equip them to handle business calls. Here too you can use VoIP features to ensure your agents have what they need to do their job effectively. You may even consider creating a support portal or knowledge base that walks them through common issues, troubleshooting help, and so on. Lastly, train them to use the service as well as to be effective agents and salespeople. Once all of this is done, it’s time to start working!

4. Access In-Network Calling for Team Collaboration

VoIP allows for in-network calling which is essential to remote team collaboration and manager-employee interaction. This is especially true for distributed teams and remote workers. Calling someone from your team should be without hurdles and interruptions. And in-network calling makes team communication easy.

5. Make Outgoing Calls from Own Devices with Business Numbers

An outbound calling service from your VoIP provider means that users can make outgoing calls from any device while still displaying a dynamic caller ID. And so, receivers of these calls see your business number even if a remote worker is calling from their laptop. This keeps business calls and remote working professional.

6. Measure Results with Call Records

Lastly, measure results and important KPIs to see how your teams are doing on a regular basis. And you can do this through studying call detail records and call activity. Watch for top KPIs such as first call resolution, average time in queue, average handle time, response time, and so on.

Think VoIP is a Good Fit for Your Remote Teams?

Get a VoIP phone system with United World Telecom and improve distributed teams’ business communication. Give your remote workers the tools they need to work effectively and produce the desired results. For more information, call us today or chat with our experts!

Everything You Need to Know About Line Hunting

Source: DepositPhotos.com - Lic#2202475 ID#27446420

Need to find a better solution for your customer service woes? Line hunting can help you offer faster and more reliable customer support. Here is everything you need to know about line hunting and hunt groups.

What is Line Hunting?

Line hunting — also known as call hunting, hunt groups, and call routing — is a business phone system strategy that connects calls to multiple phone lines either simultaneously or one after the other. The idea behind line hunting is to ensure that no call goes unanswered and callers don’t have to endure long waiting times.

How Does a Hunt Group Work?

Hunt groups work by letting calls run through a sequence of phones or let them ring on multiple devices at the same time to ensure an operator answers. For instance, an incoming call may ring on multiple phone lines and devices, also called simultaneous ringing or ring groups. Or, you can have calls go through a sequence of agents until someone answers the call, also known as sequential ringing. In both cases, if no one answers, the call is sent to voicemail as a last resort.

The best part of using line hunting or hunt groups is that the caller has no idea that the call is traveling to different lines or agents. In other words, they are not aware that the first two rings may go to one agent and the next two to the next agent in line.

As a business, you have complete control over how you want your calls to move through the system. Additionally, depending on your provider, you may even be able to control how many rings each line gets before it moves to the next agent.

Combining Ring Groups and Hunt Groups

Businesses can use both ring groups and hunt groups to their advantage. Line hunting ensures that the call travels through a sequence to get to the next available agent while ring groups ring on multiple devices so that the first available employee can answer.

Fortunately, with VoIP numbers, businesses do not have to choose between one or the other call routing option. With both solutions available, your office will be prepared to answer calls quickly, reducing wait times and missed calls.

The Role Hosted VoIP Plays

A VoIP phone system can help your business improve customer service and caller experience by using advanced communication tools like call routing and international forwarding options. Furthermore, employees and agents who are part of these groups do not have to present in the same office or location to use the service. This is because VoIP works over the internet, enabling users to connect no matter their location or device.

Types of Line Hunting

There are a few different types of line hunting that you can implement in your office. Let’s look at these in more detail.

1. Multiline hunting
With multiline hunting, multiple phone lines work as a single group. When a call comes in, if a line is busy, the call moves to the next available one. The caller hears a busy signal only if none of the lines on the group are available.

2. Linear hunting
Agents are listed in a line or sequence. The incoming call travels through this line and if the first line is busy, the call moves to the next available line. This continues down the sequence until someone answers.

3. Circular hunting
In circular hunting, also known as round-robin routing, calls go down the sequence and start at the beginning of the line, if no one answers them. In this type of hunting, calls move down the sequence and start from the beginning again, even if an agent in between becomes available.

4. Most-idle hunting
In this type of hunting, calls are sent to the line that has been idle the longest. This is a good way to maintain balance and distribute the workflow across representatives.

Considering Line Hunting for Your Business?

We’ve got the solution for you. United World Telecom offers both hunt groups and ring groups so your business can offer quick and reliable customer service. Find out more by calling us today or chatting with an expert!