So your office, business, or personal number has migrated to VoIP. Congratulations! This seemingly small change is one of the best things that has ever happened to the modern professional. Particularly if you speak on the phone often and regularly walk away from your desk. Whether you're in and out of the office all month, jet-set around the world, or telecommute from home VoIP is ready to accommodate.
We could wax promotional about VoIP features all day, but the real benefit is how well it integrates into your busy professional life. As a savvy online professional, there are a few tricks you can put to use to make your VoIP number a convenient extension of your work life instead of a device you are tethered to. Here's how it's done:
1) Plumb In Every Device for Find Me-Follow Me
Start by connecting every single work communication device to your VoIP number. VoIP has a unique feature called 'Find Me-Follow Me'. This can be fine-tuned but at its core, it rings every device you own until it finds which one you are available on. This is perfect for professionals who have left their desk for a moment but still catch an important client call that automatically forwards to their cell.
It's also helpful for professionals who travel so much that their clients have no way of knowing which number to call to catch them. Home? Office? Cell? Now they are all the same. Connect the apps on your computers, laptop, and tablets. Connect the number on your cellphone and home landline, and your desk phone should already ring VoIP. This way, calls can find you (and you can call out) on every single device.
2) Pair Status to Device
Next, get device-organized. Set up a schedule that tries to ring your most likely device first. Then pair your communication network status (ex: Available vs In a Meeting) with specific devices. When you're in a meeting, how do you want your phone to ring, or should it go straight to voicemail. When you're 'AFK', send calls to your cell. When you're 'Available', send calls to your desk.
By pairing device availability with your status, this gives you a quick and easy way to swap which device rings first in a familiar social interface. A few quick taps on your phone or in your platform window will ensure the right device rings first every time.
3) Always Have a Hotspot & Headset
VoIP is great for mobile communication for traveling and business tripping professionals. That said, you never know where you might be expected to make or answer a call. Your best bet for signal and sound quality is to always carry a hotspot & headset with you at all times. These take up very little room in a bag (or even a pocket) and can ensure that you are able to connect and call anywhere there is decent cell signal. No need to rely on laptop camera/mics or unknown WiFi networks.
4) Prepare a Handy GIF for 'Bad Hair day' Video Calls
There will be times -- first thing in the morning or halfway through a bad business trip -- that you will not want to be on camera. And yet VoIP opens up a world of video calls which are very popular with younger professionals. That's okay, you don't have to show your face every time even if your coworkers are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed already on cam.
The solution is not a blank black window, but instead a friendly GIF. Prepare something neutral, professional, and maybe a little funny to post as your image when you're on the road and not up to being on cam during a video call with coworkers.
5) Record a Helpful Voicemail Message
Finally, create a well-designed voicemail message. Your schedule and availability is unique, and VoIP provides a universal way to reach you. You also have the ability to set up schedules and statuses that ring directly to voicemail. When a client or coworker misses you on the VoIP number, your voicemail is a great way to let them know what's up and what your hours are.
The right voicemail can save sales, improve relations, and ensure that you get important messages that are delivered during your off-time. And, of course, don't forget to setup voicemail-to-email so you don't even have to call in to check your messages in the morning.
Adapting to VoIP as a savvy professional is all about conforming the technology to your work and lifestyle. Contact us today for more VoIP tips or to find out what VoIP can do for your business.