When it comes to managing their communications, most companies have decided to opt for IP telephony systems, such as virtual switchboards or call center software. There are two main reasons for this: on the one hand, compared to traditional telephony, it is much more flexible and available anywhere because it works through the Internet; on the other hand, it represents a great saving in terms of costs.

 

However, when choosing between all the offers available on the market, it is important to keep in mind that not all of them are equal and that some are more complete than others. In this sense, when making a decision, it is important to be clear on the technology used and the features included, as well as those you need for your business and those you can add in the future, as these factors will determine the cost of your virtual PBX.

 

When evaluating the technology used, it is important to take into account that many companies offer IP solutions but have not yet adopted the latest generation: WebRTC. The main difference with protocols such as SIP, which makes it the best option, is the versatility offered by the possibility of using it directly from a browser without having to download a softphone or a specific plugin. In the case of Fonvirtual, our solutions work only through WebRTC, so they are compatible with any operating system and web browser. This is an essential feature when selecting a provider, although there are other aspects to consider as well, which we will detail below.

 

To help you calculate the monthly offer of your business telephony solution, we have prepared this article with a series of questions and answers to guide you in your decision. To know them, read on!

How much extension do you need?

To get an estimate of the offer of your business telephony solution, the first thing you need to know is the number of extensions you need, i.e. the number of people who will answer calls and/or messages, whether internal or external.

 

Every company is different, and so are their needs. So, there will be companies that know from the start which agents will handle users. But there will also be others that are not so sure. Ideally, you want to have an extension for every employee in the company, because even though not all of them will be responsible for handling customers, they will need an extension to communicate internally with the rest of the team.

What should each extension include and why do I need one for each employee?

As we have just mentioned, even if all your employees are not the ones who communicate with the customers, they must have a login to access the PBX, because the features integrated in each extension go beyond customer service. Therefore, when choosing the phone provider you are going to choose for your business telephony solution, you need to check what each solution offers, as they do not all include the same thing.

 

First of all, the internal communication tools should be highlighted. This is one of the key aspects that will help you choose between the different options, as many operators include them for an additional cost.

 

In the case of the Fonvirtual solution, the PBX service includes free internal communication with calls, video conferencing or corporate chat. In addition, you can also create groups and distribution lists according to the criteria you have defined (for example, according to the departments of your company, by location of offices, etc…) and even the possibility of changing the status of your extension to inform your colleagues of your availability.  On the other hand, each extension is also associated with a direct number that customers can call. So if they want to speak to a specific agent, they can simply call that number.

 

Finally, it’s important to consider whether the pricing for your communications solution provides for simultaneous access on multiple devices. Some people want their extensions to be available on their computer, mobile, or tablet at the same time so they can use them anywhere depending on which device they have at any given time. However, not all alternatives allow this, as they charge a fee for each device you want to access. Solutions like the ones we offer at Fonvirtual include access to multiple devices at the same time in your extension at no additional cost.

Do you want to manually transfer calls and messages to other extensions?

Some companies prefer that all calls and messages received at the PBX first go through an agent, who will be responsible for handling the interactions and distributing them according to the customer’s needs. In this case, it will be necessary to add what is called a receptionist license. With it, the manager manages the different communication channels and transfers the call or message to the appropriate person’s extension through an intuitive “drag & drop” system.

 

You may be wondering: can only one agent be a receptionist? The answer is no. You can add as many licenses as you want to have people do this job.

 

However, there are companies that do not need this option, should they opt for this solution? Of course not! The PBX has a distribution system according to what you have configured beforehand. For example, depending on the availability of agents, working hours, through a menu of options that directs customers to the appropriate service, etc…

Do you want to control the extensions of your virtual PBX in real time?

Another aspect that you should consider before knowing the price of your business telephony solution is whether you want to observe the status of the extensions in real time, because for this you will need a supervisor license. This will facilitate time control, since you will be able to monitor whether your agents are available, absent, on leave… It will also allow you to :

 

  • Change the status of each extension. This is a very useful function, because let’s imagine that an employee is not available but forgot to change his status in the switchboard. Calls will continue to arrive at his extension and will not be answered. To avoid this, the supervisor can change their status to “unavailable”.

 

  • Geolocate the extensions. The license allows you to know at any time where the employees are.

 

  • Real-time listening, call whispering or three-way conversations, which can be very useful for training new employees or even checking service quality.

 

  • Access the contents of call transcripts and messages so that no data is lost.

 

  • Consult reports and statistics that will remain available for 12 months.

 

Like the receptionist license, the supervisor license is also not required, but you can add more or less depending on your needs at any time.

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On which number do you want your customers to contact you?

Of course, in order to handle your customers, you need a number for your PBX. However, you can choose between different options: a fixed local number to have a local presence or an international number to handle customers from other countries where your business is located.

 

If you already have one, we can do the portability, but if you don’t have one, don’t worry, we will assign you a new one. In addition, you can associate as many as you like with your PBX and configure each one as you wish.

 

You also decide which number you want the extensions to display in the outbound call, or if you prefer, you can allow each extension to decide for itself whether it wants to make the call by displaying its direct number, the company’s local landline number or the international number.

Do you want your customers to contact you for free through your website?

If the answer to this question is yes, to get the estimate of the offer of your business telephony solution, you should know that there are alternatives that offer you the possibility of adding buttons to your website so that users can call your company for free. The way to implement this is very simple. We will give you a “widget” to insert as many times on your website as you want to have buttons. So when the customer clicks on it, it will initiate voice or video calls (depending on whether it is a “Click to Speak” or “Click to Video” button) to your switchboard.

 

The user does not need to install anything or have a special line, so the communication can be made from anywhere in the world, at no cost to the user or to your company.

Do you need instant messaging to communicate with your customers?

One of the most requested features today and one that helps companies make a decision the most is the ability to enjoy instant messaging applications from the PBX in the Cloud, such as WhatsApp, Telegram or LiveChat. And of course, they can be managed from the same interface to have all communication channels in one place.

 

The process is as follows: we activate your company’s header number so that you can receive the messages and we do the configuration so that they are distributed among the different extensions. In addition, we will provide you with a widget so that you can include these buttons on your website as many times as you want.

 

However, before calculating the amount of the monthly offer of your business telephony solution, you should know that this process is not immediate, but once done, it brings many benefits, as communications are fast and free for customers and the company itself.

Do you want to integrate your CRM and improve efficiency in your company?

Customer relationship management (CRM) systems have become an essential part of any business. Almost every company today has one of these tools to keep every customer’s information up to date and concentrated in one place, accessible to all employees at any time and from any location.

 

To know the price of your business telephony, you need to know clearly if you want to integrate it into your communication system or not. And to do so, you must first know its advantages:

 

  • You can make calls directly from the CRM.

 

  • The integration will allow you to identify the customer, making his card containing all the information appear.

 

  • All interactions remain recorded in the CRM, making it easier to monitor the company’s activity.

 

At Fonvirtual, we give you the possibility to choose between different CRM like Zoho, Hubspot, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Zendesk… and we can even integrate your own system through an Application Programming Interface (API).

Do you want to receive credit card payments by phone?

It is possible for your customers to pay directly with their credit card without leaving the call. How can you do this? By connecting the virtual external payment terminal (EPT) of your current bank to your switchboard.

 

All payments are made without human intervention, since the agent will simply have to take the user through a collection service managed by an Artificial Intelligence system, which will manage the data directly with the bank, without saving anything. In this way, security is guaranteed, respecting the regulations all along.

 

Not all extensions need to have this additional feature, but to make your telephony solution pricing estimate as accurate as possible, you should mark the approximate number of users who will have it. Don’t worry if it’s not accurate, you can always change your mind before launching the service!

Do you plan to launch telemarketing campaigns?

The last element to consider is the need for your company to launch telemarketing campaigns. Why? Because you will need to connect the telemarketing software to your telephony solution.

 

This application allows you to  launch mass outbound calls automatically to contact your current or potential customers. In addition, you can customize voice-overs, campaigns, lists, notifications, autodialers… so that the contact with the user is satisfactory.

 

Some telemarketing software, like the one we offer at Fonvirtual, integrates an Artificial Intelligence system to detect voice messages and not deliver the call to any agent in this case. As for the rest of the features, you will need to know the number of users that will be participating in the calls for the monthly rate of your enterprise telephony solution.

You have built your monthly offer… Now what?

Some telephony prices include a range of basic service features, so you need to consider this when making your decision. For example, all of the business virtual PBX solutions we offer at Fonvirtual include the following:

 

  • Multi-device extensions. Each user will be able to use their extension on multiple devices simultaneously, without any extra cost. This means that you can be connected from your computer and your cell phone at the same time and use the one that suits you best, without having to pay anything extra to use your extension on other devices.

 

  • Customizable settings based on the time and day of the call, the prefix and the number of origin of the call.

 

  • A system included in all extensions that facilitates internal communication through chat, voice and video, including groups and mailing lists.

 

  • Unlimited features: voiceovers, IVR, call queues, call recording, voice mail, caller identification, etc.

 

  • Artificial Intelligence services that allow real-time transcription of conversations, identification of gender, language and even the sentiment of the caller.

 

  • All reports, statistics, transcripts and recordings will be accessible for a period of 12 months on the web.

 

If you want to know more about what we can offer you, we invite you to discover the prices of our services.