How to Set up VoIP for a Small Business
If you’re looking to upgrade your landline phones to VoIP, you’re in the right place. Setting up VoIP service with Telzio is easy. Anyone can set up a complete phone system with advanced features through the Telzio UI in minutes. The platform is so easy and intuitive that no IT expertise is needed. When it comes to getting a phone number or setting up features like auto attendants, hunt groups, or custom hold music, the Telzio UI provides a visual experience with a simple drag and click approach.
How to set up a VoIP system:
- Choose a new phone number, or port your existing phone number.
- Add users to your phone system.
- Create a Call Flow to route incoming calls.
- Set up users with IP phones (optional) and/or virtual phones.
- Integrate with other apps (optional).
1. Choose a new phone number, or port your existing phone number
Activating a new VoIP phone number is easy and instant. You can browse phone numbers by area code and city, and once you click register - the number is ready for use.
There’s no shortage of numbers to choose from. Telzio offers a large inventory of local phone numbers, toll free numbers, and international phone numbers from over 60 countries.
If you already have a phone number, you can keep it by porting the number to Telzio.
Porting a phone number involves transferring your existing phone numbers to a new provider, and the porting process usually takes about a week. Number porting is handled by the new provider that will be taking over the phone service.
With Telzio, you can submit the number porting request online. Shortly after you submit the porting request, you’ll receive an email from Telzio with the exact date and time the porting will take place. If you have a series of phone numbers, you can port them in one batch.
The good news is - there’s no downtime during the porting process. You can set up call routing in advance, so the phone system is ready to start accepting calls before the number ports. Telzio provides you with a temporary phone number during your free trial, so you can preconfigure all your features and test it to make sure it’s working right.
Here are some other features you can enable for your phone number once it’s ported to Telzio:
2. Add users to your phone system
Users enable employees to log into the VoIP phone system portal to manage their phone calls, messages, voicemail greeting, hold music, and other settings. It also enables them to connect to office phones, and use the Telzio Mobile App. With the app, users can take their business calls from anywhere. (More about that later.)
You can give users different permission levels, allowing them to access certain components of the phone system. For example, you can give users in the accounting department access to the Billing dashboard, and customer service managers access to Call Recordings.
In addition to user permissions, you can enable two-factor authentication (2FA) to give your phone system an added layer of security.
A user can have their own direct phone number, or simply an extension of the main company number. If a user has multiple phone numbers, they can choose which phone number to dial from before making a call.
There’s no limit to the number of simultaneous calls that can be going on a single phone number. If all users are on the phone and another call comes in, it won’t reach a busy signal. You have different options for handling high call volumes. For example, you can create a queue where callers hold until the next person is available.
With Telzio, there is no charge for users or additional phone lines. You no longer need to pay for extra phone numbers to serve as rollover lines. You only pay for the usage you actually need, and additional direct-dial phone numbers are only $1. Telzio’s pay-for-usage model enables you to reduce costs and scale efficiently.
3. Create a Call Flow to route incoming calls
The fun part of setting up business VoIP service with Telzio is designing the Call Flow. A Call Flow is a visual map of features that tells your phone system how to handle incoming calls. You can manage call flows right through the Telzio website from any network.
Call Flows are feature-rich with customizable solutions to route calls to your business.
Here are some of the self-service features included.
Phone Menu / Auto Attendant
Through the Call Flow you can create a professional phone menu that greets your callers and routes them to the right employee or department. Also called an auto attendant, phone menus are a staple in business communication solutions.
Phone menus can save a lot of time answering common questions. You can set up announcements to provide information like business hours, address, etc. For example, press 4 to hear our business hours, press 5 for our address, and press 0 to speak to someone.
Another bonus with having a phone menu is that it deters telemarketers and robocalls.
Queues are a must-have feature for customer support lines and call center type environments. A Queue places callers on hold until the next agent is available. You can upload custom hold music, record calls, and announce the caller’s position.
Since Telzio is an internet-based phone solution, you can route calls from the queue to remote workers in any location.
Hunt groups enable you to route calls to people or teams in a certain order. The system essentially directs incoming calls to hunt down lines until it reaches its destination, based on your preferences. For example, you can have inbound calls try Kathy first, and if Kathy doesn’t answer within 30 seconds then the call tries Bert, and if Bert doesn’t answer, then the call goes onto the next person, and so on.
Custom Hold Music
In addition to the wide variety of default hold music options from Telzio, you can also upload your own custom hold music to your phone system. This means that you can also add on-hold messages for callers to hear while they wait to be connected.
Voicemail to Email
In addition to user voicemail for individual extensions and direct phone numbers, you can create a main company voicemail. Company voicemail can be directed to any user, group, or email.
Also included is Voicemail Transcription, which displays voicemail as text sent to your email.
Business Hours / Schedule-Based Call Routing
Schedule-based call routing enables you route calls differently based on day and time. For example, you can set all calls during normal business hours to ring your office, and during after hours you can route calls out to an answering service or voicemail. You can also use this feature to create different agent schedules. For example, all calls on Monday, Wednesday and Friday are routed to Sandy, while calls on Tuesday and Thursday are routed to Hannah.
The flexibility of this feature enables you to create some pretty intricate schedules as needed.
You can enable audio conferencing on any phone number, by adding a conference bridge to your Call Flow. The ability to host conference calls is another feature included with business VoIP phone service from Telzio.
Related: Set up a Conference Call in 3 Steps
4. Set up IP phones and/or virtual phones
Telzio maximizes flexibility when it comes to deciding what type of business phones you want to use, whether it’s a physical phone or a virtual phone.
VoIP phones, or IP phones, are desk phones that look like traditional office phones, but connect via the internet rather than through the analog phone jack.
Setting up IP phones is easy. Telzio auto provisions the phones, meaning that we automatically enter all the settings into the phone to get it to work. All you have to do is plug them in.
If you already have IP phones from a different provider, you can still use them with Telzio.
The Telzio Webphone is a virtual phone that’s built into the Telzio website. You don’t have to download a desktop app to use it, as you can access it just by logging into Telzio.com. Just like a desk phone, you can put calls on hold and transfer calls via the online dialpad.
With both IP phones and the Webphone, users can be in any location. The phones do not have to be on the same network.
If you want an even more mobile option, you can opt for the Telzio Mobile App.
Ultimately, IP phones will provide the most reliable call quality when it’s connected directly to the network. Most companies use a hybrid setup consisting of desktop and mobile devices, depending on user calling needs.
5. Integrate with other apps
One of the unique advantages VoIP systems offer over landlines is the ability to integrate your phone system with other business applications. The most common being CRM integrations.
Other useful integrations you can set up with your VoIP phone system include:
- Team Chat Integration with Slack
You can integrate Telzio with Slack so that every time there’s a missed call or new voicemail, you get a notification in Slack.
- Storage Integration with Google Drive / Dropbox
You can integrate Telzio with your cloud storage drive to do a number of things. For example, you can automatically store call recordings from your phone system onto your drive.
- Payment Processor Integration with Stripe
You can integrate Telzio with Stripe to collect payments over the phone for donations, services, purchase orders, etc. Telzio has a direct integration with Stripe, so you can easily add a pay-by-phone feature to your call flow.
- Google Sheets Integration
You can integrate Telzio with Google worksheets to do a number of things. For example, you can import data about your calls to evaluate call center performance, beyond the call analytics Telzio already provides on the dashboard.
Integrations involve a bit more technical work than setting up a phone system itself, and may require an IT specialist or programmer to set up. You can set up integrations two ways - via Zapier and via the Telzio API. Zapier enables you to integrate apps without any programming.
Getting Started with VoIP
The only two things you need to set up a VoIP phone system are a basic internet connection and a computer. There’s no hardware required for the phone system. The only optional hardware, are desk phones. With the webphone and mobile app, you could ditch desk phones altogether. You don't even need to be at the same location as your office to set up the phone system. Depending on how complex you need your setup to be, you can be up and running with a complete business phone system in minutes.
Jennifer is part of the content marketing team at Telzio, providing insight and tips on how Telzio can be used to optimize business communications and customer service.