A Dictionary of VoIP terms
To help you understand your options when choosing a VoIP
company, we've compiled a VoIP dictionary which will explain the
main terms you need to know about when learning about VoIP.
Auto-attendant - Just as it sounds, an auto
attendant is like an automated secretary. It is an efficient way of
managing a business with high call volume. The auto attendant
feature ensures that each caller is directed to the proper
extension using the data that the caller is asked to enter.
Sometimes the auto attendant comes with a speech feature which
allows the caller to speak their information instead of pushing the
buttons on the phone. Additionally some VoIP packages come with an
upgraded auto attendant package which allows customers to receive
information regarding their account through an automated service
such as account balance or outstanding balance due.
Call Forwarding - This feature enables the user
to forward their incoming calls to a different location. Should the
user be away from their desk, office or even home, they can have
calls sent directly to their cell phone. This is especially useful
for business owners who travel allot. With this feature, they are
able to be available to their customers despite the fact that they
are not present on location.
Click to Call Button (CTC) - This feature
enables users to call a business directly from the business's
website. Usually the user will find a button on the company's
website that says "click to call" or "call me now". The phone call
is carried over by VoIP service and is immediately connected to a
customer service representative.
Do-Not-Disturb Feature -This feature enables
the business owner or any customer to direct incoming calls
directly to voicemail should they be in a meeting or busy.
Toll free number - Toll free numbers are
telephone numbers that start with the prefix 1-800 and for which
the caller does not get charged for the call. There are other
prefixes for a toll free number such as 1-877, 1-866 and 1-888.
Most residential VoIP plans charge extra for toll free numbers,
while some business VoIP plans such as RingCentral and Nextiva
offer toll free numbers as part of the business package. Users
should be aware that some inbound calls to toll free VoIP numbers
may be subject to hidden fees. Calls from Canada or pay phones, for
example, may cost more than incoming calls from a landline.
Vanity number - A vanity number is a phone
number that spells out a word or words that are easy for callers to
remember. Vanity numbers can be both local numbers and toll free
Virtual Office - A virtual office system
combines a business VoIP plan and an online fax service. This gives
small business the ability to create an image of a large and
organized corporation even if it's not. An additional benefit of a
virtual office is the ability for the business owner to manage his
business from anywhere, since the phone and fax systems are
Virtual PBX -This stands for Virtual Private
Branch eXchange. It is essentially a switchboard managed through
the computer. There is no need for any equipment to be installed
for the system. It enables callers to hear music while on hold, be
transferred to the appropriate extension and have several automated
options for convenience.
Voicemail - Voicemail is the today's version of
an answering machine only without any machines. It is a system that
enables users to pick up their messages by dialing into a number
from any phone. In most cases, voicemail can be transcribed into a
text message and sent to a mobile phone as well or can be heard
VOIP - Voice over Internet Protocol; It refers
to the process of transmitting voice traffic over IP-based networks
(simply, it means that spoken sounds are transmitted over the
internet). VoIP serves as a cost-efficient alternative to