Business VoIP- Phones for Small & Medium Businesses
Preventing Nuisance Calls with VoIP
Nuisance telephone calls cause individuals, and businesses, inconvenience and even distress. It can also be the case that business nuisance calls are not just incoming, but also outbound, if employees make certain calls that can be both unnecessary and costly for companies. Fortunately, one of the key benefits of using a VoIP system, is that businesses can exercise far more control over their telephone network and, in so doing, prevent nuisance calls.
The Nuisance Call Issue
An analysis of Ofcom data early in 2018 showed that people in the UK received 2.2 billion nuisance calls during the preceding year. The subject of these calls can range from pensions to PPI, but the thing they have in common is that people find them a nuisance and an intrusion. Over 40% of the calls were from ambulance-chasing firms, asking if the respondent was involved in an accident or another insurance-related issue in the past year.
In its analysis of the data, Aviva stated that various companies and scammers sent out six million calls and texts a day, 4,200 for every minute. The main target are people aged 65 and over, but others too are prey to nuisance calls, including businesses. SMEs report receiving persistent nuisance calls in much the same way as individuals do, and with many small businesses, this is helping to cause congestion in their communications, which they can ill afford. They need to be able to stay open to taking genuine enquiry calls from customers or clients, but then fall victim to those firms making nuisance calls.
Does the Telephone Preference Service Work?
The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) was set up as a free opt out service to prevent people receiving unsolicited marketing calls. It is the UK’s official, central opt out register. But while it is a legal requirement that all organisations do not make calls to numbers registered on the TPS unless they have consent to do so, the Which? consumer group has reported that the system is not working as it should. Some people still receive a considerable number of calls per month, despite registering for TPS.
An Ofcom study showed that people registering with TPS reduced their nuisance calls by a third, but this did not prevent them altogether. The TPS can cut down on a lot of calls originating from the UK, but it cannot stop irresponsible UK callers, or callers from outside the country.
VoIP and Caller ID Routing
Opting for Voice over Internet Protocol means no longer relying on the public telephone exchange, or PBX. This puts a business phone network firmly in its users’ control, and this means the ability to monitor and regulate incoming phone calls. VoIP enables this through caller ID routing.
What this does is to enable your network to take certain actions based on the identity of the number that is calling it, following a set of rules. This will then route calls through a specific extension. Where the calls are identified as being welcome, you can route them to specific extensions such as sales or customer services. However, where the calls are not deemed suitable, the system can block them. The call routing ID module of VoIP manages this system, allowing users to filter out nuisance numbers by entering certain prefixes or entire phone numbers, which the system will identify and prevent from going any further.
Caller ID routing is a flexible system, not a blunt instrument. For example, it will offer a selection of blocking actions related to the number prefix entered, and it can specify a timeframe.
This is especially useful for numbers which require channelling and controlling according to resources. The caller ID rules in VoIP are also modifiable and reversible.
Outbound Call Controls with VoIP
For businesses, nuisance calls are not only inbound. Certain numbers can be deceptively expensive when calling them, for example certain 070 numbers, which might appear at first glance to be mobile numbers. Other numbers also carry high charges. Because the VoIP system gives the user power over their network, they can restrict these outbound calls by following a simple set-up procedure. Similarly VoIP can restrict calls to international numbers, if there is a need to avoid unwanted international call charges. The system can also restrict calls based on cost.
If, when monitoring usage, you identify more calls to specific premium rate numbers being made through the workplace phone system, it is a straightforward matter to limit these calls according to their maximum cost. In terms of reiterating employee guidelines or reinforcing rules, this feature makes the practicalities easy, and helps control communication costs in businesses of differing sizes.
Taking Control of Nuisance Calls
One of the dispiriting effects of nuisance calls is a sense of not having control. VoIP allows users of business phone networks to take control, to monitor and restrict calls, and to get a firm grip on their business telephone costs.