What Are the Required Skills
to Work with a Business Phone System?

See also: Verbal Communication

As technology develops, businesses are regularly presented with new and better ways to manage various operations, streamline different processes and increase their efficiency. One such areas is communication or, more specifically, business phone systems. With so many modes of communication now available, including emails, instant messaging, live chats, traditional calling, and video conferences, companies of all sizes increasingly acquire modern call management solutions.

Therefore, if you are looking for a job in customer support or, perhaps, building a business of your own, you are very likely to come across a virtual business phone system. While their primary purpose is to make communication with customers easier, they still require certain knowledge or preparation, to use them efficiently.

Man using a business phone in a modern office.

So, here are the most important skills that you will need to master any virtual phone software quicker:

Technical proficiency

If you will be required to set up or manage the business phone system in question, a foundation understanding of the technology behind it will be essential. You should become familiar with VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology, computer networks, and cloud solutions. Additionally, learn about the hardware components too, such as the handsets and routers used with the calling system. This knowledge will help you with any configurations you will need to do or solving potential issues down the line.

Understanding the system features

Modern business phone systems come with a range of useful features - from call forwarding and recording to integrated video calls and voicemail transcriptions. Users should be well-acquainted with these features, not just for their primary functions, but also to leverage them for their maximum potential in different business scenarios. Besides, an in-depth understanding of the system’s features will help you explain them easier to different types of customers, too.

Communication skills

While technical knowledge is crucial, the human element of phone communication remains at its core. Operators and users should possess effective communication skills, able to actively listen and understand what the speaker is telling them, as well as articulate their own words clearly. Not only that, empathy and emotional intelligence are also highly valued skills to have, as you should be able to manage difficult conversations, such as those with unhappy, frustrated customers.

Multitasking abilities

Often, users of business phone systems will find themselves juggling multiple tasks all at once. This could mean handling several call lines at once, accessing customer information on the fly in the CRM database, or scheduling future calls and appointments whilst conversing with the client. The ability to multitask efficiently, without compromising the quality of communication, is a much-desired skill in such a scenario.

Problem-solving skills

Whether it’s on your or the caller’s end, unexpected issues might arise anytime. Rather than panicking, you should try and have a problem-solving mindset. This, essentially, means being able to diagnose the problem and implement a solution in a timely manner. It will also include thinking outside the box and doing research effectively. Of course, it is important to remember that you may not always be able to solve the issues and could require additional assistance. However, knowing where to go for support and handling the situation well will be of paramount importance.

Language skills

If you are working in a global environment, proficiency in multiple languages will, of course, come in handy. However, besides just being able to speak multiple languages, you should also practice your general linguistics skills. This means being able to understand and communicate with people who may not be fluent in English or, perhaps, have a strong foreign accent. This skill will facilitate more effective communication, increase inclusivity, and reduce misunderstandings.

Data analysis

Modern business phone systems often come with analytics tools that allow you to monitor various metrics, including call duration, customer satisfaction or call abandonment rates. Understanding how to interpret this data can provide valuable insights into customer behaviour and system performance. You should be able to analyse this data to identify trends and even predict future outcomes. This skill will help you optimise the system and adjust your communication strategy based on real data.

Time management

In a busy work environment, every minute counts. Effective time management is essential when working in customer communication, especially during peak hours or high call volumes. You should be skilled in prioritising tasks and managing your time to ensure that each call is handled efficiently without compromising on quality. This involves knowing when to wrap up calls, when to escalate issues, and how to manage waiting times.

Attention to detail

When managing a business phone system, the devil is often in the details. Whether it's ensuring that all customer information is correctly entered into the CRM dashboard during a call or spotting inconsistencies in call logs, a keen eye for detail can make a significant difference. This is also particularly important when troubleshooting issues, as a minor oversight could lead to bigger problems down the line.

Teamwork and collaboration

Business phone software are often used by multiple departments within an organisation, from customer service to sales and even human resources. Being able to work well in a team and collaborate effectively with colleagues is essential. This includes clear internal communication and a willingness to assist others in solving problems or achieving common business goals.

Cybersecurity awareness

The risks of cyber threats are always rising and businesses should be increasingly aware of them, particularly when making use of digital systems like virtual phone software. Basic awareness of the best cybersecurity practices will go a long way in safeguarding sensitive company information. This includes understanding the importance of strong passwords and being cautious of phishing attempts during the calls.

Final word

All in all, working with virtual business phone systems requires a unique set of skills, both technical and personal. Luckily, all of the above can be improved simply with practice and some research. You don’t have to be an expert in all the above-mentioned areas - as long as you are willing to learn and improve, you will undoubtedly make a brilliant business phone system operator!

About the Author

John is a passionate writer who enjoys sharing knowledge and insights with others. With a background in motivational psychology, John is dedicated to helping others achieve their goals and live fulfilling lives. He believes that it's important to have a growth mindset and aims to inspire readers to adopt a similar mindset. In any free time, John enjoys reading books and spending time with loved ones.