6 Business Phone Features you should know about

If you’ve run a small business and only ever had one or two phone lines, then you might not be aware of some of the Business Phone Features available on innoTel’s Hosted PBX phone service.

Business Phone Features

To know which Business Phone Features are right for your business, you first need to know what features are available and how they might help you communicate better with your customers. The following isn’t a comprehensive list, but we find that the following features are often overlooked by small businesses, either because they didn’t know they existed, or they thought these Business Phone Features were strictly for larger businesses.


Out of Hours / Time

What happens to calls that come in after you’ve left for the day? Do they simply ring out? Do they go to your voicemail?

With the Out of Hours feature, you can choose what happens to those calls and when it happens.

For example;

  • During opening hours between 9am and 5pm, you want calls to ring on your phone as normal.
  • Between 5pm and 8pm and on Saturdays between 9am and 5pmm you’re happy to take calls but would like them diverted to your mobile
  • And all other times you’d rather those calls go to voicemail so you can deal with them later.

That and more is all possible with our Out of Hours feature. You can set as many time conditions as you like to suit the way you run your business.

Voicemail to Email

Want more control over your voicemail? Our Voicemail to Email feature quickly delivers any Voicemail as a recording attached to an email to your nominated email address. The email will also contain the date and time of the call, along with the callers number (if available).

Ring Groups

Do you have more than one phone in your office? Want multiple phones to ring based on the number you customer has called?

For example;

Mary runs her boutique recruitment business and has 3 other employees, each with a desk phone. Mary wants each of her employees to have their own phone number, but also wants all of the phones in the office to ring when an incoming call comes into the main reception number.

With Ring Groups, that’s simple! You can setup as many ring groups as you like and you can also choose between whether the phones ring all at once, or whether it rings Mary’s phone first, then Jane’s phone, then Emily’s and so-on in a round robin way until someone picks up the call.

Ring Groups are often used when a full Queue isn’t required and there aren’t a lot of incoming calls.

Call Block

Being harassed by particular callers? As long as their caller ID is available, you can block specific phone numbers and not ever have to hear from them again!

Call Queues & IVRs

Call Queues are the next step up from Ring Groups where there is a higher number of incoming calls. Calls wait in the queue until an agent or employee is available and then the call is delivered to that agent. While the caller waits in the queue, music on hold is played along with any advertising you would like to add in to the mix.


Interactive Voice Response, or IVR for short are those menus you hear when you dial the phone numbers of utilities, banks etc. You know, the ones that ask you to press ‘1’ for sales, ‘2’ for customer service and so-on.

IVRs are great for businesses that have departments and want to ensure the customer gets to the right people and department as quickly as possible. IVRs are usually coupled with Queues and Music on Hold for a complete solution to ensure customer enquiries are handed promptly.


This is just a very small sample! There are many more Business Phone Features that come with our Hosted PBX phone service

Backup Internet 4G – Keep your business online with mobile data

Backup Internet 4G Router

As a small business owner, you probably don’t realise how reliant you are on your broadband internet connection until it goes down. For whatever reason, technology can fail at times, leaving businesses without internet access. Backup Internet 4G  solutions can help when this situation occurs in your business.

This could affect many of your business’ tools including your phone, email, EFTPOS and other critical communication tools you use in your business.

What would it mean to your business if you;

  • Couldn’t receive incoming phone calls from prospective customers?
  • Couldn’t process transactions with your EFTPOS terminal?
  • Couldn’t read or response to emails?
  • Couldn’t access your online booking system?

For most small businesses, it would be a catastrophic circumstance to be in, however it doesn’t have to happen to your business.

A Backup Internet 4G solution can work in conjunction with your fixed-line broadband connection and provide you with internet access even while your fixed line broadband is unavailable. In most cases, you won’t immediately know when the fixed-line broadband connection is lost as the Backup Internet 4G solution takes over shortly after it notices you don’t have internet access.

For obvious reasons, a Backup Internet 4G solution won’t work when the power is out, unless you have a laptop with sufficient battery life.

Think of a Backup Internet 4G solution as insurance. It often costs very little up-front to introduce a 4G backup solution into your business network with a small ongoing fee for 4G mobile data access. While this adds to your overall communication costs, think about what you would loe if you couldn’t run your business – we bet that would be worth more that what this solution would cost you over 12-months.

Think of a Backup Internet 4G solution it like insurance; when your fixed-line broadband services decides to stop working in most cases you won’t even know.

While it might not happen often, think of how crippled your business would be without a phone and internet service? innoTel make implementing a Backup Internet 4G solution for your business simple and cost effective. We’ll work with you to get the right solution for your business and the right price point.

Speak to innoTel today about our Backup Internet 4G solutions.

1300 numbers; what to look for in a 1300 inbound provider

You might be thinking about upgrading from your current office number to a new 1300 number, or you might be looking to move away from your current 1300 inbound provider.

In either situation, it’s good to know what to look out for when choosing a 1300 number and provider as as each provider offers different options, plans and features.

Inbound call charges

To make it entirely confusing, some providers charge you a different rate based on not only where the call has come from, but where it’s being terminated to. How on earth will you know how much your 1300 number is costing you until you receive your bill? Talk about difficult to understand. Talk about the potential for bill-shock!

What you should be looking for is a provider with a simple inbound charging rates, where you simply pay a per minute rate based on where calls a terminated. That way, you control the costs and you’ll be able to work roughly work out what it’s going to cost you.

Port away fees

Like mobile phone numbers you can take 1300 numbers with you to another provider and a ‘port-away’ occurs when you transfer your 1300 number from one provider to another.

Some companies charge an exit fee or port-away fee (e.g $70.00) when you move your 1300 number to another provider, maybe to consolidate your services and make it easier for you.

While you might think that you’ll be with one provider for the life of your 1300 number, things change and you might want to, or need to move your service at a later point. Often the port-away charge will appear on you final bill from your previous provider without any notice.

Free minute inclusions

Some providers will offer call inclusions in the their plans, which might give you X minutes free for a certain call type. These are generally good, but are often limited to a particular call type (e.g. calls from your local area), so other calls coming in from areas outside your local area are charged on a per minute basis without any free minutes. As good as they may sound,you may not be getting the value you thought you were when you signed up.

innoTel have a 1300 call calculator to see which plan is right for your needs.

Choose your own 1300 number

Some providers let you choose your own number. But be warned; if your number is considered a vanity number, a smart word or consists of sequential numbers, you might find there may be higher upfront or ongoing fees involved.


Most 1300 providers simply forward you inbound call to a phone number and offer very little in addition.

Look for a provider that allows you to change your termination number (the number your 1300 number forwards calls to) online and at no cost. Other features that may be important to you is being able to send calls to different numbers at certain times of the day. For example, during office hours you’ll want calls to come to your desk phone, while after hours, you might want those calls sent to your mobile instead.

Some providers will go above and beyond the norm and offer advanced 1300 number reporting services to help you understand where your customers are calling from and how your marketing campaigns are performing.

Additional charges

You’ll find some providers charge fees to change termination numbers for you, despite it being a very small task. Say you want to temporarily change your terminating number from your office to your mobile as you’ll be away for a week. This somewhat small change may result in a small fee on your next bill.

If they do charge for this,then make sure they allow you to change it online at no cost.

That’s it for our 1300 number wrap up. We hope that’s helped you lean more about the 1300 number offerings in the market.

If you are looking for a 1300 number, don’t forget to take a look at our plans, or subscribe to our newsletter for more interesting posts just like this one!