Back in the day, the typical family home had just one phone line, though there might have been an extension in another part of the house. You could be on the phone when, in the middle of your conversation, someone would pick up the extension. They’d then ask ‘Is someone on the line?’, before speedily hanging up, so it didn’t seem like they were covertly listening in. With VoIP (short for Voice over Internet Protocol) you can listen to calls without anyone knowing!

VoIP is a communications tool that works via the internet and can handle all the communications needs of your business. One of the biggest bonuses is that you could save up to 80% on your bill for long distance calls. As well as keeping your cash in your pocket, you’ll also enjoy some hugely useful features to make running your business more efficient. There are three features that VoIP provides that will allow you to enter stealth mode.

Monitoring, Whisper and Barge

The three features you can use to become a superspy are called Monitoring, Whisper and Barge. Monitoring allows you to be on a call with the sound muted your end. There’ll be no background noise, tell-tale clicks or breathing sounds while you’re in the call. With Whisper, you can participate in a call but only one other participant can hear you. Of course, you might not want to be silent or invisible throughout, and then you can then use Barge to take part in the call when necessary.

You might be wondering why on earth you’d want to use these features. The answer is: staff training in how to handle phone calls. We’ll tell you more about that, but first we want to emphasize that there are ethical limits on what to use them for.

Responsible Usage

– With great power comes great responsibility, and you have an obligation to treat your staff with respect. These features are not designed for you to snoop around surreptitiously and listen in on your staff when they’re on the phone. Spying on employees is not just creepy and unethical. If you’re exposed doing a Richard Nixon on your staff’s calls then your credibility as a leader will go down the pan.

– Spooking is another no-no. VoIP Whisper offers lots of potential to mess with people’s heads. If you’re an evil prankster, you can drop lines to confuse callers, or scare them with an unexpected loud shout. This might just be acceptable on April Fool’s Day but that’s the only time you can hope to get away with it.

– A manager’s job is to oversee, but this can easily spill over, with over-zealous managers turning into control freaks. You have to let go and have confidence in your staff. They won’t be comfortable if they feel you don’t trust them. If you over-use Barge to butt in on their calls then you’ll only antagonize them and damage their confidence in themselves.

The Monitoring, Whisper and Barge features that come with VoIP are not actually tools to help you become a superspy. They exist to help you with training your staff in using the phone and dealing with customers. You can monitor calls without customers being aware that there’s a shadowy third presence on the call. With Whisper you can prompt staff and give them advice on what to communicate about your product or how to handle a situation effectively. If necessary, you can join a conversation using Barge.

The great thing about VoIP is that you don’t have to be in the office to use it. If the call is using your VoIP phone number you, or your caller, can be anywhere in the world. If you would like to find out more about VoIP for your business, call Quikteks at (973) 882-4644, and be aware that your call may be monitored for training and monitoring purposes.