VoIP services come with a host of calling features pertaining to a wide range of function. Amongst this broad inclusion is the Call Screening feature. Though this function may not seem as important a feature as others, Call Screening is crucial in providing users with an alternative option for answering calls.This feature provides users with an audio “pre-screening” of any incoming call. During this “pre-screening,” users are given the phone number called, the caller’s number, and the option to accept or reject the call all while the caller continues to hear the ring, not the message.

While the implementation of this feature seems sensible enough, the Call Screening feature allots for three primary functions, which allow users:

1. To See and Hear Who’s Calling: With this, user utilize caller ID information, which appears on users’ phone displays (as well as Softphone) before the call is connected. From here users can choose to either accept any incoming call, or reject it, which sends it directly to voicemail. Additionally, the auto receptionist feature can be used to complement call screening. The auto receptionist can be configured to prompt callers for their names, allowing users to better identify the caller.

2. To Block Unwanted Calls Forever: This feature can be used to help better filter calls in the future. Call Screening can be configured to permanently block specific numbers or to help compile an approved Caller List. Once a number is blocked, the number can never call a user’s number again. Aside from individual numbers, users can also block out entire area codes, or define a list of allowed numbers. In using a softphone, the software displays telemarketers’ hidden numbers and makes it easy for users to add them to their block list.

3. To Reply with Text-to-Speech Messages: Call Screening also allows for increased productivity as it helps busier users better optimize their time. If a user is too busy to take a call, he or she can opt to reply with a default message or type a custom message. The message will read to callers using text-to-speech technology.

The Call Screening function provides users with both the identity and the purpose of a caller. This can be extremely helpful in allowing users to better prepare for conversations (especially those where information is needed on hand). As mentioned above the screening feature may often be glossed over; however, it is a crucial part of VoIP. Call screening includes more popular applications/features such as Caller ID, Caller Lists, Call Blocking, and Text-to-Audio reply. In implementing each one of them, the Call Screening feature allows users a comprehensive way to monitor their phone calls.

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