Many companies believe that Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is only for big businesses, but this is not the case. In fact, this phone system has many features that are ideal for small businesses. For example, VoIP lets users make and receive calls through their broadband internet connection. VoIP technology converts sound into digital information, then transfers the data via the internet in a process which is similar to that of email. This avoids using a mobile phone signal or traditional phone line.
In the Harvard Business Review, Kevin Werback wrote that “VoIP isn’t just a new technology for making old-fashioned calls cheaper.” In his article, titled “Using VoIP to Compete,” he said that “What makes [VoIP] so potent is that it turns speech into digital data packets that can be stored, searched, manipulated, copied, combined with other data, and distributed to virtually any device that connects to the internet.”
Werback’s writing underlines how important VOIP can be for a small business. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits the technology can provide – here are eight of the most important advantages of using VOIP within your small business.
VoIP technology has come a long way since its inception. Call quality is now so high that neither you nor your caller will be able to tell whether you’re using VoIP, a mobile phone, or a traditional landline. In many cases, VoIP calls have better quality than other formats.
VoIP can do more than just make and receive calls. Modern VoIP systems also incorporate instant messaging, teleconferencing and video conferencing, and presence information. They can also receive voicemail and faxes via email.
Features like video conferencing allow you to stay engaged with employees no matter where they are in the world. This gives businesses the opportunity to diversify their workforce and offer flexible time to local employees. It’s also possible for employees to work from home, or even work from abroad.
VoIP also allows voicemail and faxes to be forwarded to your email. This lets you get all your messages in one convenient spot. You can archive or forward messages, and you’ll have access to your information on the go.
VoIP systems are much more secure than traditional analogue telephone connections. Regular telephone lines can’t use encryption protocols, or secure calls and data, but these features are standard on modern VoIP systems.
You can use your VoIP system anywhere that you have internet access. You can also make and receive calls from many different devices – including your smartphone – so you know that customers or colleagues can contact you no matter where you are.
You have the ability to transfer calls from your phone to colleagues without needing customers to hang up and call another number. VoIP also offers the option to set your status as available or busy so that colleagues know whether or not you can take calls.
VoIP allows you to record answers to simple questions, such as the hours you are open on holidays, regular opening hours, or other important announcements. These frequently asked questions can then be set up for customers to receive when they call after your regular office hours.
For many businesses, the option to play back important calls or ensure that voicemail messages haven’t been missed is crucial; VoIP makes this process simple. It’s also easy to review call logs; you can see many different statistics, such as average call length and peak times for customer calls.
One of the most frustrating situations is when you need information from a colleague or are trying to contact a customer, but the two of you end up playing “phone tag.” This phrase refers to a situation where two people are going back and forth, trying to reach each other, but instead keep getting each other’s voicemail. This increases customer frustration, reduces sales, and keeps small businesses from growing as best they can. This delays projects and makes it more difficult for people to do their jobs.
With VoIP, phone numbers can be programmed to ring on multiple devices before they go to voicemail. This helps to ensure that neither employees nor customers will get caught up in a game of phone tag.
While some companies may think that VoIP costs are higher than those of traditional phone calls, this in fact untrue. Specifically, VoIP reduces costs by:
- Cutting down on domestic and international calls. A VoIP isn’t connected to a physical landline, but it appears to be on a phone line. This means that customers and colleagues can call at local rates, avoiding higher international call rates.
- Removing the need to maintain separate networks for data and phones
- Turning your smartphone into an office extension phone that goes everywhere you go. This dramatically reduces your company’s mobile phone costs.
- Eliminating or reducing the need for employees in the field to travel back to the office for meetings with individuals or teams. Videoconferencing and teleconferencing mean that meetings can be arranged anywhere. This reduces travel costs, recruiting, retraining, and can even reduce the square footage a business needs for office space.
- VoIP handsets themselves cost less than traditional telephones.
According to Technavio, the global market for VoIP is expected to see compound annual growth (CAGR) of almost 10% from 2017-2021. “During 2017-2021, with increased smartphone and LTE-enabled device adoption, the VoIP services market is likely to expand significantly,” Technavio reported.
“The development of various VoIP applications for smartphones in the form of messaging and voice and video calls at reduced prices helps more customers to adopt VoIP services.
“During 2018-2020, many developed and emerging nations should be completing the process of LTE network infrastructure deployment, thus enabling VoIP to gain a high subscriber base,” Technavio added. “The market will mostly be driven by developing regions with the increasing availability of high-speed broadband services.”
At Milan Industries, we offer a range of telephony services, including:
- Design of state-of-the-art telephony systems that include DID, wireless capability, and interactive voice response, as well as other features
- Fully customised telephony systems which are designed with your company’s financial requirements and business needs in mind
- Complete installation of hardware required for systems, as well as software setup, during a one-time deployment service
- Training sessions to help acclimatise employees to the new system
- Ongoing technical support through Helpdesk services.
VoIP could give your company the edge it needs over the competition. Call us today to learn more about how our telephony and VoIP systems can work for your business.