If you’re running a business in 2019, then chances are, you have already heard of and might even use some form of VoIP or internet phone service through your business phone line. If you’ve ever used Skype or Facebook Messenger—or any kind of internet service to make a call—you’re experiencing the power of Voice Over IP (VoIP).
VoIP systems have become the norm for businesses large and small, as they provide an easy, surefire way to make telecommunications more efficient—and affordable. For small and medium-sized businesses, these savings can make a big difference. The efficiency of a VoIP system can also ease some headaches for companies that may not have the manpower to handle complicated or less streamlined communication needs. Small businesses generally don’t need some of the more sophisticated VoIP features—like video conferencing that can accommodate 100 or more participants—but the flexible pricing, ease of operations, and customer service offered by many VoIP providers can be of real assistance.
Finding the Right VoIP Fit for Your Business
When it comes to integrating VoIP into your business, there are some factors to consider before you choose a provider. The top VoIP providers can help you lower costs, reach more customers, and even enhance your mobility and productivity.
The most important features to look for when searching for a VoIP solution are:
- Ease of operation and setup
- Reliability and customer service
- Features and customizability
- Mobile options
- Video conferencing and screen sharing
Switching to a VoIP system entails some initial costs, which are quickly offset by the savings. VoIP services can also increase the efficiency, convenience, and flexibility of your communications and help you incorporate the business tools of a larger company. Before you choose your VoIP provider, try to determine how easy it will be to adopt the system and operate it, and also if it has any specific features you need.
Benefits of Having a Business VoIP Phone System
The full benefits of having a business phone system will depend on the size and type of business you own. However, loosely speaking, many businesses benefit from:
Businesses, on average, see costs reduce between 50% - 75% after switching to VoIP, which is a combination of reduced communication expenses and logistical benefits.
Investing in internet phone allows a company to let its employees work remotely, which can increase productivity by almost 20%.
Because of QoS (Quality of service) protocols, more common issues like jitter, latency, or delay are all monitored for a satisfactory standard for business practice. A recent study showed that less than 0.5% of survey respondents reported being dissatisfied with VoIP call quality.
Higher Customer Satisfaction Rates
Unsatisfied customers would rather switch services than complain, so customer service needs to be more aware of visitors needs than ever before. Giving your customers more ways to reach your business is simple, with the help of VoIP. This could be helping employees work remotely, increasing office hours, or just offering the customers a number to call when a problem arises.
Types of VoIP Systems
The biggest difference in cost is going to depend on the type of VoIP service you choose for your business. There are 3 main systems available:
Similar to a website hosting plan, this means that the vendor owns the hardware, and your business leases or buys the phones. Maintenance will be handled by the vendor, too. Companies will usually charge a subscription to use the internet business phone system.
Best for: Smaller businesses
In this scenario, your business owns the hardware, which means you are responsible for any upgrades or maintenance work. This sort of setup can be prohibitive for a smaller business because of the higher initial costs of purchasing the hardware. In addition, the upkeep may require the manpower that a small company doesn't have. On the other hand, these systems can provide better options for customization and a higher level of security.
Best for: Larger businesses
With this system, the business still owns the equipment, but the vendor is in charge of set up and maintenance. This is a great “best of both worlds” option, in that it allows the customer to use their own equipment—like with the on-premise system—while still being able to enjoy the assistance provided by a hosted system.
How do I choose the best business VoIP provider?
There are several factors you’ll need to consider when comparing VoIP providers. The best one for you will check off the most boxes, ensuring that it provides the most value for your company. The main factors to consider include:
- Robust features set
- Mobile access and/or app
- Sophisticated call routing management
- Video conferencing
- Collaboration tools
- Third party integrations
- Competitive pricing
- Ease of setup and use
What are the benefits of using a business VoIP?
Business VoIP can help your business save money, handle larger call volumes, and create a more professional impression for your customers. In fact, the list of all of the benefits goes on for miles, but here are a few of the most important gains you'll get from business VoIP:
- Lower costs
- Greater productivity
- More reliability
- Greater customer satisfaction
- Increased flexibility
- More mobility
How can VoIP save you money?
It's a well-known concept that business VoIP saves businesses money; the question is how. Well, the number one answer is, through the reduced phone bill. Since calls are often free (unlimited minutes, etc.) or offered at an incredibly discounted rate per minute, businesses save thousands of dollars on their phone bills alone. Additionally, you can save money with a VoIP by:
- Utilizing remote workers
- Direct inward dialing
- Voicemail-to-email ensures faster response times (and time is money)
- Conference bridges and video conferencing
- Lower maintenance costs
- Free SMS
How can VoIP enhance your business’ efficiency?
As with financial gains, VoIP services offer tremendous boosts to your productivity as well. Here’s how:
Increased productivity with great collaboration tools
Team members can text for free, share files, and swap phone calls from clients. Remote workers can sit in on conference calls, staying up to date and in the loop.
Since you can take your business on the go, you can get more work done wherever you are. And you’ll never miss another business call again.
Voicemail on VoIP is the ultimate efficiency. Instead of checking multiple phones and accounts, all of your voicemails come to one location to be checked. Plus, you get an alert whenever a voicemail comes in, so you are on top of things faster. Even voicemail transcripts let you read your voicemails, so you can make the most of those boring hours spent in meetings.