Since online chat support is quickly becoming standard, many small businesses might assume that a landline phone service is no longer needed. But having a dependable business phone number builds trust with your customer base.
In this article, you’ll learn the top benefits that a landline phone service provides for small businesses. You’ll also learn how a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service, where calls are made to your business number using an internet connection instead of a traditional landline cable, is a reliable and often more affordable way of connecting with your customers when compared with a landline.
1. Increased sales
A missed connection with potential customers is a missed opportunity for a sale. Whether you’re operating a brick-and-mortar store, an online business, or a professional service, your prospective customers may have questions at any stage in their buying journey.
By having a business landline number available, you’re available for direct contact with your audience at all times. Many people may choose to pick up the phone rather than relying on online booking systems or social media messages that can easily slip through the cracks. Online appointment or booking systems can also provide a less personal experience than your customers might prefer.
As a business, you can choose to handle these calls through a traditional landline phone or adopt a VoIP service. While your customers won’t know the difference when they call your business phone number, VoIP is much quicker and cheaper to set up compared with the physical installation needed for cable landlines. So, with VoIP, you can reap the benefits of a business phone number much sooner.
2. Improved business relationships
Your customers are not the only people who may need to contact you by phone. Whether it’s your bank, a new supplier, or a potential investor, it’s good business practice to have an official business landline connection available where business partners can reach you.
Using a traditional phone line as your official method of being reached, in comparison to a cell phone number or email-only communication, allows your business to run more smoothly. These are important relationships as you may rely on them for important business processes like deliveries, accounting, and supplies. If something goes wrong with a time-sensitive matter, a business landline ensures vendors and suppliers can reach you in an emergency.
Business partners may hesitate to use a cell phone number to contact you and revert to email. But it’s easy to miss emails or other online communications in the course of a busy work day. Having a landline available enables prompt and personal communication, meaning emergency situations are quickly resolved and business relationships maintain a human touch.
3. Improved customer service
Customer service is an increasingly important component of success across all types of businesses. According to Statista, 60% of consumers in the United States conduct further business with companies on the basis of good customer service.
Poor customer service costs your company precious revenue and redirects it to your competitors’ pockets. Having a landline phone service vastly improves the customer experience, whether they’re reaching out about:
- Booking your services or purchasing your product
- Lodging a complaint
- Providing positive feedback
- Asking questions about your pricing, products, or services
If a customer is frustrated or has a question, your landline provides you with an opportunity to speak with them directly and add a human connection, rather than relying solely on email or social media chatbots.
4. Higher employee satisfaction
Your employees' satisfaction rates directly impact the bottom line of your business. Happy employees are more productive, less likely to call in sick, and provide a more positive experience for your customers.
Good communication is key to employee satisfaction. If a situation arises where an employee can’t make it to work, for example, a landline phone number gives them a reliable and centralized method of communication. Similarly, employees who are out in the field, such as delivery drivers or salespeople, know they can always reach someone in the office if a situation arises.
5. Increased efficiency
Companies are increasingly relying on digital communication between customers and employees. While this can be a more productive method in some scenarios, there are always situations when it’s quicker and easier to simply pick up the phone to a customer or colleague to resolve an issue or question.
With a landline phone service, your customers and suppliers can quickly pick up the phone, meaning less time spent going back and forth over email. Similarly, a phone system makes operations smoother for your employees. They can pick up to dial each other's extensions and easily transfer customer calls from one department to another.
With a business phone system, your landline number and individual’s extensions can also easily be forwarded or sent to voicemail. That way, your customers' calls are never left ringing out with no response.
VoIP provides even more extra features to improve efficiency in your business. With your phone lines set up through VoIP, your business enjoys increased capacity for call routing, easily setting up and switching on voice answering machines, and automated transcription of your customer calls.
6. Reliable communication
When choosing a phone system, businesses have the option of selecting a VoIP service or installing a landline through the traditional cable method. Both provide more reliable and consistent communication channels for your customers.
VoIP services use the internet to connect calls. This method provides more consistent and reliable communication for business owners and employees who move around a lot or occasionally work from home rather than being tied to a physical landline.
Whether you opt for VoIP or a physical landline, having a business phone system ensures more reliable and consistent phone communication for both your customers and employees.
7. Reputation and trust
According to research from BrightLocal in 2019, 60% of consumers prefer to contact small businesses by phone. Interestingly, this number actually increased from 40% in 2016. When it comes to small businesses, customers prefer a human touch and to feel a sense of trust in the business before they buy. So it’s no surprise that they prefer to pick up the phone rather than sending an email as a first point of contact.
So, having a reliable business phone number for your existing and prospective customers to use enhances a sense of trust, reliability, and responsiveness. Not only is this beneficial for your customer relationships, but it can also have a deep impact on the overall reputation and perception of your business.
Although your business may start off with you as the sole employee or a few helping hands from friends and family, small businesses can grow quickly. When that happens, your employees may need their own business phone numbers, particularly if you start to recruit for salespeople or customer service representatives.
During these phases of growth, your business phone system needs to be scalable so that your employees can operate effectively. With a phone system, particularly those run through a VoIP service such as RingCentral, you can quickly and easily set up new phone numbers and ensure that all calls made to your main business phone number are routed to the right people.
Since VoIP systems can operate by routing calls to cell phones, there are far fewer hardware limits or outlays to consider when scaling your business.
In the beginning, it may feel easier to use a cell phone and set up a cell phone plan to run your business phone line. But cell phone plans are costly. When you start growing your business and require more employees on the phone, there are far more scalable solutions available.
Business phone systems are a much more cost-effective way to provide and use a business phone number for teams of all sizes.
Physical landlines can be expensive to set up, but they result in a much lower monthly phone bill than relying on cell phones in the long run. Using a VoIP service is even more cost-effective, with a lower setup cost than physical landlines. Many VoIP service providers charge no setup fee at all and provide per-user pricing that you can raise and reduce as needed, so your business phone costs will always align with your staffing levels.
10. Extra features
If you’re running a business with a longer sales cycle, such as a software company or a B2B service provider, customer conversations often go way beyond a quick inquiry about opening hours. Incorporating a business phone system can empower you and your sales team to stay on top of leads and keep communication lines open.
VoIP services come with lots of extra features that enhance your lead nurturing and customer support for more complex customer relationships. For example, you can integrate VoIP systems such as Dialpad into your CRM system to track leads communications and enable quick connections.
Other features include the ability to record phone calls so you can monitor the skills and performance of your customer support representatives. Lots of VoIP providers enable integrations with cell phones so your employees can access calling in the field, too.
Landline phone services mean small business success
Despite the rise of the digital age and text-based communication, business phone numbers are not quite out the door. Rather than relying on your cell phone or email address, a business phone service through landline or VoIP services enables better customer service, enhanced business relationships, and more efficient operations.
Whether you’re running a B2B service, an online store, or a brick-and-mortar location, reliable business phone services are still a cornerstone of small business success.