How a VoIP Phone System Can Benefit Your Small Business
When home telephones started becoming commonplace in the early 1900s, it completely transformed how we conducted business. The pace of life sped up, information could travel faster than ever before, and the nature of consumerism changed forever.
And when the Internet was introduced at the turn of the 21st century, everyone expected it to do the same. But no one could have predicted just how impactful it would be. Everything is online now; dating, food delivery, shopping, you name it. But until very recently, most businesses haven’t been taking advantage of unified communications that the internet has made possible.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at the love child of these two technologies—and how this combination has become one greatest tools a small business can take advantage of. We’re going to dive right into the world of VoIP phone systems.
What Is A VoIP System?
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. While the term itself might sound complicated, the technology itself isn’t. It allows users to make calls using an internet connection instead of a traditional analog phone line.
VoIP tech isn’t actually all that new. Voice calls have been a feature of online communications for the better part of three decades. However, in its infancy, VoIP systems were often unreliable, choppy, and just not as good as traditional phone services.
But the last few years have seen a huge boom in VoIP tech. Voice calls are now the standard offering on multiple platforms, with internet giants like Facebook and Skype taking the lead. The technology has matured to the point where quality, cost, and reliability are no longer issues.
Today, it’s not only viable but more practical to switch to VoIP from analog phone lines, especially since it comes with more advanced features at a lower cost.
How Does VoIP Work?
If you take a closer look at VoIP technology, you can begin to understand why it works so well. With VoIP, your voice call is transmitted over the Internet just like any other type of data—through packets. Those packets can carry much more information than analog phone lines in a much more efficient manner.
What You’ll Need For A VoIP Phone System
- A high-speed broadband internet connection, preferably unlimited. You can choose from DSL, fiber optic, FTTP or ethernet connection for the best possible VoIP experience. Your internet connection is one of the most crucial elements since it can dictate the quality and reliability of your phone system.
- A computer or mobile device to receive calls. If from a computer, you’ll also need a headset with a microphone.
- VoIP software of your choice. This can come in the form of an app or computer program, depending on the kind of system you choose.
Myths About VoIP Phone Systems
VoIP Isn’t Reliable
In the early days, VoIP got a lot of flack for bad call quality, choppy connections, and generally unreliable service. While that was true maybe a decade ago, today’s VoIP systems are much more sophisticated. Thanks to advancements in both VoIP tech and internet providers, wireless VoIP communications can be just as good—if not better than—than their traditional counterpart.
Only Large Companies Need VoIP
When most people think of VoIP in businesses, their mind automatically goes to large call centers for multi-national corporations. And because of the notion that VoIP best benefits bigger brands, small business owners are hesitant to switch.
But VoIP can provide just as much value to small businesses as they do to big ones. We’ll go into more detail about VoIP’s cost-effectiveness and scalability later.
VoIP Is Too Complicated For Small Businesses
New technology is always a little bit exciting and a little bit terrifying. One of the biggest fears of business owners when it comes to VoIP is: What if it’s too complicated or difficult to learn?
While it is true that VoIP has a learning curve, the same can be said of any system. And with most workers today being tech-savvy, learning how to use VoIP software isn’t any more inherently difficult than learning how to use Facebook.
VoIP Is Expensive
With VoIP providers offering crazy features and up to dozens or even hundreds of phone lines, VoIP sounds like it would be the more expensive option compared to traditional phones. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Most VoIP companies offer affordable services and custom packages so that you can enjoy VoIP no matter your budget.
Benefits Of VoIP Systems For Small Businesses
VoIP is super easy to expand when you need it. You can add as many phone lines or numbers as you want without having to completely rewire the system or upgrade your hardware. It’s basically plug-and-play.
This makes it a great option for businesses of all sizes. Whether you are just starting out but see growth down the line, or a large company that hires dozens of new employees a day. You can even use it to add additional lines during peak seasons, then scale it back down after.
With some VoIP software, you aren’t just getting unlimited calls. You’re also getting multiple other types of communication, such as email, instant messaging, and video conferencing.
You can use these functions to reach out to customers and touch base with your employees. Even more, you can share documents, links, and other files all from the same versatile VoIP system.
Traditional phone lines keep you firmly rooted at your desk. The same isn’t true for VoIP phones. As long as you have access to an internet connection and a device (like a laptop, phone, or tablet), you have access to your VoIP phone system.
You can also set up automatic call forwarding to reroute calls to a specific number, user, or device. This means that you can talk to customers whether you’re at the office or at home. You can even reroute a specific subset of calls, such as all after-hours calls, to an emergency 24/7 hotline number.
If you can’t reach your customers (or if they can’t reach you), that can result in a lot of frustration and delays. Eliminate phone tag—or when both parties can’t get ahold of each other for a call—and increase your availability by using a VoIP system.
VoIP lines can be configured to ring on multiple devices before going to voicemail. This, along with automatic forwarding, could drastically reduce the number of missed calls and missed opportunities, allowing your staff to be more productive.
As we’ve already mentioned a few times, VoIP phone systems today are much better quality than the VoIP systems even just a few years ago. You can generally expect excellent, clear communication as long as both you and the other person on the line have stable internet connections. In fact, most VoIP systems are on par with traditional phone lines, while some even surpass them in terms of quality.
Any VoIP system worth their salt uses standardized encryption protocols to keep your calls, contact info, and other data safe from third parties. Encrypted VoIP calls are much more secure than calls made through a regular telephone line.
Do you want to ensure great customer service? VoIP systems allow you to record all interactions with your clients. You can pull up recordings, gain insight into customer behavior, and provide feedback to your staff.
Unlike analog phone systems, VoIP has the advantage of integrating with the other systems you use to run your business. You can import customer contacts from your database, pull up client records and information, and send emails to other staff while on a call.
Most VoIP companies have 24/7 customer service to assist you if things go wrong. Plus, most VoIP software is hosted on the cloud, meaning you get regular patches and updates—resulting in a more reliable system overall.
With VoIP, you can save money in a myriad of ways:
- You can make unlimited local, national, and even international calls at a fraction of what traditional telephone companies charge.
- VoIP works with your existing internet connection, and there’s no need for additional infrastructure.
- VoIP providers usually host everything on the cloud and also have their own customer or technical support, saving you costly maintenance or repair fees.
- Because VoIP can be used on smartphones or laptop, you can save on providing company-issued phones just for communications. You can also allow employees to work from home or wherever they are, saving on transportation costs, utilities, and space.
There has never been a better time to switch to a VoIP phone system! Small businesses all over the world are slowly realizing the obvious benefits of internet-based calls. The reality of the situation is that if you stick with traditional phone lines you’re missing out on faster communication, cheaper infrastructure, and higher productivity.
Still not entirely convinced? You can demo Weave—a powerful VoIP phone system and all-in-one communication platform—for free, no commitments or obligations. Contact us and schedule your demo today!