You’ve probably made Internet calls using applications like Skype, Zoom, Google, or WhatsApp, but have you considered using Internet calling for your business?
Granted, apps like Skype can be glitchy and unreliable, so your business is going to need something more professional and high-quality than one of those free apps. Enter VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) systems for business applications.
VoIP bypasses traditional phone lines and instead converts voice signals into digital data. This data is then transported on the same networks you already use for Internet applications. With Internet calling, you get quality voice and data transmission and advanced phone features all at a price that’s likely to be cheaper than your traditional phone service.
With the cost savings and new functionality, you can improve customer service, become more efficient in your daily operations, and potentially grow your business. In this article, we’ll share the top 6 reasons Internet calling has been transforming businesses all over the world.
How Internet Calling Works
When you’re using a quality VoIP system, your callers won’t be able to distinguish whether you’re using the Internet or a POTS (plain old telephone service). The quality of the call is still high, but the way the communication method is established and how the voice signal gets transmitted is different.
In a traditional telephone system, i.e., telephony that uses a public switch telephone network, communication signals travel via a series of connected nodes using circuit switching technology. A phone call placed via the Internet works differently. The data is grouped into packets, which are transmitted via a packet-switched network.
This transmission is more efficient because the communication channel is only occupied during packet transmission (allowing other information from other calls to pass along the same chain), whereas a traditional phone line occupies the circuits for the duration of the call.
Internet calling can also encode and decode other types of data signals, not just voice. This flexibility allows for the transmission of video (video calling), images, and multimedia files.
6 Ways Internet Calling Can Help Transform Your Business
Hard-wired phone systems aren’t going to disappear any time soon, but VoIP services continue to evolve, and soon, they’ll be the new standard. If you’re thinking of moving from a traditional phone system to VoIP, you’ll discover several advantages, especially if you go one step further and integrate a CRM or customer database with your phone system.
1. Cost Savings
When it comes to most business upgrades, the first question you’re bound to ask is how much it’ll cost and if it will result in any savings. VoIP phone systems, especially those that are cloud-based, are a fraction of the cost of traditional phone networks, and the average business saves 40% on their phone bills when they switch to VoIP.
There are a few reasons for the cost difference:
1. More competition: Phone companies have little competition, and some operate in a government-protected monopoly. As a result, the rates you pay are often inflated. VoIP providers, on the other hand, compete vigorously for your business. Not only does this lower your rates, but it also gives you more choices while encouraging each competitor to keep improving.
2. Lower calling fees: Traditional phone systems require wired phone lines to work. Phone companies offset this infrastructural investment by building it into the customers’ monthly charges. In the past, especially for long-distance and international calls, the signal had to travel down miles of wires during the routing process.
Even though some of this system has been optimized, most calls still travel along copper wires and fiber-optic cables. Long-distance calls might use satellites and microwave towers. As you can imagine, this infrastructure is costly, and the customer ultimately pays the price.
3. Less hardware: Internet calling often makes use of your existing equipment, like computers, laptops, and mobile phones. When you opt for a cloud-based system, you also eliminate the need for a lot of the expensive hardware that’s required for traditional office landlines to work.
2. Enjoy More Flexibility
With Internet calling, you can run your business from anywhere, and your employees can also have more flexibility.
If you wanted, you could run your entire business with a single smartphone, which is a previously unheard-of option for entrepreneurs.
Small and medium-sized businesses can also take advantage of being able to work and communicate even when they’re not in the office. No longer do you have to be chained to your desk to make or receive a business call. VoIP allows you to have virtually unlimited virtual extensions. You can represent your business even if you’re using your smartphone.
And, if you need to adjust call forwarding settings, record a new auto attendant greeting, or change an employee’s extension, you can do it all from any Internet-connected device. All you have to do is log-in, and you’ll have access to your system from a single, convenient dashboard.
If you decide to integrate your Internet calling system with a customer database, your employees can help serve clients even if they’re not at their desks. As soon as the phone rings to your employee’s virtual extension, they’ll see caller ID info as well as the client’s full customer record.
Your employees will be able to service the customer by scheduling appointments, collecting payments, answering questions about their accounts, and more. Anything that happens on the call is logged in your system, too. No more post-it notes or multiple versions of calendars to keep track of!
3. Create a VIP Customer Experience
If you’ve integrated Internet calling with your customer database, then you’re well on your way to creating the best customer experience in town. Because whoever answers the phone sees the caller’s full name, profile picture (if applicable), call logs, previous purchases and appointments, outstanding balances, birthdays, family members, and notes about the account, they can provide a full-service experience on the spot.
Now, when your employees know who’s on the phone even before they say hello, they are better equipped to serve the customer. As a result, the customer feels valued and respected, and they’re likely to stay with your business for years. They could even refer their friends and family members to you!
4. Get Access to Features Previously Available Only to Larger Enterprises
Not long ago, static voice mail greetings and clunky phone trees were the tell-tale sign of a small mom and pop business. Today, however, even a solopreneur can have access to the same advanced phone system features that Fortune 500 companies are known for.
Features like an auto-attendant, automatic call transferring, call forwarding, voicemail to email transcriptions, call parking, DND (do not disturb), programmatic call sequencing, and on-hold music all help businesses put their best face forward. Callers get a convenient, professional experience, and business owners can rest easy knowing that their customers are taken care of when they call.
With the emerging telehealth market, health practitioners can even use Internet calling to schedule video chats with patients. The calls can be recorded while complying with HIPAA standards. These recordings can serve as a reference for future appointments or if there’s ever a dispute or claim.
5. Gain Insight on Employee Performance
Have you ever wondered how many calls your business gets each day, which employees answer the most calls, how long each person is on the phone, and who is responsible for the most revenue?
If you had that information, you could better measure employee performance, optimize procedures, train workers on best practices, and improve your bottom line.
A VoIP system that integrates with your CRM can provide all of that information and more in a dashboard that’s visually appealing and easy to read. You could even look at trends over time and measure performance improvements (or declines).
Whether one employee needs additional training or the whole team could benefit from a refresher course, you’ll know where everyone stands at a glance. You’ll also have insights that can help you identify and address minor issues before they become major problems.
6. Increase Efficiency
When all of your customer data is literally at your fingertips, you can avoid tedious tasks like manually finding customer files, asking clients to repeat (for the third time) how to spell their name, and digging through mountains of paperwork or digital documents trying to find the data you’re looking for.
By having a CRM that’s connected to your phone system, all of the relevant information about a client is easily accessible and all in one place. Not only does this setup increase your efficiency, but it can also result in fewer mistakes and data entry errors.
Businesses can realize a dramatic transformation when they integrate a VoIP system with a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software. This type of integration provides advanced features and customer service capabilities that can make your business stand head and shoulders above the competition.
Are you curious to see how Internet calling works with Weave? Schedule a live demo today.