In the last few years, VOIP has been rocking the world of business communications. From established corporations to cutting-edge startups, organizations all over the world are upgrading the idea of conventional TelCo phone lines in favor of VOIP cloud services.
And on the surface, you might think that this is a simple matter of pricing. After all, VOIP is more scalable and just as economical as office landlines and company mobile plans. So it only makes sense for overhead-savvy businesses to start making the switch.
Numerous businesses worry that making the switch will deprive them of important phone features currently offered by their TelCo landlines and cell phone services. But this is entirely the wrong perspective. If you want to reap the most reward from making the VOIP switch, then it’s time to start thinking about what VOIP can do for your business above and beyond the fundamental telephone system features.
What You Can Still Do
Most companies rely heavily on their phone plan features. Any standard company VOIP plan can be counted on to be built to perfectly and fully replace a comparable TelCo business phone plan. And advanced VOIP is quite adept at imitating then enhancing the features of very high-end business phone features.
No matter what phone plan features you have relied on in the past, you can absolutely find a VOIP plan that offers the same functionality at a fraction of the cost and installation effort.
- Call Holding and Forwarding
- Phone Line Management
- Conference Calls
- Automated Phone Trees
- Tech Support Queues and Pools
- Custom Hold Music or Messages
- Call Recording
- Privacy Management
No matter what kind of phone features you have relied on, VOIP can deliver everything you need and bring your business the wonders of unified communications.
One Number – Unified Communication
Modern professionals are more than familiar with the hassle of multiple phone numbers. There’s the number at your office desk, your personal mobile number, and possibly a third number at your home office. If you work in multiple locations, each one has a different number.
Many professionals wind up living and working on their personal mobile number, even though most of us would prefer to keep business and personal communications separate. VOIP is the answer to all of this with the one-number feature.
A VOIP number isn’t tied to any location or device. Which means it can be accessed or reach employees on any device. No matter where they are. One number that can ring their desk at work, cell phone, laptop, home computer, even a tablet. Any device that connects to the internet and a headset can be used as a phone.
This means two amazing things. First, that you only have to put one number on your business cards. And second, that you can finally take back your personal mobile number as a private line.
The next great advantage is how many different devices you can use to connect. This doesn’t just help maintain the one-number convenience. It also frees companies and professionals from the requirement to use limited or proprietary devices.
A VOIP number can come straight through a workstation computer or laptop, meaning that there’s no need for handsets anymore. But if your business is built around skilled multi-line handset use, you can also install VOIP-capable handsets that also include all the new features.
This also means that employees away from their desks don’t have to use a specific device to stay in touch with their phone numbers. A tablet with data or wifi can act as a phone. Personal laptops, tablets, and smartphones can all be used to forward the number, as can any computer in any business or residential location. In fact, your employees can even stay connected on a borrowed device during emergencies or equipment malfunctions.
Integration with Other Software
Your cloud-based CRM connects to your customer service software and your automated marketing system. Your financial software connects to your bank accounts and your vendor bill pay accounts. Everything about modern business software is integrating for convenience. So why shouldn’t your internet phones?
VOIP isn’t like a phone line. It’s software, meaning that it can also be programmed to integrate directly with the various business software programs you use. Integrated VOIP makes it easy to make calls with the push of a button, create records based on the caller, and even offer different messages based on marketing or management software. The possibilities are still not fully grasped because there are always more use cases to explore.
Transcribed Conversations and Voicemails
Traditional phones can take messages and record calls. But VOIP takes this above and beyond by adding automated transcription. Voice to text software took a long time to mature, but now it is nearly perfect. You can generate precise text-records of anything that is said through your VOIP lines.
The most daily use for VOIP transcribing is simply getting your voicemails in your email. Imagine, freeing your entire workforce from calling and listening to their voicemails. No more re-playing a message to puzzle out what was said or to take notes. Instead, the VOIP line will listen to a message, transcribe it, and send you a convenient email of what was said.
Of course, you can also use transcriptions for active calls. Transcribe conference calls with clients to permanently note their requests and reactions. Or transcribe all customer service calls to add them to more detailed CRM files. Surely, you can think of a few use-cases for your industry where automatic call transcription would be very useful.
Video Calls and Conferencing
Video calling is one of the clearest signs that phones should be on the internet. Traditional phones only transfer audio signal. But communication software doesn’t have to stop at audio. Many VOIP plans include video calls and video conferencing with the simple addition of connected cameras. This gives you an even greater ability to connect with your contacts, creating calls and meetings.
Outage protection ensures that if an employee is accessible, a VOIP phone call can reach them. Find Me, Follow Me can be programmed to ring a certain device based on a schedule or to ring every device in sequence to see which one picks up. So your employees never have to miss an important phone call again.
Another great thing about VOIP numbers is that they’re not even tied to a specific facility. There are thousands of situations where a facility-independent office number is exceptionally valuable. If your business leases a new space, the numbers come with you, and you don’t have to worry about installation.
If you have professionals who work out of more than one office, like circuit managers or traveling trainers, they can set up their office with their number no matter what building they’re currently calling home. You can even send the same number along with employees on business trips to work in faraway offices or with clients.
VOIP additionally unlocks the door to a genuinely mobile workforce. Company cell phones started the trend, but cell numbers are tied to a SIM card, and you can only have one number per device. And with company cell phones, your business is chained to conventional cell plans. VOIP, on the other hand, gives you a full range of connectivity. Your employees can choose their ideal working device and, as long as it has internet and a headset, it can also become a portal for their VOIP work number. Along with all the features and integration that comes with that.
This means that employees who work remotely, take business trips, or do a lot of work on-the-go have much more flexibility in staying connected through their work number and using cloud-based company communication channels.
Another important aspect of VOIP is the scalability. This isn’t just a software buzzword. What scalable VOIP means is that you can start your business VOIP plan with a small group of employees and easily expand your account to include hundreds — even thousands — of additional lines on the same account.
Scalability isn’t just friendly for little businesses with intent to expand. It also allows larger enterprises to ‘dip their toe in the water’ and take VOIP for a test-spin, then easily scale up to complete integration when satisfied with the results.
Finally, we should also mention that VOIP, with all its additional features, is also less expensive and less invasive than traditional TelCo phone lines. VOIP does not need to be physically installed, it is not limited to phone lines, and you don’t have to pay through the nose for usage.
What can VOIP do for your business? This article has barely scratched the surface of use-cases and logistical benefits VOIP can provide. Not to mention the creative ways you will find to use the features to your advantage. Contact us today to find out more about how VOIP can improve your business communications. Clearly going above and beyond simply replacing your old TelCo phone plan.