Even with the advent of email, texting, and instant messaging, the telephone is still an integral and essential part of a successful business. No wonder it has been around for 100 years and won’t be going away anytime soon. But as technology has changed there are now more options than ever when it comes to leveraging the best phone solution available for your business to have the best chance at success. If you are like most SMB’s you are watching your pennies. If you are still using a traditional landline solution those pennies have turned to dollars long ago and there is little hope of reigning in those escalating costs. Well actually, there is. If you haven’t heard of VoIP, or if you have but don’t know what it means or where to begin the research, read on and let us provide you a quick and easy primer on what you need to know to get started. In a nutshell, here’s how VoIP can help your business.
What is VoIP?
By basic definition, VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. In simple terms, your phone calls now travel over your internet connection instead of those old copper lines that may have been around since ole Mr. Edison himself! You can still use a desk phone if you want, but VoIP also offers the ability to use a tablet, computer, or smartphone! The biggest difference is the way the call gets transmitted, and the additional features available of course.
VoIP often lowers costs
One big advantage of VoIP is that your business can save a bundle on costs. VoIP takes efficiency to a whole new level. Since you’ll be receiving phone calls over the Internet, you’ll cut out the expense of a phone line altogether and instead consolidate both your Internet and voice communication costs. The whole concept of lines goes right out the window with VoIP, as there is essentially no limit to the number of simultaneous inbound and outbound calls.
If your business makes international calls regularly, VoIP can offer significantly more savings! With VoIP, international calling costs are significantly reduced and in some cases even free. Statistically speaking, VoIP services have helped many businesses lower costs dramatically. For some, local call expenses have been reduced by up to 40% and for international calls by as much as 90%. That can be significant savings for any size business!
More (and often better) features than traditional phones
In addition to reduced costs, VoIP also offers a wide array of innovative features that surpass those of a traditional phone line. While listing them all would take several pages, three notable ones are custom call routing, easy voicemail access, and mobility.
- Custom Call Routing – If you’ve ever worried about missing an important phone call when not at your desk, call routing will have you breathing a long sigh of relief and put a big smile on your face. With this feature, an incoming call, if not answered at the main location, can ring to multiple devices of your choice and in the order and timing you choose. As an example, if your office phone rings when you’re not there, that same call can then ring on your softphone, cell phone, home phone, or other devices before going to voicemail.
- Easy Voicemail Access – Imagine getting an email alerting you that you not only have a new voicemail, but attaching a wave file of that voicemail that you can listen to, perhaps from your smartphone if you receive email there. Now imagine that there is a mobile software application ( APP ) that you can not only retrieve but even manage your voicemails from. Yes, with the latest VoIP solutions you can do that and more. Oh, and you can still get your voicemail the ‘old fashioned way’ as well – from your desk phone!
- Mobility – With VoIP and an APP as mentioned above you can easily transfer calls between devices, especially your smartphone. Utilizing a softphone affords you the ability to return that important call without disclosing your personal cell number and being subject to calls or texts at any time of day or night!