Why VoIP Is Beneficial For Small Businesses

0 Comments 14 January 2015

When business owners price traditional phone systems for their small business, they often experience sticker shock when adding all the components together. With the widespread use of the Internet, owners aren’t limited to old-fashioned phone lines and long distance charges on the phone bill. VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, actually uses the Internet connection to send voice data packets between callers. Although this technology may sound intimidating and expensive, it’s actually less expensive than almost any other communication system for small businesses.

Designed With Business In Mind

Some business owners try to cut corners by purchasing a residential phone system, trying to adapt it to multiple lines and physical extension ns. However, there are more headaches with a system that is not adapted to a business structure. When VoIP was first introduced, it was specifically designed for the business world. Multiple extensions are supported with an effective layout that allows all calls to phone in seamlessly. Adding extensions to other phone systems is often cumbersome. Depending on the system, there can be an in-house or remote host. Once all the components are in place, they essentially “plug and play,” allowing managers to move on with other business challenges as customer phone calls are taken without incident.

Installation And Implementation Ease

Any new phone system typically comes with a list of instructions that must be explained to each employee, making implementation a long-winded process. Because VoIP was designed for the business world, it has a simplistic layout that makes it easy to understand. Long meetings and hands-on training are not required with VoIP. Owners save significant money on training costs with the phone system vendor as well. Depending on the system, the training instructor may become part of the company as they help everyone with the initial setup on non-VoIP systems. Even installation is quick with VoIP because most of the hardware is small or housed at a remote facility. Owners will appreciate the fast installation and start-up ease with any VoIP purchase.

Low Cost Calls

The days of being surprised by a phone bill are gone with a small business VoIP. When agreeing to the VoIP contract, the provider stipulates each call’s fee or charge, including any national or international fees. Owners are aware of these costs that don’t change over time. It’s a contract agreed to with the provider, essentially locking in rates for the length of the service. Ask about free call specials, however. Some VoIP providers offer specials with free calls or minutes to specific countries, for example. Receive all contractual information in writing to reference it in the future. If a better deal comes up with a VoIP competitor, owners can price check quickly with the current contract.

No Hardware Woes

When a small business has a phone failure, money is lost within the first few minutes. Customers aren’t greeted with a friendly voice and may even hear the phone ring repeatedly with no pickup. Calling the phone system service technician costs companies even more in labor, along with any necessary replacement parts. During VoIP contract negotiations, ask for a hosted PBX, or public branch exchange. This PBX component handles all the incoming and outgoing calls, but can break down periodically. A hosted PBX means that the hardware is located with the VoIP provider’s facility. They must service and maintain it while business owners benefit from its use. Because the provider wants to keep the business owner as a loyal customer, they’ll check, maintain and repair the PBX well before it can fail completely.

Controlling Calls

If owners see that the phone bill is increasing steadily, they can analyze all incoming and outgoing calls to improve efficiency. An employee may have personal calls coming through, for example. Managers can work with employees to keep them motivated and off the phones for personal reasons.

Along with analysis ease, incoming calls are also efficiently routed for control and quality customer service. All customers call the main line, but are automatically routed to the next business line available to avoid a long wait. When lines are completely full, managers can set the system up to take a message or simply wait on hold with a particular extension. You want to keep customers on the line to prevent frustration.

Almost Always Available

For many businesses, employees must remain mobile, such as in the construction industry. Managers don’t want to frustrate customers calling the main office with messages and voice mail, however. Program the VoIP system to call other numbers when an extension is not answered. For example, customers call the office and it’s automatically transferred to a cell phone after four rings. If the cell phone doesn’t pick up, the call moves to a home office. From the customer’s perspective, the office line is simply ringing rather than bouncing between locations. With concise connectivity with customers, they feel important and loyal to the product or service at-hand. Employees also remain in the loop during crucial sales negotiations, staying one step ahead at all times.

Message Abilities

Similar to a cell phone, managers can set up voice mail on the VoIP system to catch all messages. If an employee is truly unavailable, the system offers a simple voice mail to get them connected with the customer. All voice mails are password-protected, but owners can have a blanket password as a supervisor, if desired.

VoIP also offers the caller a way to send an email based on the message. They simply choose the email option during the call and verbally send their message. If an employee is actively working on an email, they’ll see the notification from the customer faster than checking the voice mail. It’s best to discuss these options as a team to see what works for all employees. Ideally, each customer should have several options to catch an associate’s attention.

No Nightmares During Changes

When owners need to upgrade or move a traditional phone system, it’s a nightmare to change. A technician must come out and possibly disrupt business. VoIP systems are easily adjusted for almost any need. Add or remove extensions as needed. A growing business may need more phone lines to handle the volume as well. Adjust the automatic call numbers programmed in the system if an employee leaves or changes a number. Many adjustments are simply made through a login with the VoIP provider. Owners can access this information at any time to help improve the phone system as businesses grow and expand.

VoIP is one of the best systems for small businesses on a daily basis. Keep customers close with easy phone implementation and maintenance. VoIP is the answer for low-cost telephone service.

Originally posted 2014-04-21 13:16:03.

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