Every business, no matter how small or big absolutely needs a reliable and powerful phone system. At the same time, it’s safe to say that almost every business is searching for ways to cut costs and improve their bottom line. Well, believe it or not, there are some advantages of VoIP for business that can help your team achieve both at the same time.
An Introduction to Business VoIP
Getting right down to basics: Business VoIP is simply the commercial-class version of the same telephony service that millions rely on for their home phones. VoIP stands for “Voice over Internet Protocol,” which really is as self-explanatory as it sounds. The real beauty and advantage of VoIP is that the service utilizes an internet based connection, rather than the standard copper wire connections of the Public Switched Telephone Network (PTSN).
VoIP converts voice data into information ‘pockets’. This way you can get the same level of service as that of a legacy phone company. But even better, since it uses the internet, VoIP provides your business with an incredibly powerful and flexible solution. Your business will have access to complicated and expensive features that were exclusively available to only large enterprises. That too, at a fraction of the cost!
More recently, Business VoIP services have grown to include what is known as Unified Communication solutions. Beyond just the simple phone service, your business will gain access to an entire platform of communication options, including Instant Team Messaging solutions and collaboration tools to always stay connected, even on the go.
Just like the name states, the entire idea is to unify communications into one platform, allowing for a more flexible and mobile business. In fact, Business VoIP is all about empowering your business with the right tools, at an affordable price.
(While you are at it, here are some tips to make the perfect sales call.)
Advantages of VoIP for Business:
Business VoIP services are feature-rich alternatives to otherwise costly options. They can help even smallest one-man organizations function as professionally as a well-established business. As the service is provided over the internet, VoIP removes any requirement for hardware costs on your business.
Some of the powerful features you can expect from a Business VoIP include:
- As many phone numbers as your business needs, on demand.
- Flexible messaging options, from text messages to instant messaging for team communication, and even voicemail transcription services.
- Auto Attendant, or Virtual Receptionist, tools to help guide callers to the correct division within your organization.
- Automatic Call Distribution as a more advanced “call hunting” function. ACD is intelligent enough to route callers to the specific individual best equipped to serve that client.
- Ring Anywhere features allow users to link multiple phones to one phone number. Never miss a call, even when you’re not in the office, by establishing a Ring Anywhere feature to direct calls to your smartphone, all under one number.
Previous solutions would require a physical device to be installed on location, and adding new phone lines could be a complicated and expensive procedure. Without getting lost in a rat’s nest of cables, hosted VoIP solutions remove this burden, while keeping your basic functionalities intact. Here are some benefits that you will be getting by investing in a Business VoIP solution:
Here are some advantages of Business VoIP that you should know about:
- Everything Under One Roof, Anywhere in The World: Utilize a huge feature-rich communications system, including web and video conferencing, text messaging, instant messaging, file sharing, online collaboration, and most importantly a powerful telephony solution. Always stay connected anywhere you go.
- An Entire Telephony System at a Fraction of the Cost: Remove the need for costly hardware taking up space in your office closet. Business VoIP solutions are generally hosted in the cloud, and completely remove the need for any on-premises equipment. Users can manage their entire phone system from an online based portal.
- Flexibility and Control Like You Never Imagined: Your business has the ability to grow and expand this solution as needed. When your company grows, adding new phone lines to the existing service can be as simple as clicking a button in the administrative panel. The same goes for configuring any new features — Business VoIP provides the flexibility to constantly tweak and improve the solution as needed, on the fly.
- Integrate and Grow Your Platform: With the power of integrations, your business can connect multiple solutions together to completely revolutionize the way your teams operate. For example, users can integrate their current CRM solution with their Business VoIP Service to boost agent efficiency and responsiveness.
How to Find a Business VoIP Provider:
Just like purchasing any product/service, you can get overwhelmed with the number of options available. There is no shortage of providers, and on the surface, everyone seems to offer the same product. It’s common for providers to advertise their feature list as unique and innovative. However, most features are universally present in most providers.
What is important to take note of is how different providers will place a focus on different functions and features. Some providers might focus on offering the best phone service available, with softphone options and unlimited minutes or lines. Other providers might focus on building out a comprehensive platform, to include call analytics and other advanced functionality.
So, with all of this in mind, the best way to begin the search would be to establish what expense your business can take on, and exactly what it will need.
1. Understand Your Internet Connections’ Limitations:
Without going too far into the technicalities, forming a simple understanding of your internet service’s capabilities will go a long way. Specifically, you will want to become aware of your internet connection’s speeds: the upload and download rates. From here, your business can calculate the maximum number of calls that can be handled at once. Many phone providers will help your business determine if an internet upgrade is necessary, but your business should arm itself with this knowledge going into the negotiation phase.
2. Establish Requirements for Your Investment:
Determine exactly what your business will need — how many different phone lines will you need, how many phone numbers, or any specific features to look out for. Take the time to determine your budget as well, sometimes it might not be worth paying extra for international calling, or other features the team won’t even be using. If an internet upgrade is necessary, factor that into the total cost as well.
3. Compare the Available Options: Once your business has an understanding of what it is it will need, which features are prioritized, and the size of the platform that will be necessary, it will be much easier to narrow down the specific providers. For example, if your business is placing a focus on inbound call functions, like a power IVR and routing options, then solutions that offer a focus on Collaboration tools could be crossed off your list.
Once your business has an understanding of what it is it will need, which features are prioritized, and the size of the platform that will be necessary, it will be much easier to narrow down the specific providers. For example, if your business is placing a focus on inbound call functions, like a power IVR and routing options, then solutions that offer a focus on Collaboration tools could be crossed off your list.
4. Test Before You Buy:
You would never buy a car without driving it, and we recommend the same for any Business VoIP service. It can be difficult to understand what your team even requires, or prioritizes, without any hands-on experience. Features that sound amazing on paper might turn out to be useless and time-consuming in reality. Since most providers offer a money back guarantee or at least a free trial, we recommend your business test drive the platform before you commit.
At the end of the day, utilizing a Business VoIP service for your organization’s communications platform is probably one of the easiest ways to stand out among the competition. Not only can your business gain access to some incredibly powerful features, the system is entirely flexible to change and adapt on the fly, just as your business evolves.
Business VoIP will help your team bolster that professional level of service every business strives to achieve, all while working to cut costs at the exact same time. Whether your team is just the two of you in a small office and always on the go or a large business with multiple locations, a hosted Business VoIP solution should be the only option worth considering.