Thinking of switching to business VoIP for your business communication needs? Here’s how VoIP technology has come a long way in a short period of time, and can improve your business’s bottom line by cutting expenses.
As phone technology continues to evolve, decisions need to be made so businesses can benefit from the changing technology. Many businesses no longer use traditional phone systems and many have made the switch to VoIP technology. With VoIP technology, businesses can save money by avoiding traditional telephone service, which typically costs a lot more each month. VoIP has improved greatly since it was first used seriously in the mid-1990s, to the point where call quality and reliability is on par with traditional phone service. In addition, business VoIP phone systems are much more feature-rich than traditional business phone service.
What is VoIP?
VoIP stands for voice over Internet protocol and it uses Internet service as the way to communicate over the phone. In the early days of VoIP, it was easy to determine if someone was using it because the sound quality was nowhere near the quality of a traditional phone service. Now, VoIP service provides crystal clear sound, making it indistinguishable from traditional phone service. VoIP does require high-speed Internet service and broadband is the best option because of its reliability and speed.
VoIP offers crystal clear sound by using analog signals and converting them into data that can be read over the Internet. Because VoIP turns analog sound into digital data, the technology has added flexibility that a traditional phone service cannot deliver. Digital software can be added so that businesses can add low cost features like voicemail, selective diversion, call waiting, conference calls, and more. With traditional phone service, these features are provided for additional fees, but come standard with most VoIP systems.
What features make VoIP attractive to businesses?
There are several other phone features that businesses use with their VoIP services. Popular services include auto attendants with voice menus that get customers to the correct person in an efficient way. Message forwarding is another option that can be added to voice mail. In businesses with large teams, hunt groups can be added to get callers to actual people, which is important for businesses that rely on phone calls for sales. Follow-me features are also popular as business calls can go directly to mobile phones rather than to voice mail. Call holds can also be accompanied by park, transfer, and call waiting. Businesses appreciate being able to save money on their phone services because they do not have to pay for these features. This can save businesses hundreds of dollars or more each month.
How is VoIP setup?
When business owners decide to switch to VoIP, they find the setup is rather simple. The first step involves switching from a traditional phone service to an Internet protocol (IP) phone. Businesses can also use an analog telephone adaptor that allows a traditional phone to be plugged into a broadband router. Some business owners prefer to do this because they can keep their existing phones. Most business owners prefer the IP phones because they are designed to work with the extra features that make VoIP so desirable.
Along with special IP phones, broadband routers are necessary. The best routers are those with quality of service or QoS features because it improves the sound quality. QoS also prioritizes VoIP over all other data that gets sent through the router. For businesses that rely heavily on phone traffic for sales and service, QoS is priceless. If your business’s broadband router is older or your service is outdated, you might find that VoIP gets weakened when someone is streaming video or using another data-heavy app.
Do businesses need backup services?
Along with setting up your router and ensuring that your broadband is up to high standards, it is also a good idea to have a backup plan. If the broadband ever goes out, businesses will use mobile phones as a backup option. However, there are other choices that can work, too. Some businesses will invest in a backup mobile broadband service, but that can become rather costly if there are data limitation on it. Others will use an uninterruptable power supply for the router and for the phones. This power supply works like a backup generator that will keep phones going until the broadband comes back to life. Some business will keep one landline active for emergency purposes. Choose the best option for your budget, phone needs, and broadband issues.
Does VoIP have long-distance fees?
Another good reason to choose VoIP involves long distance phone calls. With a PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Number), long distance phone calls can be extremely expensive – especially if those phone calls are international. VoIP does not care if the calls are made to numbers a block away or half-way around the world. If employees travel internationally, VoIP makes even more sense. When employees travel overseas, they can use their phones with an adaptor or their mobile phones to make calls through the VoIP provider as long as the calls are made over the Internet. This reduces the cost of international mobile phone fees, but it is always recommended to speak to your VoIP service provider prior to traveling.
What are the reasons to switch?
Overall, there are several good reasons for businesses to switch to VoIP for their phone services. The first is cost, which is significantly less and allows businesses to put money into other necessities. The lower costs also include affordable long-distance and international rates as well as free features that make VoIP phones useful. The second reason that VoIP is a good choice for businesses is the convenience of installation and customer service from providers. The final reason is the mobility that it provides for business owners and their employees and mobile phone apps allow for call forwarding and find-me services.
VoipReview.org is an authority VoIP resource that helps business owners find and compare the ideal VoIP system for their business’s needs. The company understands the usefulness of VoIP phone service as well as the companies that provide the best options for businesses based on their budgets and the features that they want. Some of the VoIP providers offer services like Cloud-based storage, CRM integration, and professional installation. Many of the VoIP providers charge monthly rates that are less than a single tank of gas for a compact car. To make it even better, many of the companies do not even require businesses to sign contracts for the services, so business owners can change their mind if they find something they like better.