Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) allows businesses to make voice calls over standard digital networks such as the internet. Using VoIP can enable small businesses to improve communication, increase productivity, and drive growth.
Here Red Penguin shares their expertise on what you need to know.
There are three main ways that using VoIP can lower costs for businesses. They are lower call costs, the ability to leverage advanced features, and the ability to work from anywhere.
Lower call costs
One of the main drivers of VoIP adoption has been the fact that it lowers call costs. The more calls are routed through VoIP, the fewer are sent to traditional networks. The fewer calls are routed to traditional networks, the lower your bills are.
In the old days, the trade-off for this lower cost was lower call quality. Those days, however, are long gone. Now, the quality of VoIP calls is at least as good as anything the traditional networks can offer.
Using VoIP also allows you to get more value out of your digital infrastructure and stop spending money on traditional phone equipment.
The ability to leverage advanced call-handling features
With VoIP, SMBs have easy access to functions such as call routing, call monitoring and recording, and voicemail forwarding. In fact, some VoIP systems can not only forward voicemail messages but also transcribe them.
This can both lift a huge administrative load off your staff and improve the customer experience. For example, it can make it much easier to manage times when staff are away from their desks. They just have to remember to change their status and the VoIP system will route their calls as instructed.
Even if a staff member forgets to change their status, the call can still be rerouted appropriately. A VoIP system can be given instructions as to what to do if a call is not answered within a certain number of rings.
VoIP is also easy to scale up and down as required. When new staff arrives, you just create new numbers for them. When they leave, you delete (or reassign) them. This is vastly less hassle than having to organize landlines or mobiles for them.
The ability for staff to work from anywhere
You may want staff back in the office (at least some of the time) but you probably don’t want them tied to their desks. In fact, these days, your staff might not actually have specified desks. With VoIP, staff can access their phones from anywhere. That can be at an office hot desk when working from home or on the move.
Using VoIP also makes it easier to retain voice communications in a disaster-recovery/business continuity scenario. As long as staff can get access to the internet, they can get access to their work phone numbers. As long as somebody can get access to the management console, they can (re)route calls as necessary.
Increasing productivity and driving growth
The general debate on remote vs hybrid vs on-site work is unlikely to be resolved any time soon. It is, however, indisputable that many businesses have found virtual meetings and conferences (video calls) to be invaluable tools. They have helped to slash the costs and time (and risks) of travel.
Using VoIP allows you to take these calls to a new level. For example, you can see participants, share screens, and use collaborative tools.
VoIP also integrates with numerous other applications from calendars and productivity apps to CRM systems and websites. If you’re still holding onto a fax machine, you can replace it with VoIP’s close relative Fax over IP. This opens up all kinds of opportunities for businesses to improve their processes.