VoIP technology is quickly replacing standard telephone systems all over the country. It can offer many additional features that may be of benefit to businesses. Here are just some of them:
VoIP providers can offer a system that’s able to grow with your business. If a new employee joins your company and needs an extension setting up immediately this can easily be added in to your existing system without any need for extra lines or rewiring your office. It’s also true of the reverse that if for some reason you wish to remove an extension this can be simply taken off your account.
2. Remote working
Because of the way VoIP works, employees can appear as though they’re in the office from any location across the globe. This opens up the option of remote working for many employees. Remote working has many benefits both for the employee and the business such as:
Employees working from home can save the business money in many areas such as mortgage or lease, utilities, maintenance, office supplies, coffee and water expenses, office equipment and furniture
Employees who work from home report higher job satisfaction and company loyalty than on-site workers. An analysis of more than 500 telecommuting studies by Global Workplace Analytics found 36% of employees would choose the option to telecommute over getting a pay rise.
Fewer Sick Days
Research indicates that employees working from home are less likely to take time off work due to illness. Unscheduled absences cost businesses significant sums so this is a real benefit to businesses looking to cut down on unnecessary costs.
Working from home also means reduced absences due to appointments such as doctors or dentists. Workers are more likely to return to work immediately rather than taking the whole day off.
According to published research, workers who work remotely are almost twice as likely to work more than 40 hours per week. 53% compared to 28% for on site workers.e
Many businesses operate out of more than one location. With an old fashioned telephone system each location needed its own phone lines and therefore phone numbers and it was often very difficult to get one phone number to ring in more than one location. With VoIP, one number can ring in multiple offices around the world at different times if needed. It gives a more professional look to callers and allows you to appear as though you’re based anywhere you want. For instance you can take calls on your main London number while you’re on holiday in Cuba.
It also gives the option of being able to ring any of your other offices in other parts of the world completely free improving communication and cutting costs at the same time.
4. Installation costs
VoIP providers use cloud based portals instead of old fashioned PBX’s to connect their networks. Being cloud based means that phones simply need configuring and plugging to the internet, cutting costs for engineers and site visits. The technology doesn’t use phone lines either so there’s no waiting for installation or disturbance in switching to VoIP.
As VoIP systems are cloud based they can be accessed and used in many different ways. Physical phones are no longer needed and neither are big chunky PBX boxes that can cost the earth. There are many apps and pieces of software available that can work with VoIP systems meaning that the set-up of such a system can be virtually nil. Users can decide to make calls using any PC, laptop or even mobile while still appearing to the outside world as though they’re using a proper phone in their office.
Of course hardware is available to work with VoIP systems, if it’s required, and the hardware that is available often puts old fashioned analogue phones to shame. VoIP phones are feature rich and packed with helpful extras such as the ability to easily make or participate in conference calls, that many analogue phones simply can’t do.
6. Call analytics
Again because VoIP works over the internet calls can be tracked and viewed in real time. There’s no need to wait for an itemised bill to drop through the letterbox and then analyse through everything. This can all be done through a user portal where calls can be searched and ordered as you wish. This is great for keeping track of calls to or from certain numbers or for monitoring costs and response rates to competitions or offers. It allows your business to react much more quickly as you’ll have all the information you need readily and easily available straight away.
Adding features to a PSTN phone system was always tough going. It often meant a call to your phone company then a drawn out process where they’d inevitably try and sell you some more hardware, then take weeks to actually sort out what it was you wanted and even then it often wasn’t right. When you needed to change something it was the same process all over again.
VoIP companies can offer exactly the same features as old fashioned systems and often much more. Features can be added to your account instantly.
Features such as call recording and even voicemail that used to be so complicated have been made really easy to use and much cheaper than they ever could be using an old fashioned PSTN system.
It’s easy to access and make changes to your system from the user portal, meaning you can customise to your heart’s content making it easier to get everything working efficiently. You can set up phones to ring in certain orders or groups and can choose different numbers to display on outgoing calls.
All changes are made instantly, for example an employee rings in sick you’re able to make sure no calls are ever missed. This is turn leads to customers’ calls ending up in the right places and their needs being met more quickly and cheaply, increasing the chance of return customers and raising retention levels.
System maintenance of a standard telephone network can be expensive. If something goes wrong it can take time to get it sorted whilst your business can be losing money. There’s also the cost of replacing expensive hardware and fees for engineers or maintenance contracts.
With VoIP however the amount of hardware is reduced and there are many failsafe’s built into VoIP systems, so there’s less to go wrong. However, on the very odd occasion it does, the flexibility of the system will usually allow for the problem to be solved or at least worked around in the short term swiftly.
VoIP systems can divert calls easily meaning if your broadband failed you could easily divert the calls to your mobile or simply plug in the phone elsewhere without affecting the service to the customer. All of this means less downtime, less lost business and less expense.
10. Integrations with other systems
VoIP systems allows for your phone service to easily integrate with other software in your office to improve efficiency and to ease overall use. VoIP can be set up to work with databases and booking software so all the information needed can be kept in one place making it easier to find records and keep information on contacts or customers.
It also means names and numbers can be popped up on the screen of your computer when you have an incoming call, it can display information you have saved about the caller and can even allow you to dial direct from your browser window.