So, picture this, you’re at an Internet café in Italy when you receive an important business call on your laptop, tablet or mobile device. You’re travelling from city to city, or maybe country to country and receive an important voicemail, notified to you via your e-mail inbox on the move, that you missed whilst in transit. Your business has a phone number with a UK, USA, Australia or Hong Kong local or national area code, even though your latest office hub is located in Indonesia, or your colleagues work remotely and are scattered all over the world.
This is voice over Internet protocol (VoIP). VoIP has moved on somewhat since its earlier days and with VoIP services and features, your phone calls travel with you and your team across the globe with little effort at a dramatically low cost whilst increasing your productivity and flexibility of you and your team. It also provides useful features and capabilities that everyday phone technologies can’t offer.
The popularity of VoIP has been growing stronger. Because of the vast, rapid expansion of the Internet and various applications available has enabled businesses to be more flexible with how, where and with whom they do business. This has directly built a requirement for more flexible office working conditions and has enabled staff and business owners to base themselves almost anywhere with Wi-Fi.
The truth is, VoIP’s benefits far outweigh the negatives. Find some further information below;
1. VoIP Saves You Money.
VoIP calls have always been known to be low cost in comparison to standard business lines or mobile roaming charges and on average savings of 50% and sometimes more can be achieved.
Landline set-ups not only have long contractual agreements and can also take some weeks to be installed but more importantly set small businesses back around $30.00 per line on average (dependent on country), before adding any other telephone features.
Productivity levels are also not taken into consideration when looking at the cost benefits of VoIP. Allowing staff to work absolutely anywhere increases moral and therefore productivity. Various studies indicate that around 31% of businesses moving to VoIP do so for this reason alone, giving them a competitive edge over their competitors.
Today’s VoIP services have evolved and allow you to make and receive calls using standard phones and other mobile devices; staff can utilize their current technology devices (BYOD) saving hefty hardware tech investments and maintenance.
As some platforms are also setup and managed through easy to use interfaces that a company or individual can use and manage themselves with absolutely no prior technical knowledge, this also saves considerable cost on maintenance fees and the need for in-house technical expertise.
2. Make you and your team more Productive
Remote working is an industry within itself and growing at some speed.
If you’re not the latest entrepreneur working from out of a business hub somewhere in SE Asia, you are freelancer providing your very best skills to businesses big and small from all corners of the globe, earning more money, are happier and probably stress free.
VoIP simply enables your business to be global. You can not only easily set-up and manage your communication infrastructure to suit your business requirements but you can also easily set up a local presence in 1000’s of cities around the world, suiting the need of your staff and customers, and routing business calls to you or your team anywhere.
Your business can now be totally mobile, maybe even neglecting the need for an office or even the need to give out your personal mobile number, in fact actually keeping it personal!
Now there’s a thought? No roaming charges and no out of office hour’s calls, etc….
The features of an Enterprise level telephone platform are now available to individuals and SMB’s. Being able to take advantage of features like a professional call answering, simultaneous calling on multiple devices, endless amounts of Voicemail boxes and Intelligent Call Routing to name a few, means that not missing important calls and avoiding phone tag therefore reducing time wasted and saving money.
3. Clarity, Scalability and Installation
Call and sound quality has always been a sticking point for some when considering the move to VoIP, however, as Internet connectivity has improved so has the quality of VoIP calls. In fact, many businesses today have abandoned traditional phone platforms in favour of VoIP.
In a study of a selection of SMB’s in 2015, out of the 57% of those companies considering the transition to VoIP, only 1 respondent out of 208 reported to be dissatisfied with the call quality.
Installing a VoIP solution for Individuals or Businesses is as simple as one another. With the growth of SaaS platforms in all areas of tech means the route to setting up a fully blown telephone platform can not only be done in a matter of minutes but provides a non technical easy to use interface to manage it day to day if necessary.
Scalability is an important factor for any business; most VoIP providers today will support you and your businesses when the need to scale up arises (or down for that matter). Being able to easily add users to your network and have specific or relevant communication routed to them is important for general, sales or customer service needs.
4. VoIP platforms make you, your business and your phone platform highly flexible.
VoIP platforms allow you to do things that are simply not possible with traditional phone technology. For example;
Mobile Office Solution
As long as you have access to Wi-Fi, you can use your VoIP platform anywhere, such as in a hotel, on the Beach or at any Startup Hub around the world. Customers and employees can connect with you or your business just by calling your regular local business phone number to them—they no longer need to call your cell phone, which means you can save on roaming charges and allow you to keep your mobile number personal and be selective as to who can contact you directly and when. If travelling from Country to Country you can simply add your contact number to your platform as you go, so no matter what country you are in you will continue to receive your business calls.
Be contactable on your personal devices
Some VoIP platforms include a telephony interface that enables you to send and receive calls using your laptop or tablet. Now you will not miss an urgent call from a client or colleague no matter where you or your teams are in world.
Get voicemail on your e-mail
VoIP services allow you to have voice mail or multiple voicemail boxes; messages are forwarded to your regular e-mail inbox. You and your team can get all your messages in one place, and your voice mail can be easily archived or forwarded to others. Voicemail can be easily setup for your company in multiple languages to cater for those countries and languages where your customers may be based. By manipulating your call traffic you can easily route inbound calls to the right team members, should they be busy or unavailable you can route calls to other members or to voicemail and notify those team members easily.
Easily setup virtual phone numbers.
It goes without saying that having a local or national presence when dealing with your customers goes a long way in building rapport and trust. You can easily setup phone numbers in 1000’s of cities around the world in a matter of minutes, and not just the one assigned to your companies region. For example, you may have a business based out of Hong Kong, but could have local or national numbers set up throughout Europe or the USA.
This benefits those countries that are expanding their business and want to attract customers in multiple countries, having a local presence for your business is important, this also neglects the need for a local office, saving $1,000s in set-up, overheads and various other ongoing costs.
VoIP offers a true uninterruptible business communication solution, with uptime at 99.9% and intelligent routing means that you will never have to worry about downtime of your voice communications network. The ability to strategically control the routing of your business calls means that if you ever experience downtime on your local internet connection, or you are in transit travelling from country to country you can manage how calls are routed in the event of not being able to answer them, or being available at any time. The ability to setup your own rules and profiles around how your business calls are routed is fully under the control of you and your business. Being able to route calls to various destinations worldwide or worse case to voicemail means that your calls from your customer or prospects are controllable and never missed.
Data is a big topic if you’re looking to understand why, when, and how calls are made to your business. To be able to monitor the calls that connect to your company/departments and their outcome provides some serious business development criteria, whether your business is large or small. Being able to manipulate the information on your calls gives your business sales and marketing focus. For example; Click to call campaigns allow your business to be directly in touch with your prospects or customers by prompting them to connect to your business directly and with ease, you may have various Local, National or International numbers setup for specific campaigns or geographical areas, you may be dipping your toe into the water in a foreign country.
Analytics will show you how to improve on those campaigns by providing valuable data. Data can be collected around why and when calls are made, the duration, which person or team responded to those calls and their outcome.Volumes and percentages can be used to increase, amend or retract focus in certain areas of your business.
No matter what size of your business may be, VoIP is a surprisingly flexible, affordable technology that offers the same, sophisticated communication tools your enterprise-size competitors have for a very small fraction of the price, it gives your small business scalability and future proofs your business.