We don’t talk as much as we used to. In today’s digital world, we spend more time than ever, face down, staring at our screens. However, for small and medium sized businesses, telephones remain a lifeline. They’re the backbone that gives a business a personal link with their customers. Advances in technology haven’t bypassed the telephone either.
Long gone are switchboards and telephone exchanges — even landline use has declined. VoIP (voice over internet protocol) provides an efficient and effective telephony service for businesses who recognise it’s good to talk. It’s a telephone switchboard in the sky – well, the cloud, to be precise. It shares communication through a Wi-Fi signal, rather than a traditional phone line.
Mobile phones have long been a friend of small businesses thanks to their portability — but they do have their limitations. Aside from expensive call charges, dodgy signals and an inability to distinguish between private and work calls mean potential clients don’t always get the most positive of first impressions.
Counting the cost
VoIP systems are often a very cost efficient option for smaller and medium sized businesses. There is no costly hardware to purchase — although businesses should perhaps seek advice from a reputable commercial and industrial electrical engineer like CJ Connally to ensure sure the existing infrastructure is able to support the new system. Generally, if a business makes many international calls, or has plans for major expansion, VoIP’s lower call charges outweigh the costs of any electrical costs incurred, since they’re cheaper than landlines and mobile phones.
The flexibility of a VoIP system is also a major attraction for ambitious new businesses with plans for expansion, as they’re designed to grow with the businesses while requiring minimal additional outlay. Plans to increase headcount (even temporarily) can be easily accommodated by adding additional users onto an existing VoIP account.
It also has some nifty call management features, more commonly found in big businesses – such as call recording, conferencing and forwarding facilities. For example, UK-based VoIP experts Elite Group offer a bespoke IVR solution, making it easy to answer 100 percent of inbound calls. But features vary depending on the VoIP provider, so research is key to find the right match.
Have VoIP will travel
For smaller businesses, VoIP is a must. There’s no hardware – all that’s needed is a laptop, mobile phone or handset, along with a Wi-Fi signal and you’re good to go. This provides small business owners with the freedom to work from anywhere, without clients ever knowing if they’re talking to someone in the middle of a bustling office or a local Starbucks cafe.
And Wi-Fi network specialists, like Performance Networks can conduct site audits to make sure that existing office systems are resilient enough to cope with the expected call traffic, meaning a business need never miss a customer enquiry or client query again.
These are just a few benefits that small businesses can enjoy using a VoIP telephone system. Do you agree? Please share your experience of cloud-based telephone systems in the comments section below.