Legacy phone systems can hold a business back more than people may realize. Many customers still prefer to contact a company over the phone, or it may be the only option they have. One survey found that nearly seven in ten respondents, about 69% of surveyors, stated they prefer to talk to a live agent over the phone, as one of their top three preferred methods of communication with a company’s customer service department.
If customers are not able to get in contact with a company then they are very likely to take their business elsewhere in response. Business phone systems show the customer that the brand is professional and creates an overall better customer experience. Not to mention that employees need to be able to communicate with each other and a quality phone system is still vital for that.
So, a phone system needs to be able to properly support customer engagement and business employees who need access to a reliable system. Thankfully phone systems have vastly improved over the years and offer a variety of specialized features.
That’s the reason why many businesses have turned to a VoIP phone system. What exactly is a VoIP system though? Keep reading to find out.
What is VoIP?
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol (IP) and is a reliable technology that allows phone calls to take place over the internet. VoIP phone systems have replaced old analog systems to provide greater ease-of-use and functionality for a business and its employees.
A VoIP phone system works by taking a person’s voice and converting it into small data packages. These data packages are then sent through the internet connection, via the router, and reach the other end in less than a second. Once the data packages have reached the other end of the call, they are generated back into voice for the receiver to hear.
VoIP easily integrates with a desktop computer or mobile device, called a softphone, so a traditional, physical telephone is not needed to make calls. The only other accessory that an employee may want to use is a headset, but it is not necessary. This facilitates all the features of a landline phone, including placing people on hold, hosting multiple lines, voicemail, call transfers, and caller ID.
Benefits of Having a VoIP System
There are many benefits that make a VoIP system worth upgrading to. Some of those benefits are:
Less Physical Hardware
One of the most beneficial aspects of a VoIP phone system is the reduction in physical hardware needed to run and operate the system. Traditional PBX phone systems and others have historically required a landline and other hardware, such as on-site servers, that take up a lot of space in the office.
VoIP systems allow for business scalability, particularly for small businesses. If a small business wants to expand and open more offices then there should be no trouble with VoIP, as there is no additional hardware to install.
Any mid-to-large businesses looking to branch out into the global market can also easily expand, as well. A VoIP system can conveniently be implemented in offices that are located in multiple countries and maintenance is even easier with an internet-based system, compared to older systems. Long-distance is easily supported since there is no landline to worry about.
Allows Remote Work
VoIP also supports remote work, which had, of course, started out as a necessity during the pandemic, but has since become a popular way for people to work. For many, it has become a requirement and a condition for accepting employment. Since a VoIP system only relies on an internet connection, it can be used anywhere.
Video conferencing is incorporated into VoIP and voicemail can easily be sent to email, so employees who may not be in the office for any reason or in a meeting can still check in. The most appealing aspect about VoIP is that it gives a company options and provides a level of convenience that older phone systems can’t do.
Possibly the best news, VoIP phone systems tend to be cheaper than traditional phone systems and help reduce overall operational costs. Since there is less hardware and the software can use any existing internet connection, there is usually a lower cost associated with this type of phone system.
Remote workers may be spread out all over the country or even located globally. This doesn’t affect the cost of a VoIP system and usually, coworkers are allowed to make free calls anyway. The lower cost can also bring down overall operating costs, as there is typically only a small monthly fee for the whole system.
Features of VoIP
While VoIP systems are not a particularly complicated system, it still comes with several features that make it an attractive option for businesses. Here is a list of the main features that should be a part of any VoIP system you may get.
- Call Encryption
Every day businesses deal with all sorts of sensitive information and by law that information has to be protected. Many other laws have been enacted to monitor and regulate how businesses conduct phone calls. The TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act), HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), and PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) are just a few examples.
VoIP is a secure system that protects information and encrypts voice data to prevent hackers from tapping calls and stealing information. This keeps companies in compliance. Any business that falls out of compliance can be subject to heavy fines.
- Auto Attendant and IVR
An auto attendant is good for incoming call answers and greeting messages. If a customer is calling after hours then an auto attendant can easily take over from a live receptionist and route customers to a voicemail. It can also be used in place of a receptionist to help cut down on operating costs. Customers receive consistent service and their calls are answered quickly, with a pleasant, courteous greeting.
Proper call routing is very important for a business that wants to present itself professionally. Customers want to connect with the right person the first time and IVR is another way to greet customers with an engaging tone and route their calls through menu options. Auto attendants also offer call prompts, with a menu of options for call routing.
- Unified Communications Systems
A VoIP phone system can be fully integrated into any communications platform that the company has. A unified communications system combines all company communications into one convenient system, rather than employees having to use several random communication platforms that are not connected in any way.
A UC platform will most likely include team chat, video meetings, conference calls, mobile/desktop apps, instant messaging, and more. A VoIP system utilizes many of these same features and all rely on the same network connection.
Is it Time to Switch to a VoIP System?
If you haven’t yet, then it may be time to consider investing in a VoIP phone system. Old legacy phone systems and even current PBX systems may not be able to fully cover all of your business’s needs and a VoIP system can escalate your company to new heights.
If your current phone system can’t keep up or if you have a PBX system that is costing too much in upkeep and IT support, along with additional hardware when new employees come on board, then this might be your sign that it is time to upgrade to a VoIP system.
If you are also looking for mobility to bring on more staff, go remote, or open up more offices in different locations then a VoIP system is for you.
LiveVox’s cloud-based VoIP for business has all of the advanced features to support your company in all its endeavors. Some of the key features include robust voicemail capabilities, call reporting, auto attendant, and multi-level IVR.