Voice over IP (VoIP) is growing in popularity as an alternative to traditional landline phone systems, and many businesses are considering a switch to hosted VoIP in order to support their business goals. While the advantages of VoIP systems may start with reduced costs – savings which become more pronounced with higher call volume – they certainly don’t end there. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the benefits hosted VoIP may offer:
- Savings. An average company can cut its phone bills almost in half by switching to VoIP. Some companies, such as those which field a high volume of international calls, can see more dramatic savings. In fact, some companies have reported that their phone expenses after the initial setup costs dropped to just 10% of what they were on an analog phone line. While these savings aren’t typical, they do demonstrate the immense potential of VoIP to deliver cost-efficient phone service.
- Smarter processes. VoIP can be integrated with any number of other technologies. Interactive voice recognition can help route callers directly to their correct point of contact, giving them a smoother and more responsive call experience. Reporting and monitoring software can improve team review and training processes. Smart call routing allows businesses to filter and assign calls based on a number of criteria, such as topic or training level. Unified communications systems allow calls to be organized and grouped with communications over other media, such as emails or live support chats. Data integration allows transcripts to be automatically generated from conversations, for email, logging, or later searching and analytics.
- System flexibility and scalability. New phone lines require infrastructure upgrades, which can be costly and time-consuming. VoIP systems, however, can scale quickly and almost invisibly. The infrastructure barrier to expansion is often only the cost of new handsets, rather than new installations.
- Employee flexibility. VoIP systems enable employees to work from a variety of locations, having a line that rings at both a desk and a mobile phone, for example, or allowing employees to take calls on their tablets when traveling.
- Higher efficiency. With the number of configuration options and smart integrations available, companies, departments, teams, and employees can fine-tune how their VoIP setup works for them. Having a tailored VoIP environment rather than a one-size-fits-all utility boosts productivity.
The initial switch to a VoIP plan can take a significant amount of re-training on top of the up-front costs of acquiring VoIP-enabled headsets and other equipment, and businesses should consider these costs when deciding when (or whether) to make the move. But in many cases, when the long-term benefits and savings are taken into account, a VoIP plan can be a major benefit in an efficiency and cost-saving strategy.