Every once in awhile, a new technology comes along to change the way we do business. One such technology that has changed the world of business communication(and continues to do so) is Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).
VoIP technology uses the internet instead of traditional phone lines to send and receive calls. Because of its rich features, flexibility, minimal installation, and calling charges, many businesses have ditched their traditional landlines to embrace the technology. But beyond these perks, VoIP phone systems offer many opportunities to businesses that help enhance their competitive advantage. Here are three of the top most practical uses for VoIP:
Bolster and manage your company’s internal communications
Effective internal communications contribute to a well-informed and highly committed workforce. It also increases employee trust and satisfaction and fosters mutual respect and understanding. By using VoIP features such as Voicemail-to-email, call routing, and various collaboration tools, organizations can ensure everyone in the workplace is more informed, involved, and connected.
For instance, voicemail-to-email is a convenient feature that reduces miscommunication and other problems in message forwarding. This feature automatically notifies an employee via email when someone leaves a voicemail. The user will then be able to retrieve and play the audio recording through their email Select providers also offer voicemail transcription, which transcribes emails into text format and delivers them to the employee’s email.
A great advantage of these features is that you can quickly forward the file to anyone on your team. So if you’re away and you receive an urgent message or request from a client or another colleague and won’t be able to help them in time, you can have someone else from your team address the concern. This also eliminates the hassle and errors associated with writing down phone numbers, addresses, and important information conveyed through voicemail.
Go global -- minus the exorbitant telecommunication costs
Planning to expand your business internationally, but restricted by the exorbitant telecommunication costs? VoIP is an excellent tool for expanding your business to new territories without incurring hefty overseas or international telecommunication charges. VoIP brings affordable international calling rates to its subscribers. And most VoIP providers offer free on-network calling to customers using the same service, regardless of location.
Aside from VoiP’s lower international calling charges (as low as $0.02/minute, compared to traditional landline call rates at $3.00/minute) tools such as video conferencing and conference bridges let companies conduct training sessions and hold meetings without additional travel costs. You can quickly establish effective communications without having to build new infrastructure. This helps you to generate revenue quickly.
Also, for businesses that want to project a local presence in a different location, you can also set up a local phone number or toll-free numbers (for wherever your clients happen to be) to enable customers to reach you without incurring long distance charges. Having a local presence lets you reach and grow in different geographic markets while giving your business further credibility.
Improve customer service
VoIP technology also plays a vital role in building and strengthening relationships with customers. With a vast range of features available, businesses of every size can portray a professional image through robust customer support. Here are some examples of VoIP features that can assist you in improving customer service:
Auto Attendant - Perfect for businesses that can’t afford a receptionist, yet want to project a professional image through successful call routing. Also referenced as a virtual receptionist, this feature guides callers to the right departments or extensions, minimizing caller frustration.
Music On Hold - Replaces dead air and terrible hold music with custom music or messaging. This lets you provide a more pleasant experience to callers, making sure they stay on the line.
Find Me/Follow Me - Ensures calls are answered by sending incoming calls to a list of numbers or devices before being pushed to voicemail. This means employees can easily take a call even when they’re on the road or away from their desk.
Listen, Barge, and Whisper - Train and monitor new employees or coach seasoned staff with new techniques using VoIP coaching tools such as barge, listen, and whisper. Listen allows you to silently monitor a conversation in real time. Barge lets you join in on the conversation to assist both parties, while Whisper allows you to talk to your agent to provide tips or information without the client being aware.
These are only a few ways VoIP can be used to transform how you do business. Organizations of all sizes are increasingly adopting the technology, and it’s clear why. So the question is: when will you make the move to VoIP?