Voice over Internet Protocols (VoIP) is when you use the internet to make a phone call instead of a landline or mobile network. It’s been around for a while, ever since the 90s, but as internet speeds increased, it really allowed a fundamental change in the way businesses communicate.
It really started being adopted as a cost savings mechanism. Remember when calling long-distance cost a pretty penny? That concept really got tossed out the window once you had a stable internet connection and a basic IP phone. Communication became very inexpensive, very quickly. That was the foundation of the surge of VoIP, but it was just the beginning.
The VoIP market size in 2020 was $69.3 billion, and the forecast is that it will grow to over $145 billion by 2024.
What caused it to become so popular?
There was another catalyst that caused the wide adoption of VoIP. You might have heard of it, the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic caused a huge surge in VoIP usage (over 200%), because not only does it handle voice, but it also handles video calls – among other things.
That is the key here, VoIP has many benefits. Once businesses were forced to embrace a change, they realized exactly how beneficial VoIP is.
Here are the top 5 ways that VoIP can benefit your business:
- Follow Me
- Automated Attendant
- Ring Groups
- Voicemail Transcription
- Call Reporting
Let’s walk through what each of these features is, and how they can improve your business.
If you hang out until the end, I’ll throw in a couple of bonus features as well.
By far the favorite feature of a VoIP business phone system is the Follow Me feature. 77% of users say this is the most beneficial aspect of their phone. This feature essentially allows you to make or receive calls from anywhere. You use a single phone number, but you can use it at the office, at home, or on your mobile phone. An extra benefit for the business is that it makes managing the number and devices much easier.
One of the great additions to company phone systems is the automated attendant. No longer do you need a receptionist. You can have it hall handled and routed with a few questions. You can make the menu structure as complex or simple as you wish. You can even schedule changes and route between different branch locations.
Have a team of people working in a department? You can have groups of phones ring until somebody picks up. You can even program it to expand ringing to another group if there is still no answer after a certain time. It’s very helpful for customer service or sales departments. A call never gets missed, and a caller never gets ignored.
This feature is exactly what it sounds like. Any voicemail you receive can get transcribed into an email message. It’s far easier (and faster) to scan through voicemails visually to see which ones are the most important to get to right away. No more dialing in, and waiting for one message to finish before getting to the next one. It’s such a simple concept, but it has a major impact on your workflow.
Do you know when your calls come in? What’s your busiest time? Is that different per department?
Call reporting provides insight into your business data like this. It allows you to review and make fact-based decisions regarding staff and scheduling to better your business.
These 5 features are the most likely ways to improve your business with a VoIP phone system.
That’s not all though, there are a few little tidbits that are icing on the cake.
One is hold music. Hold music is nothing new, but it is easy to implement and change with VoIP. It has been statistically proven that over 50% of callers hang up if there is silence. Hold music also makes callers feel like they have been on hold for a shorter time than without it. It’s critical for the quality of calls for your business contacts. Your hold music doesn’t have to be music. You can make it a sales blurb about your products or services for example. How about a little boost in upselling for free?
Lastly, but probably a very important item for many of you. You can choose a local VoIP provider who will in turn provide local support. No big companies outsourcing their support overseas. If you need help, you call and get a local business to help you. Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference.
That covers it. You should have a good idea of how a VoIP phone system can provide features that can benefit your business.