Is a VoIP Phone System Worth it for your Business?
Although nearly phased out at home, traditional phone systems still run communications at many an office. Around 70 percent still use landlines.
But these phones are on borrowed time. By 2025, telecom providers in the UK are expected to retire analogue telephone networks, starting with the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). The majority of businesses are unprepared for the “Big Switch Off”, putting them at risk of being left without phone service once the change kicks in.
Making the shift to Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) sooner rather than later will ensure that your communication network is future-proof. More than that, VoIP offers an array of useful features that can increase efficiency, improve security, and cut your phone expenses by nearly half.
How Do Businesses Use VoIP?
Cold calling has a less than stellar reputation. But it still works, especially in the world of B2B. Most executives prefer to hear from sales representatives through a call. Most people still pick up the phone from salespeople. VoIP allows businesses to continue exploring this tactic in a much more cost-efficient way. Given that frequency and persistence is key to closing over the phone, VoIP systems allow sales representatives to make more attempts and important follow-ups while out of office.
Many businesses use a mix of tools to facilitate everyday communication inside the office. The standard experience is to juggle separate tools and apps for making calls, scheduling appointments, video conferencing, sending messages, and sharing files.
With VoIP, all of these can be rolled into one system, improving efficiency and productivity. No longer will you have to jump from Zoom to Slack to Outlook. Soon, you may even find AI-enabled VoIP systems automating tasks like taking notes or transcribing calls, freeing employees for higher level tasks.
Remote work is more prevalent than ever. In the UK–the so-called work-from-home-capital of Europe–employees work from home an average of 1.5 days a week. Much of the shift was catalysed by the COVID pandemic. From 4.7 million in 2019 there are now nearly 10 million people whose home is also their office.
VoIP allows companies to keep their communications network always reliable, secure, and professional. Employees can be contacted as long as they’re connected to the internet. Calls and voicemails are protected using encryption against malicious eavesdroppers. Customers, leads, and partners can be called using official numbers even if employees aren’t on-site
Benefits of VoIP for Small Businesses
Considerable Cost Savings
Both VoIP and PBX (Private Branch Exchange) networks need to be installed and trained for. Yet PBX is generally more expensive and disruptive upfront, as you’ll need to pay for a dedicated server if you’re hosting the system on-site, adapters, and additional phone lines depending on the size of your business.
Savings are significant, especially if you need to make long distance calls for work. Small businesses can save up to 45 percent every month by making the switch to VoIP.
Improved Lead Management
Leads go through several steps before they turn into paying customers. Generally it’ll take at least seven interactions before prospective customers take action and buy from you. Every journey looks different, and it can be hard to keep track of approaches and offers you’ve made when you have hundreds of leads.
Consider a call centre with hundreds of agents. Integrated with your CRM software, VoIP systems can automatically log which agents are in contact with which customer, if leads have been followed up, and the duration between follow ups. This allows multiple agents to easily understand where customers are in the sales funnel, and adapt their next call accordingly.
Security & Compliance
Data breaches can be catastrophic for small businesses. Fines and the cost of recovery after an attack can easily sink the unprepared. Sixty percent of small businesses go under within six months of a breach.
While employees can always make calls using WiFi or their personal devices, VoIP affords the measures needed to make exchanges safe and secure. Aside from end-to-end encryption, you can opt to enable two-factor authentication to bolster your network against would-be thieves. Unlike with traditional phone networks, you get complete access to your call logs, so you can routinely check it for suspicious activity.
These built-in security capabilities can help companies stay compliant. Businesses in finance are legally required to record calls with clients. If you’re in healthcare and have clients in the US, reputable VoIP service providers offer solutions that are compliant with the country’s Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations.
Traditional landline networks can slow or hinder your business’ ability to scale your communications system as needed. Anyone who’s had to cancel or install new phone lines knows it’s a drawn-out and costly process.
VoIP allows small businesses to remain agile and adjust their subscriptions faster than traditional landlines. For one, there’s less hardware involved, as VoIP systems can be run using “softphones” – basically software that lets you make calls through your laptop, desktop, tablet, or mobile phone. You can buy desk phones that are designed to optimise your VoIP experience, but they’re not necessary.
Second, most VoIP providers charge on a per user basis instead of by minutes. For businesses who rely heavily on calls for marketing, sales, or customer support purposes, this can translate to significant savings.
With phone providers pulling the plug on legacy phone systems, VoIP systems are the clear choice for the future of business communications. Loaded with advanced features that once used to be only accessible to large enterprises, trying it out is a must for businesses of any size.
If you’re interested in setting up your own VoIP system, our team of experts can help you find the best one for your budget and needs. Book a free consultation with Evolvit today.