Even without the cost of actual technology figured in, a small business could spend a half a million a year paying their team just to communicate. It’s undoubtedly going to cost more if you have an ancient business telephone system instead of a scaled-up VoIP system. Having a modern cloud-based system is essential to efficient communication and customer service.
Here’s what you need to think about if you’re going to scale up your current phone system with something faster and more efficient.
Look at Your Office
Considering the needs of your office is the first step in figuring out how to scale your business phone system. You’ll need to consider what scale to begin at so that you have adequate coverage without paying for services you don’t need.
If your employee calling habits are mostly internal, with them dialing office extensions to talk to other team members, that’s one kind of phone system. IF you’re mostly calling numbers outside of your office, or if you have some employees who do and some who don’t, you’ll need a customizable system.
Look at your current PBX system if you have one. If you’ve got an IP-enabled PBX, conversion could be easy. If not, it might cost you more.
Will you need to replace hardware? If you’re using older or deprecated phones, you might want to make the jump to VoIP since you’re buying new phones anyway. This way you can get top-of-the-line hardware to serve your customers better.
How’s Your Connection?
If you’re currently in an area without strong access to the internet, you might have trouble reaping the benefits of VoIP. Landlines are tried and true and much more prevalent in rural or hard to reach areas. Those areas are great locations for call centers but often have lower speed internet.
Use a speed test to evaluate your current status when it comes to internet connections. There are certain marks to hit to be compatible with VoIP connectivity.
Consider your phone system on-site as well. There are adapters available called AVAs that can take your current legacy phones and turn them into phones capable of making internet calls. Otherwise, you need a complete overhaul of your system to allow for VoIP connectivity.
As your business grows and scales, you’ll need to talk to other staff members about things. While chat modules and emails can help, sometimes a phone conversation is faster. This is when having individual extensions can come into play.
Traditional extension lines can add up when you have a traditional phone system. There’s a lot of physical maintenance and upkeep required. If someone wants to move desks or moves to a different department, traditional phone services require a physical connection to be cut or added.
A technician won’t be required for every move you make with a VoIP system. You can add or remove extensions as you please when you have a VoIP system.
Traditional PBX is a set of organized extension lines. A PBX will divide your company’s main business line into extensions and over physical connections.
When you have a hosted PBX that’s connected via the internet and VoIP technology, you can do this wirelessly. All you need is a main router to handle the calls that are then sent to each individual piece of technology. Whether it’s a headset or a handset, you can send calls around cheaply and easily.
Manage Remote Workers
As an increasing number of companies employ a remote workforce, using VoIP can ensure that you stay in touch no matter how far you are from one another. Wireless capabilities allow all kinds of devices to be networked together without having to worry about long-distance fees.
The rise of mobile VoIP apps has allowed teams to take this connectivity on the road. Using VoIP apps on mobile devices, laptops, and tablets allows for remote teams to connect to in-office staff no matter where they are.
This is also great for your customers. When your customers can get service and support from people working in different time zones or connected with mobile devices, they’re never left alone. This allows you to convert leads and to keep current customers in your sales funnel.
Consider Other Features
There are lots of other potentially helpful IP features that you could get with VoIP. Video chat, auto attendants, and faxing are some of the ways that small businesses can scale up with VoIP.
IP faxing allows you to send faxes with mobile devices. Traditional fax machines are bulky, expensive, and challenging to use. They need to be connected via physical phone lines and they’re hard to find even in a standard office.
With mobile faxing, you can send and receive faxes through emails. Documents and pictures arrive in your inbox just like a fax would. Also, mobile devices can send faxes to physical machines with IP faxing software offered by most VoIP software providers.
Video conferencing is an essential feature of VoIP software. You can run video conferences, put together webinars, or just have video calls for face-to-face time with your clients.
Instead of having to foot the bill for hopping on a plane or taking a client out for a meal, you can meet each other from the comfort of home or your office. And best of all, it won’t cost a thing.
Benefits of VoIP over Traditional Business Telephone Services
Among the cost savings and connectivity, there are plenty of other benefits of VoIP over traditional business telephone systems. There are systems now that can integrate with your calendar and productivity tools, your CRM software, and even your sales and PoS systems for improved tracking.
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