Category Archives: VOIP

The Primary Reasons to Choose VoIP Services for Your Business

IP Telephony cloud pbx concept, telephone device with illustration icon of voip services

Is it time for an upgrade of your phone system?

Voice over Internet Protocol (or VoIP as it is more commonly known) is a telephony system that allows users to make and receive calls using a broadband internet connection rather than a conventional analog phone system. VoIP works by recording audio and converting it into a digital signal that can be transmitted over an internet connection. Recent years have seen a vast expansion of VoIP both amongst residential and commercial users, as VoIP phone systems tend to provide a higher level of service than traditional phone systems at a much lower cost. However, if your business still uses a traditional phone system, you may be unaware of the benefits VoIP can provide, and you may be wondering why there is so much talk about VoIP. If your company still utilizes an analog phone system, here are just a few of the reasons you should consider switching to VoIP.

VoIP Can Save You Money

One of the primary reasons that so many businesses are switching to VoIP phone systems is due to the substantial financial savings that doing so can represent. The fact is that traditional phone systems are expensive to set up, alter, and maintain. Not only are most set up and maintenance costs averted with VoIP, but also, placing calls is much more affordable using a VoIP system. Many VoIP phone systems include unlimited domestic calling for free, and many even include all of North America. When international calls are placed, it is at a much more affordable rate than offered by the mainstream phone companies, which can mean significant savings if you do a lot of international business. The great thing about VoIP is that you do not have to sacrifice call quality for these cost savings. VoIP systems provide clear sound quality that rivals traditional phone lines in most instances, depending on your internet connection.

VoIP is Easy to Install and Maintain

One of the greatest hassles of traditional phone systems is that they are difficult, costly, and time-consuming to set up as someone has to come and run wiring throughout your facility and set up the necessary hardware. Alternatively, setting up a VoIP phone system is often as easy as connecting them to your computer or internet connection, making it easy for you to set these systems up yourself. No hardware or software needs to be installed before you can start using your IP phone system.

It Scales Up and Down Easily

Another problem with traditional phone systems is that they can be difficult and costly to scale up and down. The fact is that it is not always easy to predict how many phone lines you will need to add in the coming year, or where you will need these lines in your facility. This can lead to costly changes if you need to add or move a line. With a VoIP phone system, adding a new line can be done instantly, wherever you need it, as soon as you bring on a new employee, and the phone line can just as easily be removed if they leave. Additionally, moving a phone line with VoIP is as simple as placing it where you need it to go, without the need for any rewiring.

VoIP Supports a Variety of Features

Another benefit of VoIP phone systems is they often come standard with a variety of features that are either extra, or not available, in a traditional phone system. Features that are included or available on many VoIP phone systems include: call holding, call transfers, caller ID, voicemail, visual voicemail, and conference calling. VoIP phone systems also allow for video conferencing, allowing you to conduct business meetings remotely, which can reduce travel expenses.

VoIP phone systems are truly transforming the way in which companies conduct business by providing a variety of useful benefits, only a few of which we have been able to highlight here. Contact us to learn more about VoIP and the reasons why you should consider converting your business to a VoIP phone system.

Why VOIP Is the Perfect ‘Out-of-Office’ Phone Solution

Business woman using VOIP in a mobile phone out outdoors

How easy is it for your customers find you?

Email, chat, texting, and social media have brought us a long way, but in business you always need to have a phone number. For whole industries and tiers of your supply chain, the phone is the primary form of contact. For many businesses, certain things can only be confirmed on the phone or in person. And, of course, there must be a way for you to be contacted by clients or your boss.

Multiple Business Numbers

This means that you need a business number: A line of contact you can put on your website and business cards. A number you will almost always pick up during business hours. But this is easier for some professionals than for others. People who work at the same desk all day long have it easy, they can pick up their desk phone at any time during the regular work day. However, if you are a field service professional, visit clients, or travel often, you rack up a lot of ‘out of office’ hours where everyone must reach you at a second–personal cell–number instead.

Providing a Unified Company Number

Professional phone lines aren’t free. Businesses buy package deals but must still install the hard lines one by one to connect desk and office phones. On top of this, professionals who travel for business are often provided with company cell phones. In part to provide them the privacy of also having a personal cell if they choose to. This means that any professional with both a desk and a company cell carries the cost of two unique phone lines.

In the age of wireless technology, this is no longer necessary. VOIP, also known as internet phone, allows a business to provide each employee with exactly one phone number. A number that will follow them around on any device with internet access. Because you log into it like an app instead of needing a line or SIM card. This one little change from wired and cellular phones to internet phone simplifies so much about business communication.

Now, professionals who travel often or work in the field can give their clients and colleagues one number that can reach them any time during business hours. You can set it to ring through to your current device on a schedule or even schedule off-hours that go straight to voicemail. But it gets better.

Connecting In the Field

Staying connected while traveling is a constant search for signal coverage areas. Based on how 2-5G cell networks and wireless internet work these days, connectivity is almost identical between when a cell phone and a wireless hotspot can connect enough to make a call. But VOIP can do even better.

There are a great many places that have a wired and local wifi internet connection but do not have cell signal, and in these places, VOIP is always superior. No matter where on-the-go professionals find themselves, any device with an internet connection can make and receive calls, keeping you in touch almost everywhere.

Staying Connected in Emergencies

When traveling for work, equipment emergencies are the worst kind. If your laptop or cell phone break down on the trip, it could mean disaster. But accidents happen anyway. Your cell phone could fall out of your pocket, get soaked, or sat on and you would be left out of touch. Unless you have a VOIP number.

Most VOIP providers work like an app, where you can install and log into the VOIP platform then access your number from any capable device connected to the internet. Unlike a cell phone with a unique SIM card, VOIP numbers can be answered from your office desktop computer, your laptop, a tablet, your phone, or even borrowed device or hotel lobby computer. VOIP is the ideal phone number solution for emergencies in the field.

Traveling for work and working in the field both require you to be away from your office much of the time. But that doesn’t mean you have to give out your personal cell number or be tethered to a company cell. VOIP allows on-the-go professionals to answer one number from any device on any available network. For more information about how VOIP can improve your workflow, contact us today!

Remote Work and The Technology That’s Made it Possible: Everything You Need to Know About Telecommuting

Man woking remotely from home, web conferencing with VoIP systems

Flexibility to work from home is key for a lot of people

Recent years have seen a drastic increase in the popularity of telecommuting (employees working remotely from home). In fact, from 2007 to 2017, the number of Americans working remotely increased by 115% with 43% of Americans reporting they worked remotely at least part of the time by 2017. While telecommuting continues to grow across most sectors, it has become particularly popular amongst businesses in the tech industry as well as among those in finance and media (telecommuting is least common in education and retail).

 

The Primary Reasons Telecommuting is on The Rise

Seeing the statistics above, you may be wondering why telecommuting is on the rise. Wouldn’t having employees together reduce hassle and increase productivity? However, studies have shown this assumption to be false. Here are just a few of the benefits telecommuting can provide.

  • Telecommuting Increases Productivity
      • Offices Can Be a Distraction: While many would think it would be to everyone’s benefit to have all employees in the office, the fact is that modern offices have become very distracting places full of unnecessary meetings and constant distractions from fellow employees. In fact, a recent study found that employees who worked from home performed 13.5% more efficiently than when they were in the office due to reduced distraction.
      • Commuting Reduces Productivity: Not only does being in the office reduce productivity, but so does the act of commuting to the office. Studies have found that long commutes have a drastic impact on employee health by increasing rates of obesity, heart disease, and depression, which resulted in absences and poor work performance. Telecommuting can then make employees happier and healthier while simultaneously increasing their productivity.
  • Telecommuting Saves Businesses Money: Perhaps the greatest way businesses can benefit from a remote workforce is in the money they will save on business expenses by having employees telecommute. Every employee who works from home limits the amount of money a company will have to spend on office space, furniture, technology, supplies, and utilities, which can represent substantial savings. In fact, it is estimated that each year companies save upwards of 100 million dollars on their office leases by using remote employees.

Increased productivity, a happier workforce, and substantial savings on business expenses are just a few of the many reasons why telecommuting continues to rise in popularity amongst businesses. However, part of the reason why there has been a rise in telecommuting in recent years has been due to the advent of technology that has made remote work possible.

The Technology Needed for Telecommuting

The current rise in telecommuting has been made possible by current technologies that allow for remote collaboration. While telecommuting can prove beneficial for many businesses, there are a few technologies that businesses must first invest in to make this possible such as:

  • Cloud Computing and Electronic Document Management Software: An essential tool for developing a remote workforce is cloud computing and electronic document management systems. For companies looking to develop a remote workforce, electronic document management is key as this will allow individuals to locate files and retrieve information digitally rather than needing to physically locate these files from a drawer somewhere. Cloud computing software then allows individuals to access these files, as well as software and applications, remotely and securely through the cloud from wherever they are working.
  • Web Conferencing and VoIP Systems: Another critical piece of technology companies developing a remote workforce need is a modern VoIP phone system. These phone systems utilize the internet rather than a traditional phone line to send and receive calls, which allows individuals to use their phone service wherever they are as long as they have an internet connection. This allows employees to use their work phone line to communicate with colleagues, business partners, and customers from the comfort of their own home. Modern unified communications systems can be particularly beneficial for a remote workforce as these systems also often include features such as web chat and video conferencing, which can be vital in allowing remote employees to collaborate together from anywhere in the world.

Telecommuting continues to grow in popularity not only because of the benefits it can provide to businesses and employees alike but also due to the fact that technological advancements have made remote work easier and more convenient than ever before. Contact us to learn more about telecommuting and how it could benefit your business.

Can Your Customers and Leads Get in Touch with Your Salespeople?

Customer and/or lead getting in touch with salesperson over VOIP

How complicated is your business auto attendant?

Sales funnels are fragile things. When your company is in the process of converting a lead into a paying customer, a lot of events and interests have to line up just right. One of the most important factors people look for, whether you sell business to business products or you market to individual consumers, is a personal experience. Customers want to know that your company is available on their schedule. Communication needs to be prompt, professional, and easy, no matter what medium they’re using. If your salespeople handle a lot of calls, they need to have the right tools so their leads can reach out to them with questions and call them easily when they’re ready to make a purchase. Here’s how Voice over IP telephony services, or VOIP, can help:

Keep your extensions and company directory organized.

Before VoIP combined your telephony and administrative systems, keeping track of extensions was difficult. Every incident of employee turnover would have a few months of confusion as extensions get associated with a new phone owner. Voice messages required a complicated array of button pushing, and there was no centralized control over how to access specific employees.

But a VoIP system is easily edited. You can fill in the details of different employees, their extension, and their schedule. The information is added to and filled in through a computer program rather than through a patchwork of phones. Not only does this give easier control to a central authority, like someone in the human resources department, those profiles can also be visible to internal employees and, on a limited basis, on your company website. Everyone benefits when the contact details are easily changed and updated live.

Route calls between desk phones and cell phones based on your employees’ in-office schedules.

The line between in-office work and office work is changing. Whether you personally want a bright dividing line between work and personal hours, many salespeople are starting to migrate to a looser schedule. Lots of sales are made based on off-hours conversations and easy accessibility. Instead of the older method of giving valuable clients or leads two different phone numbers, your VoIP system can handle the schedule. Each employee can establish when phone calls should go to their office phone and when calls should go to their cell phones. They can also designate true off hours when calls should go straight to voicemail. Not only is that easy on prospective customers, but employees don’t have to tell anyone their cell phone number.

Make messages easier to customize and standardize.

Voicemail and automated messages can make or break a customer experience. Having basic, clunky messages that are made up of a template and added details sounds dated. They also sound bland and generic when you can’t add company-specific wording across every extension.

But VoIP message interfaces make it easier to upload sound bytes. Whether your company has a seasonal introduction message or promotional content that needs to be added to every telephone “signature,” VoIP makes it easier to manage. The system administrator can also distribute a sound file for mass upload and customization. This makes it easier to manage a standardized presentation style while still allowing for custom messages. Even better, you can run a report to see who hasn’t updated their recorded messages and make sure everyone’s on the same page.

VoIP systems don’t just help your customer service department. They’re an easy system that helps your salespeople reach out to new clients and ensures more callbacks. Even an online interface for telephone profiles makes everyone more accessible, gets rid of incorrect data, and improves your customers’ experience. Go to SystemsNet to see what that interface looks like.