See if you can relate to any of these frustrations:
- Your monthly phone bill for your small business feels excessive given what you get in return.
- You feel locked into a structure that can’t easily expand to grow with your business.
- You want more features than your traditional phone system can offer.
Do any of these sound familiar? If so, then you, you’re in luck.
Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) may be your golden ticket.
A VoIP phone system is a business necessity for any company that requires an easy way to manage multiple lines and callers. The benefits of using VoIP are numerous.
What is VOIP?
Voice over internet protocol, or VoIP for short, is a type of communications system that allows users to make phone calls using a broadband internet connection instead of the traditional copper wire infrastructure that analog and Centrex phones use.
Since its release in 1995, VoIP has become increasingly popular because of its reliability, low cost, and ease of scalability compared to other phone systems.
While most people are likely to be familiar with VoIP services such as Skype, not everyone is aware of just how practical VoIP communication systems can be for a small or growing business. Here we will dive into exactly what a VoIP system is, how it works, how it differs from traditional systems, and the many advantages VoIP offers businesses over other telephone system options.
How Does VoIP Work?
VoIP uses an internet connection to send and receive digital voice signals from one device to another. Like a regular phone, a VoIP system comes with its own local phone number, which people can call as long as an internet connection is available.
Even standard analog phones can be VoIP compatible by using an analog telephone adapter (ATA). While there was a time when VoIP provided a lower quality signal than their copper wire counterparts, this is no longer the case since most places in the world now have access to high-speed internet.
What is a VOIP Number?
A VoIP number functions more or less the same as any other phone number with a few key differences. First off, unlike traditional phone numbers, VoIP numbers don't need to be routed through the local telephone company and instead use any broadband signal they can connect to. Secondly, VoIP numbers don't get assigned to a location the way standard phone numbers do.
One common misconception people have of VoIP is they can't make phone calls to standard analog phone lines, such as those most commonly associated with a landline.
While this is sometimes true, it's not a limitation of the technology but rather the type of VoIP package a user has purchased. In almost all cases, VoIP numbers will be able to freely interact with standard phone numbers as long as their particular VoIP system is set up to do so.
Can You Use Your Old Number?
One of the main concerns people have about switching to VoIP is not being able to keep their old number. This can be especially troublesome for an already established business with a solid client base as many fear changing something as important as a phone number may lose them clients.
Thankfully, in recent years, the FCC has determined that both people and businesses have the right to transfer their current phone number to any service or provider they want without extra cost.
Advantages of Having a VoIP Number
VoIP phone systems have several advantages over traditional systems, especially when it comes to small businesses.
Perhaps the most notable advantage of VoIP is the savings a small business is likely to receive, especially those that require the use of several different phone lines. In most cases, a monthly VoIP subscription can be had for less than a quarter of the cost of a traditional phone line. These savings grow exponentially with each added number.
Flexibility and Scalability
Analog or Centrex systems can be very costly to change once installed because the required hardware is not very modular. For example, suppose you need to change the location of a connection port.
In that case, a technician has to come in and physically disassemble, move, and reassemble the system, which can be both time consuming and costly. Moreover, because VoIP is entirely digital, the system is very scalable and can be easily modified depending on the growing needs of the business.
Crystal Clear Voice Quality
Another concern people have about switching to VoIP is a fear that the voice quality will be poor. As we said before, there was a time in the late 90s where this might have been true, but times are long gone. These days, internet speeds of over 80 Mbps are commonplace, and there is no lack of bandwidth to go around.
Choice of Area Codes
Unlike conventional service providers, VoIP systems allow users to choose which area their numbers originate from. Some systems even allow you to choose a number from an entirely different country. This feature can be especially handy for companies that frequently deal with long distance clients and don't want to pay for a 1-800 number.
Low Initial Cost
Compared to other phone systems, which require an upfront initial investment, VoIP requires no initial investment aside from a monthly service fee and perhaps a headset.
Works with Almost Any Device
VoIP systems can work with almost any device that can install and run the VoIP software and access the internet.
High Number of Features
Aside from being the most effective telephone/voice communication system, VoIP is also the most feature-rich option available.
How Do I Get a VoIP Number?
Securing a VoIP phone number is simple and requires you to sign up with a VoIP systems provider. Before doing so, it is important to determine precisely which features you will need, as this will help you choose the best plan to fit your needs.
If you choose a plan and find out that it's not the best one for you, most VoIP providers will allow you to change the plan at next to no extra cost.
What Features Can I Expect to Get With VoIP?
Besides the standard talk and text features offered by almost all voice plans, VoIP provides users with an impressive array of features that surpass anything traditional phone systems can offer. Of all the possible features, the most important ones include:
- Unlimited Calling: Most VoIP plans offer free unlimited calling to anywhere in The United States and Canada. Some plans offer free or very inexpensive long distance calling as well.
- Online Faxing: Although email has almost made the fax machine obsolete, some businesses and government organizations still require people to send documents via fax machine. Most VoIP plans offer a free online fax service which can come in handy in these circumstances.
- Call Queues: During periods of high calling volume, VoIP gives businesses the option to implement a calling queue that allows customers to stay on the line waiting for the next available agent.
- HD Voice Quality: Most VoIP plans use the g.722 codec, which is designed to cut out static and ambient noise and deliver the crispest voice quality possible.
- Conference Calling: All VoIP systems can support conference calling between three or more participants.
- Voicemail-To-Email: Some systems will send voicemails straight to a user's email, a feature many people find convenient.
- SMS Text Messaging: In case there was any doubt, VoIP systems are fully capable of sending and receiving SMS text messages.
The Bottom Line
VoIP offers a cost-effective phone system that is both reliable and feature rich. The primary reason more small businesses aren't taking advantage of this service is that they simply don't know about the advantages it offers over other phone systems. If you run a small business and feel tired of the high monthly telephone bills, it may be time to consider a switch to VoIP.
Are you looking for a phone system with all the features you need in one easy package while saving you money every month compared to traditional landlines?
Get the answers you need by speaking with an experienced MCTV BusinessPro team member that will help you discover the best phone system solution for your business and your budget.
Click here to claim your free business phone system consultation to discuss your phone system needs. No commitments. No pressure. Just advice.