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VoIP (Voice-over-Internet-Protocol) is an increasingly popular technology across companies of all sizes and fields of work. Today’s blog post explains what a VoIP number and phone system are, how they work for your business, and their advantages and disadvantages.
The popularity of business VoIP
We’ve selected some of the most impressive and current statistics to help you understand why VoIP phone services are so popular across different industries and businesses.
According to Statista, the global №1 statistics portal, between 2010 and 2018, business VoIP phone numbers in the US grew by over 35 million.
Various surveys and research show that a VoIP system potentially saves lots of costs for businesses:
- 50% fewer telecom costs
- Saves up to 90% from international calls
- Saves 40% of monthly costs
- Reduces start-up costs by up to 90%.
In addition to reduced costs, VoIP phone systems are popular among professionals for other reasons as well. Businesses that have already implemented VoIP in their operations say it helped them increase employee productivity by 20%, and 91% shared that it made compliance easier for them.
With the increase in remote jobs worldwide, we also see a rise in VoIP service providers and business VoIP numbers. Mobility is a major priority for 70% of interviewed companies, which they achieve through VoIP software.
What is VoIP ?
VoIP technology has been around for quite some time but became increasingly popular after 2010. It is an inexpensive and more functional alternative to traditional landlines and cellular telephony (mobile networks).
VoIP services allow you to perform various tasks over the internet:
- Call local numbers
- Make international calls
- Record calls and saves the recording for later use
- Conference calls
- Video call
- Voicemail and visual voicemail
- Message your team
- Send an SMS
- Forward calls
VoIP calls allow businesses and their employees to function from anywhere, as long as they have the necessary equipment:
- Reliable and stable internet connection
- A dedicated desktop or mobile app
- A mobile device OR
- A PC OR
- A desktop computer OR
- A SIP-compatible desk phone
- Peripheral devices such as headsets and microphones are optional.
What is a VoIP phone system?
VoIP phone systems are software you install to make calls on your computer, phone, etc., and require only a good Internet connection. Sometimes they are hardware-based, meaning they resemble traditional landline phones. You can also use an analogue telephone adapter to connect analogue phones to a VoIP network.
VoIP systems convert analogue audio signals into digital ones, transmit them over an Internet Protocol (IP), and turn them back to standard telephone audio for the receiving end. Assigning IP addresses to the VoIP phones automatically configures the VoIP network and parameters, after which a DNS connects all devices.
The technology presents many features that conventional phone services do not offer for their users:
- On-hold music
- Advanced call routing
- CRM integration
- Screen sharing
- Call monitoring
Here are examples of some of the most popular VoIP phone service providers for businesses:
- Google voice
- Ring Central
How does VoIP work for business?
Businesses worldwide choose VoIP solutions over outdated copper phone lines and traditional phone numbers. VoIP providers and the technology as a whole allow users to have virtual phone numbers, which are preferred in business environments.
Virtual phone numbers
You can get a virtual phone number assigned to any device you want, including personal or company laptops and mobile phones. This business phone service allows employees to work remotely from any device they see fit as long as they have a broadband connection.
Examples of businesses that use VoIP
If you are wondering who might need VoIP for their business and why the technology is a better-fitted solution, here are some examples of how companies can use VoIP.
Customer service departments
A VoIP phone system brings numerous benefits to customer service departments across businesses of all types. No matter your niche, you need a VoIP solution if you have a customer service department.
You can minimize the time your customers spend waiting on their cell phone by routing the incoming calls to free agents. An auto-attendant can greet them and offer a service or an answer to a commonly asked question.
Multiple VoIP numbers ring, and the first free agent accepts the call. You can record all phone calls, so you have a history of a client’s request or complaint.
Tourism and hospitality
The tourism and hospitality industry also greatly benefits VoIP companies and their services.
Since travel agents often need to speak to people from other countries, the toll-free numbers and inexpensive toll-free calling with VoIP is perfect for them. Hotels can use extension dialing to quickly dial room numbers, and hotel guests can easily reach each other or the front desk employees.
Some other businesses also take advantage of VoIP technology:
- Real estate agents
- Healthcare providers
- Financial institutions
- E-commerce employees
- Remote employees
What are the advantages and disadvantages of VoIP?
VoIP technology offers numerous advantages over traditional calling services. However, as with everything else, there are also some downsides. Let’s start with the benefits.
Pros of using a VoIP number
VoIP provides businesses with significant savings
Since you make calls over the internet and do not use a mobile provider’s cellular network, VoIP will significantly reduce your call-making-related costs. That’s especially true for businesses with many employees who make calls all day long.
Businesses that choose VoIP also need a significantly lower initial investment since they do not have to purchase separate hardware to conduct calls. They can use already purchased devices (e.g. phones, laptops, etc.) and install the software.
Making international calls also doesn’t need to be expensive anymore. Your international departments can connect with customers abroad without you paying a fortune.
VoIP is scalable
VoIP is suitable for businesses of all sizes, given its scalability options. Small businesses can start small and expand their plans as they hire more employees or gain more customers. On the other hand, large corporations can purchase bigger plans to run their business smoothly.
Scalability options also save financial resources for companies. You don’t have to invest a fortune for a plan that you will only partly use. If you need additional features, you can purchase them separately, depending on the service provider.
VoIP allows users to be more mobile
Many companies that present a remote working opportunity for their employees are happy to implement VoIP services in their operations. The reason is that VoIP allows users to be mobile and work from anywhere.
They can use their own personal or company devices and are not limited to the type of device. In addition, they need an internet connection to make calls, video conference or record voicemail messages without having to be at a specific location (e.g. an office building).
What are the perceived disadvantages of VoIP?
VoIP is specifically designed to provide wireless connectivity and make inexpensive calls over the internet while expanding the call features simultaneously. However, some perceive the technology’s purpose as calling disadvantages. It is important to note that assessing the business needs is paramount when choosing a calling solution.
Here are some of the perceived disadvantages of VoIP:
- You need a good and reliable internet connection
- Poor call quality is possible depending on the provider and the connection
- Dropped calls and data packet loss
Emergency calls when using VoIP
Emergency calls are something that you need to consider when using VoIP services. If you need to make an emergency call, you want to have a plan in advance.
Since VoIP works over the internet, it won’t be able to make an emergency call if you don’t have an internet connection. Another possible complication is VoIP’s inability to pinpoint the caller’s exact location in cases when the caller’s communication abilities are restricted or disrupted.