As we continue to move further into the information era, the options that businesses have for communicating with one another have continued to improve. In fact, over the past few years, an increasing number of businesses have decided to abandon their traditional land lines in favor of a much more dynamic VoIP system.
In this guide, we will briefly review how a VoIP system can dramatically improve the way that your business operates and communicates. We will also help you learn how to find the best VoIP system to meet your business’ current needs. These dynamic and innovative new systems have helped countless businesses across the United States and the rest of the world. If you are able to understand their function and take the time to compare the different options you have available, they can likely help your business as well.
Frequently Asked Questions about Business VoIP Systems
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions (and answers) about residential VoIP systems:
1. What is a business VoIP communications system?
The abbreviation VoIP is short for Voice over Internet Protocol. Essentially, a VoIP is a communications system that relies on the use of the internet, rather than more traditional methods (cable, land lines, etc.). Many businesses have found that using a VoIP communications system can be much more efficient without sacrificing quality.
Surprisingly, even though VoIP systems are typically significantly more extensive than their alternatives, many businesses have actually found that by switching to these systems, they are actually able to save on their operating costs over time. Finding these opportunities for savings is something that is particularly important for larger enterprises that may be operating with 100 phone lines or more.
2. How can a VoIP system improve my business?
There are many different ways that switching to a VoIP communications system can potentially improve your business.
- Improve your bottom line by decreasing the cost of operations
- Improve your ability to communicate with clients and partners via video chat, voice conferencing, and multiple other communication methods
- Increase your sense of professionalism through various business-oriented features
- Increase your operating capacity by integrating multiple different phone lines into one system
- Help separate your business from your personal life (especially if you are a small business owner)
- Be more efficient with features such as voicemail to email and numerous others
With each passing year, these systems are continuing to be installed and used on a much larger scale. Being the owner or manager of a business means that you should be continually looking for new ways to generate a competitive advantage. With the various benefits that only a VoIP communication system can offer, gaining access to that competitive advantage is something that may be surprisingly well within reach.
3. How can I find the best VoIP system for me?
In an industry that has been expanding as rapidly as VoIP communications, there is no surprise that there are currently many different VoIP providers that businesses of all kinds will have to choose from. The VoIP provider that makes the most sense for one business may not always be the one that makes the most sense for another. There are multiple different variables that will need to be taken into account.
When comparing potential VoIP providers, you should consider your budget, your operational needs, the features you hope to gain access to, and the quality of customer service that your potential partners can provide. Generally speaking, it may be a good idea to generate a short list of providers you are considering and ask them a series of questions before making any final commitments.
- What is your current pricing structure? Will I be able to save on a per-unit basis by adding more lines in the future?
- What are the top features that your service can currently provide? What makes you different from the competition?
- What kinds of customer service benefits are you able to offer?
- How do you believe a VoIP can immediately improve my business?
- Will we be able to keep our same phone numbers?
- What are your performance metrics? Speed? Quality? Percent of calls dropped?
These are just a few of the important questions that can help get you pointed in the right direction. Naturally, any other questions that you may have will also be worth asking as well. You may want to consider getting recommendations from other businesses that you know use VoIP systems and also take the time to read various online reviews.
4. What features should I be looking for in a business VoIP communications system?
The two most distinguishing factors between VoIP providers are their cost on a per-unit basis and the number of features that they are able to provide. Though you should also consider the needs and operating volume of your business, here are some of the top features that you should be actively looking for:
- Voicemail to email transcription
- Bandwidth utilization reports, call details, and other essential analytics
- Call screening, call monitoring, auto attendant, music on hold, and call forwarding
- Video chat and video conferencing
- Coaching tools (to help train your employees)
- Desktop and mobile applications
- Other features your business will consider useful
Working off of this brief list of possible features, your business should have a much easier time comparing the different options that are available. As stated, the VoIP provider that is best for you will depend on the specific nature of your business. You may also need to take the time to compare the different service packages these businesses have to offer (usually distinguished by operating volume/number of lines).
The potential benefits of upgrading your business to using a VoIP communications system ought to be abundantly clear. With a wide variety of different service providers available for you to choose from, finding the right fit may take a bit of research and effort. However, by understanding the industry and what to look for in a system, you will be in a much better position to make the choice that is best for your business. Streamlining communication and improving operations are both objectives that can be effectively achieved.
Andrew is an experienced writer with degrees in Finance and Political Science from the University of Colorado. He also has experience in the real estate and life insurance industries. His other primary interests include economics, entrepreneurship, political philosophy, and nature.