VoIP is a way of making and receiving phone calls over the Internet. An increasing number of businesses are turning to VoIP technology to handle all their business communications, including voice calling and audio and video conferencing.
What are the key features of VoIP? How could VoIP benefit your business? There’s a reason the VoIP for business market is rapidly growing.
Key Features of VOIP Systems
Companies are increasingly turning to VoIP solutions for their business communications. According to Statista, U.S. businesses added more than 35 million VoIP lines between 2010 and 2018. SMBs, in particular, are projected to increase their use of VoIP by more than 15% over the next five years.
Voicemail and Call Forwarding
Most VoIP platforms provide a voicemail system for users. Some also include automatic call forwarding in the form of a feature called Find Me/Follow Me. This enables users to receive calls no matter where they are or what phone number they’re using. Both of these features let employees continue to be reachable even if they’re traveling or working remotely.
Call Routing and Management
This feature automatically routes incoming calls by topic, customer type, availability of staff, and so forth. Other advanced call management features automatically prioritize incoming calls or block calls from unknown or suspicious numbers. Systems can be integrated with other office solutions such as Outlook/Office 365 to update user availability based on calendar appointments and user status.
This feature enables employees to receive a text or email notification when specific calls are received. For example, an employee may want to be alerted when an important customer calls.
Auto Attendant/Interactive Voice Response
Auto Attendant (also known as Interactive Voice Response or IVR) enables even small companies to have an automated answering and menu system, just like big businesses. The Auto Attendant courteously answers, routes, and escalates incoming calls with no dedicated human operator.
Some companies need to record some or all of their calls for regulatory purposes. Other companies may want to record calls to track customer satisfaction or employee performance. Most VoIP systems enable the recording of selected calls for later playback and evaluation.
Audio and Video Conferencing
Sophisticated VoIP solutions also enable multiple-person conference calls, which is ideal for team meetings with remote workers. Some even offer video conferencing without the need for additional software or equipment.
In some instances, text messaging is faster and more succinct than making a voice call. For that reason, most VoIP platforms offer Internet-based SMS texting and voice calling.
Advanced VoIP calls track a variety of call data and provide useful analytics to IT or call center staff. This can include employee performance, call session metrics, caller trends, and more.
The 3CX platform specifically offers a wide variety of connection options. Users can access voicemail and even make, receive, and transfer calls through their extension from virtually any web-connected device with the advanced mobile app for iPhone and Android devices or the desktop app available for Windows and macOS. There’s even a web browser version that can turn virtually any device with an internet connection into a full-featured business phone.
Business Benefits of VOIP Systems
How can a cloud-based VoIP system benefit your business? There are many ways.
Cloud-hosted VoIP systems eliminate a raft of issues that can affect system uptime. By hosting the system remotely, a business can protect itself from power outages, downed phone lines, Internet outages, storms, and natural disasters, server crashes, and similar system failures. The redundancies of cloud hosting ensure that the company’s phones virtually never go down.
Flexibility and Expansion
A cloud-based VoIP platform makes it easy to expand a phone system as a business grows. It’s even easy to transfer or expand a system to a new location because there’s no equipment to move. VoIP systems also enable the use of virtual phone numbers, so a company can use local numbers for remote workers or branch offices even though the main business is based elsewhere.
Support for Remote Workforce
According to a study by IWG, 70% of professionals work remotely at least one day a week. That number has increased significantly as the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to force more employees to work from home. Cloud-based phone system access is a necessity for remote workers, who can configure their office phones to ring on their Android or Apple mobile phones or even their laptops. With VoIP, it doesn’t matter where workers are working—the system follows them wherever they are and whatever device they’re using.
The deciding factor for many businesses is cost, and this is where VoIP shines. A VoIP system is almost always less costly to install and operate than a traditional phone system. Initial costs can be up to 90% lower than with other systems, and businesses can save up to 40% on local calls.
Let CDS Help You Choose the Right VOIP Solution
CDS Office Technologies is one of the leading suppliers of VoIP solutions throughout Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri. We offer state-of-the-art cloud-based and hybrid VoIP systems from 3CX and Panasonic. Our experienced staff can help you choose the right system and services for your business—including employees working from home. Contact CDS Office Technologies today to learn more about how VoIP can benefit your business.