Landline phones fuelled sales, catalyzed growth and streamlined customer service for businesses over the course of the last century. And while consumers have made the switch to mobile devices and digital methods of communication, the phone call remains an important link between companies and the people they serve.
Today, the evolution of telephony has brought about the rise of VoIP, or voice over internet protocol. This migration to digital tech has left businesses with an important choice to make; do you settle for an old-school analog phone system, or do you adopt VoIP instead?
Rather than voice calls being hosted over the copper wiring of POTS, with a VoIP system you’re relying on a high speed network connection to get in touch with people.
VoIP calling is supported on a number of devices. With the use of an adapter, you can use a traditional desk phone to dial into a VoIP system. There are also more modern VoIP-focused handsets, as well as the option to use software on a desktop computer, laptop or smartphone to achieve the same thing.
As with a standard landline, a service provider will handle the routing of the call to its intended end point, and you can dial out to landline numbers, as well as assigning your own geographic or non-geographic number to your device as needed.
The benefits of going digital
There are a lot of good reasons to choose a VoIP phone system over one which is still stuck in the analog era, including:
Long distance calls used to be expensive to make, but with VoIP solutions you’re able to slash the price of contacting customers in different parts of the world.
We touched on the option to have a geographic phone number earlier, and this matters from the perspective of brand trust. Setting a number on your VoIP phone which is specific to a given area, even if it’s not the one you’re physically located in, will give customers confidence whether you’re calling them, or they’re contacting you.
It’s similar to what you’d do when running a profitable website which targets customers overseas. Having a top-level domain name that’s native to the nation establishes your business as a reputable one.
With small business phone systems like OpenPhone, even up and coming companies can justify adopting a VoIP-based solution, rather than sticking to a standard landline which won’t be up to scratch as their operations expand.
The scalability of modern VoIP solutions is innate, since most rely entirely on hardware that’s hosted off-site, rather than being located in-house. So when you need to add new team members to the system, you won’t have to rewire your entire office.
Thanks to the digital nature of VoIP, there are all sorts of cutting edge bells and whistles which are available through the latest systems and services that support it.
For example, as well as being able to take voicemail messages, clever software can automatically generate transcriptions of these recordings. You could get these emailed to you, or sent via SMS, so that you can discreetly check your messages without having to listen to them, or even search back through previous messages as you would a text document to find important information.
Much of the aforementioned versatility of VoIP systems comes from their ability to integrate with other software applications that are critical to the day to day running of your company.
This can include things like team instant messaging platforms, calendar and scheduling services, customer relationship management solutions and much more besides.
The issues with analog landline setups
The benefits of VoIP aren’t the only things you need to be aware of, because it’s not just a case of missing out on these when settling for an older landline service; you’ll also be suffering through a number of other issues.
Most notably, it’s more expensive to procure, maintain and upgrade a traditional office phone system. On-site exchanges are costly, temperamental and easily outmoded by any modern digital equivalent.
Call quality is also a concern, because there’s only so much bandwidth that copper wire can support, and you won’t be able to equal the digital clarity of VoIP conversations.
The bottom line
Any business that wants to prepare itself for whatever the future might hold must consider adopting a VoIP phone system, while only retaining a traditional landline setup if this is the only option available.
If you’ve got a high speed internet connection at your premises, and a growing team of employees to equip with the means to contact customers, clients and partners, picking from one of the many high quality VoIP solutions is a no-brainer. From a cost perspective alone, it sells itself easily.