More and more small businesses are using managed voice services. In this blog, we discuss some of the advantages they offer to businesses that make the switch.
For years, small businesses used analog phones, traditional telephones that use landlines with copper wiring to transmit calls (otherwise known as plain old telephone service, or POTS) to connect with other phones over the public switched telephone network, or PSTN. This was almost by default, as no real alternatives existed. That changed in 2004, with the widescale introduction of voice over IP (VoIP) technology, which is used to make and receive calls over an IP network, such as the Internet. Managed voice services use digital, rather than analog, technology and they have the capacity to transform small businesses.
Managed voice service offer small businesses advantages that can make their day-to-day operations run more smoothly, streamline business practices, increase productivity and cut costs.
- Employees aren’t tied to a desk computer anymore. If your sales force is out making sales calls all day, all they need is a smartphone, tablet or laptop and a Wi-Fi Internet connection to conduct business. Your office manager can check to see if she missed any calls during lunch and call clients back – simply by using an app on her phone. You can also opt to have voicemails sent as emails, so employees can listen to them even when they aren't near a phone.
- No need to pay and train a receptionist. With a virtual receptionist, calls to your business are answered promptly and directed to the appropriate employee. Having a virtual receptionist adds to your bottom line – freeing up your budget to add another, more productive employee. As a bonus, you never have to worry about your virtual receptionist gossiping too much with other employees or taking long coffee breaks!
- Group employees by department. Using the ring group feature, you can opt to have calls directed to a group of employees, either simultaneously or in a specific sequence. This increases productivity as it ensures calls get to the person or persons who can best deal with them.
- Versatility in directing calls. An IP phone can be programmed to ring on a cellphone when an external call comes in but route to voicemail for other calls. You can also arrange conference calls for multiple employees. This will lead to fewer mid-directed calls and happier customers.
- Ease of internal communication. Several managed voice systems offer features that make it easy for employees to connect with each other, such as an online chat system and the ability to seamlessly integrate with other programs your business might already be using, such as Salesforce or Microsoft Office. This lets you integrate and employee’s Microsoft Outlook contacts into his or her extension, so that incoming calls are displayed with screen pops based on an Outlook contacts list.
Your employees will be invigorated and more productive knowing the latest technology is backing them up whether they’re working in the office, at home or on the road. Your customers will be happier knowing they’ll always be able to reach the right person in your business who can help them, when they need it.
These are just a few ways in which making the switch from analog phones to a managed voice system can transform your business.