How VoIP Technology Can Serve as a Lifeline for Small Business

Posted by Natalie DeCario on November 10, 2014 at 11:30 AM
Natalie DeCario

In small businesses today, we can find ourselves swimming in a rapidly moving technological river, often avoiding obstacles, struggling to move forward, and sometimes we try to swim against the current. To avoid drowning and pulling our customers down to the bottom with us, VoIP technology can serve as a vital lifeline for success.

20141031_VoIP_Can_be_a_lifeline-513566-editedVoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) is no stranger to the business world. Advances in technology are making this service even more affordable and accessible. Let’s look at some ways that VoIP can save us money and keep our customers happier.

Cheaper than old school

Sometimes we don’t realize exactly how technology can make saving money easier. Often we believe we must purchase expensive new equipment and software to upgrade to the latest technological trend on the horizon, but that is not the case with VoIP.

Traditional phone lines and even newer cellular accounts all require separate networks, payments and fees while VoIP operates on our existing broadband connection. There are no long-distance rates since making a call online has the same cost for calling Nigeria as it does when phoning our neighbor.

Better, stronger, faster than ever before

Early critics of VoIP technology pointed out poor quality in the newer communication tool, static and low volume were common complaints. Another issue was that users on both sides had to be seated behind a computer to make and receive calls.

But that has all changed with the continuing development of this technology, making it a more powerful, mobile and crystal clear method of communication. Calls can be made on standard phones, cellular, and with smartphone apps, connection to Skype and Viber allow texting, chatting and video conferencing. 

20141031_VoIP_Can_be_a_lifeline2-423933-editedCome together, right now, VoIP

Common features include call waiting, voicemail, call forwarding, toll free numbers and remote operation, but often overlooked are these valuable functions:

  •      Buzzer integration from your phone to your front door. You can invite your caller inside as you unlock the entryway.
  •      Find me feature routes incoming calls to a list of different numbers before being sent to voicemail.
  •      Voicemail to email transcription transforms your messages into text and sends them directly to your preferred email account.
  •      Music choice on hold avoids uncomfortable silence during our temporary absence on the line and ditches that dreadful elevator music.
  •      Call screening can put an end to some of those annoying sales calls and time wasting research inquiries.
  •      DND (do not disturb) routes your incoming calls to your voicemail or another location when you are away from your phone.

Another lesser known feature with VoIP Technology is something called a softphone. For example, employees in a retail environment can carry their “walkies” with them everywhere on the sales floor while staying in touch with customers and their fellow staff members.

More data for today’s information age

As a business, data tracking is important to see exactly where and how our company time is being spent. A cloud-based VoIP service can provide bandwidth utilization information that allows you to view and analyze data over a period of time. Call detail reports lets us view inbound and outgoing usage information, call histories, duration, origination, destination and cost.

VoIP is really the future of business communications available to all of us today. Embrace the future right now and easily stay connected with your customers and colleagues by utilizing this affordable technology.

Author Bio: Dave Landry Jr. is an entrepreneur, online journalist, and personal finance counselor. He has a strong passion for technology, and enjoys researching how it affects communications around the world. His writing also covers business communications, VoIP and virtual technology, marketing, and globalization.

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Tags: Back Office, Small Business, Video Conferencing, Entrepreneurship, VoIP

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