When Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone in 1876, he probably didn’t imagine it becoming one of the most important inventions in the history of humankind. The trusty landline has served homes and businesses well for near a century and a half, but nowadays, it’s going the way of the telegraph. With landline subscriptions dropping steadily and everyone glued to their computers and mobile devices, it’s only reasonable to wonder what’s so great about VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol.
Here’s how internet-based telephony compares to analog:
Future-proofing your business with scalable technology
A single landline can only handle one call at a time. People who call when the line’s in use will usually receive a message and either have to wait in a queue or try again later. Businesses have long overcome this limitation by adding additional lines or implementing private branch exchanges (PBXs), but these are very costly for smaller organizations.
By contrast, VoIP is largely software-defined and hosted in the cloud. All you need is an internet-connected device that is equipped with a headset. With VoIP, adding more “lines” is simply a matter of opening more user accounts. There’s no need to pay for additional hardware.
Improving customer service with auto attendants
Of course, you still need the people to handle all your incoming calls, which might not always be possible during periods of high demand. That’s why many organizations provide written support and sales advice online. However, a lot of people still prefer to have a number they can call.
While it’s possible to set up auto-attendants with a PBX system, VoIP makes the technology accessible to every business for a far more modest fee. Auto-attendants will help reroute callers to the right department and redirect calls to mobile devices where necessary.
Bringing call center functionality to multisite businesses
Remember the days when larger businesses often had dozens of different phone numbers? Typically, each branch and department would have its own phone number, which was hardly convenient for people wanting to call in with a quick query. Many businesses would overcome this inconvenience by setting up a dedicated call center.
While setting up a fully fledged call center is hardly an affordable option for a small business, VoIP delivers the same level of functionality in a virtual environment where employees can take calls no matter where they are.
Getting your business ready for the mobile workforce
With around half of US employees now working outside the office at least two days every week, workforce mobility isn’t just a trend, but the new norm. But if their jobs involve answering the phone on the office desk, that’s not going to happen with regular home phones. Sure, employees can use their mobile phones, but that gets expensive fast, especially if you do business abroad.
VoIP, on the other hand, is limitlessly scalable and adaptable. To make or receive calls, all an employee needs is an internet-connected device equipped with a headset. The software itself typically resides in the cloud too, so they shouldn’t even need company-issued equipment.
Is there still a case for using a landline?
With all the talk about the benefits of VoIP over landline technology, it’s easy to assume that the deskphone no longer has any place in the modern office. However, it might not be time to cut the wire just yet. Landlines still offer some irreplaceable advantages, the most important being that they work during a power outage. There’s still no more reliable way to communicate during an emergency, and it helps emergency responders find you quickly. Calls from cell phones or VoIP are much harder to trace.
So while it’s definitely a good idea to use VoIP for everyday business operations, you probably should keep a single landline just in case.
Solution Partner helps companies in Arizona improve communications with enterprise-grade voice systems that scale with your needs. Call us today to schedule your free consultation.