A Simple Guide to Business Phone Systems and VoIP
Hands up if you take your business phone system for granted.
If that’s the case, it’s time to take a look at what’s new in the world of business phone systems, what’s available and why they still matter.
Why do businesses need phone systems?
Unless you’re a sole trader with clients happy to contact you on your mobile, all businesses need a landline to meet customers expectations.
Luckily, a business landline can help:
- A landline gives your business credibility.
- If you get a high call volume, you can use features such as call management and call hold music scripts to manage expectations and prevent the dreaded ‘no answer’.
- For businesses with a number of employees that clients may contact directly, voicemail is equally important so that customers know they have left a message with the correct person and that their enquiry will be dealt with quickly.
- Customers expect businesses not to be sharing handsets between employees but to enjoy instant call transfer when required.
- Customers are used to their calls being recorded, which is very useful for business training or complaint tracking.
- Most customers now expect businesses to have an up to date account of their relationship with them. Integration with a CRM system is now par for the course with many businesses and allows staff to see every client’s communication history with the company.
So how does your phone system stack up against that?
The Role of the Internet
Access to high speed broadband has made it possible for businesses to put more and more of their business operations and processes online.
If you’re familiar with Cloud Computing, then you’ll already know about the ways it can save your business time and money. A Cloud Telephony solution such as VoIP can do likewise.
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and is where calls are carried over the Internet and you don’t need a separate traditional phone line.
Advantages of Hosted VoIP
- Considerably cheaper set-up costs, with a much shorter implementation time vs. a traditional phone system
- Cheaper ongoing costs with no maintenance fees
- No costly upgrades as all system maintenance and platform upgrades are included in the per user, per month cost#
- Cheaper call rates, in most cases calls are inclusive of the per user, per month cost
- Flexibility to add new users as the business grows with out expensive install installs or phone system expansion
- Phone number flexibility, add direct dials and other geographical phone numbers to the system for free
- Complete flexibility if you move premises, no need to change phone numbers or routing plans, simply plug in your Hosted VoIP handset at your new office and it will continue to work
- Many advanced features to allow for future growth, like mobile applications, desktop integration and call recording
- No hardware to maintain/move/upgrade, as Abica will provide free replacements for faulty handsets for the lifetime of our agreement
- All standard phone system features, hunt groups, call transfers, hold (with music), call waiting, call forwarding and much more
- Use call recording for audit trails, training and compliance
- Improve collaboration with instant group calls
- Twin your mobile number, for a complete unified communication solution
- Call Parking, allows you park the call and collect it on a different handset if you have to move desks during your call
- Use Presence or Pre-set Availability Profiles to manage incoming calls
- Scale up and down based on the requirements of your business
- Use Call History to view all calls made, received and missed
- Additional functionality including hot desking, desktop integration and inclusive call recording
- Inclusive free calls to all UK Landlines
Hosted or Not Hosted?
Hosted VoIP simply means that your call calling capabilities sit on your supplier servers and will require an Internet connection to access them. Your supplier will handle all software updates and maintenance so that your organisation can simply take it for granted that it works with no system down periods.
On-Premise VoIP means that your business hosts the necessary hardware on an internal server and your IT department is responsible for the routine updates, software upgrades, regular maintenance, system backups and data monitoring.
For a more detailed review of your business phone system and whether VoIP is right for your business, give us a call on 0141 404 8008.