VoIP comes in many shapes and forms. As over 70% of all mobile communication (and almost 90% of U.S smartphones) flows over WiFi, we’re currently looking at the rise of VoWiFi and VoLTE, which – explained in layman terms – are wireless versions of the now established Internet telephony. I’ve created a list of 23 VoIP pros, not only to prove my point about VoIP being great, but also to refresh the arguments that are already out there. The mobile trend has simply made the list extend.
Graph borrowed from The What, Why, When and How of VoWiFi
With VoIP, you can bridge calls between different systems: you can still use/connect to a conventional phone, or any kind of device, which makes the service beneficial whether you’re calling from Europe or Asia. The low level of infrastructure makes VoIP globally adaptable and accepted.
Because of its universality and a constantly evolving hardware market, VoIP allows you to be more flexible in terms of availability and reach. Are you in front of the computer at your office? Call to/from the PC. In the sofa, watching the latest episode of GoT? Call/to from your tablet. Out for a run? Your smartphone. Ok, you get the point…
This argument is almost worn down, but it’s still the biggest incentive for developing and using VoIP. Compared to using PSTN, no matter how frequently you call, your phone bills will always be somewhere between cheap and free.
And the same principle applies to distance. Because VoIP systems are based on adaptive routing (data travels between routers all over the world), all calls are charged as domestic. This way, you can make unlimited long-distance calls without ending up paying a fortune for it. Again, globally adaptable.
As for businesses, VoIP is a low initial investment, and the costs for service, maintenance and upgrades are lower. Plus, you can also save loads by not having to pay for travels and pricey hotels when networking with clients… How?
VoIP doesn’t only provide cheap phone calls. It also comes with a great list of additional features (which will be explained separately, a bit further down) that enables business teams to work virtually instead of always having to be geographically co-located. Anything you would do on a regular business meeting can be done through VoIP: negotiating face-to-face, pitching and presenting, signing contracts, or showing each other pictures of your families.
Even though PSTN is still in the lead, VoIP reliability is getting better. Due to the Internet, VoIP can handle heavy call volumes without compromise, and resiliency as well as disaster recovery is better. During upgrades, the adaptive routing makes for minimal downtime and the ability to fall back if an upgrade fails.
Because 2014 was the year of the hacker, the VoIP industry is finally getting serious about security. SRTP, TLS and better implementation approaches are some of the ways which’ll make VoIP systems more secure this year.
For many small businesses, scalability is a main concern. With VoIP, it’s easy to add more subscribers and integrate VoIP with other systems and devices. And there are many features by which you can adjust your communication system to your needs, as your business scales…
Don’t just interact through voice, like you’d do with the plain old telephone system – be able to see each other’s facial expressions and body languages by using video calls instead.
You know the “I just need to call X, and then I’ll call you back”-procedure? Do group calling and talk to several people during the same session, to avoid being the middleman!
Marry the two features face and group calling to get its full potential: with VoIP, you can connect a whole bunch of people with both audio and video at the same time. With tools for managing invitations and conversations (raised hands, mutes, etc.), the conversation gets less messy, and voilà, you have a full feathered business meeting arranged.
Another major perk when using VoIP in business, is that you can unify your communications system! Combine asynchronous communication with real-time, and have the same repo for email, IM, voice, video, etc. Allow you and your users to individually choose how to receive, process and send their messages, and avoid all downsides of having a dispersed communications system.
Speaking of which, if your business includes Customer Relationship Management (CRM), you can integrate it with your VoIP system, to streamline your customer interaction, for instance by directly linking the callers to their profiles.
Another type of seamlessness is casually sending over a file through the same system as the one you’re calling from, instead of navigating to various mail systems or file sharing services. This’ll undoubtedly make the interaction more efficient.
Being a cloud based solution, VoIP is easy to manage. Switch between providers or collect valuable data and track calling history, such as duration, originator, destination and cost from your VoIP provider.
Instead of having to take notes and type like a crazy person during a call, you can just record the whole conversation!
Don’t be that anonymous caller – leave a voicemail. The one you’re trying to reach can choose to transcript your message and receive it as an email, or reversed.
Manage your contacts better with Caller ID: Get rich data about your contacts, identify an unknown caller while the phone is ringing, or get information about the person behind a text or missed calls. In addition, you’ll be able to search for new contacts, make yourself invisible to certain people, or direct calls to certain actions, just as you do with your emails: some are urgent, others can wait, and spammers are just automatically discharged.
A Find me/Follow me (FMFM) functionality lets you create a route of interconnected devices which are configured to automatically run through before the caller reaches your invoice. By for instance calling your office, home and mobile during the same session, 1) the caller doesn’t have to try every number manually, and 2) your stack of “Hey, I tried to reach you at -” voicemails and emails decreases.
Your phone number doesn’t have to be assigned to your area code. Create a virtual phone number, so that your customers feel safe to answer when you’re calling to other countries.
Outsource your receptionist tasks by employing Ruby, or another virtual receptionist. They’ll save you labor costs, route your calls, and keep up the professionalism – even on a rainy Monday.
Integrate your analog door phone with your VoIP system, and you can let delivery guys or co-workers in (you know the ones that always forget their key), without having to run back and forth. Simply lock/unlock through your phone!
You know when you’re in a phone queue, and you hear the dial sound for the millionth time. Or when you’re stuck with the awful elevator music. Well, don’t let your customers go through this. Replace the dial sound with some nice tunes of your own choice, while their on hold.
In addition, you can play games, catch up, and hang out in a more intimate way than when just talking on the phone. VoIP is getting more social, both in terms of its expansion in features and its presence in social networks. As you probably already know, Google and Facebook has already taken the plunge. What it means? When VoIP gets social, it spreads, and when it spreads, it gets better.
In a modern take, VoIP is more than just voice. It can offer your business rich, powerful, enjoyable, secure, easy and cheap communication, for almost no effort. All you have to do is choose the right service provider or implement it in your own app. With at least 23 good arguments, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t take full advantage of the many great opportunities that comes with the modern way of raising your voice.
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