One of the biggest impacts of the pandemic has been the attitude towards remote work. Lockdowns, quarantines, and social distancing measures have compelled millions of Americans to shift to working from home.
Many of these workers were left wondering if they were tethered to their places of work or they could work from home.
While it’s been pretty much smooth sailing for some, a significant challenge many people have had to deal with is their business phone system. Since people are no longer in offices to pick up calls from their desk phones, a lot of companies have resorted to using virtual phone systems.
What Is a Virtual Phone System
A virtual phone system (VoIP) is a cloud-based communications platform that allows users to make and receive phone calls from anywhere using their cell phone or laptop as long as they are connected to the internet. This means you can use a virtual phone system from anywhere, unlike traditional phone systems, which are typically centralized in one area.
Here is a list of more advantages that come with using a virtual phone system.
Benefits of a Virtual Phone System
1. VoIP Systems are Affordable
As the acronym suggests, a VoIP phone system uses Internet Protocol to make voice calls. Rather than use phone lines, all communication data is sent over an IP network as packets.
However, calling on a traditional phone line means that two callers use a line to communicate. There are only so many lines that can be installed on a network, and if the callers are within a long distance apart, the cost can be quite high.
Calls on the internet are able to circumvent this issue, making calls cheaper altogether.
2. Provides a Wide Array of Features
VoIP phone systems are immensely rich in features designed to help businesses grow. Some of the capabilities you can expect include call forwarding, voicemail, online portal, call diversion, and analytics for easy reporting.
For instance, you can forward voicemail messages to other members of your team at the click of a button.
3. They’re Easy to Setup and Use
Compared to traditional phone systems, a virtual phone system is very easy to configure. You don’t need to wait for an expert to run phone wires and drill holes, putting your business on hold in the process.
All you need is an internet connection, and you can get started right away.
You also don’t need expensive hardware during installation. While traditional phone systems need up-front hardware to set up, with a virtual phone system, you can use smartphones and computers you’re already using in the business.
4. More Direct Communication
With staff working remotely, keeping them within reach is important. With a virtual phone system, teleconferencing is much easier. All calls are placed on a data network rather than dedicated phone lines. This helps team members operating remotely easily participate in a conference call.
Yes, conference calls are possible on a traditional phone system, but you will have to pay extra to host multiple callers on a conference call.
And if a call goes unanswered, say from a client or another employee, it can be simply diverted to other devices such as a tablet, laptop, or mobile phone.
5. Pay Only for What You Need
You’ll find that many businesses often pay for solutions they don’t use to the fullest, leading to wastage of resources. This is not the case with virtual phone systems since VoIP systems allow users to pay for the features they need.
6. Keep Your Business Number
In many cases, you’ll find that business phone numbers on a landline network are fixed. This means should the business relocate offices, they risk losing the phone number they have built their brand around.
However, using a virtual phone system means you can also choose a number based in a different state or even abroad. A lot of customers prefer working with local businesses. As such, setting up a number that gives off the impression that you operate within a certain area could work tremendously in your favor.
Setting Up a Virtual Phone System
Now that you understand what a virtual phone system is and its potential benefits, let’s walk you through a step-by-step guide on how you can set up a virtual phone system.
1. Consider Your Needs
The market has various VoIP systems that cater to different user needs and wants. Not all of them are equal, with some designed to support smaller teams and others made for high traffic. For these reasons, make sure you factor in your budget and usage.
2. Check if Your Network Is Compatible
Since virtual phone systems are handled online, you must make sure your internet connection bandwidth is strong enough to make and receive clear call traffic. A poor connection may compromise the quality of your calls.
3. Scout for an Ideal VoIP Solutions Provider
Now you can start looking for providers with features best suited to your needs. The decision-making process can be a bit complex, so make sure you fully analyze the plans on offer and the pricing.
The Final Call
Any focused entrepreneur has a vision of success in growing their business. But as the business evolves, so should your phone communication system.
A virtual phone system can help you provide superior service to both your clients and employees. Employees can work from anywhere and won’t have to sit at the desk just waiting for a call. A VoIP network facilitates their flexibility and overall capacity to provide your clients with the best service possible.
Virtual phone systems have the same qualities as traditional landlines that are admired so much, like clear call quality and secure lines. They combine these exact qualities with the flexibility of modern internet applications to provide users with a host of benefits, as outlined above.
With so much potential at an affordable price, switching to a professional VoIP system could be just what you need to take your business to the next level.