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Technology continues to advance at a rapid pace to make our lives easier. Communication technology has evolved into an arena where people can communicate over the Internet without a telephone.
What is VoIP?
An alternative to using a phone to connect with others is called VoIP, which stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. Businesses use it to:
- Enhance communications between employees and with customers
- Reduce costs
- Improve the quality and efficiency of interactions
Up until recently, Skype was the leader in providing the ability to talk with or without video over the Internet.
Skype allows people to talk to, share instant messages with, and video chat with anyone worldwide for free. But free Skype is very limited compared to many VoIP offerings.
Communication via phone utilizes telephone lines. Whereas, VoIP systems use the Internet Protocol. The costs associated with VoIP are significantly less than with conventional telephones.
International calls are also much less expensive. VoIP phone numbers, also known as virtual numbers, are not connected to a landline.
Therefore, if you want to call someone in another country, there may not be any additional cost.
Mobility and Portability
For those who still have landlines in their homes, if they move, it is a hassle to take their phone number with them.
With VoIP, your virtual phone number works from anywhere you can get an Internet connection on any device you own.
For example, if you have your phone VoIP service with Ooma, you can receive and make calls from multiple devices.
You can also transfer calls to business associates making communication easier on your customers.
No Physical Boundaries
It doesn’t matter where you live or where you travel, because VoIP is virtual. You are not limited by geographical location.
For instance, if you live in France, you can obtain a United States virtual phone number. You’re your U.S.-based clients, friends, or relatives phone you; they only pay domestic rather than international rates.
Businesses could have a local phone number in every major city they serve.
Have you ever played phone tag with a customer or a family member? For a company, this game can lead to customer frustration which is not good for your business.
Using VoIP, phone numbers can be programmed to ring on several different devices before going to voicemail.
VoIP is not only for phone calls. It can handle many different forms of communication including web conferencing, faxing, and email.
Companies who utilize video conferencing via VoIP phones can communicate more effectively with clients and co-workers.
No matter where someone is located, they can participate in important meetings.
Timely business deals, agendas, and deadlines will not be affected with VoIP services when an employee is on vacation, out of town on business, or sick at home. Communication continues as needed to attain business goals.
Most people are busy and don’t have the time to wait around for an anticipated phone call be it personal or business. VoIP systems have tracking features such as:
- Call forwarding: Receive phone calls wherever you are
- Multi-ringing: Direct calls to multiple devices
- Call logs: See detailed reports of incoming, outgoing, and missed calls
By getting a VoIP number, you will receive calls to that number no matter where you are at any given time.
Are you concerned that you will lose the ability to make and receive calls if the Internet goes down? There is no need to be. You can forward your calls to a device that has a working Internet connection.
For example, if your office loses connection due to extreme weather or a local power outage, you can forward your phone to your laptop or mobile device in a different location where the Internet is working.
Integrations with Other Systems
The ability to integrate your VoIP system with other applications is beneficial for both business and personal usage. Some integrations include:
- Smart home devices
- Customer service software
- Social media
- Apple Watch
Improved Client Interactions
When a customer calls a business, they don’t want to be sent to voicemail. If you have a VoIP system, you can decide where it will ring and for how long.
For example, you can choose to have incoming calls ring two times at your desk in your office. If you are not there, the call can be forwarded to your mobile phone.
If you don’t have access to your cell, you can select to have the same call forwarded again to your laptop or home.
Calls can follow you around until they find where you are rather than having a client sent to voicemail. This results in better customer service and happier clients.
Technavio, a leading market research firm, reports that the global VoIP industry is expected to grow approximately 10% between 2017 and 2021.
The technological advances in this industry are likely to continue to grow and will be a significant player in the future of the communications industry.