Can I Get a Business Number for Free?Posted on: 2019-01-22 | Categories: VoIP VoIP Phones
Running a successful business in today’s hyper-connected world is no easy task. One vital ingredient is fast and constant communication with customers. With access to instant information at their fingertips, customers’ expectations are changing. Your clients expect you to respond instantly, whenever and wherever they need.
These expectations mean your business always has to be connected. But how can your staff be responsive when they’re still tied to their desk, thanks to landlines? Free your organization with the latest VoIP phone. Say goodbye to copper wires and hello to a whole new world of business features!
What Is VoIP Phone Service?
Not many people understand VoIP technology, but most have used it in one form or the other. Think of the last time you used a service like Skype or FaceTime. They are actually VoIP services! VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and it’s used for both consumer and business purposes.
Digital VoIP services are replacing analog Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) lines across the world. VoIP services have come a long way since the first appearance. Providers have improved on quality and reliability. Innovation is fast-paced in this industry, which in turn means new tools for customers. When was the last time your phone company launched a brand-new feature to help your business? With VoIP, it happens quite regularly.
How VoIP Phone Service Works
VoIP serves the same purpose as the PSTN – it allows you to make and receive phone calls. But the key difference is in how the signal is sent. When you make a call over the PSTN, it ties up all the circuits between you and the destination. This is why long-distance calls are so expensive.
On the other hand, VoIP converts your voice signal into digital data packets and sends them over the Internet. A data packet containing voice is technically no different than a data packet with text or pictures. These packets travel to their destination which could be a computer, a VoIP phone or even a standard phone with an adapter. The data packets are converted back into voice signals for the other person.
If the destination is an analog landline, the digital packets are transformed into a standard analog signal. So, a VoIP call may travel over the PSTN for a little while. You only pay for that small portion which is why long-distance VoIP calls are extremely inexpensive. If it doesn’t touch the copper network at all, the call may very well be free!
Given the cost savings alone, it’s not hard to see why VoIP is the better choice for businesses of any size. But VoIP gives you so much more. A small business can use VoIP to present a professional image and level the playing field with bigger competitors. A large corporation can use VoIP phones to leverage economies of scale and improve productivity.
VoIP Benefits for Business
VoIP has something for everyone. No matter which industry you operate in or what type of product/service you provide, VoIP has a helpful feature for your business. It might seem like a big change and it does need some investment in terms of time, effort, and money. But you should see results almost immediately and the long-term benefits are immense! Switching to VoIP may be the best decision you make for your company to date.
Virtual Phone Numbers
A virtual number is like a placeholder. Incoming calls to that number are routed to your actual phone number. Virtual numbers can have any local area code, even if you don’t have a physical presence in that market. Now, why would you want something like that? Virtual numbers are quite handy if you:
- Want to give your customers a local number to call. The customer pays for a local call, even if your office is in another country.
- Want to run multiple marketing campaigns simultaneously. Assign a virtual number to each campaign and easily measure the effectiveness as calls come in.
- Wish to present a professional image. Get a different virtual number for different departments or services and spend less time routing incoming calls.
- Want employees to use both business and personal numbers on the same device. They can keep everything separate and yet, stay in touch with customers at all times.
Conference calls are not exactly new. You could initiate a conference call even with a regular business class phone service. But the VoIP experience is different. You can start a conference call with two people and add participants at any time. Convert the voice-only call into a video conference with a single click. You can also present a seminar or allow everyone to participate.
In addition, participants can join in from anywhere and using any device. Users can join from a laptop, a VoIP phone, or even a smartphone. Conference calls are incredibly useful if your company has:
- Teams in different countries or regions.
- Telecommuting workers or employees stationed at client locations
- External consultants like attorneys, tax experts, accountants, suppliers etc.
VoIP phone systems allow you to record calls, both incoming and outgoing. If you have a customer service or tech support department, call recording is a must. You can playback conversations for training, to offer feedback for agents or to analyze for process improvements.
Some companies even have legal obligations about recording calls. This is especially true for certain industries like finance or even government work. A VoIP phone can allow you to record all calls or enable the feature for select calls only.
Time-based routing does exactly what it says – a VoIP phone routes incoming calls based on time. Suppose a customer calls your office after business hours. Instead of sending them to voicemail, route the call to your branch which is still open in another time zone.
Time-based routing is a crucial tool if you have customer service teams spread across the globe. Your customers never have to get a busy signal anymore! Gear up to offer 24/7 support with this feature. Even a small business can benefit. Route incoming calls based on time to voicemail, your personal phone or to a different office.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of the VoIP phone is the fact that you don’t need any hardware. Apart from the phone that is. Why is this fact so useful? PBX systems can take up entire rooms or even a closet in your office. No hardware means nothing to buy, repair or maintain! You don’t even have to worry about securing the equipment from theft, accidents or natural disasters like fire. The VoIP vendor takes care of everything for you!
VoIP Phone Options
The hallmark of VoIP phone systems is that it give you choice. At every point, you have a choice of hardware, features, and even what price you pay. The same is true for the actual phones you use to make calls. Some companies need physical desk phones while others are happy to use softphone apps. The right option for your business depends on your employees and their specific needs.
A VoIP phone looks and works similar to phones you’re already familiar with. Except they can handle VoIP calls and all the features that come with it. Basic models can start from as low as $40 and the more advanced models can cost hundreds of dollars.
These phones have high-quality components like speakers and microphones for crystal clear audio. They also have programmable buttons quickly access common features. They are most suitable for an office environment where the user doesn’t travel much or as always at their desk.
A cordless phone is like a desk VoIP phone, except it works without wires. Some models come with built-in Bluetooth, so you can pair wireless headsets as well. They can be more expensive than their corded counterparts. But you can pick up a basic model for just a bit more than a regular VoIP phone.
VoIP adapters are a good option if you have good quality equipment that is still working. Why throw them away and rush to buy new phones? These adapters work as a bridge between the analog phone and the VoIP system. They are much more cost-effective than buying a new VoIP phone for everyone. Of course, you can always replace them later with IP phones.
Computers and Mobile Devices
You can also make and receive VoIP calls on computers and mobile devices. How? Most VoIP vendors offer softphone applications for various platforms. These are lightweight apps that can use your VoIP number for calls.
In fact, many employees prefer using soft phone apps on their mobile phones for VoIP calls. This way they are not tied to a desk and they do not have to carry a separate device for work calls. It is especially useful for salespeople, executives, and any other employee who travels frequently. If you need more details on your options, take a look at types of VoIP phones.
So, there you have it! Whether you run a small business or manage a large company, VoIPstudio can help you integrate this new technology cost-effectively. Check out our website for a deep dive into how VoIP can help your business! Call us today for a free demonstration.