The Basics of
how we save money with VoIP
The basics of using an internet phone line is the fact that it’s an IP phone service and can come in on your internet access. As such you then can fire the phone company so to speak and drop those expensive phone lines.
This makes your overall cost less because you have “converged” the voice and data on one pipe. To me, in the strictest sense if we’re talking about only one internet phone line, then it would be a residential service (Use this “VoIP best rates” finder to find the best plans for your personal or SOHO business needs.
Now in a business application, a single IP phone service line would be a single SIP Trunk. However, that said, we also get internet phone lines in a general sense from many other VoIP phone services (most of which are just some sort of SIP anyway), just browse this website here, and check it all out!
A good definition of SIP trunking is here.
Additionally, we get a few extras with an internet phone line because internet phone services generally have lots of cool features we may not have had before. Examples would be voicemail to e-mail, so we can listen or even read our voice-mails from our e-mail program.
This saves time (and money) because then we can handle some of the simpler things when we’re not at our desk, so we don’t have so much to catch up on when we get back to the office.
We can also forward an e-mail with voicemail attached to it easily to another person for action or follow-up.
Other great money-saving features
How about cool stuff like “find me – follow me” aka call twinning? This provides for our calls to ring at our desk phone, then “follow us” if we’re not available there to our cell phone, home phone or whatever to make sure our party gets a hold of our first time out. Many services can even make all these lines ring at the same time, allowing us to pick up whichever one is most convenient to connect the call.
An all-time favorite is an internet phone line offering that allows you to transfer a call that you’re CURRENTLY ON to another handset!
Ever started a call in your car on your cell phone, and before you’re done talking you find yourself at your desk back at the office? Well with this feature you can actually hit a couple of keystrokes on your cell phone and seamlessly transfer the call to your desk phone to continue the conversation! Pretty cool huh?
So IP phone service provides a vastly superior way to allow us and our employees to be efficient and make sure all calls are handled quickly and without having to call people back. This saves huge amounts of time and money.
Must-have features for
internet phone line purchases
If you buy VoIP phone lines for business use, make sure the offering has a voicemail box for each employee, allowing them to check their voicemail from any web browser, get voicemail to e-mail as described above (maybe to their PDA?) or call in as we’re all used to.
Also, make sure you have an option for an auto attendant whereby inbound callers will have choices of who to connect with by pressing buttons on their telephone.
Direct Inward Dialing
Other efficient features surround Direct Inward Dialing or DID. This allows each person in the organization to have their own ten-digit phone number, so those callers who know who they want can dial direct and don’t have to go through the front desk, or auto attendant. This greatly enhances your customer service experience and saves money by assuring the best use of time for all concerned.
With some internet phone line services, you can actually have a DID that rings a group of people, for say a customer service or order desk. Guess what; with hosted PBX (a type of IP phone lines) these people don’t even have to be at the same place! That’s right, you could have a bunch of phones ringing, and they could all be in different locations.
An internet phone line with VoIP phone services also provides great options for disaster recovery. Because you can use a hosted PBX or Virtual Office Phone System for your VoIP phone service, calls can be made or received from literally any handset or even your PC when traveling. As such, there is no business phone system PBX equipment at your office to break, get stolen or whatever.
In this case, employees can also work from home in a snowstorm, or from any phone or computer anywhere in the world (BYOD). This saves both time, money and enhances customer service by providing for a high availability customer experience.
Last but not least is our ability with an internet phone line to merge together all the phone numbers at multiple offices and bring them into one place. Regional banks, insurance agencies, and towing companies do this a lot. This allows us to drop that expensive phone service at these locations too, and start to control how all calls are routed and handled, saving us additional money by increasing employee efficiency and enhancing our customer service experience.
So all in all, even if you only need one internet phone line, you’re most likely going to be more efficient, save money and greater flexibility in how you answer your calls and get your voicemail.