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Is VoIP worth it for a small business?

VoIP is closely tied to cloud-based PBX. VoIP is a method for making calls using the internet. VoIP goes hand-in-hand with hosted PBX systems. While VoIP technology is used to make the calls, a hosted PBX server connects those calls to other telephone networks.

When considering the advantages and disadvantages of traditional PBX systems and VoIP, you should consider factors like:

  • Costs. The hardware and equipment costs for traditional PBX systems can add up quickly. VoIP systems, by contrast, are typically much more cost-effective to implement. This is partly because you may be able to use your existing equipment, like smartphones and desktop computers, with an internet connection.

  • Flexibility. With traditional PBX systems, you’re limited to landlines and desk phones, which can be challenging in today's working environment. An on-premises PBX server also requires additional equipment like routers and modems, electrical outlets and backup power supplies, cables and wires, etc. which adds to the ongoing maintenance. Because VoIP can seamlessly work with desk phones and desktop computers as well as smartphones, laptops, and tablets, it offers greater flexibility and accessibility for employees and customers alike.

  • Mobility. With a traditional PBX system, functionality is largely limited to the actual, physical office building — since that’s where the corresponding hardware is. Because VoIP systems aren’t tethered to on-premises equipment configurations, employees can use the system from anywhere, so long as an internet connection is available.

  • Versatility. A PBX system is effective for voice calling, but modern customers prefer — and expect — companies to be more accessible and accommodating. Even if your on-hold music is excellent, no one really wants to listen to it. They’d often prefer to use text, chat, email, or instant message capabilities for quicker service. VoIP also enables click-to-call functionality, which makes it easy for customers to find your company online and initiate almost immediate contact.

  • Features. PBX systems offer important, though basic, features like voicemail and caller ID. Adopting a VoIP system makes many additional features available, including:

- Call history and analytics

- Call holding and automatic callback

- Call recording

- Configurable interactive voice response (IVR) menus for inbound calls

- Customizable call routing and call forwarding

- Integrations with third-party software, such as a customer relationship management (CRM) platform

  • Scalability. The process for scaling traditional PBX generally requires a physical installation of any new lines or system, which makes upgrading them both a logistical and potentially costly challenge. With their services hosted in the cloud, VoIP systems are much better equipped to scale with your growing business.

Any conversation about the best investment for your business should include in-depth discussions of their advantages and disadvantages, costs and potential cost savings, and probably most important, the customer experience. You can’t neglect your customers’ preferences. By adopting a modern phone system, you can easily provide an accessible, consistent customer experience. You can accommodate their preferred communication channels and provide intelligent routing options to prevent the types of things customers hate, like:

  • Long wait times to speak with an agent

  • Needing to contact a company multiples time to fully resolve an issue

  • Being connected with the wrong person, or having no one available to help them

  • Being transferred multiple times, and having to repeat an issue over and over.

In summary, VoIP is definitely worth it for small, medium and big businesses.

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