The main benefits of hosted VoIP for businesses have been documented many times, but there are also some hidden benefits that might not at first be apparent
You won’t have to go too far to find out about the main benefits of hosted VoIP services for business. In summary they are:
- Flexibility & mobility – you can take VoIP services anywhere you go, so staff can work anywhere – at another location or at home for example – and still be on the same number. You can even take the whole business to another location
- Scalability – you can add or remove users any time, which is great for project work or when you set up temporary sites.
- Capability – business VoIP services offer a rich array of advanced features – and you can choose which ones you want to use and pay for as well.
- Economy – hosted voice services are very cost-effective and will reduce your overall telephony spend significantly, while also making even better use of your broadband connection.
But there are many other benefits as well – and they are not always immediately apparent. Most of these you will get simply from continued use of services, others you need to know about, but once you do, you may find that they have a very strong and lasting impact.
- Be anywhere and everywhere – with hosted VoIP services, your business telephone number becomes virtual; you could make and receive calls from anywhere you have an internet connection. This means you could have any number you like. You can have a central number to which people dial and divert calls to any location; or you could have different ‘local’ numbers that people can dial, which all divert to a central call centre.
- Reduced international call costs – on most VoIP services, the long-distance and overseas calls you make are much lower cost. If you have international offices or staff, setting them up on the hosted VoIP will effectively make all calls to and from them free from any additional cost.
- Information you can act on – with VoIP services you will be able to see exactly how much time you are spending on calls with each customer or on call-outs to prospects and other activities. This will allow you to make sure you are making the best possible use of your resources.
- Integrate for efficiency – a hosted VoIP service is, by definition, a digital service, so it can be linked to your CRM or other internal systems to provide instant on-screen information to customer-facing staff and enhanced efficiency and accuracy through auto-dialling.
- Better flexi-working – staff can easily work at home and be on their usual number – and you will have full visibility of their activity while they are logged-on. This may mean you can allow them to work at home more often.
- Open, accountable, responsible – with the added visibility both you and your staff have of call patterns and time spend on calls, both the business and employees become more open, accountable and can take more responsibility for ensuring they spend time on the right activities with the right customers.
- Improved availability and responsiveness – staff can log-on anywhere and easy forwarding capabilities means they can always be reached on their usual number, so customers and colleagues will get a faster response, without having to try contacts on different numbers.
- More space – with staff able to work anywhere, they may not need a fixed desk in the office. You can introduce hot-desk spaces, especially if more people work at home more often. This will allow you to make better use of office space.
- Enhanced morale – being able to make better use of their time will help staff to achieve more in a shorter time, which not only means higher productivity but also improved staff morale. Having access to the latest technology has a positive motivating effect as well.
- A better reputation – the business world today is very technology-oriented and if you are seen to be using the latest solutions and techniques, that will have a positive effect on your reputation.
- Ready to grow – the improved scalability that hosted VoIP gives you, means you can provide voice lines to new staff or teams right away, so it means you can grow sales, contact centre and project teams almost overnight.
- Happier customers – the improved access, responsiveness and business efficiency will have a positive impact on customer satisfaction numbers.
While you may not see all these benefits immediately in a very tangible way, they will have an effect over time and the overall impact on your business will be considerable. The more you can embrace these benefits, the most likely it is that you will see a cumulative effect as staff, management and customers all gain in small by significant ways from the impact that hosted VoIP services can have right across the organisation.