Like it or not, VoIP—voice over internet protocol—may soon be the only business phone choice. Connectivity is paramount in today’s business environment—especially as many workers in a variety of industries continue to work under unique circumstances. But connectivity doesn’t always come just in sensors and smartphones.
Take the wired desk telephone, a staple of offices and homes for generations, revered or reviled depending on the level of service, but always handy. Or maybe not. Landline providers are almost a thing of the past. Moreover, VoIP phone systems may already be the best method, especially for those companies trying to adjust to an increasingly home-based work environment.
Fortunately, there are many VoIP home phone and business telephone systems to choose from, often with digital features common with the cellphone and boasting affordable pricing. It is an increasingly competitive market, so do your homework before settling on a small-business VoIP system.
With business VoIP services, you no longer have a limited number of physical phone lines. Instead, you can use your system’s ability to access your VoIP number and place VoIP calls from your desktop phone as usual or from your cellphone using your business phone number. Either way, your customers will see your business phone number on their caller ID. You also can accept incoming calls from customers on either phone, even if your device, cellphone or perhaps a tablet, has a different, private phone number attached to it.
The impact of work-at-home in 2020 changed many company’s approach to dealing with the digital needs of remote workers. Company computer access, virtual private networks, cybersecurity concerns all surfaced with a vengeance. With at-home work now more common than ever before, VoIP phone systems can be more vital, too. With a VoIP small-business phone system, employees can easily place and receive business calls at home using the company’s business phone number.
Just as a smartphone can do more than a landline phone, a VoIP phone system for business can perform all the expected tasks of standard business phone and then some. They are a good choice for small businesses that need full functionality and, with careful research of the market, can provide added features such as:
- Web-based system administration
- Mobile management (iOS and Android)
- Automated attendant
- Hold music
- Call forwarding
- Caller ID
- Call blocking
- Call waiting
- Call transferring
- Fax to Text (as PDF)
How is VoIP viewed by businesses in 2021? According to small-business owners, it is a very critical component and getting more and more important all the time. That’s good news for the VoIP industry, which saw an 8.3% growth in 2020 amid stay-at-home orders and public health concerns. That growth should continue—studies project that the VoIP industry will earn a revenue of at least $55 billion in 2025. And, based on a survey conducted by Business.org, predictions of continued expansion are right on track: over 64% of surveyed small businesses added VoIP services during the pandemic and 85% of surveyed business owners revealed VoIP kept their teams more connected throughout 2020.
In addition, more small-business owners with one business location added VoIP in 2020 than businesses with multiple locations—61% of respondents had businesses with one location while 39% had businesses multiple locations.
Surveyed business owners say they value VoIP for more than its connectivity:
- 84% say VoIP saves business money
- 87% say VoIP improves their ability to offer better customer service
- 50% say they would choose VoIP to help increase worker productivity
But all is not coming up roses; survey respondents also have a few concerns about the future of VoIP:
- 54.5% say they are worried about AI (artificial intelligence) chatbots using VoIP
- 60.5% say they are worried about increased spam calls related to VoIP
Still, VoIP is an essential part of an ever-increasing number of businesses. And with global 5G availability, VoIP is positioned to become the next multi-billion-dollar industry.
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