Complete Guide To Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

Complete Guide To Voice Over Internet Protocol

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a certified revolutionary technology that lets individuals place phone calls over an internet connection. With the rise of broadband connections, VoIP has turned into the definitive choice for phone service for consumers and businesses alike.

Individuals enjoy using VoIP phone service over the traditional phone lines. Why? It provides many more capabilities than analog phones. And it can do it all for less than half the cost of old-traditional phone lines.

Over the past few years, there has been a consistent increase in VoIP adoption rates by numerous businesses. That is because customer needs are increasing, and not only do about 62% of customers choose phone calls over different methods of communication, but they also expect you to be quick.

Here are a few VoIP statistics to demonstrate that VoIP is indeed transforming the way businesses communicate:

  • Nearly 61% of businesses are shifting from traditional phone lines to VoIP phone systems.
  • The top business operations improved by VoIP systems are the employment of phone calls (67%), management of threads or messages (63%), and operating remote work (57%).
  • Companies achieved a 20% rise in productivity with VoIP.

About 31% of organizations use VoIP systems in their day-to-day workflows.

What is VoIP?

Let us define this term and explain what exactly it means: 

Voice: Refers to the sound created as a speech, also known as communication from one receiver to another one. 

Over: A relational word. Indicate trajectory across. (Thus, ‘voice over’ signifies getting your voice across to the planned objective). 

Internet Protocol: Refers to IP address, referring to how computers and other devices communicate with each other on the web.

When put together: VoIP refers to different technologies that provide voice and video communication using an internet connection. It bypasses your requirement for a traditional landline method while making outgoing and receiving calls, and VoIP allows you to connect with a person over the internet.

Your organization can use VoIP software to make calls to reach your customers; even on their traditional phone lines, desk phones, computers, and mobile phones can be generally used to make calls with VoIP software.

How does VoIP work?

A VoIP system works by transforming your voice into a digital signal, once converted to a signal, then sending these signals as data packets over the internet. These data packets travel between your device software and VoIP provider.

It implies that as long as you have an active internet connection, you can use VoIP service. That bypasses the requirement for traditional telephone lines.

Benefits of VoIP

As with everything in life, there are always advantages and disadvantages.

But even though the advantages of VoIP phone systems far outweigh the disadvantages, knowing both the terrible and the great things can assist you to make a more informed decision.

Let us take a look at the benefits of VoIP-

 

Affordability

A significant benefit of VoIP over other phone communication systems is its affordability. VoIP presents loads of financial savings opportunities – from the basic set-up expenses to the indirect and repeating expenses, your business can appreciate better services at a much lower cost.

Research study has shown that organizations lowered their phone bills by more than 60% after using a VoIP provider service.

VoIP phone communication systems ordinarily are charged on a subscription basis, where all the features are covered in the monthly pricing plan selected. You get to appreciate a significant decrease in the expense of communicating or calling because VoIP has lower calling rates for international calls when compared to other phone communication systems.

Moreover, you do not have to invest in heavy hardware since VoIP is basically on the cloud – so your employees just need a stable internet connection to make using their computers, laptop, or mobile devices. 

Easy to Scale Up and Scale Down

Another great benefit of using VoIP phone communication is that it adjusts itself to the current demands of your business.

Adding a new phone to your VoIP communication system is effortless to purchase and implement. Simply click to purchase – virtual telephone numbers and start utilizing them.

VoIP communication systems will also allow you to access advanced call functionalities. As most VoIP systems are designed and intended to be scaled up, VoIP service providers have a different range of pricing plans that introduce more functionalities to support and deal with more complex business communication requirements when your business grows.

This transformation is designed to be a smooth and hassle-free upgrade that will allow your business to take advantage of additional possibilities to assist you – grow further.

Additionally, since you are doing away with desk phones and hardware, you do not have to worry about buying expensive hardware or a dedicated telephone line as you grow.

For example, assuming you are opening a new office branch or expanding business operations to other countries or states, you can directly upgrade your plan with your VoIP service provider to meet your diverse needs and likewise can scale down when the requirement is less. 

Advanced Call Functionalities

Using a VoIP communication method gives you access to several call functionalities that enhance the call experience for both your customer and you.

A few of these functionalities include call recording, call forwarding, lead routing, automatic cold calling, and much more. They are often already included in business VoIP phone system plans, even at the most basic level.

Moreover, these premium functionalities usually incur additional charges by telecom companies if you are using traditional landlines. 

Enhanced Flexibility

With VoIP, members of the business team no longer have to stay at the workplace to call or receive business calls since your VoIP numbers are not tethered to your workplace. By employing VoIP systems, your team will always be connected as long as they have an internet connection regardless of the place.

You can easily make and receive calls from the same phone number via your home desktop computer, tablet, or mobile phone device.

VoIP likewise makes remote working options feasible for your business workforce at no additional expense. Make calls from any region of the planet, stay connected on the go, and never miss that important call in the future, even if you are out of the workplace. 

Easy-to-Install

A VoIP communication system is easy to install since all you have to do is download an application or work with your VoIP system provider to port over your current business number.

Once you have purchased your VoIP system, you will work with your VoIP system provider to port over all your existing business contact numbers.

Assuming you have any physical phones, they should be linking up to your internet router utilizing an ethernet cable.

On the VoIP software, you will create accounts for your employees to access the software, check connectivity by doing test calls, and initiate your functionalities to set up call flows.

No hardware is needed if you use a VoIP communication system. 

Usability

Operating a VoIP system is easy since many VoIP platforms tend to be user-friendly.

Even if you are not proficient in computers, the expectation to learn and adapt is not steep, which will make learning and operating VoIP systems much easier and simpler.

Drawbacks of VoIP

 

Completely Dependence on Stable Internet

Despite having all the communication features and advanced call functionalities of a VoIP phone number, it will not work if you do not have internet.

The strength of your internet connection is also a critical factor that determines the audio quality of your calls. That implies poor internet connection can make your calls unclear or cause latency.

This can prompt reduced customer satisfaction or a breakdown in internal correspondence. Here is what you can do to diminish the possibilities of this occurrence:

  • Utilize a reliable internet provider
  • Utilize a pro-VoIP service provider
  • If you utilize shared internet, devote some network exclusively to VoIP.
  • Utilize devices dedicated to VoIP services like routers that emphasize their packet transmission to others in the network.
  • Utilize fail-over services to switch from your VoIP call to a cell phone number when the internet connection is slow or inaccessible.
Susceptible to Cyber Attacks

Security is of prime importance to internet communications. The possibility of cyberpunks listening, distorting, or forwarding your calls for malicious reasons should be taken seriously.

Scam calls, phishing attacks, and malware are among a few other security threats that have placed organizations in dire situations.

A small portion of providers has not yet implemented enhanced safety efforts to protect VoIP calls from getting breached during transmission.

Luckily, most VoIP vendors utilize high-level end-to-end encryption methodologies to ensure that your information is generally secure from intruders. Make certain to employ your due diligence and find the ideal VoIP service providers before committing. 

Not Suitable for Emergency Situations

All VoIP systems are not reasonable for emergency calls since internet connectivity is not reliable all the time as traditional landlines in emergency circumstances.

Particularly if you are using non-fixed VoIP telephone numbers (which we will cover more beneath), these numbers are not restricted to any geographic location and are not attached to any device.

As emergency responders might utilize the caller’s phone number to trace down their physical location to likely dispatch emergency services, this is impractical for non-fixed telephone numbers.

Types of VoIP Phone Numbers

 

Fixed VoIP

Fixed VoIP refers to a phone number connected to a physical location. While both non-fixed and fixed VoIP connect your phone through the internet, a fixed phone number needs a physical address, like a customary traditional phone line.

In a few cases, fixed VoIP is a more favored decision for some businesses as you have a local telephone number. This causes you to appear more credible to customers when you are doing business locally and making local calls.

Moreover, since fixed VoIP numbers are attached to a real address, calls can easily be traced, which would be helpful in emergencies.

These reasons ordinarily make fixed VoIP numbers safer than non-fixed VoIP numbers. 

Non-Fixed VoIP

Non-fixed VoIP numbers refer to telephone numbers utilized in VoIP phone systems that are not restricted to a geographic location.

Otherwise called virtual telephone numbers, non-fixed VoIP numbers are not attached to any device either – calls can be made through the internet utilizing computers, laptops, tablets, and mobiles.

Compare this against your traditional phone lines, which are location explicit and device-specific. Calls made through traditional telcos are connected through a specific landline and a devoted telephone unit.

The special point about non-fixed VoIP phone numbers is how it is typically connected with a user account rather than an individual. This frees up organizations from the traditional thought that 1 phone number = 1 individual.

So, with non-fixed VoIP numbers – 1 virtual phone number = 1 reason.

For instance, a single non-fixed VoIP number can be used to direct all customer assistance calls to the customer service employees, where the call will then be forwarded to ring all the other members of the team until one individual picks it up.

How much does the VoIP service cost?

This is presumably the most asked query with regards to any software – after all, expenses are included, and you want to know the ROI.

Indeed, the answer is – it depends.

There is no particular pricing range for VoIP software since there are many factors that come into play while choosing software – two of the essential factors being the features you are intending to use and the number of individuals as users.

The final price likewise depends on the VoIP software that you are going for. The well-known software brands have the advantage to charge more while the modest organizations might charge less for similar features.

Thus, it is essential to do your research and consider all these factors while looking for VoIP software to put resources into.

Let us take a look at some of the most essential features you should watch for in VoIP software.

Essential Features to consider for a VoIP Software

 

Call Recording

The call recording feature allows you to capture phone calls with leads and prospects. You can listen in on the recordings to pick out significant information and key insights that you might have missed during the conversation.

Paying attention to multiple call recordings can likewise assist you to pick out patterns and trends that happen across all phone calls.

Moreover, you can utilize the call recording feature to monitor your callers’ performances and offer training opportunities for new employees.

Lead Routing

Utilizing a variety of predefined rules, lead routing, or directing assists to decide which representative each lead should be assigned to. Let us consider every conversation to be dealt with by the most qualified representative.

Some lead routing principles include:

  • Availability of Representatives
  • Location of Caller
  • Business Process/Department

Call Forwarding

Call forwarding is the method of redirecting incoming calls from one number to other numbers or other devices. By configuring call forwarding rules and types, you will permit callers to still be attendant by someone else even if your call tele-agents cannot be reached.

For example, a call made by your U.S. client to your – U.S. phone number can be answered in your London-based office.

Integration Choices

Your VoIP service provider must have the option to integrate with tools that assist automate the sales processes and diminish your employee workload. Integrating with software such as – CRM, email campaigning software, and even calendars will save you a ton of time completing manual work.

With more leisure time on your hands, you can put your efforts into being more productive and shortening the deal cycle.

Virtual Phone Numbers

Virtual telephone numbers are cloud-based numbers that permit organizations to reach without having a traditional phone line.

Your VoIP service provider must offer the option to buy additional telephone numbers to scale up your business. It would be an advantage if they offer various types of virtual phone numbers, like vanity or toll-free phone numbers.

Cloud phone service providers include powerful features not found with standard phone line service. Auto attendants, call recording, custom caller ID, voicemail converted to email, and so much more. Also, you can take calls and work from anywhere.

Analytics and Reporting

Advanced analytics and reporting assist organizations keep track of significant call metrics like the number of calls and duration of the calls.

Such data can give you better insights into the types of calls coming in and how you can enhance your marketing strategies to drive lead prospects to call you.

By having such valuable data available at your fingertips, you can better deal with your overarching call-driven lead generation efforts.

Tier List of VoIP Software Features

We have created a list of features according to what we think of their diverse need – from the unquestionable requirements of VoIP software to the pleasant if you have the financial plan for it.

This tier list is valuable in helping you decide which features are mandatory, and which are good to have needs. Then compare with your budget and see if you can cut short those features in your VoIP software.

How to setup VoIP?

While it can be a difficult project to tackle, adopting VoIP software can also be a very satisfying process of understanding your business needs and empowering your existing team.

Here are the basic steps you require to take when configuring your VoIP software.

The planning and preparation phase

  1. Setting a spending plan:The initial thing you must do is to determine your spending plan for your VoIP software. Your potential budget will set up the boundaries and guide your considerations.
  2. Determining the number of users:How many individuals in your team will use it now? How many more individuals do you foresee utilizing it in the future? If you only require a few virtual phone numbers on your VoIP, you may need to look for VoIP system suppliers that support multi-user access to a single phone number.
  3. Identifying your phone system needs:Consider your diverse business needs, workflow needs, call handling, and legal wants to help you narrow down and detect your phone system needs.
  4. Designing your call flow:Your call flows may differentiate between multiple departments. Involve your team and work with their inputs.
  5. Differentiating features you need and want:List the features you want out of your VoIP software to support those needs. As you discover new functionalities that VoIP software provides over traditional phones, carefully assess them based on your diverse business’ communication needs.
  6. Checking your network bandwidth:Check if your existing ISP provider for both home or office set-ups can support a smooth and quick calling experience.
  7. Equipment needs:Most VoIP software is like softphones, but if your existing team still requires a traditional phone line or prefers to utilize a traditional deskbound phone, then you will need to look into purchasing phone devices and hardware that can integrate easily with your VoIP software.
  8. Explore VoIP software providers: Search for a VoIP supplier that meets all of your necessities in terms of functionalities, business objectives, and spending plan. Always look for VoIP software suppliers that offer a free demo, free trial, and good customer support.

Installation Phase

VoIP software depends on the provider you are buying.

  1. Port over your number: Your new VoIP system provider should assist with porting across your existing business numbers. Assign your VoIP provider the details of your traditional phone numbers.
  2. Add users: Create new user accounts for your team members to access the software.
  3. Connect physical phones: If you have purchased VoIP-compatible phones, then it should be a simple link-up with your internet router through an Ethernet cable. The VoIP system must do the rest of the work for you in identifying and connecting to the phones.
  4. Verify connectivity: Give your software a trial run to check if your internet network sufficiently supports your new VoIP system. Run through your system’s network security settings, set up your system firewall, and test the working of your VoIP software.

Configuring post-set-up Phase

Now that you have verified that your chosen VoIP software is working, it is time to complete your installation and start using it in day-to-day business operations.

  1. Set up call flows: Configure your call flows according to the designed pattern from your initial preparation phase.
  2. Activate features: Configure your VoIP features to prepare your team to use them in business operations.

Do more with VoIP

We hope that we have given you valuable insight into – what VoIP is and what it can do for your business to grow.

When it comes to utilizing the VoIP software system, we cannot stress enough the huge benefits and improvements it brings to your significant business operations.

VoIP software is all relatively affordable, and the advantages you reap from this outstanding software far outweigh the upfront costs.

 

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