Small Business VoIP
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is fast becoming a near necessity for small businesses. Many organizations like yours are adopting the technology, and reaping some fantastic rewards from it.
To find out if VoIP is right for you, why not reach out to a Vonage expert to discuss our solutions for small business
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All the VoIP Features Your Small Business Needs, Now and for the Future
Here are just some of the features that Vonage Business Communications can offer as a VoIP phone system for small business:
Intuitive Admin Portal
Our easy-to-use Admin Portal helps phone administrators manage their entire phone system from a simple app.
The Vonage Auto Attendant, also known as Virtual Receptionist, automatically routes callers to the right person depending on what they need — whether that’s someone to help with a customer support issue or a member of the sales team.
Make calls anywhere, any time with VBC. The Desktop App is compatible with popular operating systems and will work from internet-enabled devices. Download as an app for use on desktop or mobile devices, or even use VBC in a web browser.
With VBC, you can easily turn a two way call into a conference call by adding extra people. You can also host virtual conference calls with our Conference Bridge.
Call Queueing helps when you’re experiencing high call volumes. It gives callers the option to wait in line for a representative to become available, rather than hanging up and calling back later.
International Phone Number
An International Phone Number from Vonage makes it easier to connect with global markets.
Local Business Phone Number
Build trust with your customers with a local business area code. People are more likely to pick up a call from a recognizably local number than they are from a totally unknown code.
VBC allows you to use up to three different phone devices for the same VBC extension. For instance, you could use the same extension number for a desk phone at the office, a landline phone at home, or on your cell. It’s a great way to streamline your communications.
Our Receptionist Console add-on is great for companies that deal daily with high call volumes. Thanks to its user-friendly interface, it’s easier for a front-desk employee or receptionist to see how many people are waiting and better manage incoming calls.
Business SMS and MMS
With VBC, it’s not all about phone calls. You can also send texts and multimedia messages from your business phone number using any compatible device.
AI Virtual Assistant
The Vonage AI Virtual Assistant can boost customer engagement and augment your staff who answer the phone with an AI-enhanced digital workforce to support them.
How to Tell if Your Small Business Needs a VoIP System
VBC is the world's most flexible cloud communications application
Business VoIP vs. Legacy Systems
What are the advantages of VoIP over landlines? Here are some of the major points of difference:
Legacy Systems Rely on Copper Wires and Cannot Operate Via the Internet
The landline system works much the same way as it has for the last century: turning your voice into electrical signals, sending those signals down copper wires to an exchange, and converting them into audio at the recipient’s handset.
VoIP systems work by turning voices into digital signals, and sending those digital signals over the internet before converting them back to audio. While the process is similar, VoIP has a lot more flexibility and applications than legacy systems.
Legacy systems are relatively immobile. You can’t move your landline around. However, because VoIP systems work via the internet, you can access your VoIP system from anywhere with an internet connection. This makes VoIP a lot more flexible than a landline.
VoIP Systems Are Easier To Scale Than Legacy Systems
To scale a legacy system, you need to invest a lot of outlay. Things you may have to buy might include:
More landline extensions
Bigger premises (to fit in all the new extensions)
Landline hardware (Private Branch Exchange (PBX) equipment, for example)
This represents a big financial cost and a lot of disruption, both of which make legacy systems very hard to scale.
VoIP setups, on the other hand, are easy to scale. To expand your VoIP network, you usually just have to add new users to your VoIP account. This might involve going up a tier, depending on your payment plan, but this is very quick and easy to do. The financial outlay, time, and disruption is nothing compared to what it takes to scale a legacy system.
Legacy Systems Are Not Futureproof
One of the major issues with legacy phone systems is that they’re increasingly being phased out. American telecommunications companies are no longer obliged to provide copper landlines, and companies like AT&T are actively stripping out landlines to replace them with internet-carrying fiber.
It’s likely that the U.S. will soon follow the example of countries like Sweden and the UK, which are planning to switch the landline network off altogether.
In practical terms, this means that even the best landline system could become obsolete in the near future. VoIP, meanwhile, is likely to go from strength to strength.
VoIP Systems Can Be Used With a Variety of Devices
There aren’t many options when it comes to landline devices. You typically have to use a traditional handset (or variations on that theme).
With VoIP, you can use any device that can connect to the internet. Smartphones, tablets, desktop computers, and even smart watches can give you access to your VoIP network.
This isn’t just great for flexibility and mobility. It also gives you a lot more call options. For example, you can make a video call just as easily as an audio call via many VoIP systems. You can also access extra features like an admin panel and call monitoring tools during your calls.
Advantages of Switching to VoIP for Small Businesses
If you’re still not sure whether business VoIP solutions are useful or relevant for your business, here are some advantages of switching to a small business VoIP phone system:
Call Management Features
Call management features are essential if you’re expecting a high volume of calls.
They help you organize and streamline your calls. They’ll also improve customer experience by making sure that people aren’t waiting in frustrating phone queues for too long, and that they get through to the right person when their turn comes.
Look for things like:
- Call queueing capabilities
- Call monitoring
- Automatic call routing
- Call hold
- Call recording
Integrations With Your Tech Stack
A well-integrated communications system lets you gather and share data that can benefit your entire operation.
For example, by integrating your communications platform with your CRM, you can quickly pull up customer insights to help your customer support team in real-time.
Similarly, you can feed common queries and concerns from customers to your CRM and your marketing platforms. When cross-referenced with CRM and marketing data, this could provide valuable insights about your customers.
So, look for a VoIP provider that provides a system which integrates with the most important tools and platforms in your tech stack.
Vonage, for example, provides deep integrations with some of the most popular business solutions, like Salesforce, Microsoft Teams, Slack, and more. It’s also quick and easy to get those integrations set up. Often, all it requires is a single click from the App Center.
No matter how easy and intuitive your chosen VoIP platform may be, good support is still a must. You never know when you might come across an unexpected question or need to be talked through an unfamiliar feature.
Vonage offers a wide variety of services to give our customers the support they need in a way that works best for them. This includes a comprehensive knowledge hub of on-demand resources for self-service, 24/7 chatbot assistance for questions, a support phone number, the option to create cases within your VBC account, and a community forum that allows customers to share tips and ideas on using Vonage.
You can be sure to get a quick and efficient answer to any question that you might have about your Vonage VoIP solutions.
A virtual assistant is a real bonus for your customer services. Virtual assistants help customers get through to the right person and have their questions answered without having to wait in line to be routed to a human agent.
VBC’s Virtual Receptionist also offers managed live chat, and can make sure that customers feel heard and understood no matter when they call.
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Get All the Benefits of Small Business VoIP for Your Company
VoIP for small business can make a huge difference for your company. With Vonage Business Communications, you can gain access to enterprise-level features at small business prices. You can gain a huge amount of flexibility, and bring your customer service to brand new heights.
To learn more about how Vonage’s integrated communications solution can benefit your business, why not book a demo? We’ll be more than happy to talk you through what we offer and how it works.
FAQs About Small Business VoIP
The ease of switching to a VoIP setup will vary depending on your VoIP provider. With Vonage, you can reach out to an expert and to learn more about our straightforward setup and how to adopt our solutions. There are also different setup capabilities based on the size of your business. For example, signing up for a Vonage solution online is available for businesses for up to 99 lines in the U.S. Contact a Vonage expert today to learn more about how to switch to VoIP.
What might be more complicated is phasing out your original telephony system. It’s possible to keep your old phone numbers with the right provider, but you might find that there’s some confusion between the old landline and the new VoIP system before you make the full switch.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to come up with a transition strategy so everything goes as smoothly as possible.
Pricing plans for VoIP providers vary, but in general, small business VoIP systems are a lot more cost-effective than legacy systems. Many providers, including Vonage, offer a range of pricing plans, so you can find an option to suit your needs.
You can transfer your existing business number to Vonage when you make the switch. However, to do this you’ll have to contact your original provider. While Vonage does not charge to take on your old number, your existing provider might charge to make the transfer.
It’s possible to convert landline phone hardware to VoIP. You can use a VoIP adapter to connect your old landline handsets to the internet and make calls via VoIP. This is a great solution if you don’t want to waste your old hardware, but do want to reap the benefits of VoIP.
Enterprise VoIP systems tend to have more features than those for small businesses. For example, enterprise VoIP tiers will be set up for high call volumes, multi-line systems, sophisticated call management, and so on. Small business tiers have fewer of these features.
That being said, the gap between small business and enterprise tiers is easy to cross. If small businesses want to gain enterprise-level features for their telecommunications systems, this is relatively easy to do with a VoIP provider like Vonage, which offers a wide range of potential add-ons.