If there’s one thing the stresses and isolation of 2020 taught us, it was the importance of staying in touch. As organisations adjusted and reinvented their service delivery models, those putting effort into strong communication found it paid off. With the situation easing, and the efforts of vaccine researchers bearing fruit, some of the focus has diverted to the tools we use to communicate.
In spite of the many options available, picking up the phone remains one of the best and most personal ways to catch up with colleagues, customers, and associates. With plenty of other options, a phone call says you care. Inevitably, this must be balanced by cost, and traditionally most organisations count their phone bill as one of their biggest expenses.
Enter voice over IP (VOIP). If you haven’t looked at the VOIP options that have emerged in the last couple of years, you are in for a pleasant surprise. Here are Area9’s top three advantages to updating to a modern VOIP system:
Keeping costs down will unsurprisingly be a priority during COVID recovery. While VOIP technology keeps getting better, the price has also become more and more attractive. Businesses we support have achieved up to 80% per year, a very handy saving. Annual licence prices are low, starting at $1.50 per user, per month, with mobile and home-based employees calling free into the office. Inter-office calls use inexpensive SIP Trunk pricing, making a big difference to those organisations with many sites.
2. New-generation features
Leading vendor 3CX has put a lot of thought and research into the way that today’s workforce interacts, and poured the resulting insight into a feature-rich phone solution. Their VOIP solution includes iOS and Android apps, as well as web and Windows clients, so that no matter how mobile the employee, or which devices they prefer to use, they get a consistently good experience.
The advanced customer service functions have come a long way, too. Businesses can easily set up call queues and interactive voice response (IVR), so that customer calls are managed more efficiently. You can integrate with leading CRM apps, so that your customers don’t have to keep explaining the same information to different people. That alone will improve the experience of both customers and staff beyond recognition. There are also agent training tools, so that supervisors can listen in, or take over, as needed.
These features would typically come at a significant premium when paying for a traditional PBX, but organisations using VOIP no longer face the tough cost/feature trade off.
The installation, maintenance and support of traditional PBX systems is complex, which tends to mean it is also going to be costly. Most office managers have a few horror stories about waiting for in-demand support technicians, or struggling with tricky processes.
VOIP solutions like 3CX give you a choice of on-premise or cloud hosted, but either way you get to enjoy very simple, intuitive management at a click. You can set rules, add users, and even set up advanced call centre features, without breaking a sweat. While we always help our customers to get started, and are always available to lend support, there are no specialist qualifications needed. Escaping the dependence on specialist engineering support reduces costs still further, and you can even opt to have your VOIP hosted for the ultimate in simplicity.
With all these advantages, it is hard to justify the extra cost and effort of old-style phone solutions. VOIP technology has matured to the point that it is mainstream – even the likes of Britain’s NHS and American Express have made the switch – so what are you waiting for? Talk to us today about how your business can switch high costs for feature-rich communications.