Not all that long ago, more than 90% of US homes had landline phones. That number has dropped considerably in just a few short years. Today, less than 40% of American households are still paying for legacy phone services.
With the number of people embracing numerous forms of digital communication, it appears that traditional landline phones are losing their relevance. Although virtual services have yet to fully replace the increasingly outdated technology, some people consider landlines an unnecessary expense.
Many small business owners seem to agree. They’re also cutting ties with their local telephone service providers in favor of virtual landline phones. Why? To help manage overhead costs and take advantage of features not offered by local service providers.
Whether your company has been in business for years or is just getting off the ground, a virtual landline could be just what you need to slash the high cost of communication and maximize productivity.
What Is a Virtual Business Landline?
When a call is made to a landline phone, a signal is routed through a switch and carried to the line designated to receive that transmission. Virtual phones are not tied to specific hardware. Instead, your business phone system uses voice over internet protocol (VoIP), a technology that allows you to make and receive calls over a broadband internet connection.
Your analog voice signal is converted to a digital data packet, transmitted over the internet, and decoded once it reaches its destination. All you need to get started is a service provider and a low-cost VoIP adaptor if you want to continue using a legacy phone system. Since the digital service is maintained on the cloud, virtual business phones are also cellphone, laptop, and PC compatible.
How Do Virtual and Legacy Business Landlines Compare?
A legacy business phone system requires a complex network of physical wires that connect a private branch exchange (PBX) with a public switched telephone network (PSTN). A typical circuit has 24 lines, a configuration with the capacity to support 23 calls and one data channel simultaneously.
Adding more lines to an existing PBX requires the installation of a second circuit. But replacing aging hardware is expensive, the service is limited, and many business owners end up paying for additional lines they don’t use, services they don’t need, and the high cost of maintenance, upgrades, and repairs.
In contrast, virtual phone systems don’t require professional installation or expensive repairs. When a company’s phone system is digital, business owners also don’t have to waste time waiting for a service technician to resolve connectivity issues, absorb the cost of making company-wide changes to their phone system, or pay a monthly fee for lines that aren’t needed.
Instead, a user-friendly platform allows subscribers to adjust the number of lines in use as their business needs evolve. The cost of software upgrades and infrastructure maintenance is the responsibility of the provider, not the business.
How Could a Virtual Landline Number Benefit My Business?
Every business needs a reliable phone system. But despite the many technological advances in digital communication and virtual phone services, some decision-makers feel they “need” a wired system to keep communication running efficiently. They’re hesitant to switch to VoIP technology because of concerns about connectivity or call quality.
While those concerns may have been valid when VoIP was transmitted over a dial-up connection, modern VoIP systems take advantage of high-speed broadband internet and advanced, high-definition codecs. With more than 30% of companies already relying on VoIP phone systems, maybe it’s time to consider some of the many ways a virtual landline could benefit your business.
A Dramatic Decrease in Communication Costs
Consider for a moment how much you’re currently paying for communication services — the total cost. If you have a traditional business system, chances are you’re charged for every phone line assigned to your business, plus additional fees to enable long-distance services and the ability to make international calls.
In addition to paying extra to enable those features, you may also pay hefty charges to make long-distance and international calls. Then add the fees you might be paying for video collaboration, text messaging, and any additional features enabled on your system like call waiting, call forwarding, or voice messaging.
Now imagine how much more profitable your business could be if you were paying a significantly lower price per user for a service that consolidates your communication services on a single, user-friendly platform.
Linking Your Business Phone Number to Any Device
You can’t make or receive calls on a legacy phone system if you’re not in the office, but virtual landlines have far fewer limitations. When you invest in a virtual landline number, you can make and receive calls on nearly any device once you’re logged into the system.
This feature alone can be a great benefit for business owners often required to step out of the office, as well as companies with a remote or hybrid workforce. The ability to enable any device also ensures that anyone representing your business appears to be calling from a central location.
Not only is eliminating the use of personal phone numbers for business calls more professional (and private), but you might also notice an impressive decline in the number of calls that go through unanswered. Many cell phone users won’t answer calls from numbers they don’t recognize.
Features That Enhance Your Brand Image
With the right service provider, a virtual business landline can make even a small, struggling start-up appear well-established. For example, incoming calls can be forwarded to a menu and directed to various extensions or even tagged.
Tagging gives the impression of having a larger staff because an audio alert notifies the call recipient of the “department” selected by the caller so the call can be addressed by a member of the “sales” or “customer service” team, even when no actual department exists.
Your business could also benefit from the ability to set up local phone numbers, toll-free numbers, an auto attendant, and hold music. Some platforms include options that can also help enhance productivity, including video conferencing, business SMS, fax from phone services, and dial-by-name directories.
Could Your Small to Mid-Size Business Benefit from a Virtual Phone Landline Number?
With the right service provider, a virtual business landline gives you the features of an enterprise phone system, plus numerous applications that could help you and your team collaborate more efficiently, increase overall productivity, and provide exceptional customer service.
With the right platform, you’ll manage the entire system from a convenient, user-friendly application that can be accessed from just about any digital device, all for a lot less than you’ll pay for a legacy system. Start-up costs are minimal, and you only pay for the services you need.
If your smartphone is also your work phone, there are even more reasons to consider taking the plunge. With a virtual landline number, you’ll instantly boost your reputation as an established business professional while drawing a much-needed line between personal and professional communication.
You can also customize a local or toll-free number for your business or request a vanity number. Although many companies offer virtual landline numbers, not all providers are the same. The best platforms offer unparalleled 24/7 customer support, the option of month-to-month service, a no-risk guarantee, and volume discounts.
Modernize Your Business with a Virtual Landline Number
Whether you’re looking for a cost-effective upgrade to help modernize your legacy phone system or a way to connect multiple mobile devices to a central number, visit Phone.com today to get started.