We don’t know how it happened, or why, but the 90s are apparently back in style. But just because teenagers are sporting, ahem, mom jeans again (*sob*) doesn’t mean you and your employees have to work like it’s 1999.
Today’s business is mobile.
If there’s anything that defines business today it’s mobility. We’re all working on the go, taking calls, making calls, and writing emails. Even with the best grunge playlist on earth, there’s absolutely nothing nostalgic about being chained to your desk simply because your work phone is there.
But how can you and your employees cut the cord? It’s a four-letter acronym that may sound a little weird when you say it, but can have a huge impact on how your small business does business: VoIP.
What is VoIP phone service?
Pronounced “voyp,” VoIP stands for voice over internet protocol. (Some people call it a “virtual phone system.”) It sounds pretty technical but it essentially means phone service over the internet. And it’s great for business.
Whatever you call it, VoIP offers so much more than traditional business phone service, it’s actually kind of mind blowing. And, because it harnesses the power of the internet (and the cloud!), it’s way cheaper than traditional business phone systems, too.
So how can VoIP keep me (and my employees) on the move?
Yes! Let’s throw our scrunchies into our fanny packs and really get to the meat of the matter. Here’s how VoIP will forever destroy the ball and chain known as your desk phone.
Forward calls to your cell phone.
Or any phone for that matter. An added bonus: no need to panic about mixing up your personal and work calls. VoIP makes it easy to keep them separate. You can even route calls to different extensions depending on the time of day or day of the week.
Transfer calls like a boss.
Or like an employee. Either way, you can totally transfer calls while you’re on a call. Once the exclusive domain of desk phones, VoIP gives you the option to channel your inner receptionist and send calls where they need to go, when you’re on the go. (Speaking of call transfers, here are some tips on how to do it the right way.)
Stop calling your desk phone’s voicemail.
We all kind of hate voicemail. And calling your desk phone’s voicemail when you’re out and about can be pretty annoying. Some VoIP providers offer a very cool and convenient voicemail-to-email feature that automatically sends an audio file of your voicemail to your email. You can even take it one step further and stop listening to voicemails altogether by getting them transcribed.
Turn your smartphone into a fax machine.
Talk about being chained down to things. Fax machines are so 90s they might as well slip on (and pull up—way way up!) a pair of mom jeans, too. For whatever reason, faxes are still a thing. Until they go away for good, VoIP lets you send and receive faxes from your cell phone so you can say goodbye to your clunky old fax machine forever.
Record important calls.
Let’s get real. Sometimes you’re going to be driving when you’re taking a call, or on a conference call, and there’s absolutely no way you’re going to be able to take notes. That’s where the magic of call recording comes in. Record the call now, then take notes later. (Cue celebratory running man!)
Manage your entire system from an app.
Other cool features that would have never existed in the 90s…
From premium hold music to landing your dream phone number, VoIP is packed with futuristic features that would make Brenda and Brandon Walsh think you were, well, they’d think you were crazy. But they also never saw a cell phone.
In any case, if you’re tired of having separate office and mobile phone numbers listed on your email signature—and, if you’re sick of feeling even remotely like you need to be at your desk to communicate with colleagues, customers, and potential customers—it’s time to (literally) cut the cord and heed the siren call of VoIP.
Because while the 90s were fun, some things are better left in the past. (Except Friends reruns. And Full House. And Pearl Jam. And Doc Martens. Aw heck. Who are we kidding? We loved the 90s! We just don’t want to work like we have a 20-pound computer monitor on our desk. Or trip on—or get tangled in—a desk phone cord. That would be really embarrassing.)