In the age of the internet, phone calls remain an integral part of business operations. While email and messaging are thriving, 60% of consumers still prefer over-the-phone communication. No matter how small a business is, customers expect it to provide a professional phone call environment.
Startups and home-based businesses can have a hard time setting up a traditional phone system with its wires, connections, and hardware. Meanwhile, the costs of installation and maintenance aren’t low. That’s where VoIP comes in.
Let’s take a closer look at key ways a virtual office with VoIP can help your business thrive.
What Is VoIP?
Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is technology that helps you make and receive phone calls over the internet. Besides providing all the features that a phone system does, VoIP offers a variety of useful services, including call recording, voicemail to email, custom caller ID, and more.
Unlike a traditional phone system, VoIP doesn’t require numerous wires and expensive equipment. All you need is special software installed on your computer or mobile device, and the technology can be conveniently accessed from anywhere.
A Virtual Office with VoIP
Many small businesses don’t have a brick-and-mortar location. For some, the COVID-19 pandemic made office work obsolete. Others never had the budget or the need to rent a formal working space.
Working from home, or in another less formal location, does come with various benefits. However, the downside is the lack of a professional calling environment. Business owners have to use their private mobile or home numbers for work. Besides being inconvenient, this approach lacks professionalism. In today’s world, a professional customer-facing appearance is both expected and essential to the success of a business.
To appear professional without having an offline location, a virtual office needs advanced communication elements. One of them is VoIP. This technology allows you to interact with customers and clients through a full-scale phone call system without actually installing one.
How a Virtual Office with VoIP Can Help Your Business Succeed
A virtual business environment is no longer a novelty. Customers and clients are now accustomed to convenient, efficient communication, and it’s become commonplace to achieve this through a virtual office with technology that brings the same benefits of a traditional, physical location. However, the moment such communication appears unprofessional, your customers are likely to start looking for other options.
Here is how VoIP can help you create a virtual office that maintains a professional appearance while keeping costs low and improving productivity.
The Instant Professionalism of Business Phone Numbers
Using a personal landline or mobile number for business often raises red flags for customers forming their impression of your business. Customers who see personal numbers instead of business numbers may start questioning a company’s credibility.
At the same time, you must decide how to answer your personal business line. Will you simply say “Hello?” Will you answer every call with a personal greeting? Will you answer every call with a professional greeting?
Using a personal mobile or landline number blurs the lines between personal and business for both you and the customer, potentially frustrating you and making your customers question whether your company is one they can rely on for their needs.
VoIP, on the other hand, gives you a business phone number with benefits. You can get:
- A toll-free number
- A local number
- A custom number (for example, 555-BUILDERS or 800-111-2233)
- Global number (so international clients can call your business by dialing a local number)
Overall, you receive a full-scale business number without setting up a traditional phone system. This simplifies communication with your customers, improves your company’s credibility, and streamlines your online appearance with minimal investment or extended effort on your part.
The importance of professional phone communication forces many small businesses to consider installing a traditional phone system. The costs of installation and maintenance are usually high. In addition to these costs, you have to find enough space to put the equipment, including wires, phones, answering machines, and the like.
A VoIP system can save your company a significant amount of money. According to recent statistics, nearly a third of businesses (31%) were using VoIP for their communication needs as of 2021. This number will only continue to grow as VoIP technology thrives. The technology is especially popular among smaller companies with virtual offices and a limited budget. Using VoIP can save:
- 90% on international calls
- 75% on operational costs
- 40% on local calls
- 30% on phone bills
And instead of buying equipment, you only need to invest in software that runs on your existing devices.
Increased Customer Satisfaction
Customers don’t like waiting. After two minutes on hold, they are likely to hang up. If a customer needs help with a specific issue, they can get tired of being transferred from one person to another and eventually hang up. About 34% of them will never return. This means that you can lose a third of your customers simply because your phone system isn’t adequately developed for your customers.
VoIP technology solves both problems easily. It can manage call handling to make sure each caller gets a response from an operator without waiting too long. The system can collect information and reroute calls to the right destination.
Increased customer satisfaction drives loyalty and powers word-of-mouth marketing. For smaller local businesses, this is often the key to success, growth, and development.
Individual Attention for Each Client
If you have a small business that caters to many clients, you could be facing a problem with addressing their questions quickly and efficiently. When several clients call your company for problem-solving or other issues, some of them end up waiting on hold in frustration or waiting for a callback after you get their message.
A virtual office with VoIP offers you the option of working with virtual receptionists. This service involves a contract with a company that employs professional agents who are always available to answer calls for your business.
The cost of working with this managed service provider is significantly lower than hiring an in-house receptionist. Meanwhile, it scales according to your growing business needs. A live, always-on-call representative creates an excellent impression of your business and increases customer satisfaction rates.
A traditional phone system has significant limitations for remote work. In a virtual office, being tied to a specific place for phone calls hinders employee productivity. With VoIP, each office worker can make phone calls at any time and from any device.
If travel is an integral part of your operations, the lack of flexible phone communication could hurt your business. VoIP calling options coupled with live receptionists can help you work anytime and from anywhere without worrying about missed calls and lost customers.
Attracting and Retaining Top Talent
As your business grows and you focus on attracting talent, you can find yourself upstaged by larger companies with better benefits and higher salaries. One of the advantages you can offer new candidates is work-hour flexibility.
A virtual office with VoIP allows your employees to work from anywhere. Today, the lack of such an option drives professionals to change jobs. In the midst of the Great Resignation, losing top workers is out of the question.
Besides turning you into an employee of choice, work-hour flexibility can boost productivity. According to a survey conducted by Gartner, 43% of workers state that flexible working hours increase their productivity.
High-quality data analytics is the pillar of any company’s success. The more information you can gather about the way your company works, the more opportunities you have to improve its operation.
VoIP systems come with built-in data reporting functionality. You can get such valuable information as:
- Call tracking metrics
- Call recordings
- Time spent on a call
- Answered calls vs. missed calls
- Call waiting time
- Number of calls in queue
This information can help you analyze patterns of customer behavior. You can take advantage of this data to improve business operations, streamline call answering, tweak marketing efforts, and much more.
VoIP as the Driving Force Behind Your Company’s Success
VoIP technology in your virtual office can cut costs, add professionalism, increase customer satisfaction, help with business analytics, attract top talent, and much more. If you are ready to try the vast features VoIP can offer, Phone.com is here to help.
At Phone.com, we offer robust VoIP functionality that can streamline your business operations without breaking the bank. Contact us to shedule a demo and see what we can do for your business.