Small businesses operating on a lean budget may find it difficult to convince clients and potential investors of their capabilities. Size matters in business. In order to bring in the business, you need to scale. It makes sense to look bigger than you are.
Adopting voice over IP phone systems can help level the playing field. Updating an obsolete phone system is one of the most effective and inexpensive ways to build a professional and credible image.
At Kital, we create customized telecommunication solutions that suit our clients’ needs and budget.
What is VoIP?
Voice over Internet Protocol allows you to make and receive voice calls through the Internet. It augments your connection to a telephone exchange (the infrastructure your telephone company provides to operate regional, national or international calls) so that you’re able to route landline calls to your mobile phone, or any other device besides the one to which the telephone number is registered, free of charge.
In a traditional set-up, landline numbers are connected to the PSTN (public switched telephone network). Calls go through the exchange, which connects the callers to the phone numbers they dialed. With VoIP integration, phone numbers are stored in an Internet server instead of an exchange. The server routes calls to the devices where the dialed numbers are registered.
The Internet connectivity in VoIP opens opportunities for faster and more reliable communications within and outside your business — one of them being the ability to answer landline calls via mobile phones. Traditionally, re-routing landline calls to mobile devices would merit extra charges. But since VoIP operates through the Internet, phone calls will merely consume Internet data, and landline-to-mobile connectivity is virtually free.
VoIP also paves the way for IP-PBX systems, which gives the appearance of a large business operation.
What is IP-PBX
A private branch exchange refers to the private telephone network that consists of a telephone number (or more) and extensions. What is a PBX phone system used for? It is used to create seamless communication lines between members of an organization (or in a business set-up, between departments or offices) and the world beyond. It allows users to connect multiple phones to an internal network without having to install physical phone lines for every device. PBX also allows users to forward external calls to specific extensions in the network.
So, how does a PBX system work? Just imagine an analog switchboard. An operator answers the phone, asks the caller who he or she wants to speak to, then connects the call to that person’s extension line. Since there can be many extensions nested under a phone number, organizations that use PBX can support several phone lines, but pay only for a single phone bill.
As the technology evolved, PBX systems went digital, and then Internet protocol-based.
With IP-PBX, the VoIP infrastructure and process takes effect. This time, however, phone devices aren’t connected directly to the VoIP number; they’re registered as extension numbers instead. The extensions are connected to a secondary server (the PABX or private automatic branch exchange), which is nested under the VoIP number (the main server) and serves as the trunk that connects all extensions in the network.
Calls are now routed in this manner: they first go through the main server, then to the PABX, which will then distribute the calls to the right extensions.
IP-PBX systems also offer other helpful features, which are discussed in the next section. As for the other purpose IP-PBX serves in small businesses, this technology gives the impression that a business:
- Has many departments and employees
- Is established enough that it can afford this communication infrastructure
- Is always accessible
- Is technologically savvy
These are qualities that attract investors and potential business partners. VoIP and IP-PBX also offer other features that enhance people’s perceptions about a business. Such an outcome would make investing in these technologies worth it.
A Small Price to Look Big
The truth is, the upfront cost for a VoIP system is higher than a traditional PBX. But, as it allows cheap or free calls, you can enjoy more savings down the road. Given the benefits your small business will gain from integrating VoIP, the capital expense is a small price to pay.
VoIP service also comes with an auto-receptionist and features including call recording, screening, video calls, and conference calls. It allows a tight integration with calendar and email, among other productivity apps, which can help streamline work processes that in turn demonstrate professionalism.
Here are other VoIP features that help your business look bigger, and therefore more stable and reliable:
Digital Receptionist Features
VoIP also allows the integration of voice prompts. When customers call the business owner (in this case, let’s call him John), they hear options such as: “Press 1 to make an appointment. Press 2 to speak with John.”
Say John is the only person who runs the company, the call goes to his phone or computer in both cases. But through a voice recording that mimics the function of an interactive voice response (IVR) system, customers get the impression that a more established company actually exists.
Custom Phone Number Creation
For businesses with multiple locations, VoIP also allows the creation of custom phone numbers for different areas. This capability enables businesses to look local when they operate remotely. VoIP features vary depending on the providers, but most systems offer a phone greeting, call forwarding, and extensions with individual voicemail boxes.
Compatibility with Other Apps
VoIP allows integration with productivity apps and social media platforms including LinkedIn and Twitter. This allows small companies with small budgets to adopt communications capabilities that are generally associated with big enterprises. For example, VoIP allows a click-to-call functionality from chat, email, and calendar and it makes document collaboration tools available.
Disaster Management Features
A disaster can leave the traditional phone line down for hours or days, and in a highly competitive industry, the inability to stay available 24/7 means lost opportunities. VoIP solutions allow you to route calls to your mobile phone, giving your business an appearance of stability, given its capacity to operate in the wake of a disaster.
How to Choose Your Phone System
Your choice of phone system will always come with a set of pros and cons. Before you say yes to a Zycoo phone or other phone systems, know whether it will increase profitability, improve productivity, or reduce operational costs.
Since there are plenty of phone systems in the market, finding a system that suits your needs and budget will prove to be a challenge. Consider the benefits and drawbacks of each system, especially if it can support your long-term growth.
Once you’ve set your eyes on a system, ask the following questions to be sure:
- Is your phone system easy to use?
- Can its features support my business’ needs?
- Can you customize and add extensions to support its future needs?
Kital can give your small business the voice it needs to level the playing field. Whether you need PBX telephone systems, hosted PBX, or hybrid communication systems, count on us to customize a solution that helps you fortify your authority in front of potential clients, investors, and business partners.
Talk to us about your telecommunications needs. Call us at 632-8779-6111 today.