Although many businesses benefit, there is one clear customer group that has found solid, sustaining value in a Hosted Phone Service: Insurance Agencies. After years of working with insurance agents, we have been able to identify five main reasons why this customer group finds Hosted VoIP Phone Service beneficial:
- Low Capital Investment: The cost of a full-featured phone system can be a very expensive solution. Many sacrifice functionality to lower the cost of entry. Alternatively, a Hosted Phone solution requires just an investment of phones and some ancillary data equipment, a vastly smaller up-front investment, while providing the same feature set that VoIP systems offer today. Additionally, by going with Hosted VoIP, your agency no longer needs to worry about phone system obsolescence. It is the responsibility of the hosted provider to ensure the phone system technology is up-to-date with the newest features.
- Mobility: The strongest value an insurance agent can provide is to be accessible to his or her clients, as they must be available after the sale in case their customers need to file a claim; fires and floods don’t just happen between 8 and 5. Hosted Phone service permits them to be available 24 hours a day, in any location. Hosted VoIP applications can be programmed to route work calls to soft phone apps on the agent's smart phone or route calls to an answering service. Soft phones on laptops or desk phones at a home office are additional ways in which an agent can increase their accessibility to their clients.
- No Busy Signals! Insurance agents never want their existing clients (or prospective clients) to hear a busy signal. Existing clients typically call only if they are in a time of need. Certainly, prospective clients hearing a busy signal may just try to call the agency down the street. The majority of Hosted Phone solutions don’t have a limit on the number of inbound calls that a customer can take, meaning that your customers will never hear a busy signal, making your insurance agency more accessible to customers.
- Unified Communications: There will always be situations when an agent can’t take a phone call, whether due to meetings or being on the other line with another client. To that end, Hosted VoIP Phone Services provide the opportunity for voicemails and faxes to be delivered to email. Agents can check messages from their smartphone or computer, providing the agent flexibility to not only obtain messages from any location, but also store them on any device that is most convenient for the agent.
- Affordable Costs of Service: Hosted VoIP Phone Service has proven to be an affordable alternative to traditional phone service. With the increasing costs of analog lines, the price per seat or user approach from Hosted VoIP providers delivers affordability and flexibility. All-distance calling is included in most plans.
A Hosted VoIP Phone solution makes good sense for all insurance professionals, as there are a great number of benefits that make such a solution worth exploring. As with all significant decisions, do your homework. Make certain that the Hosted VoIP provider is reliable, and don’t be afraid to ask for references specific to your industry. Also, inquire about a list of features specific to how your agency conducts business. Finally, confirm that there aren’t any hidden fees or contracts that increase over time; you want to ensure that your phone service provider is always earning your business.