Leave the talk around building walls to the American political scene. As a business owner, your business will benefit by figuratively tearing down walls and removing barriers to communication with the help of a Hosted VoIP phone service. With Hosted VoIP, the walls of your business become translucent, as your phone system is no longer confined to your physical location. Additionally, as the world becomes more and more "always-on" in terms of communication, your business can adjust communication practices to meet the evolving demands of your customers.
Hosted VoIP: A Be Anywhere Phone System
By its very nature, Hosted VoIP delivers a single phone system to wherever your business is conducted. Because the system is cloud-based, the business deploys physical or soft phones where it best meets the internal communication needs and the demands of their customers. Making all of the phones work together as one system and implementing a call flow is a function of programming and does not require physical phone systems where you deploy resources. This opens the door for extreme flexibility and creativity and will give your business an edge over the competition. Examples of ways businesses have torn down the walls and deployed Hosted VoIP are listed below:
- Expanding the Business Presence Beyond a Primary Location - As a business grows, pressure on square footage can become acute. Instead of adding resources to a tight environment or going through the expense of moving a business, a business owner can look at alternatives to placement of employees. Locations can be added where resources are plentiful or economical or in areas where business volume dictates. Virtual employees can also be deployed where it makes sense for the business, allowing for expansion without taking on the cost of new locations. A Business VoIP phone service can tie all of these employees together on the same cloud-based system, facilitating efficient internal communication while external callers are served as if everyone was under the same roof.
- All Locations Work as One - There are certainly direct economic advantages of all business locations being on the same phone system. Through Hosted VoIP, phone bills are typically lower as there are economies of scale built into most pricing practices of the hosted VoIP providers. Indirectly, the business can benefit through the programming of the service to best meet the needs of the business and demands of the customers. You can centralize main line calls, where all locations incoming calls are directed to a central group of people. Calls can be directed to where the customer is best served. You can decentralize functions as well. For example, a customer service group can be made up of several employees located in several different locations. Businesses can right size their functions based upon call requirements, not the number of physical locations.
- Inclusion of the Mobile Work Force - Many businesses have employees spend a lot of time in the field, whether it be sales personnel, site managers, or service technicians. Most utilize the personal or business cell phones to conduct their business. Thanks to soft phone applications, these employees can receive and make calls on their business number or extension and not have to give out the cell phone number. When they make calls, they are delivering the caller ID of the business, not the cell phone. Voicemail messages are crafted for their business, and not a personal cell phone. This can be advantageous to the business in many ways. Calls can be transferred to the employee without needing to think about whether they are in the office or on their cell phone by transferring to the extension. External callers don't have try to reach this person via a cell phone, they just call the business or the direct dial of the contact.
Meeting the Customer Demands
With the flexible deployment options described above, call flows and communication practices can be revamped to meet the growing demands of an always-on customer base. Calls can be answered all of the time, regardless of where the resources are deployed. Auto attendants can route callers by need to the appropriate group of employees, again with no requirement of location. Direct dial numbers can be judiciously utilized for customers who need direct contacts. After hours on-call personnel can be equipped with soft phones. Calls can be programmed to deliver to the entire group, but the only ones that will ring are to those designated to turn them on for the period. No complicated programming or a physical requirement to be in the office is necessary.
These are just a few examples. Every business is different and the caller demands can vary widely. However, the flexibility offered by a Hosted VoIP service provides the business with the opportunity to be creative. Let your imagine fly and think of ways your business can communicate better with your customers and prospects and set your business apart from your competition!
About the author: Mark Greim is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at sipVine, a provider of a variety of VoIP phone solutions and services. Mark has extensive experience working for start-up or entrepreneurial organizations and has a passion for affordable, reliable, and purposeful technology solutions in those environments.