By Jim Gustke, vice president of marketing, Ooma
Insurance Professionals today face numerous challenges. Missing calls from clients and the public shouldn’t be one of them. Many have switched to VoIP (voice over internet protocol) from traditional landlines to lower their phone costs; experience the many features and benefits of VoIP phone systems; and be able to literally work from anywhere while still using your office phone number.
To understand VoIP and why it makes sense for you to consider switching to a VoIP phone system, please read on. To download the free VoIP Guidebook, please click here for your copy: The Complete Guide to Switching to a VoIP Phone System.
What are VoIP Phone Systems?
As the name implies, Voice over Internet Protocol phones (VoIP) use the internet to make and receive calls either from analog phones, but mostly through IP (Internet Protocol) phones that easily plug into any Ethernet jack. Once you are connected, you can easily make and receive phone calls.
Technology is truly the most significant difference between VoIP and landline phones. Over the past 100 years, landline phones haven’t changed much as they continue to require infrastructure of wiring and exchange hardware. With the technology that exists today, landlines are limited – basically only allowing you to make and receive voice calls.
VoIP technology is vastly different and has literally changed the ways businesses communicate today, especially through innovation and internet speeds that continue to become faster and faster. While landlines require additional costs for add-on features, VoIP on the other hand offers a myriad of communications features already built in.
How VoIP Works
VoIP turns your voice into data transmitted over the internet, just like sending emails. And if you’ve ever used Skype, you’ve already used VoIP.
VoIP calls are made on your phone, connected to the internet with a network cable or adapter, or via a computer’s microphone and speakers using an app. To make calls, VoIP service providers, within a split second, route the voice data between you and the other caller.
The Way VoIP Transforms Communications
As your business grows, having a phone system that aligns with the publics’ expectations is critical. VoIP systems come with powerful features to help any business make the right impression.
· Working Anywhere - being able to work from any location these days is critical. And when you’re away from the office, employees shouldn’t have to use their personal phone number for business – it’s unprofessional. VoIP changes that as VoIP allows employees to work remotely easily, through mobile and desktop apps – making and receiving calls from anywhere, with your business phone number.
· Virtual Receptionist - when someone can’t answer the phone, Virtual Receptionist steps in and allows callers to hear a professional, friendly greeting with options that best meets their needs. This compares to callers hearing busy signals, being instantly put on hold or the phone just not being answered.
· Ring Groups - to make sure every call is answered by a live person, there’s Ring Groups. With this feature, the phone rings simultaneously so everyone in the same department receives the call; or you can program it to ring sequentially, ringing person to person until the phone is answered.
· Faxes - for many businesses, faxing remains important. With VoIP systems, you can still send traditional faxes from your phone to a fax machine. Virtual Fax removes the need for fax equipment.
· Business Number - with switching to a new phone system, it’s important to keep your existing phone number – your lifeline to the outside world. VoIP makes it easy and seamless as your VoIP service provider can take care of moving your number to the new system. This benefits you as there’s no need to change business cards, letterhead and information on your website.
VoIP’s Key Advantages
· Excellent call quality - VoIP systems provide great call quality due to advances in technology and faster internet speeds.
· Lowered costs - reduced costs is one of the most appealing benefits for switching to VoIP. If you’re still using a traditional landline, you’ll understand the continued expenses, from the setup fees to monthly costs, per-line expenses, and ongoing IT support. To understand the potential cost savings to switching to VoIP, check out The VoIP Savings Calculator.
· The right impression – it’s no surprise that how the public perceives your business often depends on their phone interaction with you. When they call, do they hear a professional welcome message, with easy directions, or immediately be put on hold?
· Remote teams – as everyone these days is literally working everywhere, VoIP provides the latest tools to communicate with staff effortlessly – and from anywhere.
Check out how Joseph Opoka, an insurance agent from Camas, Washington, uses VoIP to run his insurance business more efficiently: VoIP - Joseph Opoka.
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About the Author – Jim Gustke
Jim Gustke is Vice President of Marketing at Ooma and is responsible for all aspects of marketing and customer acquisition at the company. Jim is a marketing and Internet veteran with a wealth of experience at the intersection of consumer and technology marketing. During his career, he has spearheaded marketing initiatives at Intuit, Lexar Media, Ofoto, America Online and Polaroid Corporation. For more information, visit: www.ooma.com. For questions or comments, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.